Iceland x Blurb by Victoria Wright

As some of you may recall, last year I put together a book featuring a collection of images from my first trip to Iceland. It was amazing seeing it in physical form, all those images brought to life on paper. However, I knew I wanted to make some changes to it if I ever printed it again — a chance to organize some of the images and pairings differently.

Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Iceland two more times (once in October, and again just last month), and now — in collaboration with Blurb — I’ve had the chance to create a version of the book that truly represents my time spent in one of my favorite places.

I’m SO excited for you to see it for yourselves, but first I’d like to share my process and what I learned through creating, revising, and finally selling a book, and to hear from any of you who have made a book yourself, or want to make one.

Revising the book

As this was the first time I’ve ever revisited a book design (with the book itself being my first book, so a lot of firsts here), I started by looking through the original book and marking the images I wanted to remove and replace. Even though I was happy with those original images, they were all from a single trip and I knew I wanted to include the other two visits.

Once my cuts were complete, I made a copy of the InDesign files for my original book — the templates were originally created using Blurb’s InDesign plugin, which also made it easy to setup a new book and link the updated files this time around — removed those images from the layout so I could see the empty spaces and get a better look at the images and spreads I had left. At that point, it was clear some of the images could be moved around, so I did a little reorganizing while still leaving blank spaces so I knew where I wanted to add new images.

Selecting the new images was pretty similar to how I did it the first time, except this time I didn’t print them all out first (I think I’ll definitely do that with the next book I design, however — it makes it so much easier to understand how all the pieces fit together!). Once I had my selects ready, I exported the images from Lightroom and started placing them in the empty pages within the InDesign file. After a little further reorganizing, and swapping a few of the large, two-page spreads around, I was happy with the new images and how it flowed.

I didn't change the size, paper, or format of the large photo book (11x13) — I loved the way it felt the very first time I held my original copy. However, I did create a smaller, second book this time around: The same images, same feelings, but in a mini format. The big book is amazing, and looks great on any coffee table, but it’s more pricey — the smaller version allows me to get the same quality of book into more hands, at a more approachable price point.

SELLING THE BOOK

When Blurb approached me about this project, I was thrilled because for a long time I had requests from friends and family to be able to buy the book I had made. After researching my options, it was an easy decision to sell directly on the Blurb Bookstore. It was seamless, as not only are they the production company, but also the sales and fulfillment platform, so there are fewer variables to deal with. I knew I could trust Blurb to oversee the entire process from printing to getting it into your hands.

Blurb also allows me to sell the book on Amazon if I want — something I’ll definitely consider in the future, but at least for now, the Blurb Bookstore is the easiest option (and allows me to offer a discount! Read until the end to find out how to get it :)

I'll be honest, the process of making and revising the book wasn't an easy one —  mostly because of my indecisiveness selecting the images ;) Thankfully, creating the book layout itself (using Blurb’s InDesign plugin) was pretty straightforward, and only required learning a bit about InDesign (which I had to become familiar with when I designed the first version of the book last year). Now that I’ve done this a few times over, I really have no excuse for not creating books more often, for myself, family, friends, and occasionally, all of you. Seeing all these images in physical form still gives me butterflies.

Tips for creating your own book:

  1. It’s ok to ask for help, whether with writing or selecting your photos. It’s easy to get too attached to certain images, and it helps having a trusted second opinion to make sure you’re not holding onto something that would be better off cut from the book.
     
  2. Look at photo books you love, whether on your shelf or at the bookstore. See how they display images and text, and how the books are structured, and use that as inspiration for your own design.
     
  3. When shooting, photograph the big picture, but also the details. It helps round out your story and gives your viewer a chance to feel and see what you saw. The texture of the rocks beneath your feet, the details of the petals of the flowers in the sweeping field, it all helps support your storyline.

Have you self-published before? This book project was a personal one, but I’d love to hear if you are interested in more books or prints from me in the future. if you have any questions about my process with Blurb or just putting a book together, comment below… and if you’ve made one, send me a link, I’d love to see it! 

FINALLY, THE BOOK (AND A DISCOUNT!)

This was one of my favorite projects this year, and I’m so excited to share it with you. You can get your hands on a copy right away: it’s available in two sizes — 13x11” and 7x7” — I hope you enjoy it!

Use the code VICTORIAWRIGHT to get 20% off when you buy either size (bonus: you can add as many books from Blurb’s store to your order as you want, and the discount still applies! It will only work once per-person, however :)

Keep creating!

