Gígja Einarsdóttir’s mythical drama






and dramatic outdoors, made even more striking with the occurance of at least one horse, has become the trademark style of the Icelandic photographer, Gígja Einarsdóttir.


By Camilla Alfthan, all images by Gígja Einarsdóttir.



As the daughter of a horse trainer there’s nothing strange about inviting a foal inside the family kitchen when he’s just lost his mother. Horses were always a way of life for the 36-year old photographer, Gígja Einarsdóttir, who is also a mother of three.


“My first memory was when I was five or six and riding my first horse who was called Litli Brúnn, ‘little brown’. I was always playing with him and whenever we went too fast and he felt that I was about to fall off he’d always stop.

I was always taking photos and then I just kept going. It’s a really big passion for me, and it always has been. Photographing and being outside with the horses are a good combination,” she tells from her home in Reykjavik where she also has her studio.


Iceland’s great outdoors were always an inspiration.

She was twelve when she got her first camera; a film camera that she stole from her father. She started taking horse pictures straight away and never really stopped. She got a Flickr account and people started looking at it and asking her for photographs.

One of Gígja’s equestrian photos has been used a lot – a picture of her white mare, Isold, who’s been on bed linens and t-shirts from H&M.


“I photograph people, too, but horses are my biggest passion. I love to be around them and watch how they conduct themselves with one another and with humans. I sometimes feel that they know a little bit more than we think.  They have this beautiful energy around them because they are so pure.”


“I’d love to photograph other breeds but there are only Icelandic horses here. No other horses are allowed on our island which is why it is one of the purest breeds in the world.  There’s quite a lot of variation in them – some are taller, some are smaller, but all are rather stocky.”


At her father’s farm Gígja has twelve horses. She’s breeding a little bit so she gets a foal every year, or every two years.


 “I sometimes feel that the horses know a little bit more than we think.  They have this beautiful energy around them because they are so pure.”


Dramatic landscapes made even more striking with the horse has become a trademark style.

As Gígja prepares for a new book will be busier than usual during the summer as she hunts new locations for shooting the horses.


A rugged place in the northern part of Iceland with steep cliffs and rocky, rusty coloured mountains is among her favorite spots just as a large desert of sand and lava – Mælifellssandur – which leads to places that are only reached on horse back.


There’s the waterfall of Skógafoss and the beaches of Vík where she brought the dark stallion, Spuny Frá Vesturkoti.


“There are thousands of pictures of this place. The horse makes the photo even more powerful,” she tells.





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