I was commissioned by Yuliya Chepiga to photograph her around Iceland for a week this past May 2017. Given complete creative freedom, this was a dream come true.
The trip and the photography process were difficult and strenuous. We drove the entire ring road in 7 days, most of the time in torrential downpours, thick fog, sometimes both. During sessions, I had to wipe my cameras and lenses so much from the rain that my towels would be too wet to even dry them properly. We were cold and wet more often than not but creating with someone who is just as motivated as I was brought our best selves forward. It felt liberating to have 7 days with no guidelines, no rules, to create from passion as we saw fit.
I felt utterly inspired not only by the landscapes we were exposed to but by Yuliya herself. She transforms entirely when being photographed and her presence on camera is compelling. This sweet, gentle and quiet lady is a camera chameleon with a strength that enables her to create and model in any circumstance. Her determination inspires me.
When I create photographic series, I almost always start with a goal, theme or vision. This past year has been so structured for me though, that I wanted the experience and creation process to happen organically during this trip. Without much planning in advance, the experience led to this collection of images. Though a consistent theme was not decided on before our trip, I believe these photos are all still connected by an underlying feeling of complete liberation, an immense awe for the beauty that exists and a surrendering to earth's powerful forces.