Here is a short but super sweet engagement shoot that proves you don't always have to travel far to get unique photos. Joanne and Blake did travel quite far to get to Iceland though, all the way from California but they only went on a short drive with us from Reykjavík to explore Iceland and get some photos. We headed out just before sunset to get the best light and made a quick stop by a lake with crazy rock formations that must have been trolls in their past life, then we drove past lava fields and sulphur smelling hot springs and finally found our selves driving along a sketchy road we had never been down before. That road ended in the middle of nowhere by these crazy sea cliffs just as the sun was touching the horizon, casting golden light over the cliffs, making an already magnificent sight seem out of this world. And all this after just a 30 minute drive from the cup of coffee we shared before the shoot.
Some weddings start at the edge of the world and of all the weddings we've shot none have been closer to that edge than this one. It took place in Árneshreppur in the Strandir region on the Westfjords of Iceland. A magical place you have to visit in person to truly understand. It's raw, mysterious, infinitely beautiful and remote, very remote. There is a small population that lives there year round, huddled together during the winter months blocked off from the rest of the country when the mountain passes fill up with snow. When summer comes for it's short visit the place is transformed into a paradise and paradise sounds like a good spot for a wedding.
This wedding holds a special place in our hearts and memories and not only because of the location. This was an adventure both physically and mentally and like with all good adventures you come out on the other side wiser, knowing just a little bit more about the world and a lot more about yourself. The short and not too dramatic version of the story is that not everything went according to plan and quite a few things had to be changed on the spot. This always leads to a bit of a friction, specially when there are a lot of people in the mix. After a lot of back and forth planing and teamwork everything came together in a very emotional ceremony followed by a party long into the bright summer night with singing, dancing and a bonfire.
After this experience we fully understood how important it is for us to not merely approach what we do as work but to truly immerse ourselves in our subjects and this short time they invite us in to their lives. To truly bond with them as people, make friends with them and help them any way we can, earn their trust and trust them in return. It makes our work more meaningful to us and to them, when we see the tears of joy running down Esther's face at the ceremony we know why she is crying and why it's important for us to capture that part of the story. And who knows, if you make friends with people they might let you tent in their garden and invite you to a Mexican breakfast with their Mexican friends when you just drop by to return shoes they forgot in your car.