Model-photographer duo Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale are known for their whimsical way of looking at the world. Their fairytale project Follow Me Away previously featured Yore as a traveler who approached beautiful landscapes with a palpable sense of wonder and curiosity. This unquenchable thirst for exploration has since offered the two some incredible opportunities, one of them being their newest series that showcases the wonders of Oregon.
So, why the Beaver State? “Not many people think of Oregon as this completely epic place,” Yore told us in an email, “but in our latest mini-series, we set off to prove that it is!” Through their pictures, they reveal its diverse landscapes—that at times, feel like different worlds—and thematically tie them together with Yore and her white dress. Drysdale captures her traversing awe-inspiring waterfalls, the endless blue coast, as well as lush green scenery. His photographs have a romantic sensibility, and the settings take you by surprise. If you've never been to the state, you may not have realized how many incredible sights it has to offer.
We spoke to Yore and Drysdale about their time in Oregon. Scroll down to read our exclusive interview.
Prior to your photo series, had you visited Oregon. What parts of the state did you explore?
Before our photo series, Victoria had visited Oregon as a young child and Terrence had never been to the state. It was practically a brand new state to explore for both of us and we can't say enough about what it has to offer. We flew in/out of Portland and explored the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, the Northeast Oregon Desert near Bend, the Mckenzie River, the Cascade Mountains, and the Oregon Coast from Florence to Cannon Beach. We covered a lot of ground but there is still so much more to see! We are already [mentally] planning our next trip!
What was the most surprising thing you saw on your trip? The most memorable?
Proxy Falls in the Cascade Mountains was the most surprising thing we saw on our trip. We had a preconceived idea that the falls would be a small trickle that we could barely hear, and they ended up being a massive 200+ foot cascade. The photos just don't do Proxy Falls justice! The location was totally stunning and we wish we had had the chance to spend more time there.
The most memorable location on our trip was Hug Point on the coast. We were driving along Highway 101 when we saw a sign for a place called "Hug Poing." We thought the name was cute so we decided to Google it and it turns out that Hug Point looked positively magical. We decided to stop on our way back from the close yet busy Cannon Beach. Hug Point was much less crowded and came complete with sea caves, a waterfall on the beach, and plenty of fog. We shot a few pictures for the series and just as we were packed up and ready to leave, the sun set and twilight hit the coast. The mix of fog and the blue hues of nightfall called to us and we changed into the dress, took out our gear, ran down the beach, and snapped a few last minute shots. These shots are some of our favorites from the entire trip!
You capture so many incredible shots—how long does it take you to get a shoot "just right?"
Honestly? Not long at all. There is a misconception surrounding our work that since it is so "incredible" [thanks for the compliment!], it must take forever to set up and get just right. We have worked together so closely and so often that we know almost exactly what we want going in. Shoots are actually quite short and range from about 5-30 minutes depending on the climate. If we had to answer truthfully about how long it takes to figure out angle, camera setting etc. at each location, it probably takes under a minute. That being said, we are constantly innovating, seeing what we did wrong, and improving our process so we are able to shoot for a shorter time and still produce work we are happy with.
Did you face any challenges when shooting? If so, how did you deal with them?
We usually face a TON of challenges when shooting, but the state of Oregon treated us extremely well! We did face extreme wind [80mph gusts] on the coast. We had to modify our shooting angle and had to pay careful attention to the dress because the wind was so fierce. Angles that we originally wanted to shoot were out of the question because the wind made it almost impossible to keep the gown/hair in order. On the last two days of our trip, the famous Pacific Northwest rain set in but we did not let that stop us! We hiked to the ever-crowded Oneonta Gorge and were able to score some shots and have the whole place to ourselves. That solitude lasted only ten minutes but we were thrilled nonetheless.
What is the planning process like for your photos? Do you travel with a lot of gear?
The planning process is that there isn't much planning! We arrive at a location we want to shoot, change into a dress [sometimes Victoria even hikes in a dress], test to see which lens we want, and get started! Sometimes we don't even know we want to shoot a location until we see it! We will drive along and stop at an overlook or hike until we see something that catches our eye. Even if we have no plans at photographing it for Follow Me Away, we bring the dress/photography bag, and usually end up shooting it anyway!
We don't do hair or makeup, we don't use artificial lighting, and we don't really like to have a plan.
We travel with a Sony A99, about 5 different lenses, and around 3 dress choices. We have been shooting the same dress [the one you see here], in the majority of our photos for the past 6 months, but we always bring a backup just in case! These days, we also bring along a tripod so that we can take fun "couples selfies" together once we are done with the photography project.
What do you hope viewers takeaway from the series?
We hope our Oregon mini-series inspires viewers to take a trip to this epic Pacific Northwest state. Many Americans feel like they have to travel somewhere far, while we have such beautiful nature right here in our own country. We aim to showcase the unsung beauty that is found in the state of Oregon and hope that we inspire people to visit!
Where are you off to next?
We are off to Iceland for our second trip this year! We went into our first trip with the wrong mindset and it really showed in our work. We are excited for the opportunity to re-shoot and continue to explore this stunning arctic country!
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My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Follow Me Away (Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale).