Icelandic born fashion photographer Iris Bjork is still searching for her signature style. Her current work is an ongoing body of creative experiments, influenced by everything and anything, so you never quite know what she's going to produce next! A common factor that I have noticed throughout her portfolio however is her choice of female models, which mostly feature long, beautiful hair, and I feel as though this may be partially due to her "obsession with princesses"!
You were born in, and grew up in Iceland; tell me a little bit about your hometown and what it's like to live there...
"Iceland is a very peaceful and quiet place due to a very small population, as only around 330.000 people live in the entire country. It’s a very magical place filled with lots of stories, fairytales and the most beautiful nature, and in the summer it doesn’t get dark at all, then in winter we have very short days. I grew up in the capital, which is called Reykjavík. It is a fantastic colourful small city packed with creatives."
What made you decide to move to London and now that you live here, what’s your favourite thing about this city?
"I came to London to study Fashion styling and photography at LCF. I wanted to study fashion photography and at the time when I was looking into schools I found LCF to be the most exciting one. I guess my favourite thing about London is the cast amount of people! Coming from such a small population, I just love watching all of the different people, how they dress, talk and move. London is also very international which I think is interesting…everyone has a different story."
What inspires you in life and do these things influence your work?
“I am actually more likely to get inspired when I am not looking for inspiration so I guess that everything around me can be inspiring at some point. But there are a few things I find really inspiring that definitely affect my work such as: people that are not afraid to be different, kinky stuff and weird bodies…I can spend hours on the internet looking stuff up…and then sometimes I wish I hadn’t! I feel inspired by children, (they are geniuses), and anything unworldly – I get scared really easily and start imagining all sorts of things! I also like contemporary and modern dance, Japanese fashion such as Lolita’s, I am obsessed with street style photos from Japan…and I’m also totally obsessed with princesses!”
Do you remember who or what influenced your love of photography?
"I had never really been introduced to photography as a kid. When I was 17 I spent a year in Brazil as an exchange student and experienced lots of things and met so many interesting people. I traveled a lot and on one of those trips I spent 10 days on a boat in the Amazon among 60 other exchange students. The travel agency had sent a photographer with us to document everything and that was probably the first time I got interested in photography. When I got back to Iceland I bought myself my first DLR camera and started experimenting on my own."
I find your photography style very unique, would you say that you had a signature and if so what is it?
“I am definitely working on this subject. There are a lot of things I constantly do in shoots, like shooting from below the model and I do try to bring out a sensual, mysterious and dreamy atmosphere. I also really like a lot of texture in my images, whether it is on the clothes, in the background or anything else...I am also mad about colours. But overall I think I am still at that place where I like to experiment a lot. Hopefully people will start to recognize my style soon.”
What camera and lens do you normally work with?
"I use a Canon 5D mark 2 and 24-70 f/ 2.8 with it. I’ve also taken up using analogue cameras, mostly an old 35mm Canon camera my dad used to own about 20 years ago. I have now started collecting analogue cameras and will be experimenting more with them in the near future."
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
"I guess it would have to be getting into LCF, as I had never studied any photography or art before. It also makes me very happy to see my images in magazines and on blogs – it means a lot to me that people are interested in what I do."
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
"I see myself making a living on what I love to do, no matter what that will be by that time, and surrounded by beautiful things and wonderful people."
What advice would you give to anyone else looking to get into fashion photography?
"Just be yourself and give it all you have got."
Finally, what is your favourite bar or restaurant in London and why?
"A Sushi place called The Hare and the Tortoise. It is really yummy!"