If I were to rank the places I would like to photograph a wedding or elopement, Iceland is hands down one of the top places I’d choose. It’s not for everyone, I’ll admit. The weather can be challenging and you run the risk of rain or snow or frigid temperatures pretty much any day. But for sheer, rugged beauty, this is one country you simply can’t beat. There is a reason it is such a popular choice these days. But just because there are a lot of people interested in going to Iceland, it should still be a place you give a lot of consideration to for your wedding. Why? I don’t know of another place that has the same mix of hot and cold as Iceland. Volcanos and hot springs mix easily with vast glaciers and waterfalls. There is simply so much variety in the terrain, and it is all so beautiful and beautifully accessible.
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Personally, I love cold countries. The crisp air, the frosting of snow, and the absence of huge crowds of people are huge pluses for me when I travel. And while I do love to get to know locals, I am invariably drawn to rugged landscapes. So you can imagine how excited I was to be able to photograph some of my favourite humans amongst the waterfalls and lava fields while on a quick trip to Iceland this past fall. Bucket list item – check!
If you’ve been to Iceland before, you may be thinking to yourself – ‘aren’t there huge crowds of tourists at all the popular spots?’ Well, yes there are. Bus loads of tourists in fact. You have to be willing to go adventuring, finding the secluded places only the locals know about, or you have to be willing to brave the elements and shoot in the rain. In Iceland, you truly don’t have to look far, though, to find a new beautiful backdrop for your photos.
PORTRAITS IN THE RAIN
I asked my friends to bring along some fancier clothes, and we’d take some photos as we travelled. The only problem – none of us were quite prepared for the sheer volume of rain we encountered. And after driving past several beautiful waterfalls along the road, we decided to stop at Skogafoss and brave the elements. There are times when the weather cooperates beautifully. This was not one of those times. So much so that roads were being flooded and the wind was enough to stop the flow of some small waterfalls (not even kidding). Never one to be deterred by a little inclement weather, however, I encouraged my friends to trust me and brave the cold for a few minutes. Turns out their bravery was only good for 7 minutes (I checked the metadata on my camera just to confirm). They were soaked through within the first 30 seconds, and it truly was cold! But that was enough to get some great photos with a stunningly gorgeous backdrop. Another plus about the awful weather? We had the place to ourselves! Over the next couple days, we managed to sneak in a few more quick sessions, one near Pingvellir on the Golden Circle, and another at the Grindavik Lava Field in between Keflavik and Reykjavik (on the way to the Blue Lagoon). And despite the unfavourable weather we encountered, I love the look and feel of this place so much that it’s worth all the trouble so long as you have a sense of adventure. You know you have good friends when they willingly jump out of a perfectly dry car to take photos in the rain. Cold rain. Freezing cold rain. Without shoes on. You guys are the best.