Behind the scenes in SCOTLAND!

Ok lassies, let’s go to SCOTLAND! Aerie Creative Director, Summer, shared her favorite moments from our holiday photoshoot and great Scot, it was amazing. Looking to plan your own trip? Thistle do nicely to get you started! Read on for Summer’s favorite moments and advice for your own trip.

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We landed in Edinburgh on a Monday morning and drove right to Marks & Spencer for some staples: crumpets, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and Walkers Shortbread Cookies.

With so many Scottish treats, our 3-hour road trip to the Highlands was a breeze, especially after another FUN-filled stop to The House of Bruar. EVERYTHING SCOTTISH THAT YOUR HEART COULD DESIRE…seriously, this place could be a vacation in and of itself.

Hi from the Highlands!

Finally, we arrived at Aviemore – quite exhausted from all the travel but kept going thanks to dinner at the Old Bridge Inn.

DAY 1 OF PHOTOSHOOT: WE’RE ON A TRAIN, CHOO! CHOO!

Yes, we REALLY rented out a train for the day. Special thanks to Graham Sutherland, a nice gentleman who was our main contact for getting us organized and making sure we had all the views and shots that we needed.

 

Old Evie in all her glory.

The Strathspey Railway is so unique and is surviving purely by volunteers and donations. Donate here and keep the magic going!

46512 “Old Evie” was the steam locomotive we adorned with a giant holiday wreath. For some reason, it was repainted with the number 46464 after repairs. For the real train enthusiast, you can find Old Evie’s 50+ year history here.

Conductor of Aerie photography, Ali.

#AerieREAL model Diddy and trainman, Graham.

 

NEXT UP: SHEAR HAPPINESS

Neil Ross trains Highland shepherds to herd the sheep and FUN FACT—he commands them in Gaelic (with a few swears here and there).

Diddy and the flock.

These are among my favorite shots from the shoot. Anytime we can be outside and include animals in their natural habitats, I’m happy!

We know ewe will love this.

 

DAY 2: WHERE’S SANTA?

Actually found this reindeer farm on Instagram!

All of the reindeer have names and the workers know them all! Our hero on the shoot was named Origami. Coincidentally, one of our models had a cool origami tattoo on her hip!

One of our favorite lads from the shoot.

Videographer, Chris, and his new special friend.

 

NEXT UP: JUST YOUR AVERAGE CASTLE

It was huge. Huge library. Still used by the family. Stocking retreat… so much history. I wish we had more time. There were something like 35 bedrooms?!!?!

Majestic!

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Erin fits right in.

 

HUGE DISCLAIMER

If you have plans to visit the Highlands and do any bit of hiking with or without reindeer, you need this: A MIDGE PROOF HEAD NET!!!!!!!!!! Might we suggest this stylish choice.

What is a midge you might ask? In short, they are very tiny flies or gnats that will ruin your trip/life if you have to be constantly eating them or swatting them out of your eyes, nose, ears and mouth.

Midge proof head nets. Stylist approved!

After this day, we needed a great meal so we had CLASSIC fish & chips.

Then Erin and I tried our first bit of haggis. We loved it! Look up what it is, if you dare!!!

 

DAY 3: SPUD THE PIPER!

Proud to say I also found this gem of a man on the good ol’ Instagram while searching geotags near our locations. He followed me immediately after I followed him. He will most likely do the same for you.

We love Spud.

Have more Scotland travel tips to add? Comment below & tell us! Stay tuned for more #BehindTheScenes fun on Insta all season long.

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Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Our team went to Iceland for our holiday photoshoot, and it was EPIC. This magical place is still fresh in their minds months after the shoot, and we want to share it with you! Read on for favorite moments (moss-covered lava rock! cats! hot dogs!) and travel tips from Summer, our Creative Director, and Erin, Aerie Stylist Extraordinaire.

 

Mývatn Nature Bath

Swimming in steamy geothermal water? Yes, please. Get more info on the Mývatn Nature Baths here.

