My name is TJ Drysdale and I travel the world with my girlfriend Victoria and take pictures of her in dresses for our Follow Me Away photography project . So far, I have photographed her with my Sony A99 in 23 countries across three different continents.
We didn't always travel together though! We met three years ago at a photoshoot in Florida. We connected instantly and within two days, a photo from the shoot had already been picked up by a major magazine. Our artistic chemistry was undeniable and we shot multiple times throughout the summer.
Shortly after our first shoot, Victoria asked me to go to Europe with her. I said yes and a year later from our first messages, we were standing together in Italy in June 2015. We went on the trip as friends and her sister came too but we returned forever changed. We had shot together around Tampa for a year and naturally, we decided to bring along a dress to shoot some fantastic European landscapes.
Floridian landscapes are very flat, so the opportunity to photograph in Ireland, Italy, and the French Alps was exciting. The purpose of our trip was not to take photos or to go for photographic reasons at all. It was to travel abroad with friends for the first time. That being said, we weren't going to let an opportunity like this pass us up!
After we returned from the trip, we marveled at how just the two of us, my Sony A99, and a simple white dress could create such drastically different photos every time we worked together. We wanted a way to chronicle our work together so we could see the change, so we started our @followmeaway Instagram shortly after that trip. We still had no idea what was to come.
In November 2015, Victoria got the idea to start www.followmeaway.com and our first post went live on Feb 2016, just days before we returned to Europe a second time. During our time in Europe, we created a Buzzfeed post about our project to redefine travel photography, and it went viral and the story continues to be picked up today.
We are not always happy with our work, and we constantly strive to innovate and improve what we do for our viewers and for ourselves. In September 2016, we made the drastic shift in our work to photograph with wider angle lenses in order to capture more of the landscape and less of Victoria. In the past, Victoria took up too much of the frame and we wanted to use her to accent the landscape, not to be the sole focus.
No part of our photography journey has been easy, but it has been worth it. When we first met, we had no idea that this was the path our lives would take, and we have no idea what the future will hold. We will continue to focus on our work and let life lead us where it will. But the most important part of our journey will always be the love we have for one another.