The Faroe Islands. These small islands have been number one on my list for many years now (well, besides Greenland that is, but we’re still trying to gear up for a proper trip.) In all reality, it’s an irony and a paradox to travel somewhere like this for me. I’m a cityboy through-and-through—I’m captivated by the city. I love the people, the amenities, the conveniences, and the culture. Yet, with all that, I feel the most creative and in touch with my emotions when I’m in the wilderness—the emptiness. There was a moment when we stood in front of Gasadalur (first picture) where we just sat and sat, saying nothing, listening to the water hit the ocean below. There were a few children played soccer across the way—in all, a very normal scene. But in such an unexpected place. We spent most of our time hiking alone, with nobody else near us or around us. After an especially long and hard summer, the time Hills and I spent in the Faroes felt heaven-sent. We just talked, shared our hearts and hopes, and spent a lot of time holding hands in silence.
The paradox of the wilderness is something I don’t fully understand. I don’t really understand why it is that I feel so drawn to nothingness and large barren expanses. The ENFJ in me craves social interaction, yet the artist/dreamer/poet inside of me craves the isolation and the feeling of isolation. One time, while on a field trip in university to a monastic commune, I asked a monk: “Don’t you ever get bored with all of the isolation and silence?”. He paused, tilted his head and replied: “At times, yes…but the boredom is a reminder that there is something outside of us that must fulfill us.” I’ll never forget that.
The places in life I’ve aspired to visit most have almost always been isolated or some kind of wilderness: Greenland, the steppes of Mongolia, Antarctica. There has always been a part of me that desires to see the world in its most vulnerable form. To experience places that have nothing else to offer but endless winter emptiness. To see the beauty in places that have ultimately been abandoned as reasonable habitats.
It’s my aim to be better about sharing more personal and travel work, because it’s these in-betweens that inform and inspire the majority of my wedding and portrait work. I decided to move away from my traditional edits in order to separate the look and feel of my travel work. While it informs how I see the world, ultimately, it’s an entirely different experience for me. This set is inspired by warmth, pushed Portra 160, cool nights, and Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens.
Also, just to put it out the world, I’d love to return to these islands, or anywhere like them, for some kind of commissioned work, whether a wedding or something different. Wherever you are in life, I hope these images bring you calm and a desire to stay curious.