Game Changer: Nordica

Every wedding photographer has one special image that has defined their careers and Lisa set out to ask a selection of those who have most influenced her to nominate their stand out shots for her monthly column in Professional Photo Magazine.


Following on from the storytelling of last weeks’ Game Changer, Ian Weldon, we replace reverential rawness with breathtaking cinematics from photographer duo Nordica. Jakob and Cole met at business school in 2007, connecting over spreadsheets and beer and, noteably – not photography. After the friends graduated, they built a case for what they wanted to do with their lives, deciding upon – ‘seeing the world, telling stories, and making people happy.’ And so – Nordica Photography was born.

Stylistically, Nordica believes that the best results come from ‘telling it like it is’. “Not just another pretty dress,” their front page proudly proclaims. “Your wedding is a personal story that we are there to document.” The art happens in recognising the moments when the setting, subject and mood are in sync and the real story unfolds naturally, without being contrived.

What’s particularly interesting about the pair’s journey as that rarely do they photograph weddings together, and yet the business is run as a team. In fact it wasn’t until 2013, some 6 years after the business’ inception, that the pair even lived on the same continent – Cole was working out of Canada, and Jakob, in Sweden, where the pair both now reside. “We were fully committed, from day one. It was ‘learn as much as we can’, anywhere anytime. The Winter Olympics, headshots, products, fashion, weddings – point, shoot and discover – it was all about honing the craft. No gig was too small.” The pair got their first wedding gig in 2010, and their first destination wedding shortly after in Mexico, 2011.

Being able to tackle two continents under the same brand made them a force majeure, and they were quickly named Rangefinder Magazine‘s Rising Stars of Photography in 2012, Scandinavian Wedding Photographer of the Year in 2014 and Junebug‘s World’s Best of the Best for four year’s running. Eager to pass on what they’ve learned, and with a keen business eye, Jakob and Cole hosted their first one-to-one pro workshop in 2011, and group workshop in the UK. In 2015, they founded the first wedding photography conference in Northern Europe – Way Up North, pulling together a stellar line-up of internationally renowned wedding shooters. They have dramatically changed the business side of being a wedding photographer, and we have much to be grateful to them, and everyone on my list, for. Let’s see what they have to say about their game changing photograph below.


“We had to think about this question for a bit and in the end settled on this image, which was taken in January 2013 of a Canadian couple who eloped in Bali with their family and friends. The location was Brahmavihara-Arama, a Buddhist Temple Monastery in the mountains near Lovina in North Bali. Up to that point we had done destination weddings in various places – Iceland, Mexico, Dominican Republic and son on – so we did have experience with travel. However, that exact moment at the temple was an entirely new level and we’ll never forget the feeling of being there. It was insanely hot, the sights and smells were all very different and we’d travelled on a rickety bus the entire day to get there. Amidst the chaos of the day we suddenly found ourselves in a completely surreal location filled with calm atop a mountain. It was an empowering feeling, and filled us with the confidence we needed to challenge Nordica to reach new heights.”