Portrait Series: Faces of Icelandic Musicians

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

One light, a black background, 13 bands (one not even named yet!) and 50+ faces. I traveled to Reykjavík at the end of January for two weeks to visit friends and work on a personal project. The idea was simple–photograph as many faces of the Icelandic music scene as possible.

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic musician Bjorn Kristjansson photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 31, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Jeff Who photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Jeff Who photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Jeff Who photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Jeff Who photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Jeff Who photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic electro-pop band Kiriyama Family photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic electro-pop band Kiriyama Family photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic electro-pop band Kiriyama Family photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic electro-pop band Kiriyama Family photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic electro-pop band Kiriyama Family photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic singer Kristin Pora Jokulsdottir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic post rock band Lockerbie photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 27, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic post rock band Lockerbie photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 27, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic post rock band Lockerbie photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 27, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic post rock band Lockerbie photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 27, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic band Low Roar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic band Low Roar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Mammut photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Mammut photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Mammut photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Mammut photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Mammut photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Porquesi photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 1, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Porquesi photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 1, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Porquesi photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 1, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Porquesi photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 1, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Sing For Me Sandra photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Sing For Me Sandra photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Sing For Me Sandra photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Sing For Me Sandra photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Sing For Me Sandra photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic eletro-pop band Sykur photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic eletro-pop band Sykur photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic eletro-pop band Sykur photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic eletro-pop band Sykur photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic musicians Skuli Jonsson and Albert Hauksson photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 31, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic musicians Skuli Jonsson and Albert Hauksson photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 31, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Valdimar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Valdimar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Valdimar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Valdimar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Valdimar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band We Made God photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band We Made God photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band We Made God photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band We Made God photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Photographer’s Notes

This series was largely inspired by Fred Conrad’s Faces of a Towering Project and Peter Hurley’s The Art Behind The Headshot.

My setup included the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra RX power pack, one Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox Deep Octa, a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens plus my Nikon D700.

The Ranger system just fits my current aesthetic–portable, powerful and simple. New gear is cool but this project reminded me that the most important aspect of portraiture is the relationship between the photographer and the subject.

My exposure was around 1/125 and f/1.6 at ISO 100.

End Notes

Huge thanks to Ben Stacey for letting me use his studio space and to everybody that participated–Albert Hauksson, Árstíðir, Borko, Jeff Who?, Kiriyama Family, Kristín Þóra Jökulsdóttir, Lockerbie, Low Roar, Mammút, Porquesí, Sing For Me Sandra, Sykur, Valdimar and We Made God. Check out some group shots and extra artwork below!

Portraits of Icelandic folk band Arstidir photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Jeff Who photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic electro-pop band Kiriyama Family photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 30, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic post rock band Lockerbie photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 27, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic band Low Roar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Mammut photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 2, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band Porquesi photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. February 1, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Sing For Me Sandra photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic eletro-pop band Sykur photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 28, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic musicians Skuli Jonsson and Albert Hauksson photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 31, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic pop band Valdimar photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

Portraits of Icelandic rock band We Made God photographed in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 29, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman)

I thought it’d be interesting to have everybody doodle in a sketchbook. It started with some simple signatures, but turned into some really creative artwork.

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman)

 (Matt Eisman) (Matt Eisman)

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6 Responses to Portrait Series: Faces of Icelandic Musicians

  1. Pingback: Portrait Series: Faces of Icelandic Musicians – by Matt Eisman | The Photo Brigade

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  3. Pingback: Faces of Icelandic Musicians | Árstíðir

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