It’s been a quiet year on our blog… but it’s been everything but quiet in our lives. 2016 was a challenging one for us in many ways, giving us one of our highest highs: our daughter Charlie, and one of our lowest lows: the sudden loss of Daniel’s father.
But back in June, before either one of these events rocked our world in completely opposite ways, there was a spontaneous trip. A trip we’d intended to take 5 years earlier for our honeymoon, but that we never got around to actually taking. It took a seat sale and our favourite motto: “Just Do It” (borrowed from Nike), to convince us, and before we knew it we were on our way to Iceland with our 2 year old son Max and my 7 month pregnant self. We rented an RV and planned a rough itinerary to take us all the way around the country in 7 days. We planned some stops, but mostly we planned to be surprised.
It’s hard to describe this place, or this trip. The scenery, the fresh air, the adventure that allowed our little family to have… it was just so special.
We pet Icelandic horses on the side of the road… danced in front of waterfalls at midnight… skipped rocks on a lake reflected by an endless sunset sky… ran through smelly sulphuric clouds on an otherworldly geothermal field… drank glacier water straight from a river… watched the waves crash into bright blue icebergs… got our hands dirty with black sand (well, that was mostly Max)… ran halfway up a mountain in the pursuit of a herd of sheep (Max again)… soaked in a 100 year old pool surrounded by mountains… and again in a cliffside hot tub at midnight… and again in a geothermal pool in the rain…
This magical place gave our family of 3.5 exactly what we needed at that moment in our lives; solidified us and gave us a life-long priceless memory just before life threw some major changes and challenges our way. We can’t wait to return when the kids are older and make some new memories in a land that now holds so much meaning to us.
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Oaxaca to attend a workshop with David Alan Harvey, and spend 8 days photographing the Day of the Dead festivities. David is an incredible photographer who has been shooting assignments for National Geographic for many years, and is part of the prestigious Magnum association. His body of work is a big inspiration to us, to say the least.
“Dia de los Muertos” is, in simple words, a celebration of death. It’s a week-long festival like no other, during which locals & tourists gather in different parts of town, dance, drink mezcal, and remember loved ones. Though it might seem like a sombre topic, it was really beautiful to see how the people of Oaxaca take pride in this holiday, and are happy to talk about the ones who have passed on.
During the 8 days, we travelled to small towns, remote cemeteries, and took in the culture in many different ways. Above, you will find a few of my favourite images, and you can browse through more on our KUDA site, which is dedicated to our travel & commercial work. I have uploaded more photos there, with captions, which tell a little bit more about the story. Visit the site HERE.
Several photographers have asked me why I took this workshop and what I have gotten out of it. As an artist, I simply never feel like I am done growing, and am always thirsty to learn something new. It’s the same reason why we attend conferences & listen to other photographers speak. I have always admired David’s career, and knew that he would be someone I would love to learn more from. My goal was to learn more about building a story, especially in a setting outside of weddings.David pushed me to capture images with more soul, emotion, and to shoot from the heart. It took me a few days to grasp the concept, but it eventually clicked with me. At the end of the workshop, the entire class put a group slideshow together, which was presented in front of the art community and locals, at a gallery in Oaxaca. It was truly a memorable experience.
A special thank you goes out to David, for his mentorship & guidance, as well as to all of the fellow classmates, who were a continuous source of inspiration and support during the week. And of course, none of it would be possible without my beautiful Davina, who acted as my photo editor from back home, helping me narrow down my images & pick the best ones from each day for critiques.
It probably comes to no surprise that Daniel and I love to travel. As destination wedding photographers, we have had to opportunity to photograph weddings in close to 20 countries; and we sincerely loved every one of them. We have dreamed of photographing a wedding in Italy for years now (we both visited the country separately many years ago), and we recently had that opportunity. My parents insisted on coming along with us, so we made a vacation out of it. 3 weeks, from the Amalfi coast, to Tuscany, to the Italian Riviera, to Venice. We drove on tiny, windy roads, walked through ancient ruins, sped around on boats… We ate, ate, ate, and drank, drank, drank. And it was incredible.
There is so much to say about this gorgeous, delicious country, yet words escape me. We loved it all so much, we thought we’d share some of our images from that trip (wedding photos are coming soon!). All of these images were taken with our favorite everyday cameras: our iphones and our Fuji x100s ,and posted throughout our trip on both my and Daniel’s instagram account.
Iceland and India top our current wanderlust list… where do you want to travel to?