It’s cold out there
Wedding photos in Iceland – they had been on my photography bucket list for a very long time; finally it came about in February. I had already been there in the summer of 2022 with animal photographers from Belgium and the Netherlands: with them I went to a horse photography workshop in southern Iceland!
I learned an awful lot then, although horse photography is totally not my niche. I learned to see things differently, and in the post-processing workshops I learned many new things. My workflow was shortened without sacrificing quality. A great trip that I still remember fondly!
I did leave for Iceland in February a bit reluctantly to take wedding photos: two weeks beforehand I had been to Madeira for wedding photos, and I had returned (dead) sick. All that traveling began to weigh on me. And on top of that, it was going to be freezing cold in Iceland.
What clothes should I bring? Would the wedding couple hold up in front of my lens in those freezing temperatures? Because Lauren and Jamie were going to get married in an ice cave.
Perfect camera stuff
Would my equipment be able to handle that? I was very worried about that. After all, I had heard horror stories from a Canadian colleague who was going to shoot a wedding in Lapland. Batteries under her armpits to keep them warm so they didn’t go flat too quickly. Cameras that started jamming all over the place. Frozen fingers, because you can’t keep them warm.
Fortunately, a few months before leaving for Iceland, I had renewed my entire arsenal of equipment: new system cameras, new lenses, batteries – enfin, everything renewed, and thousands and thousands of euros poorer. In retrospect, my best purchase ever, my photos only improved in quality. And…that equipment also held up just fine in those freezing temperatures.
Ice cave Katla
Rebecca of Rebecca Marie Weddings from the UK was the wedding planner for these amazing wedding photos. She has many years of experience as a destination wedding planner, and brought along a British couple from London who would be modeling for this unique experience. Lauren and Jamie were already looking forward to it as much as I was!
We drove from Reykjavik in about 2.5 hours further south towards Vík in a minivan. Jon was the driver on duty and also a fantastic guide! Along the way, he knew a lot of details about Iceland.
In Vík we took a monster truck for 45 minutes, off road – into the wild and snowy Icelandic landscape. It was snowing very hard at that time, we couldn’t see a meter in front of us. All around us everything was snow white, hard to describe. I no longer knew what was left or right, let alone from which direction we had come. No tire tracks of other monster trucks to be seen – a feeling I find difficult to put down on paper. Pretty grim though, and we were well shaken up in that truck too.
The Katla is one of Iceland’s largest and most active volcanoes. It is completely hidden under the Mýrdalsjökull, a glacier in southern Iceland with an area of about 595 km². You can hike to it in the summer months, but not in the winter.
Getting married in an ice cave
Nothing is too crazy in Iceland – not even getting married in an ice cave. You can get married in the Katla, just the two of you, completely away from the world. To get to this unique place, you have to put in the effort. A 2.5-hour drive from Reykjavik, and then another 45-minute ride on a monster truck. Then you arrive at the base camp. From there we all got helmets on, and crampons around our shoes … to walk uphill for 15 minutes in an icy cold wind, and in a snow shower.
I found it incredible, fantastic, indescribable. A once in a lifetime experience that I recommend to everyone if you have the chance. Especially as a wedding photographer. By the way, my hair was literally frozen: if you put way too much gel in your hairstyle with long hair, and it just stays stiffly down – that’s what I looked like. Around the lenses of my cameras, the snow was already frozen and caked.
But honestly: in the moment, you forget about that cold. So unique. So breathtaking.
Photographing a wedding during a snowstorm, and in cutting northeast winds – that’s no laughing matter. Lauren then also wore an extremely expensive herringbone dress, which really froze. I photographed them at 3 different spots, taking 1 minute and 20 seconds each time to get the perfect shot. Then warm up, and move on again.
But … I did it. The pressure was on, and it was the very hardest working conditions for me as a wedding photographer ever. No Photoshop for these images: they are straight out of the camera. Except for some color adjustments: just some more contrast in the images. Fantastic, isn’t it, nature at its most beautiful?
Stressful circumstances where I only have a few minutes to do my work, that eats away at a person. Tired but satisfied, we descended back to base camp and from there we took the monster truck back to Vík.
Since I had also photographed another couple, Rosie and Rahi on the Snæfellsnes peninsula the day before, I craved some extra sleep. That night we slept at the Landhotel in Hella, in the south of the country. Highly recommended by the way. Lovely beds, and a wonderful breakfast!
Are you still looking for a wedding photographer in Belgium or the Netherlands? Or do you have wedding plans abroad? Maybe you want to get married in Iceland, or get married in an ice cave? Evelien Geerinckx Photography will be happy to join you!
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