Matt Hawthorne: Iceland

The Iceland Experience

Storyteller: Matt Hawthorne, USA

Iceland landscape

What were the reasons for your travel?

I'm a commercial photographer and I was awarded shooting a job that ended up taking us to Iceland for our setting & background. The client is a bottle company called Avana Bottle, and they wanted to market the bottle for water drinkers. After brainstorming, we decided to shoot the campaign in Iceland where water comes in different forms. We shot with waterfalls, rivers, glaciers, and at the ocean. It was an extremely successful and fun trip!

Waterfall in Iceland.

What drives your photography?

As a commercial photographer, I'm driven by concepts for the jobs i'm working on. This job was shooting a couple on an adventure seeing new things in epic places. While exploring the country and shooting the job, I also shot landscapes and environments. After all of my jobs I send my client a thank you gift for trusting me with shooting their project. When I returned back home from Iceland I wanted to do something special for my client, so I created a book for him of the incredible places we saw and shot at.

Campervan on Iceland beach.

What is your favorite image and why?

Every photo in the book has memories so it’s such a fun keepsake from an incredible experience. My wife and two little kids flew in at the end of the job and we went on our own adventure, so literally every photo reminds me of something fun. Memories of shooting with my team at the craziest rock formations I've ever seen on a beach with volcanic black sand, to watching my 5 & 7 year-old's having the times of their lives playing with ice chunks in glacier waterfalls and streams. So it's hard to pick a favorite image, but one that I do love is the camper truck image. Random yes, but I love the simplicity and colors within it. I want to blow it up huge for my house!

Man and child on the beach in Iceland.

What is your favorite story behind a single shot in the book?

I love my portrait in the back of the book. My 5 year old daughter and I explored through some unique grasses on a black sand beach in Hofn which is a town in southeast Iceland. After I shot some landscapes I asked her if she wanted to take a photo, and she said she wanted to take a photo of me, haha. So my portrait was taken by my tiny daughter who could barely hold my high camera. I had to snap a photo of her because it was the cutest thing ever! Like I said, memories behind every photo!


View the book

Relive your travel adventures in print.