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  • Writer's pictureAlvis Pham

How to Photograph an Engagement Session in Iceland During the Winter

Iceland is truly the Mecca for wedding photographers. It's an adventure elopement in a winter wonderland for all the couples who love to travel! Its natural landscapes simply take your breath away and I really mean it. As soon as I drove out of the Airport in REYKJAVÍK I knew that I was in for an amazing adventure. From its Icy shores to its black sand beaches, there really is no other place like Iceland. If you ever get the chance too, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend going to Iceland. The images you get there will enhance your portfolio like no other! Who knows, maybe I'll come back here for my engagement photos whenever that day comes. Our trip lasted 7 days and we basically drove in one big circle around the entire country. However, be wary that many popular destinations are closed during the winter due to bad road conditions so please plan accordingly and check online before heading to that spot. In this blog, we'll go over how to travel to Iceland :

  • What equipment to bring

  • Tips and Hacks

  • What locations to stop by

Here's a link to our 7 day itinerary : Iceland Itinerary


Photography and Lighting :

Because we were moving around a lot, I wanted to travel as light as possible while not compromising in lighting. Here's a list of my camera gear and lighting equipment :

  • Sony A7III x 2 (As a wedding photographer ALWAYS bring a backup camera in case your main)

  • Sony Zeiss 16-35mm F4 lens

  • Sony G-Master 24-70 F2.8

  • Waterproof Camera Covers

  • Pelican 1510 Case (Fits carry on requirements for almost all airlines)

  • DJI Mavic Air

  • Godox AD200

  • Godox Xpro-S Trigger

  • Lightstand

  • Godox Softbox

  • DJI Ronin S

  • Lightweight Tripod

Basic Essentials

During the winter, Iceland temperatures ranges from cold to very cold. Temperature averages from 20F to 38F and this can feel even colder with the high winds. Also, the weather can change drastically! We endured a snow storm, rain, strong winds, then warm sunshine all in the same hour!

  • Thermals

  • Wool Sweater

  • Wool Socks (bring extra!)

  • Waterproof insulated pants

  • Beanie or ear covers

  • Windproof Jackets

  • Waterproof and insulated boots

  • Emergency Blankets

  • Hand warmers (these will save your life, your hands will get cold very quick when using a camera)

  • Waterproof Gloves

  • Backpack

  • First Aid Kit


  1. BUY MOST OF YOUR FOOD FOR THE TRIP AT THE COSTCO OR A NEARBY SUPERMARKET. When you begin to leave the city to go to the beautiful destinations in Iceland, restaurants and markets are far in between. You don't want to be 50 miles away from the nearest market when you run out of food. Another thing, restaurants are VERY expensive in Iceland. A quick meal at a fast food restaurant can easily run you $20 USD per person. It's best to stockpile all the food you are going to need at a wholesale market like Costco to save money.

  2. Hunting for Auroras? Drive out of the city to stay away from light pollution and look for clear skies. Whether or not you will see Auroras depends on the KP-index. To summarize, any KP-Index rating of 3+ means you will see a bright and vibrant aurora, any rating under 2 and you will barely see it. You can check KP index on tracking websites like .

  3. Stay at small hostels to save money. You can find the links to our accommodations in the itinerary.

  4. Go early in the morning to avoid crowds. I'd recommend going to popular spots before 9 a.m to avoid large crowds unless you want to spend hours editing people out of the background.

  5. Always have some hand warmers on you. When you're constantly taking off your gloves to use your camera or operate lighting equipment, your hands will get very cold very quick. I always had 1 hand warmer in each pocket to make sure my fingers stay warm.

  6. Photographing near a waterfall? One thing that you will learn very quickly when you're near a waterfall is that things can get very wet. Make sure to cover any sensitive equipment with waterproof covers/cases and to wear waterproof jackets. Also, the front of your lens will get wet due to the all water being kicked up by the wind. Keep your lens cap on until you are ready to begin taking photos otherwise you'll be spending the entire time trying to wipe all the water off your lens!


1. Kvernufoss Waterfall (YOU WILL GET WET, make sure to protect your cameras from water!)

Kvernufoss Waterfall Wedding Photo
Kvernufoss Waterfall

2. Skogafoss Waterfall

Skogafoss Waterfall Wedding Engagement Photo
Skogafoss Waterfall

3. Reynisdrangar

Reynisdrangar Wedding Engagement Photo

Reynisdrangar Wedding Engagement Photo

4. Solheimajokull Glacier

 Solheimajokull Glacier Wedding Engagement Photo
Solheimajokull Glacier

 Solheimajokull Glacier Wedding Engagement Photo
Solheimajokull Glacier

4. Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja Wedding Engagement Photos

5. Ice Caves (You'll need to book a tour, I'd recommend )

Keywords : Iceland, Iceland Wedding, Iceland Wedding Photographer, Iceland Engagement Photos, Iceland, California Wedding Photographer

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