—V

Fine print: Get 20% off your order total. You can use this promotion 1 time. Offer valid between 2017-06-01 and 2017-09-01. Promotion valid for all books in the bookstore.

Montana x Fujifilm by Victoria Wright

Spring has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The bright new buds, warmer, longer days; the harshness of winter slowly fading away. I find myself outside more than the previous months. Maybe having a March birthday has something to do with the newness of the season. Whatever the reason, I find it magical.

A few months ago, I headed out to one of my favorite places, Montana, for the first days of Spring. I have friends who get antsy visiting there — they say it's too quiet — though personally, I find so much peace there. I visited a dear friend, Andrea Dabene, and we took a week to catch up, shoot, and explore the endless roads surrounding the town of Whitefish.

While I was there, I got to know the region and the new Fujifilm X-T20, shooting stills and capturing some video. Check out a video of my time there from the Fuji Guys YouTube channel:

It's not hard to get beautiful shots in Montana — amazing scenes just unfold right in front of you. And, if you're like me, it's hard to contain your excitement about a new camera. Here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip, shot on the X-T20:

A bunch of folks asked questions about the X-T20 after seeing that I was using it during the trip, so really quickly, here are my 3 favorite things about it:

• Size. This is hands-down the most powerful camera I've owned in such a compact body.

• Quality. I still get 4K video + 24MP images and the same image sensor as the X-T2.

• Flexibility. It has interchangeable lenses so I can use the entire line of Fujifilm X-Series lenses.

What’s your favorite thing about your Fujifilm camera? Where are you taking it next?

-V

Filson Women’s Weekend by Victoria Wright

A few weeks ago I received an email invitation from Emily, a friend of mine over at Filson. She was organizing a short weekend excursion to the San Juan Islands with a group of women from all over the country to connect, explore and learn more about the Filson culture and vision. 

A weekend in the San Juan Islands?! Is there anything better? I have spent years visiting these islands, but this last trip proved to be the most memorable.

Before taking off to Kenmore Air for our departure via seaplane, we met with the remarkable Aude Tabet, Filson’s new director of design to get some sneak peeks of the upcoming women’s fall line. One of my favorite things about the company is that they're intentional about every piece and its purpose. The quality and classic look is still true to their timeless American style, yet with this new line –– the shapes, textures and details are more than just an afterthought. 

After a quick lunch in the city, we headed up to Orcas Island where we spent our afternoon exploring the grounds and taking in the sweeping views right outside of our cabins. We headed over to Hogstones Wood Oven for dinner, a true farm-to-table experience and easily one of the best spots on the Island. Ps. You’ll need a reservation and you may need to wait a bit for your food, but I promise ––  it's worth it!

EARTH DAY.

I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate Earth Day than with a group of women who choose to be powerful voices and advocates for this planet we call home. I loved that we were able to spend the entire day outdoors. (It only rained for a couple hours!)

In the morning we took off on a ferry to Friday Harbor to a magical pocket of the island known as Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. We met with Erik and Andrea Anderson who so graciously shared their story and the history of the farm while guiding us on a tour of the bay and property. I was blown away by their commitment to restoring this farm as well as their patience while teaching the ladies to shuck oysters. ;) Erik grilled some fresh oysters for us as I hovered over the warmth of the grill, listening to his story while watching him work. He shared his incredible chipotle bourbon butter recipe with me which I can’t wait to revisit soon. 

A little down time was in order so we made our way back to our cabins at Doe Bay. After a mini reset, we headed toward the garden and met with the in-house gardener, Jess Townsend. Her eyes beaming, her hair a perfect pile of curls atop her head and hands covered in soil, she showed us around the farm, introduced us to her pet chickens and led us to the greenhouse where we harvested fresh greens for our dinner.

Then came my favorite part of the weekend. Dinner over an open flame with Executive Chef, Jon Chappelle. We started with sautéed baby mushrooms, burrata cheese and toasted artisan bread. (Calories don’t count at Doe Bay, right?) Jon continued to impress us ladies with his creative dishes which included grilled seafood, a hearty roast, freshly harvested salad and roasted baby potatoes –– all prepared over a campfire with wine, good company and the sun setting behind us. It was an evening to remember.

The next morning we met at Doe Bay Cafe (HIGHLY recommend.) If you are a breakfast burrito kind of person, this is your place. I know some of you take burritos very seriously and I’m telling you… this one’s a winner. After fueling up, we slowly made our way over to the van, and reluctantly said goodbye to Doe Bay before heading out on a little hike to Cascade Falls. I had never been before, but now I cant wait to get back. I like that the hike to the falls requires minimal effort. It's perfect if you simply want to stretch your legs before a long drive. 

