It's taken me FOREVER to finish and blog this session (the recurring trend for me with blogging, anyway). Normally I share images without saying much, but I have sooo much to share with this one!
Iceland is a super trendy spot to visit right now, and if you do a quick google or instagram search you'll see why: its a photographer's paradise, literally not one corner of this little country isn't perfect. To top it off,
not all, but a LOT of incredibly scenic spots can be viewed as you travel the Ring Road. You don't even have to get out of your car, you'll just be driving and look out your window and try to not run off the road as you stare at all the jaw-dropping scenery. I've never traveled outside my home country, and I'm happy that Iceland was the first country I chose to visit.
So I'll be honest. Shooting an engagement session there was unexpectedly more challenging than I thought it would be. Like, I'm a photographer, and even **I** got a little duped
by other photographer's blogs and images from Iceland. They made it look so easy! Or maybe they really did have an easier time, but regardless, I thought I would share my experience for anyone thinking about going.
I couldn't be prouder with the outcome of these images. I'm so very emotionally attached to this session, which is why it was so hard to cull, edit, and blog. It was something new for me, a learning experience, which goes to show
no matter how old ya get you have something new to learn, if you allow yourself to be taught.
I wanna start by saying I had an amazing couple to work with. Dan actually proposed to Alison last year in Iceland, and they are going back next year for their wedding!
Alison and Dan, you were both perfect. I mean as soon as you start viewing these images you're gonna see how beautiful they are, how in love they are,
easy to be around, and holy crap how stylin' they are too. I'm so grateful you guys took this little adventure with me!
I've traveled for photography before, but never out of the country. I've been following/stalking photographers who do, and so perhaps they are more accustomed to working in the elements and know what to expect.
But here are some things I learned along the way and can maybe help out other traveling photog newbs like myself :)
We started our adventure at Seljalandsfoss and it definitely lived up to the grandeur. One thing I didn't realize based off photos I'd seen, it IS a park, so even though the crowd there
was NOTHING compared to crowds in most American parks, there were lots of people as well as ropes / signs etc that I knew I'd have to photoshop out - totally not deal breakers at all, but good to know!
The photo below is where I started realizing this may be a little more complicated than I thought! The closer we got to the falls, the heavier the mist got (it was a moderately windy day).
We were also there in May - our trip was around 50*F and the chilliest it got usually was due to wind. I was lucky to be suited up in a jacket and i had brought a dry bag for my camera (i thought i was so smart), but I didn't realize how hard it is to FOCUS a camera - on auto OR manually - when the wind is blowing SHEETS OF WATER into your camera. Unfortunately, you have to take your camera OUT of the dry bag to use it and you literally can't see through the water on your lens. My sweet friend Cody's camera actually stopped working for awhile after we left Seljalandsfoss due to water, luckily it dried out and was fine a few hours later, but holy crap. So I'm still not entirely sure how other photographers defeated this issue or if they were there on a day when mist wasn't an issue.
(PS yes, the rainbow is real!)
When we left Seljalandsfoss we walked about a mile down to a more hidden waterfall called Gljufrafoss - a smaller but beautiful waterfall inside a little cave. It is SUPER easy to access but you DO have to wade through water or hop on rocks , so I was grateful for proper water resistant boots. As we were leaving the other waterfall, Alison and Dan were already getting a *little* wet, but if we thought the big waterfall was misty, the smaller one felt 10x worse and after about 5 minutes inside, we were all drenched. (worth it).
After this, we drove to Vik and visited the black sand beaches with the basalt cliffs. (Alison and Dan changed and dried off at their hotel).
We were totally ready for this. Right? No waterfall spray, beautiful beach sunset... Perfection.
Ironically, I think the beach was actually the coldest I was, at any point, in Iceland. The wind off the water was not only extremely cold, but also incredibly harsh. Wind in the hair can be gorgeous in photos, but THIS wind was soo so hard- we could barely keep our eyes open and all I know is Alison is a badass for looking like a babe while her hair was whipping around. At this point we had also eaten dinner together too in a cute little beachside restaurant, and paid way too much for a bottle of wine to have on the beach (WORTH IT. it was the only thing keeping us warm!).
At this point, the groups we were with split for a couple days. I met back with Alison and Dan a day or two later, the night before they left. They picked me up and we decided to just drive and
see what we could find. We were driving from Reykjavik and generally, in like, most cases in my life with couples, when you drive aimlessly you usually find something gorgeous. And it started off really well. We picked a random road
and the light was gorgeous so we pulled off at what I think is a lava field and just hung out for a bit - gorgeous view, gorgeous light =)
We decided to keeeeeeeeep driving.... and we sure did drive. I think Alison said we may have gone into the highlands? All we knew is we got too far in to turn around, but we hit a patch of Iceland where there were literally nothing but flat plains for a long, long time lol. We were on a dirt or gravel road for quite a while, I'm not sure how the rental car survived. By the time we got to the end, we found this sweet little town and used the last little bit of sunshine (this is around 10pm i think?).
Hope you guys enjoyed it!! Alison and Dan - I wouldn't have chosen to spend like 6 hours in the car with ANY other couple! You guys are amazing, thank you so much for this experience!