Ever wanted to know what goes on during a brand photoshoot? Content creator Timmy Shivers takes us behind the scenes of Away’s Winter 2022 campaign in Iceland.
Working as a photographer for a global travel brand has the not-so-surprising perk of traveling around the world for photoshoots. Equally unsurprising was the pause on international travel we experienced during the pandemic. As vaccines and international travel revved back up—before the spread of the Omicron variant—the creative team at Away set our sights on Iceland for our Winter 2022 photoshoot.
2 months of preparation resulted in a 3-day shoot in early November. We worked with a production company to show off the picturesque, otherworldly landscapes that make up Iceland. Come take a peek behind the curtain of our shoot to see where we traveled, plus our itinerary and recommendations, should you find yourself in the neighborhood.
Day 1: Reykjanes Peninsula
We focused on the Reykjanes Peninsula on the first day of shooting, a region in the southwest relatively close to Reykjavík, our home base. During the winter months, the sun doesn’t rise until 10 a.m. and usually sets around 4:30 p.m. This meant we had to be diligent with every hour of the day. We loved the Reykjanes Peninsula because we could easily access the ocean, rolling fields, volcanic rock, lakes, black sand, and altogether striking views all within a short distance.
Day 2: Landmannalaugar
We lived a million lives during our second shoot day. To guarantee snow, we headed to Landmannalaugar, an area in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. The destination is about 3 hours outside of Reykjavik, so we had a 5 a.m. call time. After a short drive in our normal production van we switched to a Superjeep, designed to weather the terrain of the region. Little did we know, the night before saw a fresh piling of snow, and what was supposed to be a 3-hour drive turned to 6. We were the first vehicle on the tracks, which meant an extra level of scrutiny as we plowed our way through the snow. Our Superjeep only got stuck once, and a couple of heart attacks later we made it to our destination, a cabin designed for travelers during the summer months.
We spent the remainder of the day warming up in the cabin, making stew, and braving the snow to capture what we came to Iceland to capture. Snow we wanted, snow we got.
Day 3: Bláskógabyggð
For our final day, we shot inside an AirBNB located 2 hours east of Reykjavik in Bláskógabyggð. The location provided the perfect indoor backdrop to shoot in, and the location was idyllic in and of itself.
Side note: If you find yourself in the area, you must check out Friðheimar, a restaurant serving tomato soup grown and served in their greenhouse!
Where To Stay
We stayed at Grandi by Center Hotels, located in the Old West Side of Reykjavik. It opened in the summer of 2021 and boasts of its own delicious restaurant, Héðinn.
Where To Eat
Reykjavik Roasters — With four locations in the city, Reykjavik Roasters is a local favorite.
Brikk — Just around the corner from Grandi Hotel, Brikk’s pastries were an early morning must.
Coo Coo’s Nest — Serving up brunch, Coo Coo’s nest felt like a home away from home in Reykjavik’s Grandi district.
Tides — This newly opened restaurant inside The Reykjavik EDITION was the perfect celebratory final meal of our trip. Pro tip: find your way to Tölt bar after dinner.
What To Do
Sky Lagoon — A less-crowded alternative to the Blue Lagoon.
Epal — Design-forward home furnishings and decor.