 

As our trip to the San Juan Islands was drawing to a close, we took off on our seaplane back to Seattle. I looked around at the incredible folks surrounding me and couldn't help but think to myself, “What an honor to have met such phenomenal women and to have spent quality time exploring the islands with some of my closest friends." This weekend getaway allowed us to truly connect with the heart and vision of our friends behind Filson.

 

A Field Guide for the Disorganized Photographer by Victoria Wright

A lot of people ask me about my workflow/routine, especially when it comes to planning for shoots, dealing with files during and after, delivering files to clients, and how to handle file storage/organization and backups.

Having a routine is important to me for so many reasons — being organized with my work helps me retain control over my life outside of work, freeing up more of my time for other things.

Over the last month I’ve taught this in partnership with FUJIFILM as a workshop at Glazer’s Camera in Seattle, and as a short presentation at both WPPI 2017 and Yeah Field Trip — for those of you who weren’t able to attend, here’s the full description:

Time is our most valuable resource. As creatives, we are constantly trying to juggle editing/screen time and being out in the field (and the million other things on our list!). You will leave this class with a foolproof plan — from photo management and painless back-ups, to streamlining social media and client interactions, getting your ducks in a row is an investment in your future self, and will make you more efficient.

Using her own experiences and stories collected from professionals around the world, Victoria will show you the benefits of creating a routine and comprehensive workflow — including tips from her experiences with the FUJIFILM X Series system — allowing you to be more present and spend less time in front of a screen.

If you were able to attend one of my sessions: Thank you! I hope you enjoyed it and learned some useful tips for your workflow. I’m always trying to improve every aspect of my routine with each new project, and sharing what I’ve learned is a great way to push myself to learn even more.

As a reference for attendees, I’ve included links below to the products and articles referenced in the talk. When I started my process, I found that these articles contained a lot of helpful information, and think you will, too.

It’s been so wonderful to get to hear people’s questions and chat in person with so many of you about getting organized — if you have questions left unanswered or have suggestions for what I might cover in future talks, please send me an email, or comment below. I’m already looking forward to teaching my workshop again in the future :)

Have a wonderful week!

—Victoria


NEW YEAR, NEW FUJIFILM GEAR.  by Victoria Wright

My first experiences with the new Fujifilm GFX and X100F.

 

Over the last few months, I've had the opportunity to test two of Fujifilm's newest additions to the family: The new GFX 50S Medium Format camera and the new X100F fixed-lens camera. I'll update this post soon with my thoughts on each, but for now, I've made two collections on Priime with some of my favorite images from recent trips:

GFX in Hawaii: http://priime.com/veekster/fujifilm-gfx-oahu

X100F in Florida: http://priime.com/veekster/fujifilm-x100f

What do you think about Fujifilm's latest arrivals?

xx

Victoria Wright

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An Escape to the Deserts of Southern California by Victoria Wright

a collaboration with Zappos x Blundstone

 

It was a whirlwind of a week for me between work, meetings, the Adobe MAX conference, and a fun head cold. I happened to be in southern California last week and decided to meet up with some friends of mine in between all the meetings. We decided to get out of the city for a little fresh air. 

My friend, York Galland, kindly invited Kelly, Christina and I to join him and his beautiful daughter, Olive on a heli adventure to the desert. We took off in the early afternoon, and watched the commuter traffic build up below us. It was the first time I had observed traffic and found myself smiling, thinking how beautiful it looked from afar. It's all about perspective, I suppose. 

As we glided over the cityscape, I was thinking about my project with Blundstone. The goal of our collaboration and the mission of the brand is to get outside, explore, and share #HowIRoam in my favorite boots. I grabbed them on this trip thinking they would be perfect for the rugged landscapes we were promised to visit, and I'm SO glad that I did. I was able to romp around the giant rocks we found and explore the lava fields nearby without worrying about the comfort and security of my feet.

The day was exactly what we all needed. It was a little breath of fresh air; a moment of quiet. I am thankful for good friends and for the opportunity to live in a country so diverse in landscape, people and perspectives.

I can't wait to get back out there.

I have loved working with Zappos on various projects. They continuously impress me with their extremely fast shipping, the endless options they have, and how reliable they are when it comes to finding quality brands such as Blundstone

Images by Victoria Wright & Christina Hicks

Images by Victoria Wright & Christina Hicks

Want some Blundstone for yourself? You can find them here

Happy Monday!

Rescue. by Victoria Wright

Life can get hectic — especially during this time of year. With the approaching holidays, work travels, family health issues, politics and a myriad of other stress inducing factors, I certainly find myself daydreaming of escape or reminiscing of summer days fading into the distant past. The day I spent at the beach with my sister-in-law is one I revisit often. I remember strolling through a nearby coastal town soaking up some Vitamin D with the warm sun on my skin, stopping to buy some flowers at a local market before heading to the beach to simply watch the waves crash against the rugged landscape. It was bliss.

I can't always escape my busy, hectic schedule, but Rescue is my little ray of sunshine on those days when I need it. Rescue is a blend of 5 different Bach Flower Remedies created to help us relax, get focused and get through immediate stressful situations, from exams or interviews to rush-hour traffic or holiday travel. Unfortunately, avoiding these stressful life situations isn't always an option, but choosing to be present and finding natural solutions, is. Rescue is my go-to for that dose of calmness and clarity. #stressless

To find a location that carries Rescue Products, learn more here. 

In collaboration with Bach Rescue.

Hátíðin - A Celebration by Victoria Wright

Last month I had the opportunity to work with Icelandair, in one of my favorite places on Earth. I had just been named Fujifilm’s newest X Photographer, and to celebrate, Icelandair flew me nonstop from Seattle to Keflavik, Iceland. The airport is an easy 40 minutes by bus from the capital, Reykjavik — where I arrived with my X-T2 in hand to experience some of the unique, extreme conditions found there (I shared some photos from my first visit to Iceland when I wrote about making my first book!)

I brought only two cameras with me — my Fujifilm X-T2 and X-Pro2 — along with a selection of prime lenses. My friend, Dan Rubin, happened to be in Iceland house-sitting that same week, so we teamed up for a few days and I let him try out the X-Pro2 during our shoots so he could get some real-world experience with it in the wild. The locations and views we experienced completely blew me away — Iceland is always impressive, even in the cold, rain, and wind. The X-Pro2 and X-T2’s weather-sealing held up really well despite the tough conditions — these cameras continue to impress me with their ability to perform in such harsh environments.

I stayed at the brand new Canopy by Hilton in Reykjavik’s City Center (highly recommend!), not far from some of my FAVORITE coffee shops and bakeries. If you ever find yourself in Reykjavik, these are definitely worth visiting:

 

During the week we were paired up with the lovely Birgitta, a local musician and long-time employee of Icelandair, and my Celebration Stopover Buddy. The very first day she picked each of us up with her bright, welcoming smile, and drove us to coffee (at the Te & Kaffi Micro Roast). After downing one of the best Americanos I’ve had in a while, we headed out to some of Birgitta’s favorite places within a few hours of Reykjavik including Langjökull glacier, where we enjoyed a fantastic snowmobile tour (more on that below!), the geothermal wonderland of Geysir, the impressive waterfall, Gullfoss, and a last-minute diversion to Kerið (a volcanic crater filled with water), sharing tips and facts along the way. I wrapped up my trip with an evening at a restaurant named Grillmarkaourinn over one of the most incredible meals I've ever had, followed by a drive out of the city to catch a glimpse of the dancing aurora borealis.

One of my favorite and most memorable spots that week was Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland. We hopped on to snowmobiles from Mountaineers of Iceland, (though all the snow had mostly turned to ice!) and explored the area in our giant orange jumpsuits. Though it started raining, and we struggled to keep the cameras dry, the photos still turned out to be some of my favorites.

My trip was brief, but Iceland is such a special place… time feels slower there. I was able to see so much in such a short amount of time, all such unique and special locations. Joel and I were able to go earlier this year and see a lot of the island as we explored with our camper (you can read about that visit here). With each visit to Iceland, I’ve returned home incredibly inspired by the landscape, people, and memories made in this special country. I’ll be back for you very soon, Iceland!

-V

My first book: Iceland by Victoria Wright

 

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to find myself in Iceland for a few days. While shooting some work for a client, I had the opportunity to shoot some personal photos along the way. I haven’t shared many of them, not unlike most of the photos I seem to hoard during my travels. I’m not sure if it's because I worry about bombarding you all, or if it feels like everyone has already traveled to and photographed Iceland. However, I can’t deny that experiencing it for myself was entirely life changing. I felt like I was on an entirely different planet.

When Blurb approached me to work on a project with their gorgeous product line, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I think I responded to their initial email within 5 minutes with my idea. Iceland was still sitting on all of my SD/CF cards (I KNOW- I hadn’t even backed them up yet! Shame, shame.) When all was settled, (and backed up!) I started the process of making my first photo book.

