Photographing A Wedding Couple Inside an Icelandic Waterfall – Image of the Week #454

Are you looking for tips for photographing a wedding couple inside an Icelandic waterfall? The backstory behind this remarkable image, captured by Icelandic photographer Bettina Vass, is nothing short of fascinating. It is a testament to her unwavering commitment to ensuring that her eloping couple embarked on an epic adventure.

While it’s not uncommon to see wedding couples posing against the backdrop of Iceland’s incredible waterfalls, what sets this image apart is the perspective: the couple and the photographer are immersed within the waterfall itself. It’s a view that takes the drama and grandeur to new heights, a unique vantage point that’s not been explored so much.

The technical challenges that must have accompanied this daring endeavour are not to be underestimated. Achieving the perfect positioning of the couple and nailing the exposure amidst the backlit water curtain is no small feat.

One key advantage in the realm of adventure elopements is local insider knowledge. Photographers who possess an intimate understanding of the area gain a significant edge in delivering unparalleled experiences to their clients. In this case, the couple undoubtedly returned home with a heck of a story from their extraordinary day.

Bettina Vass’s work here epitomises the spirit of adventure elopements – it’s not just about capturing the events; it’s about crafting unforgettable experiences for couples. This image stands as a testament to the boundless possibilities when an adventurous photographer and a daring couple unite in the pursuit of the extraordinary.

Canon R6 | RF 16mm 2.8
ISO 12.8 | F/4.6 | 1/8000
Archipelago (tweaked)

What Bettina said…

This photo was captured at the final location of a full-day adventure elopement in Iceland. We were fortunate to have a beautiful, sunny day, and I intentionally extended our schedule because I knew this specific location would captivate the couple. I calculated that the sun would be perfectly positioned if we arrived later than initially planned.

The setting is a semi-open cave with a waterfall cascading into it. Upon reaching the mouth of the cave, I noticed that a considerable stream was flowing out of it. This required me to quickly decide which two lenses to use, as I wouldn’t be able to switch lenses once inside due to the waterfall’s spray. I decided on a 16mm lens for wide shots and a 35mm macro lens for a broader perspective, as well as potential close-ups. I also stuffed cleaning cloths into every pocket I had.

To approach the waterfall, one either had to walk through the water or carefully balance on stones. This was my second visit to this location, and during my first trip, I had calculated how the sun would position itself at sunset on this particular day. The cave interior was incredibly wet, making photography quite challenging. My cameras were instantly drenched, but when the couple turned around, I noticed the glowing light juxtaposed against the water. I positioned them in the centre of the frame, facing the challenges of constant lens cleaning and loud waterfall noises that made communication nearly impossible.

Photographing A Wedding Couple Inside an Icelandic Waterfall

Despite the hurdles—such as getting soaked and contending with the cold – the couple was wonderfully cooperative. After almost 12 hours together, they had come to understand my body language and knew exactly what I was looking for. The end result was nothing short of magical, making all the difficulties well worth it.

After concluding our day-long adventure, the bride opted for the only dry clothing item she had left – a poncho. Underneath it, she wore nothing, as all her other clothes had gotten completely soaked. As for me, I had to change out of my drenched clothing at the first gas station I encountered, given that I still had a two-hour drive back home.

It was an incredible day and what a finish with epic photos.

The Tech Talk

– Location and Timing: Scouting the perfect location for my couple’s specific needs is a huge part of my job. I always recommend scouting locations in person or, if that’s not possible, using Google Maps to get a feel for the area.

– Lens Choice: Knowing your lenses and gear intimately can make or break a shot, especially in challenging conditions.

– Communication: Creating a safe and comfortable environment for the couple is crucial, especially when you’re spending a whole day or multiple days together.

– Don’t be scared of high ISO. Sometimes you have to push it