This is my final blog post, and favorite set of images my trip to Iceland in September. These photos also just so happen to be from the very last 2 days of the trip. A beautiful finale of an amazing experience.
I shake my head every time I look at these photos, because I almost didn’t get out of the bus to shoot at either of the first two locations. I was sick as a dog, felt like throwing up, was dizzy, and in a foul mood. (as foul as you can get in amazing scenery like that, so not really that bad, if I’m being honest) This was day 6 out of 7 when we started our long drive back towards the western part of the country. It was only about a 4 hour drive, but felt like an eternity when I wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep. Our first stop of the day was at these much older basalt columns (the first 3 images). In the group, these were known as “O.G. basalt”, and you can see why when compared to the last images. This area was the culmination of everything I learned about shooting in a harsh climate with very challenging elements. We originally planned to shoot most of the models here, but when we got out of the bus, we were all hit with the INTENSE wind and rain. It was freezing, and we were almost being blown over by the gusts of unrelenting wind. Keeping the models safe while up on the rocks, and keeping the rain off of our lenses, and out of the seams in our cameras way entirely too risky. So we shot quickly, and packed up. We were only here for about 15 minutes total, including setup. Long enough to get a few beautiful shots, and run back to the bus.
At our second location we drove down a very long dirt/gravel road, past some of the most amazing, mythical looking moss, and ended up deciding on this location for the texture of the larger rocks underneath the moss, and beautiful vegetation. Our tour guide also wanted to give us a private area to shoot with. This location also gave us some of the harshest wind I’ve ever experienced in my life. The models make it look effortless and beautiful, but do not be fooled. It was frigid and exactly what might come to mind when you imagine an arctic climate. This moss is something unlike anything else in the world. I am grateful to have seen it. It is over 600 years old, and grows very slowly. The moss has a unique, spongelike texture, and is ruined very easily, so the models had to walk out flat-footed, very carefully as to not leave any trace that they were there. I didn’t pick up my camera and shoot as quickly as I did at pervious locations, because I felt terrible. But still somehow ended up with some of my favorite photos of my entire career. The header image in this blog post of SayHelloJess is an image I absolutely adore, and is something I’m thinking about printing out in a epic fashion to feature in the studio. Her curves in compliment to the flowing moss are what my nude photography dreams are made of.
We ended this day in the gorgeous town of Vík along the coast. We stayed in a lovely hotel directly across from a fun combo gift store/ grocery/ cafe, so of course I took advantage and bought a few cute goodies. But I regret not buying a true Icelandic wool sweater. Who cares if I live in Texas? I guess I’ll just have to go back to Iceland and buy one…. That evening all of the photographers gathered around and did a little light culling and editing together. It was great to see some of the art we were creating together.
The next morning we all got up very early and piled on the bus before sun-up, to make a quick drive down to the black sand beach of Vik. This was by far the most popular tourist area we had shot in, and thought we might beat the tourists if we got there extra early. We scooted down to the beach as quickly as our tired bodies would allow us, cranked up our ISO extra high so we could shoot in near darkness, and got to work. We were surprised to see several other early risers on the beach with us, though. But luckily other countries are not nearly as shocked or offended by nude bodies as Americans are. It was amazing to be able to shoot full nudes right on this popular beach, without a single person asking us to stop. We even were shooting in front of a few families, and no one seemed to bat an eye at us. It was an incredible experience to be able to take our time, and create art alongside amazing people, at an amazing location, without feeling threatened, or like we needed to hide from the public. I think the tourists understood that we were creating art in a tasteful, non-sexual way, and let us do what we needed to. I’m struggling to find the words to describe this specific experience in Vik, and what it meant to me as a wanderlusting, feminist, boudoir, nude photographer. The models, photographers, and our tour guide gave us the most incredible, once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.
I will never forget this entire trip though. Stepping out of my comfort zone, and taking the leap to do something that I’ve been dreaming about for years feels surreal. I want to go back so badly and shoot nudes in nature in Iceland again, but I know it will never live up to how absolutely perfect this trip was. The organization, professionalism of the models, and absolutely incredible locations are something I can’t even dream of replicating. That being said, though, I am going to continue to shoot nudes in nature, because it has ignited something new and passionate in me. I also don’t even know if it’s something I’ll offer to clients, or just shoot with professional models. Either way, I know I want to continue. So, maybe not right this second, but in the near future, keep an eye out for some more Paskey Boudoir adventures.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Corwin Prescott and Nicole Vaunt for organizing this Arctic Nude workshop. I would go back again and again. And thank you for starting a new fire in me.
Also thank you to my new best traveling friend, Julie Socher Boudoir. She went through this journey with me and we are already planning our trips for next year, starting with New Mexico!
Models: SayHelloJess, Alice X, Nicole Vaunt, Icelandic Selkie, and Lillias Right