By Steve Cotton

SEND one photographer to Russia for the World Cup – or take the majority of the team to Iceland for an end-of-season mix of work and play? That was the decision facing JMP UK managing director Joe Meredith – who naturally chose the latter option.

So instead of one photographer traipsing around Russia, trying to cover the whole thing as a one-man band, nine members of the growing JMP UK team headed to Iceland for a long weekend of photography, filming and fun.

The outcome was some incredible footage, some breath-taking images – and some very tired people after four active days, which included 28 hours of driving and long days discovering incredible locations and backdrops.

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“The choice was effectively: do we send one person to Russia, or do we take the whole team to Iceland, where they can showcase their skills, photography, drone work – and, perhaps most importantly, team work?” said Joe.

“In the end, it was a relatively easy decision, and as well as being a nice reward for all the hard work across the conventional football and rugby seasons, we came back with some great content.

“Ultimately, we work in a way that is very focused, and where – regardless of the project – we’ve got certain jobs to do in order to meet the vision of the client.

“So it was really nice to see people being creative in their own way: shooting how they want to shoot and what they want to shoot. The results were a really varied set of images and videos.”

The itinerary was not limited to Reykjavik or the more tourist-minded places – but incorporated a mixture of popular destinations and some gems off the beaten track.

That meant a range of videos and images that took in everything from waterfalls, canyons and glaciers to puffins, people and the sea.

As JMP UK’s director of photography, Rogan Thomson, explained: “The scenery was incredibly imposing – so, from our perspective, it was great. Everywhere we went provided a number of stunning backdrops – and the weather was a factor, too. Although it was forecast to rain every day, it barely rained at all – and it was pretty much 24-hour daylight.”

Having taken the JMP UK team to Spain last summer, Joe chose Iceland for this year’s annual trip after a family holiday to New Zealand last autumn left him awestruck.

“I travelled around New Zealand with my wife and daughter, and had the most amazing time – and Iceland seemed the closest equivalent in Europe in terms of its scenery,” he said.

“I also felt it would be the perfect place for the team to express themselves as photographers – and after going through the images they produced, that was certainly the case. It’s not that often I want to put a gallery up on the office wall – but this is definitely one of those occasions!”

The JMP UK team are working on a polished video of their trip to Iceland, which will be posted here later this week. In the meantime, enjoy our gallery of images.