While the phrase “pic or it didn’t happen” certainly doesn’t apply to marriage, a good wedding photographer is essential.
This is especially true of a winter wedding in Iceland, where capturing moments that will be shared as memories for years to come takes someone who is experienced in the weather conditions and knows a few secret spots.
Photographer Bragi Þór Jósefsson won’t share his favorite one. After all, it’s a secret.
“When I mention it to tourists I tell them it’s a secret waterfall, but I never tell them what it’s called,” he says.
“There are so many people at the most popular places like Skógarfoss and Reynisfjara so you need at least one more spot that is a little bit off the beaten track.”
How far Bragi goes, depends on what the couple wants. He has gone as far as the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon but there are also plenty of picturesque scenes closer to Hotel Rangá.
“Everyone is always really happy, smiling and laughing,” he says when asked what he likes about wedding photography.
“Even in bad weather,” he continues. “People often worry a bit but I don’t mind it – many of my best photographs were shot in bad weather. If it rains, we’ll get wet and laugh about it.”
Bragi always brings along a large winter coat that he claims has saved many a bride’s life. Depending on the season, he says a bride might want to be wearing something warm underneath her dress. The couple should also bring a different set of shoes to walk in; a pair of white heals might look stunning in a photograph but it certainly isn’t built for trekking through an Icelandic field in winter.
Bragi stresses that couples marrying in Iceland should be open to anything. He remembers one wedding in the middle of winter were the wedding party was essentially snowed in. The roads to the city were closed due to a snowstorm but they managed to get everyone through the weather and to the ceremony in Oddi, a lovely little church in the countryside close to Hotel Rangá.
“We took most of the pictures in the church and then went straight back to the hotel, but I really wanted to get some pictures outside and they were up for it,” Bragi says.
He shot for 10 to 15 seconds at a time as the storm raged around them, and dressed the bride in the big winter coat in between shots.
“It was incredibly fun, they had a blast and the pictures were great! I got one that was just crazy, of her dress twirling up behind her in the wind.”
Such moments add character to the photographs and to the occasion itself, Bragi says.
“If people are getting married in crazy weather I always say: Now THIS is a day to remember!”