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Ideas vs Reality - Photoshoot in Iceland: Waterfalls, Glaciers, Northern Lights, Ice Caves - Kat Deptula
elopement dress in front of waterfall in iceland on wedding day south iceland

Ideas vs Reality – Photoshoot in Iceland: Waterfalls, Glaciers, Northern Lights, Ice Caves

Part two of why some ideas for photoshoot in Iceland are just not worth exploring

In the first part of the series you can find more information about the two most popular locations for Icelandic elopement photoshoot: Reynisfjara – Black beach and Ice lagoon – Jökulsárlón. I believe they are both great locations, as long as we take the shots  in the right season, conditions good enough and with safety first in our minds.

In the second part of this short series, let’s focus on some things that immediately come to mind when you think about perfect photo opps in Iceland.

The Weather

May till August, max September – these are the best months for any Icelandic exploration if you want to have the best chance for maximum best effect. Even then, keep in mind, that Iceland is unpredictable. The weather conditions can be great one minute, and turn to extreme the next. Respect that and don’t underestimate how sudden this change can be.

Any location outside of Reykjavik has the potential of us not getting there because of the weather conditions. The further, the worse. Ice on the roads, severe winds, roadblocks and closed roads – these are not that uncommon for us here.

bride and groom with umbreallas by the waterfall in iceland


If someone tells you that driving conditions are poor and it’s better not to hit the road – then this is exactly how it is. It’s not just some locals overreacting. The decision is on you to drive through whatever Icelandic weather is that day and get stuck somewhere (or be pushed off the road by strong winds?).


smiling man in the heavy snow blak and white photo


The decision is also on me – if we have a session booked and I know that a second driver is needed just to get to the place, or that it is too dangerous to drive – please respect this. In the first case – the additional cost to hire someone is on you, should you decide to proceed with photo session on that particular day. In the latter, the session just needs to be rescheduled, if possible.

I’ll give you my best judgment of the situation before we go off to a location so you won’t not be blindsided if anything like this happens. And don’t worry, it doesn’t happen that often. But due to very specific weather conditions in Iceland – it is possible when booking photoshoot off season. Keep an eye on these websites: http://www.road.is/ https://www.vedur.is/ as they give you tons of useful info about what can you expect – weatherwise.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

This Southern gem is a perfect spot for Icelandic wedding photoshoot. Stunning rock formations, roughness of the landscape and amazing contrast we can achieve there while picturing a white gown against the raw scenery. It is best in the Summer when it’s surrounded by nothing but green grass and blue skies. Charming in the Winter too. But – it can be that the path leading there is not safe because of the weather, and the location itself is partially closed for visitors due to severe ice. Speaking from experience – getting some specific, dream shots can be just impossible in conditions like this. 

ndian couple in suit and golden dress looking at each other by waterfall in iceland

bride and groom cuddling in front of seljalandsfoss waerfall in inceland during the winter


Northern Lights

We’ve all seen the pictures… breathtaking colors against the dark skies, just too beautiful to turn your head away. In reality – a chance to see the Northern Skies in Iceland is like russian roulette game. One day you have a clear shot at it, the next it is gone. It can be gone on half an hour so hiring a professional photographer, paying by the hour for a session that will or will not happen – it’s a little questionable if you ask me.

There is no guarantee that you are going to see the Northern Lights at a specific day and time. Not to mention, let’s say, pictures in the night, on Reynisfjara black beach with the Northern Lights in the background… This idea is too dangerous to explore.


Glaciers and Ice Caves

I get asked this all the time and let me be very clear – there is no way to explore Icelandinc glaciers without a guide. You can’t go there on your own. Well… technically it is possible to attempt this on your own, but it is really not wise. You can’t expect a local photographer will take you to take some shots at the glacier because they live in Iceland.

I’m very open to the idea of a wedding photoshoot around the glacier or in the ice caves, but it has to be organized through a professional guide and it comes with an additional cost for you to cover my trip there. Why? This kind of trip is not as easy as getting under the Glacier, standing there wherever we want and taking a few shots that happen to be amazing. No.

She is kissing him in iceland


Even a simple act of standing under the glacier without professional guidance is dangerous. There’s falling ice, severe wind and generally a lot of occasions for something bad to happen. The Glaciers are constantly changing: they melt, they freeze, one cave can be hidden underneath the other. We can fall into it, we can break a leg, broken ice can fall on our heads… you get the picture.

After reading this you can think that there is no way you will ever safely explore ice caves or glaciers just by yourself… BUT – what if I tell you THERE IS one safe ice cave in Iceland and we can access it easily all year round? It’s a man-made cave in Perlan museum in Reykjavik. It is safe, and the price of admission is not as high as a day trip to real glacier. Just take a look at the amazing pictures below. Pretty nice, right?

I hope this article gives you a bit more understanding of why some Icelandic elopement photoshoot ideas are worth exploring – but only at the right time of the year or in the right weather conditions. I am here to suggest great alternative locations that are safe, beautiful, and will make your wedding photos look great. Let me know your ideas and together we can explore or extend your Icelandic elopement photoshoot locations.



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