Photography is a powerful tool — one that can evoke emotion and transport people into other worlds.
When we came across the work of Priya and Archie, two Edmonton-based landscape photographers, we felt an instant emotional connection with their stunning photographs, full of life and texture.
Priya and Archie like to hike into remote and challenging areas of the wilderness, capturing new vistas and vantage points and bringing them to life through the lens.
“We have hiked in the midst of Mount Denali in Alaska, Mount Robson in Canada and remote areas of Iceland. Our bucket list of places is ever growing and ranges from the W circuit in Argentina to the John Muir trail in Yosemite," the told the Huffington Post Alberta.
"Our main purpose is to be able to create art, sharing these images and our love for nature with others. In that journey, we hope to play a role in conserving our natural wonders.”
Archie and Priya were kind enough to share some of their photos and answer some questions for us:
Q: Where did you each grow up and where do you currently live?
A: Priya grew up in Pune, India and moved to Canada nine years ago, after brief stay in the U.S. Archie was born in Goose Bay, Labrador, but growing up in a military family gave him the opportunity to see a lot of Canada.
We both currently live in Edmonton with our two kids and our aptly named cat Rascal. Someday we also hope to adopt a dog.
Q: How did you meet?
A: Although we work in the same company, we met and fell in love in the mountains through the Alpine Club of Canada. We like to consider ourselves as The Dreamer and The Adventurer.
Priya loves to plan the trips to places like Alaska, Iceland and most recently Yukon. Archie loves the adventure of exploring where few have gone before!
Q: How long have you been shooting photos — separately and together?
A: Priya has been capturing the beauty of nature for almost over eight years and Archie has been doing so for four years.
Check out more of Priya and Archie's work. Interview continues below:
Q: Does shooting photos as couple create a challenging dynamic? If so, in what way?
A: One of the challenges when shooting as a couple is having conflicting visions that are difficult to achieve together at the same location. For instance, one of us may want to stay up late to do night photography, while the other may want to get up very early to get to a unique destination for the early morning light. This may result in a compromise, however the benefits of having different visions out-weighs the challenges.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face as a team that you might not face as individual photographers? What are some of the benefits?
A: We have often noticed that even when we are shooting at the same location, our pictures tend to have very different vision, since our way of looking and creating are very unique. We enjoy viewing each others work at the end of a trip! It is beneficial to have a partner in photography who understands and shares the crazy lifestyle of landscape photography, getting up early, staying up late for golden light, and stopping often on any trip.
Q: Where do your individual interests lie in photography? Do your photography subjects/interests differ at all?
A: Our main focus has always been to capture landscapes or what we like to call “Grandscapes”, and to be in places explored by few. Priya is drawn more to colourful and textured subjects in nature. Archie loves water, and he is ultimately drawn to any water source, be it waterfalls, lakes, rivers, or even puddles!
Q: What's the most unusual, remarkable thing you've ever had happen while taking photos?
A: It was last winter we were at the Abraham Lake in Nordegg in the effort to photograph the famous bubbles. Walking toward the lake in the very cold evening, all bundled up, we look around to see approaching dark gloomy clouds. Our hearts just sank a little, knowing that it wouldn’t be the sunset we were looking for. As we waited, there was only silent prayers between us for the skies to clear and the howling cold wind to dies down a bit.
And all of a sudden we started seeing an inkling of color in the sky, our hearts leapt with joy. We hurriedly focused our camera and clicked but all we captured was darkness. Unfortunately our lens didn’t survive the brutality of the cold wind. And thus we ended being two people lying down on a frozen lake, surrounded by snow covered mountains watching the most extraordinary sunset. The skies turned golden, which in turn made the mountain peaks glow and the ice on the lake glitter. It was like the spell of Midas' touch was upon us. Everything surrounding us had turned into gold.
We felt it was by design that we couldn’t capture it. It was meant to be an experience that etched itself in our mind, soul, and heart, and not on a memory card.
Q: Have you ever found yourself if a scary situation while shooting?
A: Nothing particularly scary comes to mind, other than driving on narrow gravel roads in bad weather in Iceland. Then there are the typical hiking scenarios of being too close to bears, getting lost on a trail or mountain, wondering if we can get through the snow, or walking through a thunderstorm. Although it is very satisfying to enjoy a hike in the rain or snow. when we are completely prepared.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not taking photos?
A: We love to hike and climb in the mountains, canoe and kayak, cook, and read. Archie loves to sing in a jazz group, and Priya loves to paint. There is always Netflix!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: We are very passionate about capturing our beautiful natural world, and we are also dedicated to preserving it for the future generations. We believe and truly love this quote: "Remember, we don’t inherit the earth from our fathers, we borrow it from our children.” - multiple sources
Are you interested in being Alberta's Photographer of the Month? Email us and we can chat!