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Aerie Photographer, Ali, marked her fourth holiday shoot with us. One of Summer’s favorite parts was traveling with Ali and the rest of the extended Aerie family, “truly the best travel companions EVER! I’ve been lucky enough to travel with the same team for years, many of whom I only see a few times a year… so it was extra special to spend this ‘holiday’ season with them and create holiday magic for our Aerie girls. Definitely an unforgettable present. No egos, no divas and of course… no retouching!” 📷

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

The rest of the team joined later, but Summer headed into the baths before sunrise alone. Take her tip and take off your jewels! “The natural baths will rapidly tarnish sterling silver! I mean it will turn it fast! It can be polished and will return to its silvery shine but I suggest taking off the jewels unless you’re into black metals with an oily sheen. Gold is fine. I’m sure there were signs or maybe this is explained on the tour but who’s reading or listening when there’s steamy blue water and mountains to look at.”

 

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Boats and babes are the names of the game at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Our team hit the water and navigated the country with the help of Hero Productions, an Icelandic company that made this shoot possible. In addition to making Aerie holiday magic, they’ve worked on a little show you may have heard of… Game of Thrones!

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Whether or not you can pronounce Jökulsárlón, Icelandic is a language unlike anything you’ve ever heard, and it was one of Summer’s favorite parts: “It’s utterly impossible for this gal from central PA to imitate or comprehend Icelandic, but that makes it both stunning and fascinating to listen to.”

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Iceland makes it a priority to use eco-friendly practices and maintain the untouched feel of the land. In Erin’s view, “it is our responsibility to keep it that way as Iceland’s tourism booms and more and more people visit.” From large, refillable containers in the hotels instead of mini refillable bottles to opting for the delicious tap water over bottled water, Erin loved “how green and socially responsible the Icelandic people are.” ♻️

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

 

💎 Diamond Beach 💎

Poppy braved the temps in her Aerie Swim, but don’t forget the extra layers. Erin’s tip: “Wear weatherproof layers and you will be warm and cozy. Don’t try to look cool! Nerd out in the gear and you will be much happier and drier.”

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

 

Úlfjótsskáli Luxury Lodge

“Horses and sheep and puffins, oh my! 🐴🐑😻 And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.” Summer and the team traveled to Úlfjótsskáli Luxury Lodge and made some new friends along the way. Start planning your own trip here.

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

See a stream nearby? Take a drink! Summer drank “straight from a stream with my hands. If it’s good enough for an Icelandic horse, it’s plenty good enough for me!”

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Summer and Erin were both ALL about the animals. Horses weren’t the only furry friends to meet. Erin loved the “remarkably loud sheep. Chatty creatures.” And if you know these Aerie girls, you know they’re passionate about one pet in particular— cats!

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

 

Matur (Food)

It’s not a good trip without amazing food, and Iceland was no exception.

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Summer was into a surprisingly Icelandic delicacy: “Hot dogs 🌭 try them all! I had the pleasure of sharing my first Icelandic hot dog experience with Iskra and styling assistant, David. Throughout our trip I was able to taste test three dogs from three different places but this was my first and by far the best! First class, #1, Pylsuvagninn Selfossi. Located near the bridge when you arrive in Selfoss, you will not miss it! It’s less than an hour east of Reykjavik.” Erin loved Plokkfiskur, fish stew 🐟 “Warms and coats your insides on the cold day, and you are always on your feet hiking and walking around so don’t be afraid. Protein and carb up!”

 

Akureyri

This little town in northern Iceland was one of Summer’s favorite moments: “It has red hearts in place of the red circles on all the traffic lights. ‘STOP FOR ❤’ what’s better than that? Can we just make a worldwide update to all traffic lights? The whole town has a happy positive vibe and even though we were just passing through, it left a lasting imprint on my heart.” Plan a love stop here.

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

 

A World Of Amazing 

Between locations on the shoot, Erin “was obsessed with stopping to touch the moss-covered lava rock. It looked like broccoli cotton candy. I had to put my feet in it and feel it between my toes. It was just as good as I imagined. Maybe even better! And we got the most memorable shots with the sun setting as we drove back to hotel after our last day of the shoot. That’s a wrap!” 🌍

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

Behind-The-Scenes: Aerie Goes To Iceland

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