2016: Recap

Wow, this time of year already. Okay!

This year was very different right off the bat

A couple of days after we drove back to Reykjavík from Skagaströnd after the Holidays on 2nd of January I did a photoshoot with Tómas Lemarquis and Sigrún Ásta.

The next couple of days before school were then dedicated to a project I came up with that is still ongoing (will hopefully be finished before April 2017) called CATS, for now.

The idea is photographing known artists or persons with their cats. Simple right? Well, sometimes getting this together feels like herding cats to be honest. But I am positive! (If you are or know someone interested, contact me!)

Salka Sól and her cat, Guðbergur Marías

Salka Sól and her cat, Guðbergur Marías

I did two more photoshoots before the end of January. One for the opening of one of the RedCross clothing stores after renovation and the other was with the up and coming solo artist (at the time) Hildur.

Hildur was of course familiar with the music business since she was the singer of Rökkurró before going solo. This was not the last time we worked together in 2016 as I  shot and edited her music video to Bumpy Road.

 
 

I was still a student at the Icelandic Film School but little did I know at the time that this was my final semester there as a student. 
I directed, shot and edited two shorts that I won't be linking to here but those interested can pressure me for a link privately. Hah.

I helped photographer and director Magnús Andersen with 3 music videos in total this year. First being Way Low by KRELD, shot in January. Second being Orange by Pascal Pinon, shot in June and final is a song by VÖK that shot this December and I can't link to yet.

Photo: Eyþór Jóvins

Photo: Eyþór Jóvins

Guðný and I did our first music video together in February to Elsku Stelpur but due to copyright on the song used we haven't been able to showcase it.

In February I helped on set for the film Snjór and Salóme before leaving for Boston.

In March Jón Atli and I went to visit our good friend Bowen Staines in his home in Scituate (about 45 minutes from Boston) and stayed with him and his wonderful wife Andrea and the little piglet that is Gizmo (who really is a dog, I just witnessed her eating her own excrement so I'll refer to her as piglet).
We met Andrea's parents Leslie and Brian and drove up to New Hampshire and stayed with Bowen's mother, Karen, for a couple of days.  
The reason I mention all of them here is because they are all wonderful wonderful people whom I would love visit again sometime soon!
I really needed that break. At the time tensions ran high at school, and to be able to just have a chill vacation with some wonderful people made all the difference.

Without a doubt the most "'MURICA!" photo I have taken

Without a doubt the most "'MURICA!" photo I have taken

The same day I stepped off a 6+ hour flight from Boston I was right back in the chaos. Design-March had started and I was to photograph 2 events that evening. 
Thankfully (in retrospect) I never really got switched over to Boston-time for the whole 10 days we were there so I was not really too jet-lagged. 

The weather was so bad and the wind was blowing really hard outside, making it's presence known.
But inside Eiðistorg everything was summer and sun, cocktails, beach-volley balls and salsa music. It was one of the most interesting and fun pop-up events I have been to and had the pleasure to photograph. Tanja Levý is in my mind a total genius!

The show I did later in the evening was also an interesting one. Magnea is such an artist when it comes to clothes and I love what she does with wool.

I did get to work with both Tanja and Magnea again in 2016 when I photographed their Lookbooks later in the year.

In the beginning of April I started a new project. I started doing video essays on a YouTube channel under the name of Andvari.
This project is something I have been doing to keep myself working and editing even though I haven't been shooting, to keep my mind thinking about the art of cinema and just, creating stuff myself.

At the end of April I stopped photographing for Streets of Reykjavík, a project I started in 2015 but shot a little bit again over the course of the Secret Solstice festival. Those were my final postings.
The project was fun and easy when I was working and spending so much time downtown, then I just needed to bring my camera with me to work and walk around for an hour or two before or after work.
When I started The Icelandic Film School it got a little bit more demanding, we had one class downtown Reykjavík on Fridays so I would often bring a camera with me then but then it became a hassle and not as much fun.
I know it says "Streets of Reykjavík" and not "downtown Reykjavík" but to be fair most people can be found walking downtown or around downtown.

