Interview: Nomadic Couple Captures the Timeless Natural Beauty of Peru

Photos of Peru

The nomadic model-photographer duo Victoria Yore and TJ Drysdale, aka Follow Me Away, have explored parts of the world that many only dream of visiting. We’ve chronicled their adventures for years as they captured the breathtaking sights of Iceland, Oregon, and countries throughout Europe. They’ve recently returned from Peru—their first time there—and have shared their latest travel photos with us.

Yore and Drysdale are known for their enchanting portraits that feature Yore in a floor-length dress among grandiose landscapes. This South American series is no different, and they've employed their signature style here. Yore gazes upon the diverse scenery and is often dwarfed by the sprawling mountains and endless coastlines. This type of composition represents a shift in the duo's images as the beautiful bounty of nature is front and center—rather than Yore. Despite this artistic tweak, the photos still have a timeless feel. If you didn't know better, you might think these portraits were taken long ago.

We spoke with Follow Me Away about their epic trip, which included the sublime site of Machu Picchu. Learn more about their travels and how they achieve such stunning shots, below.

Model-photographer duo Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale of Follow Me Away captured the beautiful landscapes of Peru. Scroll down to read more about their trip in our exclusive interview.

Photos of Peru

What was the most memorable part of your trip to Peru? 

It is so hard to narrow it down, but we would have to say:

#1: one of the most memorable parts of our trip was the Peruvian people. Even though hardly anyone spoke English and our Spanish was minimal, they were always cheerful and willing to help, even if it meant working out the conversation on Google Translate. Kind locals isn't something we come across every day, so the joy the Peruvians shared was memorable.

#2: The Peruvian desert in Ica and Paracas National Park were both memorable because we didn't even know these types of landscapes existed in Peru! Who knew Peru had sand dunes, cliffs, penguins, and even flamingos? We sure didn't, and the Ica Region of Peru was full of surprises and was quite memorable.

You made a point to visit sites outside of Machu Picchu. Where else did you go, and how did you find out about these places?

We rented a car and spent three weeks traveling around Lima and the Ica province which for us, involved staying in Ica and visiting the Huacachina Oasis and sand dunes, and then a stay along the coast at Paracas National Park and a visit to Islas Ballestas. Once we arrived in Cusco, we rented a car and drove around the Sacred Valley, visiting some archeological sites so hidden and remote that they don't exist on google or the internet! We found out about these places by looking through images on Instagram that the Peruvian tourism board shared and also by asking locals for their recommendations.

Photos of Peru by Follow Me Away

Photos of Peru by Follow Me Away

You've traveled so many places! How has your process of taking these photos changed from your first trip until now?

During our first trip, we made Victoria the focus of the landscape. If you look at our past work in places such as Iceland, France, and the Grand Canyon, you can see that the subject (Victoria) is very large in the frame and takes up a lot of space. While these photos were still nice, we realized we really wanted to be showing off the beautiful landscapes around the world and simply using the subject to accept the landscape around her. Now, Victoria is always much smaller in the frame and the focus is on whatever Mother Nature provides. This allows our viewers to get a better feel of the environment in which we traveled and allows us to better feature each destination.

What kind of research do you do before embarking on a series like this one? 

The number one thing we do is head to Instagram to see what epic landscapes a destination will have. We typically search for any tourism board and featured accounts surrounding a location and we also pay attention to searching hashtags or location tags for each interesting location. This gives us an of the moment update on what the destination is currently like and if we want to photograph it for our series or if it really won't work. After we have our locations that we think are totally stunning, we may head to Google to research and see if there is anything we need to know about visiting a certain location, such as fees, hours it is open, hiking, information etc.

Travel Photos of Peru by Follow Me Away

Best Photos of Peru by Follow Me Away

Best Photos of Peru by Follow Me Away

Your shots are so dreamy. What kind of equipment do you use to capture them?

We only use our Sony A99 camera and whatever natural light available at the time. We have been typically shooting with a Tamron 15-30 lens and a Tamron 70-200 lens. In addition, we always carry a simple dress to appear in our photos but that is it. No hair or makeup is done and no lighting equipment is used.

Where are you off to next?

This is going to be a mouthful but we are off to: Arizona, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Alaska, Oregon (a return trip for us!), Ireland, and California, all before November…whew! We are really looking forward to photographing the absolutely diverse landscapes all these locations have to offer!

Photos of Peru

Photos of Peru by Follow Me Away

Best Photos of Peru by TJ Drysdale

Follow Me Away: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Follow Me Away (Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale).

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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