*Now that is a sentence I thought I would never use!
Iceland can be cold and indeed it usually it is. My best investments ever are my thick winter coat and woolen hat which I use to keep the Icelandic winter at bay. After all, I am raised by mother and she made damn sure you did not leave the house in winter unless you were prepared for the sudden devastating onset of a new ice age. But some people just don´t care about the cold (or at least pretend not to). One of the is Sorelle Amore, an Australian photographer who just moved from that balmy continent to the harsh and unforgiving sub-artic Iceland. And she seems a lot more oblivious to the cold than the average Icelander by the looks of her recent bikini photo shoot. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @SorelleAmore.
Most people read Stuck in Iceland Travel Magazine for the quality articles so I felt that an interview with Sorelle was in order and she most graciously agreed.
Why did you move Iceland of all places?
Iceland captivated my heart the minute the plane landed. I knew before the end of my first visit which was just 5 days, that I needed to stay in Iceland. And that’s precisely what I did. The nature, the people, the far more relaxed and isolated vibe contrary to the busy hustle of Sydney are just some of the reasons I fell in love with Iceland.
So. Bikini pictures in snow?
As a photographer at Sherbet Birdie Vintage & Pin Up Photography , who specialise in fun photoshoots for everyday women, it’s ingrained in me to pose and produce photos of this type. One day after extremely heavy snowfall which actually closed off the roads from my house, the idea popped into my mind! So I grabbed my bikini, a towel, some sunglasses…and the first photo of the series – sunbathing in the snow – came to life!
The response to those photos was exceptional and people kept suggesting ideas for what I should do, and now the series has grown in quality, execution and it’s sitting at 25 photographs and counting!
Tell me what it’s like behind the scenes
Behind the scenes is definitively not as glamorous as the final photos. I start by wearing endless layers which I can remove easily, set up the shot, test the shot, then run over and get about 20/30 photos in different poses to make sure I get ‘the one’ as I really don’t want to repeat the process due to the sub freezing temperatures.
Luckily I now have a remote shutter release for my camera, meaning I can stand in my spot and take the whole series of poses, but when I first started, I had to run and click the self timer between every shot. That was very painful.
As per the weather conditions…I have been caught in blizzards where all my gear (including my camera) had been pushed over by the wind. I’ve had sideways hail traveling at 100km/hour due to the heavy winds hitting my face and every exposed body part which really isn’t fun. Because of Iceland’s lack of sunshine weather, I usually end up shooting in some of the worst conditions.
And yet…after all this…I still love doing it.
Do you have someone helping you out (taking the photos, etc) or is it a one-person team?
I wish! It’s a completely one woman team for set up, testing, photography and editing. Some help would make the process faster and less uncomfortable out there in the blizzards.
How far do you venture out of the city for your shoots?
Iceland is small and to get vast open spaces, you have to travel only about 15 minutes max from Reykjavik (the biggest city in Iceland) to get pure nature. So travel isn’t an issue. I also live 1 hour from Reykjavik in a tiny cute little Icelandic cabin, inclusive of an outdoor hot tub which I use to watch the Northern Lights above me at night, a fireplace to cuddle up in front of and endless fields of white, large frozen lakes and snow capped huge mountains in the distance…until summer hits of course when all of this will be traded in for bright green vegetation and black dirt instead.
How cold was it while shooting in a bikini?
The temperatures can go down to -13C. I’ve had hail hit me straight between the eyes and every other exposed body part with winds of 100km/h. It’s far from glamorous and easy. And yet, after all this, I still love doing these shoots.
Do you think your photos are better since you’ve moved to Iceland?
100%. I was a very novice photographer when I decided to travel and I had never shot landscape photography before.
My training at Sherbet Birdie was incredible for studio portrait photography and mastering posing, however for my outdoor photography I thank a few fantastic photographers/friends that I look up to, as well as my constant hunger to learn more and get better.
Technically, you could point a camera anywhere in Iceland and get a great photo because the landscape is so beautiful, however I try to bring my artistic eye to the process to ensure I don’t have the same photos as everyone else that photographs Iceland.
What are your favorite destinations here in Iceland to visit in your opinion
My favourite places to visit in Iceland are:
I feel very connected to nature in these spots, especially the glaciers. Seeing a giant wall of frozen water is really humbling and reminds you what life is really about.
Well thanks Sorelle, I do agree with you about the glaciers. I hope you won´t catch a cold. And please watch out for hypothermia!