A series of atmospheric photographs capturing the unique spectacle of Shetland’s Fire Festival Season has been shortlisted in one of the world’s most prestigious creative competitions.
Edinburgh-based photographer Euan Myles was invited to Shetland by NB Communication as part of our role providing the Promote Shetland destination marketing service, to capture the drama, atmosphere, and community spirit encapsulated by Up Helly Aa.
Not only were we delighted with the images, so too was the London-based Association of Photographers (AOP) which has shortlisted Euan’s work in the finals of their 38th annual competition.
Documenting Up Helly Aa
Euan visited Shetland between January and March 2023, taking in the Lerwick, South Mainland and Delting Up Helly Aas, as well as photographing other aspects of life in Shetland.
The AOP Photography Awards are known as the ‘Oscars’ of the photography world. They celebrate excellence in the creative photography and image-making industry.
As part of the Up Helly Aa project hundreds of incredible photographs were provided to Promote Shetland for use in its ongoing destination marketing campaigns. A selection of five of those images were chosen by Euan for his entry into the AOP awards’ “Documentary” category.
The selection includes photos of the Lerwick Junior Jarl’s Squad and galley burning, and the SMUHA Jarl’s Squad.
The quality of Euan’s work is reflected in the fact that he was also shortlisted in the “Environment”, and “Food & Drink” categories.
Euan is a regular visitor to Shetland and is passionate about the islands.
He said: “I have been visiting Shetland for years and absolutely love the place. I have worked with Lerwick-based agency NB Communication several times covering everything from Shetland’s incredible fly-fishing to its innovative engineering expertise.
“The one trip that had always eluded me was a visit to the Up Helly Aa fire festivals. I’m truly delighted with the response to my images and hope that one day I may get the chance to exhibit them in Shetland.”
NB Communication head of content marketing Adam Civico added: “Euan has captured some truly inspiring imagery for us in Shetland over the years, covering tourism, industry, lifestyle, angling and food and drink. And now the famous fire festivals.
“We’re looking forward to using the images in Promote Shetland campaigns for many years to come. Meanwhile, it's good to know that a whole new audience will be exposed to seeing what Shetland has to offer during its unique winter celebrations, thanks to the AOP awards.”
AOP chief executive officer Isabelle Doran said reviewing the submissions to the 2023 photography awards was “like opening a surprise gift box of delights”.
“You’re not sure what you’re going to get but when you open it up you find a delightful myriad of visual treasures. This year’s finalists and winners are a delicious treat for the eyes.”
At NB Communication, we’re proud that one of our projects has delivered such strong imagery and we’re looking forward to using the photos in Promote Shetland campaigns for many years to come.
Discover how NB used Shetland’s Fire Festival Season to stoke fresh interest in the islands with a high-impact multi-channel campaign.