It’s not that easy to find the perfect photographer for your romantic Iceland photoshoot if you don’t live in Iceland. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Because we already have! If you are in need of a photographer in Iceland, I highly, highly recommend Gunnar Jónatansson. Not only is he a talented photographer, but he and his wife Rósa took us on a fantastic tour of some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. And if you’re wondering why the quality of photos on my blog has suddenly improved so drastically, it’s because all the photos in this post are courtesy of Gunnar.
Foss means waterfall in Icelandic. There are thousands of waterfalls in Iceland, and dozens if not hundreds of them have been officially named. I admit that I cannot keep even the few most famous ones straight, although every single one I saw during our trip was spectacularly beautiful. We had originally told Gunnar we wanted to take photos at Skógafoss. Mostly because it was a big waterfall that we’d heard of in Iceland. But when he suggested a different spot that was beautiful, much less crowded, and a Game of Thrones site to boot, we were sold. The only catch was that it wasn’t accessible without a 4-wheel drive vehicle. But that was no problem, since Gunnar said he would take us on his. We met him and Rósa at a community centre near where the roads would become impassable for our little rental Fiat. Our first stop was a gorgeous view of Mount Hekla across the valley.
Then we went down into a tiny valley dominated by the lovely Hjálparfoss.
Where we didn’t have to resort to a kissing selfie, because, hello! Professional photographer.
Our next stop was a piece out of Iceland’s history: a several hundred year old Viking settlement called Stöng.
From there, Gunnar went by road with the car while Rosa, Tony and I took a beautiful little hike to our photo shoot destination: an oasis-like Shangri-la that would be easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it: Gjáin.
In Game of Thrones nerdery, this is where Arya and the Hound have a rest and an argument in Season 4, Episode 5. The scene Gunnar filmed for us there was considerably more romantic.
And the place is unbelievably beautiful.
It’s filled with little waterfalls and moss, and everything is all contained within a rocky valley.
It’s amazing. And I can’t think of a more perfect place to celebrate our love.
You can’t tell because of Gunnar’s clever photography, of course, but there were some other people also visiting Gjáin that day. Very few compared to the numbers of tourists we saw at on the more well-worn tourist tracks, but I imagine we did end up as an entry in the Iceland photo album of a number of random tourists.
I myself also always love seeing wedding parties in exotic locations.
I changed into my dress behind a clump of bushes–it felt like something out of a novel. Or at least a Shakespeare play.
The whole thing was a magical experience, and we couldn’t love our photos more!
Of course at the end we had to fill our water bottles from the crystal clear Icelandic spring water. After the photo shoot we trekked back up to the car with the fancy clothes, and then Gunnar and Rósa took us to a huge waterfall called Hálfoss, where I almost had a heart attack when he stood on a rocky outcropping to get what, to be fair, was an incredible photo of the waterfall.
We finished up at another Game of Thrones site, a 1974 recreation of the Stöng settlement house, complete with sod on the roof.
It just so happened that a Game of Thrones tour was also visiting, and they let us borrow a photo to pose in front of the site of a particularly gruesome Game of Thrones scene I’ll refrain from describing here.
It’s actually a tiny little Viking church.
The next day, Gunnar and Rósa sent us this wonderful video they had created documenting the day.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime day, and one we will remember forever. We can’t wait to get some of these photos printed and hanging on the wall! And in case you happen to be going to Iceland and in need of a photographer, here’s Gunnar’s Facebook page.