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First Look: Valkyrie Wonder Woman

I’m super excited to share a first full look at Valkyrie Wonder Woman, shot as part of our epic adventure in Iceland last month. The talented Tess Fowler and I collaborated on the design, trying to strike a balance between elements inspired by Norse mythology and classic Wonder Woman iconography.

Check out my full gallery of WIP photos over on Facebook, as well as a list of individuals I owe a ton of gratitude to for offering guidance and advice on this massive build!

More insights on these photos: Despite my best efforts to avoid a crunch, this shoot was the very first time I’d worn the costume in its entirety. The first time wearing a new costume is always a bit anxiety-inducing, and when coupled with intense cold (20° F), biting winds, and no mirror to properly evaluate the final look, this shoot was a challenge. That being said, everyone looked out for me – calling out when a piece of armor shifted oddly, or when a pose felt powerful but frankly looked a bit awkward. For example, lunging forward resulted in my breastplate clipping my belt, completely obscuring my torso, so we had to find a different pose to avoid looking static.

I think we got some great images in the stark black landscape we first shot at, but felt even more confident when we shot the costume again a few hours later in the Vik mountainsides pictured in these images. The area was bathed in sunlight, which warmed me up a bit and resulted in more natural poses and expressions. We did our best to capture both the power of Wonder Woman and divinity of the Valkyrie.

Give the rest of team ‪#‎CosplayIceland‬ a follow for more photos from our adventure: Antony Gomes Photographe, Anna Cosplay Photography, Reilena Cosplay, and Philip Kalmes!

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Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik, modeled after volcanic basalt columns. This church and Sagrada Família in Barcelona, both of which were inspired by nature, are the two coolest churches I’ve seen architecturally.

That’s the view of downtown Reykjavik you get from the church’s observation tower. It does not disappoint. So many colors. 🎨

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Iceland: Day 4

We stayed overnight in Vík, a beach town on the south coast. It was about a two-hour drive from the Golden Circle, which is on the southwest coast. We drove the lower half of the Ring Road to get there. The Ring Road encircles the whole island. We’ve met a bunch of travelers who rented cars to drive the entire Ring Road. Life goals.

We climbed up volcanic basalt columns and walked the eerie black sand beaches of Vík. It had been go-go-go the whole trip, and it was nice to relax and not have to keep a schedule. This was my favorite day of the trip.

Basalt columns are formed when cooling lava contracts and cools. These formations can be seen all over Iceland, which at one time had 130+ active volcanoes. They occur all over the world, though - the most famous example being the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. The ghostly black sand is also composed of tiny fragments of basalt.

We had a lot of close encounters with nature on this day. I already blogged about our puffin encounter. We also stalked some free-roaming sheep for pictures. I had never seen lambs before, and they are all over the countryside. I snapped a pic of some playing on a big boulder. So much squee. I want to take one home as a friend for Tofu.

We had another amazing encounter with Icelandic ponies. I learned that it is offensive to Icelanders to call them ponies. (But on the real, guys…they are tiny little things. I’m calling them ponies on my blog). I literally locked eyes with a silver one, and he came trotting right toward me with his friends in tow. We spent a half hour feeding and petting the ponies. I don’t have much experience with pony behavior, so it was fascinating for me to see them nip at each other, pull each other’s hair, or kick each other with their hind legs to be first in line for food. It’s just grass, guys. Calm down.

One weird thing about Icelanders is their ice cream culture. A tour guide said they have one of the best ice cream cultures in Europe. They’ll queue up on a December day for ice cream, which is just nuts to me. Actually, at a gas station we were at, everyone was getting dipped cones, so we got some, too. They were tasty. When in Rome, right?

Food here is ridiculously expensive, though. An average meal out is $15 to $30 a plate. I’ve cried internally when we get the check at a no-frills restaurant, and the bill is like $70. That’s like a fancy-ass meal for us back in Houston.

We took Andrea’s advice again on food and have been stocking up on stuff from grocery stores - stuff like cheese, crackers, trail mix, fruit, and prepared sandwiches. We had a cute little “picnic” for dinner with Icelandic beers in our hostel in Vík. This, along with booking hostels that come with breakfast, have helped us cut down on costs. For instance, our hostel in Reykjavik was $73/night, including breakfast. Holla.