Recently, I was given an amazing opportunity to photograph a series of environmental portraits in the stunning and unpredictable country of Iceland. The land was magical and breathtaking. At every turn, the views changed from soft, rolling hills to jagged rock formations to lava rock beaches. The weather was ever-changing, giving us both rain and sunshine within just moments of one another.
Environmental portraits make up a large percentage of my work as a portrait artist. Whether I’m photographing a wedding, an outdoor portrait session or an on-location modeling shoot, capturing the surroundings while keeping the subject of the image central to the composition is always at the forefront of my mind.
Focal distance is another consideration for environmental portraits. Capturing the landscape and giving a sense of place is important to the overall image. In this series of images, I chose the F1.2 lineup of M.Zuiko PRO lenses including the M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm F1.2 PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.2 PRO.
This shoot in Iceland gave me a perfect opportunity to put all of the amazing features of my beloved Olympus gear to the test. From hiking under waterfalls to scaling cliffs at the Black Sands Beach, I really gained a fresh appreciation for the lightweight, water-resistance and rugged design of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
My experience in Iceland challenged me in so many new ways — working with the land to draw the eye of the viewer back to the subject, finding the frame that offered the story of the island and brought feeling to the moment and lastly, creating the lighting that would complement all of the components to create the final capture.