At the end of May I got a job at Kukl, a rental house in Iceland catering to film and television (equipment, not food).
I am so grateful to be working there, all the amazing people I have met and gotten to know and learn from and all the equipment I have been around, learning more than I felt I did at school.
I know these are two different things and I am very grateful to my mentors and teachers at the Film School, this is just next level.
The best camera we got to work with at IFS was the one I already own (Canon 5D M3) so getting to be around Arri and RED cameras, even Sony FS7 was just a step up in my mind. 
A couple of days after I start working at Kukl, Jón Atli gets a letter saying that he has been accepted into the Icelandic Film School. Funny how things work sometimes.

I photographed Secret Solstice for the 3rd year it's been around. It was good fun and I was stoked to get to see Radiohead play live.
I didn't photograph them, I just enjoyed.

Photo by Aníta Eldjárn

By the time July came around everyone was freaking out over how Iceland was doing during UEFA EURO 2016 and I was on the crew broadcasting the before and after shows here in Iceland.
I am not really sure what my title was but I assume it translates to stage manager, or maybe the title below that. ANYWAY, it was good fun and great to work with such a good crew.

In August I photographed one wedding in Hveragerði and it was wonderful!

Oh and BTW, Jón Atli and I got engaged!

So, one evening in June I get on one knee and ask him to merry me and he said yes!
Jón Atli even went so far as weaving the engagement rings himself for us. Man do I love that man!

We also moved from Vesturbær to Grafarvogur, a change I am still getting used to.

Sigh

Sigh

Just before anyone thinks that the bunnies didn't move with us, they did. Lubbi even starred in a short-film this year and did so ever so splendidly. 
Lúlli got 6 years old, old enough to start school and Lubbi is 5 years old.

Lubbi, the actress 

Lubbi, the actress 

Lúlli, the queen of everything

Lúlli, the queen of everything

Lubbi wasn't the only one in the family to take up acting this year since I starred in a music video, shot by Bowen Staines. The video hasn't been released yet, but I can show you this still of me smoking.

Around the same time I did some modeling for a commercial for Nova that Saga Sig photographer shot.

In September I photographed a beautiful jacket for María Árnadóttir that she created in LHÍ 

The first week of October I shot and directed a music video for Una Stef with the amazing dancer Díana Kristinsdóttir.
I learned so much from doing this video and I am so happy with it and what came from it for all of us.

I shot all the behind the scenes photos for the short-film VAKA and it was so nice and interesting to be a part of such a hard working and brilliant crew.
I wish I could link to the film here but it's not online just yet.

Looking back, everything this years seems to come in two's. In early November I shot a couple of commercials for the Icelandic Red Cross with the amazing Þórunn Lárusdóttir directing.

And later in November I shot two short-films for Guðný Rós and Nína Petersen who I went to school with in IFS. The shorts couldn't have been more different in style and tone, haha.
Unfortunately neither of them is available online at this time. And I only have the poster for one of them.

 
 

I got a gig as a stage manager (I think that's the title) for the Icelandic version of Would I Lie To You? (A British panel show) that warped in December and will air in January 2017

Sitting in for the host, Logi Bergmann

Sitting in for the host, Logi Bergmann

I also started, kind of by accident, photographing dogs in the studio right before Christmas and feel this might become something. 
Want your dog photographed? Contact me!

Other than that, Christmas and the holidays have been sweet and I am looking forward to the Áramótaskaup tonight. 
Atli and I got a slate fo Christmas so we should be off making our own films very soon (haha)

Happy New Year to everyone!
Thank you all for a wonderful 2016 (even though things happened in the big news media that are maybe not as celebratory) it was amazing to get to know all of you!

SPECIAL thanks for this year go to Kristján U. Kristjánsson for everything, and I mean everything.

Love to you all and look forward to some more good times in 2017!

Birta