We sent 4 creative travelers—travel writer Tyler Jay and creative collaborator and Iceland expert Leila Kaakati, who were captured by photographer Liam Goslett and cinematographer Andrew Amine—to Iceland with the mission to document Moncler’s latest collection while exploring the country’s stunning, rustic landscape. Read on as Tyler Jay shares an intimate firsthand account of the group’s adventure.
I lie back in my seat, feeling my lungs push back against the worn leather of our 1999 Defender, breathlessly trying to belt out the last few words to Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson.” Our team of four has just arrived in Iceland to shoot Moncler’s latest outerwear collection, and already we’re feeling a strong connection to this place and to each other.
After picking up our rental and grabbing a quick pylsur (Icelandic hot dog), we hit the road, bound for the Thingvellir Rift Valley. As more and more classic songs play on the queue, feelings of nostalgia wash over me. I peer around the vehicle at the faces around me—faces that I’d shared many laughs with, faces that I could intimately describe, yet faces that were only beginning to imprint on my mind.
I am awestruck and find myself in a state of comfort that I didn’t expect. Beyond the weather-battered windshield lies an immensely serene landscape of white snow and green moss, canopied by a brilliant array of light pinks, purples, and subtle oranges. Although calm at times, we would learn that you can’t take this environment for granted. Suddenly, we find ourselves caught up in a windstorm that humbles even the biggest vehicles; there is nothing but pure whiteness and the dull red hazard lights of the car somewhere in front of us. Pulling over, we step out of the vehicle and are thankful to be swathed head to toe in the warm down of our Moncler parkas. We hope to use this opportunity to capture life in such a formidable environment.
We are movers and shakers, rubber-tramps, wide-eyed and breathlessly trying to soak in every ounce of life from this beautiful place. And it truly is a beautiful place. We begin our journey by heading through the rolling hills of Nesjavallavirkjun, past idle frozen lakes and snowcapped peaks. We continue clicking the kilometers away onward past Vik with its stunning black sand beaches, stopping to admire Icelandic bearded horses and to have a dip in the geothermal hot springs. Finally, we reach the glacier lagoon of Jokulsarlon, where chunks of floating blue ice litter the sandy shore—all the while shooting whatever catches our eye or glints in the perfect lighting.
Each night, whether nestled in luxurious modern hotels like the Ion Adventure Hotel or tucked away in an intimate Airbnb, we huddle around our computer screens, flipping through the takes of the day, sipping Brennivin (Iceland’s local spirit) and planning where we might end up the next day. While we do travels with a few destinations in mind, the beauty of Iceland lies in its unexpected turnoffs, curious landscapes, and swift weather patterns.
This trip quickly becomes more than just four people brought together for a photo shoot. It’s about the connecting and the re-connecting of people, the product of novel ideas, and the realization of shared authenticity with others. This is not only a journey to shoot around Iceland—it is a journey into the beauty of human interaction, and it is a whole lot of fun.
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