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Currently available NFT: Awakening

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Awakening

The title of this piece is Awakening and I took it in May 2021 at the Geldingadalir eruption in Iceland. It's one of the 15 pieces in my series named Creation (you can see the full series at the bottom of this page). I also have a second series of 8 eruption self-portraits coming up: New Earth.

This piece sits very close to my heart and symbolizes awakening to me. Firstly, it was taken at sunrise, so it was the awakening of a new day. Secondly, during that time I was awakening to the idea that maybe I was worthy of doing something meaningful with my life and pursuing my great passion for photography, which led to me leaving a promising career in the corporate world and jumping into complete uncertainty as a photographer. I felt like this spectacular event gave me the strength and courage to do that.

The moments when I take my self-portraits are magical to me. I feel like I let go of my own identity and story and connect with the elements around me - I become one with nature. I’m a tiny part of nature and also all of it. In these moments I forget about cold and everything else and I just am. I felt truly connected to this spectacular natural event from the first moment I laid my eyes on it.

This self-portrait is from the most beautiful morning and I took it just before the sun rose behind the crater. The hike to this spot took around 3 hours return and I started hiking there around 1 am. When I arrived there I couldn’t believe how incredible the colours were; the smoke in the foreground was coming from burning moss and made the whole scene look even more surreal. I put on my red dress, set up my camera on the tripod and took around 100 photos to get this one. I had to use all of my will power to continue for so long as it was truly freezing. It was worth all the effort for me in the end and I will never forget this beautiful morning. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it.

More information about this project is in the following interviews: 

My Modern Met: Photographer Hikes to Iceland’s Erupting Volcano 25 Times to Take Epic Selfies

Fstoppers: Adventures in Self-Portraiture: We Interview Anna Isabella Christensen

PetaPixel: Photographer Takes Dramatic Self-Portraits with Iceland’s Erupting Volcano

Bored Panda: This Photographer Took 10 Mesmerizing Self-Portraits In Front Of The Erupting Fagradalsfjall Volcano


BTS Footage

About the series


Creation is a series of 15 self-portraits that I took at the Icelandic eruption between March and May 2021.

This has been the most fascinating experience of my life and no words can describe how life changing and incredible it was.

I ended up hiking to the volcano 25 times and I stayed there from sunset to sunrise to take these photos in often extreme weather conditions and cold. This is the project that I have invested the most energy, money and effort into during my time as a photographer.

The series represents transformation and rebirth, it is about releasing the old and everything that no longer serves us so we can be free to live the life we want to live. I hope that these photos inspire strength and courage.

All of these photos are original (not composites) and they were taken at a safe distance from the lava.


Full Series: Creation

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