Iceland has long been on my bucket list and of course unless you've been hiding under a rock you'll have noticed it's been THE go-to destination for many a photographer over the past few years. Which is not hard to understand given the incredible landscapes they are host to - as seen here in this beautiful wild bridal shoot by MARTINE SEVERIN.
Martine tells us more about the shoot, "Last spring, over breakfast with colleagues, Kpoene and Nika, one of us made a passing comment that would forever change our relationship. "What do you have planned for 2017?" asked bridal gown designer, Kpoene Kofi Bruce of MIGNONETTE BRIDAL. I excitedly told them about the weddings I was commissioned to photograph in 2017. Chicago make-up artist NIKA VAUGHAN - owner of her eponymous company - piped up about her plans to travel to Iceland that same year.
"Iceland!! Wouldn't it be fun to produce an editorial with a black model? I don't think anyone's done such a shoot in Iceland before."
We often talked about the lack of representation of Black women in wedding editorials. The three of us have been in the wedding industry for at least a decade, but seldom see black faces except on wedding blogs explicitly marketed to black women. For many, fine-art weddings connote a non-brown bride. Perhaps this standard exists due to a standard of beauty that promotes a homogeneous cream-based color palette or perhaps due to a perceived lack of available non-white brides. Didn't we as creatives and black women have the power to suggest an alternative to what fine-art weddings could look like Fast forward a few months, Nika found a fantastic deal on tickets to Iceland. Kpoene quickly booked her ticket. Then I booked mine. We were going to Iceland to create some magic!
Soon what was just a throw-away line became kindling for an editorial adventure. First came a colour palette informed by nature: rich brown and blacks rocks; wind-blown green grasses; grey mist from waterfalls, and expansive pale blue skies. Kpoene had a designed a cache of jewel-toned wedding dresses which would contrast nicely with Iceland's summer landscape. We turned the often white-washed classic fine-art wedding palette on its head. With the majesty of Iceland's lichen lava fields, to its black sand beach to its draw-dropping waterfalls, we juxtaposed, a woman of colour in ethereal and vibrantly coloured gowns.
That "wouldn't it be fun" line so many months ago has turned us from colleagues to friends. After all, how can you not become close after being in a car together driving hundreds of miles to beat tourists to Iceland's most beautiful landmarks? We had a wonderful time driving through and discovering the wonders of Iceland and hope you enjoy and love these photos as much as we do."
Chicago make-up artist NIKA VAUGHAN is a valued member of our vendor guide. Specialising in beauty, airbrush, and bridal makeup for weddings, photography, and video they have teams based in both Chicago and California. Their signature style is a fresh faced, red carpet look, and with a deep appreciation for freckles and a natural glow, they feel that every bride should feel like the most beautiful version of herself on her wedding day. See more of their work in our vendor guide.