I sorted through thousands of photos before getting it down to ~150 selects. I knew I didn’t want it to be that big, so I printed those out (low-res b&w on regular printer paper) just to visualize the images side by side. From there, I picked some favorites before beginning to pair them together and select which ones would be shown as a full-spread image.

It was really important for me to have creative control over what the book looked and felt like so I immediately downloaded the Adobe® InDesign® plug-in. From that point I was able to plop the selected photos into the app and then bounce from presentation mode (to see the full-sized images) to Preview, which displayed the flow of the pages as I added them in. It was starting to come together, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I ordered a swatch kit of Blurb’s paper options before ordering my book so I could feel the texture and see the quality. I landed on the Proline Uncoated 100lb paper. The rest of the ordering process was a breeze—choosing the cover, the size, the paper— it came together quickly especially with the inspirational layouts I found on their website.

Within a week my book arrived at the doorstep. Upon opening the book, page after page, I felt so happy seeing such beautiful memories properly displayed in their new, canvas-lined home. A book has a unique way of pausing life for a moment… reminding us to savor, reflect, and slow down.

I've had a handful of you ask me if this book will be available for purchase, and though I have no definite answer at the moment, I can say that I'm working on a little something for you to enjoy until I do. I encourage you to subscribe to my blog to stay in the loop. But for now, come visit. I’ll make us a pour-over, and you can dive into the pages of a perfect, quiet little week in Iceland.

In partnership with Blurb.com. #blurbbooks

savoring the last days of summer - 2016 by Victoria Wright

 

 

My work has kept me away from the PNW for a substantial amount of time this season, so when the stars magically aligned and a day cleared for both Joel and I, we hopped in the car and headed out of the city to disconnect from everything and reconnect with each other (and Ruby!). 

With no cell service, minimal crowds, and a backpack full of snacks and books, the hours passed like minutes. I couldn’t have asked for anything more than a little more time in the day. We stopped for some iced tea, hiked into one of our favorite spots, and just enjoyed the quiet.

I savor moments like these. They’re so desperately needed to balance the hectic nature of our schedules, especially this time of the year. With autumn creeping up on us, I glanced at my calendar, realized my “free” spots were quickly disappearing, and decided that I need to make a conscious effort to not let this season slip away. An effort to see the people I love. An effort to say “no" to busyness and "yes" to family and to that friend who keeps reaching out even though I embarrassingly keep rescheduling our coffee dates (you know who you are, and I'm texting you RIGHT NOW!). 

It's a seemingly simple goal, yet, as seasons fly by, I'm realizing that these are the moments that matter most and they're worth protecting. 

But that doesn’t mean summer hasn’t been amazing! From traveling around Europe to working for a few weeks in New York, it’s been a whirlwind of fun. One of my favorite projects this summer was my collaboration with Backpacks.com and I'm so excited to finally be able to share it with you.

Earlier this year they set out to build a website with a beautifully curated selection of backpacks to help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs. And you know what? It's a game-changer. I knew what I wanted from a backpack and the website helped me pick a pack that was perfect for my little day trip with Joel: the Gregory Sketch 22. Lightweight, durable, and ready to hold our precious cargo (I’m obviously talking about the snacks). Now if only the rest of my life was perfectly curated in a way to make decisions this easy…

To help celebrate the launch of the new backpacks.com, I also shared a travel story - a full recap of the trip I took to the San Juan Islands/Alaska with LLV and Natalie - on Backpacks.com. That trip was undoubtedly one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had and, (with the help of my brilliant editor John Bray) I put together an editorial piece with all the highlights. Here's a little preview:


"That night on Bear Glacier never got completely dark, lingering instead in a twilight that matched the deep glacial blues before the sun crested the horizon. We tried to suppress our excitement and get a little bit of sleep, but the magic that seems to run on every road and trail in Alaska kept us awake. Fortunately, the morning greeted us with a steady wind that remained for the rest of our time there and pushed us to explore and kayak through the region, a place that felt largely untouched and unseen.”

You can see the full story here.
 

Also, I’m planning a trip to Utah, New Mexico, and Texas in November. I would LOVE to hear your recommendations for must-see spots or your favorite coffee shops along the way. If you or someone you know is interested in working on a project, having some photos taken, or meeting up while I'm there, send me a note! (veekster@icloud.com)


xooo
V

 

In collaboration with @backpacksdotcom. #backpackjourneys

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