Iceland is known to be a photographer’s heaven. Everything is dramatic about this land. Situated on lava rocks, this place has been gifted by mother nature.
We traveled to Iceland in late May for a destination engagement shoot. Mona and Sunny are one of our favorite couples plus Jigna (Mona’s sister). The latter was the perfect driver, dress flyer, photographer’s assistant and much more during our trip.
Here is why we think Iceland is a great option for your destination shoot.
1 – Iceland is easy to get to
It is very convenient to get to Iceland since there are direct flights from Toronto to Reykjavík. This was our second time going to Iceland to photograph a couple and we have to say this place never disappoints. A 3-day trip is normally enough time to photograph an Icelandic destination shoot. We recommend renting a car. You can almost drive to all popular spots in Iceland in 5 days.
2 – Iceland gives unlimited locations to work with
Iceland has too many good raw nature locations which means you will always have an exciting place to photograph.
That is one of the best things about Iceland, you can pretty much stop on the side of any road and have an amazing shot. You will always find something dramatic, unique or breathtaking. You can get waterfalls, lakes, natural lava mountains, active volcanoes, gigantic mountains and much more. This place has a variety of locations to work with.
3 – Iceland gives you enough daylight
In summer, there is natural light until 11 pm. So, you have an extra long days to work with which is important as a photographer. In winter, it is the opposite but you do get a bonus of the Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights. We unfortunately saw no sun during our second visit to Iceland, but we made the most of it.
PRO TIP – Since Iceland is very dramatic, we recommend an extra long flowy outfit to match the drama level.
4 – Our experience
We showed our couple the different options for photographs we had for this short trip. We narrowed it down to Vik, Skógafoss and some icebergs on the East side of the country. After landing in Reykjavík, we rented a car and drove 3 hours to Vik and checked into our cottage hotel. Mona was dressed in an extravagant gown from ecBoutique. Inspired by Kajol and Sharukh Khan’s recent movie filmed in Iceland, this one big Bollywood inspired shoot was coming true.
Icelandic Destination Shoot
Day 1 – Vik, Diamond Beach
Our first stop was next to a river bank on the Southern East side of Iceland towards Diamond beach. We were looking to drive about 2.5 more hours to the South-East point from Vik to get to the Icebergs. Beauty of Iceland keeps getting better as we go to those no touristy parts of the country.
The weather in Iceland can get really unpredictable. We were getting some chilly late-May winds. Be prepared for extreme weather shifts when travelling to Iceland.
Green moss on volcanic rocks is a rarely seen phenomena in the world, but you have it again, Iceland is the place known for that spectacle. We wanted to showcase that in our images. So, we stopped in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road to snap a few images showcasing that natural occurrence.
At the end of 2.5 hours of driving, we made it to Diamond beach. Unfortunately, there were not many of diamond formations left. Light was dimming at this point around 9 pm. Like I said, this place is full of surprises so don’t despair. On the opposite side of Diamond beach, there are icebergs which are unique. We had never seen anything like that and it was honestly great to photograph.
Nature has definitely blessed this land. Here are some images around 11:30pm.
PRO TIP – Iceland pretty much shuts down around 9-10 pm outside of the capital city of Reykjavik. So plan your dinners accordingly.
We finished our shoot at 11:40pm at night and we were still 2.5 hours away from our hotel near Vik. We couldn’t find a single gas station or restaurant open so that meant eating chips for dinner.
Day 2 – Vik, Skogafoss
Vik is one of the most popular locations and since it was our last full day in Iceland we had to make the most of it. We started early to avoid tourists. It rains a lot in Iceland but the show must go on. The dramatic Black beach with volcanic rocks has unique rock structures. You really feel like you are taking part in a scene in The Game of Thrones.
As a professional, you need to learn to work quickly in these locations as the weather might get worse at any moment. We had only 40 mins with rain and chilly winds. Mona and Sunny were real troopers. Thanks to Jigna and a local tourist who helped us to create this beautiful moment.
This is an image edited to perfection by our editor and makes for one of the favorite images of all-time.
Pro Tip – We recommend having an extra buffer day in case of bad weather in Iceland.
Iceland has a variety of different types of locations and we wanted to showcase that. We ended our afternoon at Skógafoss Falls and you can’t avoid getting wet if you go there. We were prepared to get drenched with underwater camera gear and ready to sacrifice our lights. We mentally prepared Mona that her dress will get wet and she would be freezing. She was ready to take the hit for those perfect images.
Creating exceptional images always include a motivated set of people along an artist. We have to give it to our bride-to-be Mona who gave her 100%.
These are some images done at the Skógafoss Falls.
After the shoot, Sunny our groom took everyone out for a fine dining experience in Reykjavik.
Bonus – One more reason
We got to spend 4 days with Sunny and Mona and Jigna while we were in Iceland. In this time, we got to learn so much about them, their personalities and their dynamic, and about their families by sharing one big cottage. We also learned what is important for them in terms of pictures and much more.
This definitely helped us when we were photographing their wedding. We knew them as people and friends which helped document a very connecting story.
See our slideshow from Mona & Sunny’s Iceland shoot.
Also, check out our blog on Destination Shoot in Italy – La Dolce Vita.
Learn more about Iceland on their official tourism website Inspired by Iceland.