Iceland Wedding Photography : Nichola & Marcus

I imagine an artist’s palette daubed with splashes and whirls of paint, spreads of white and spreads of black, an expanse of blue; green, greens, multifarious hues of green, dotted and striated and folded one into another and through and into colours other. Ochre, yellows, browns, oranges and reds; colours of the sky, colours of the sea, colours of the land and that which lays beneath. Then I picture Iceland and I see an artist’s palette; an artist’s palette on a grand, grand scale. Further, I picture Nichola & Marcus, she wearing a gown of snow and he wearing a suit of black volcanic ash and I see them smile like the sky and roar with laughter like the sea breaking on the shore, in their element, part of the elements.

We went somewhere really quite magical, they to make married and I, with my daughter, to see and tell as best we possibly might, all.

I’d known Nichola for a good number of years. Once upon a time she had been a student of mine and in her final year of studies, she asked if she might assist me on a wedding shoot. We worked together on two weddings, ultimately, and her work was fantastic, her way with people equally so. After graduating she worked as an animator in the realm of children’s television for several months, her own business as a wedding photographer quickly sky-rocketing so she moved full time into that realm. Something of a human dynamo, effervescent in nature with a capacity for deep reflection, Nichola has always been great to work with, now to work for, to share an adventure with. I didn’t meet Marcus himself until we were all in Iceland at the same time, though I recognised him well from all the photographs that Nichola had taken of him, or had taken with the two of them featured side by side. He had proposed to Nichola in Iceland a year before their return to the country to marry. I saw photographs and video of the proposal and their surrounding travels which had triggered in me a compulsion to visit the place myself. I found Marcus unshakeably likeable from the off, someone of discernible inner substance with a markedly healthy appreciation of others, someone that I sensed strongly wanted to do good. I enjoyed every moment of observing and photographing the path he and Nichola shared on this particular leg of their journey together.

Surrounding, underscoring, indeed permeating the wedding itself, Iceland left a profound mark on me. I’ve reflected in more depth on my reactions to the place in a separate blog post. I’ll be back to absorb its environment yet more. I photographed the wedding with my daughter, Amelia, and was so impressed with the work that she produced, I gave her a blog post of her own. This is my take on the story of Nichola & Marcus’s Icelandic wedding…

I spy…

… a troll? :~)…

Nichola & Marcus chose the enigmatic black church at Búdir as the stage for their marriage; a glimpse of it for now, much more of it in due course. Nichola had dreamt of a setting covered in snow, as indeed had Amelia and I, and being February very much expected such to be the case but… we all know the changes that are afoot. Nonetheless I still found enormous beauty in the landscape. I imagined a wedding in a setting befitting of the elemental romance of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

Nichola and her family spent the night before the wedding in a nearby hamlet nestled amidst ancient lava flows…

Amelia and I were greeted by Nichola’s grandfather, a particularly warm-hearted soul with a great sense of humour and an enormous propensity for conviviality. It was a great pleasure spending time in his company…

When building a home for human habitation, the least that one can do is provide a home for the ones that we might not see…

Picture this as a view at the end of a garden, which is indeed what it is…

I would usually avoid trying to explain why I might have felt compelled to make an image and subsequently why I felt compelled to include it in a broader narrative presentation – I’m more inclined to feel, if it resonates with others then it resonates with others; if not then there are plenty elsewhere – but sometimes I intrigue myself, then rationalise it all quickly enough. Here I was in a landscape that in this narrow detail I recognised from elsewhere but in the broader picture, as exotic as the most exotic I’ve contemplated, and then… a rotary washing line; incongruous in the extreme yet not so, not incongruous in the slightest. Pardon me, anyway :~)…

Nichola and her sisters do work utterly perfectly as a team…

Amelia did such a grand job, the commensurate professional, she worked seamlessly around me and it was only from time to time that I deliberately framed her within an image to serve as a record of the job that she did. I could have related in full the story of Nichola & Marcus’s wedding day without her once intruding upon the scene but then, she was no intruder but was an important part of the story-telling mission – and thus the story – herself :~)…

“Remember I’m behind you Nichola, and I’ll always be behind you.” :~)…

Pastor Páll Ágúst Ólafsson, Parish Priest at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland. Nichola & Marcus had not met Páll in person before their arrival at Budír Church. They had been in contact with him via email in the lead up to their return to Iceland to marry. Everyone though felt as though they had known him forever – a friend to all – immediately upon meeting him…

Marcus and three brothers; three best men…

Let it be noted that Nichola is never, ever late, when she’s photographing a wedding herself :~)…

Final touches of make-up self-applied on the sometimes bumpy drive across the hills (for those of us accustomed to driving on the left hand side of the road, do note that Nichola is in the passenger seat in this case! :~)…

The ceremony conducted by Páll could not have felt more personal had he actually known Nichola & Marcus in person for a great many years. It all made for a deeply meaningful celebration of the act of marriage.

Og voila! Til hamingju Nichola & Marcus!

(I’m so hoping that Google Translate is on my side! :”~)

Tourists flocked from the corners of the Earth to observe Nichola & Marcus exit the church as newly-weds…

The party adjourned to the nearby Hotel Budír for a celebratory warm-up.

I wondered what Marcus could see through the telescope. Maybe the place that we would meet again, some days hence.

A year earlier, Nichola & Marcus had travelled to Iceland with a small group of wedding photographers and videographers. Marcus had planned to propose to Nichola at some point during that trip and the perfect opportunity was engineered when the two served as models for a staged couple’s portrait shoot, the act being beautifully captured in images both still and moving. Most of the way across the South Coast of the island from the church they married at, we made plans to meet again a couple of days later at Jökulsárlón to do a portrait shoot at the exact same spot upon which Marcus had dropped to one knee.

Amelia and I stayed at a hotel just a half hour’s drive along the coastal road. Nichola & Marcus and their entourage had something of a longer drive (two and a half hours!) in the dark of night to make it to Jökulsárlón for the first light of day.

It rained the whole time we were there. They both got drenched. I was impressed by their fortitude (they were both absolutely brilliant)!

Nichola changed in to her wedding dress in the onsite conveniences :~)…

Congratulations were called out from all around…

Laughing like snow and volcanic ash. Manifestations of great joy in life. Expressions I’ll always associate with Nichola & Marcus…

Two of the very best wedding photographers that I know :~)…

We set off West a while for some more portraits in front of a glacial mountain-scape. Nichola ran the whole way…

Congratulations Nichola & Marcus, from both myself and from Amelia! We lay the blame on you for fomenting our addiction to Iceland (we’ve already booked everything to return there later this year) and thank you for that in equal measure! I’ll be back soon to relate the story of your London wedding.

Contact Iceland Wedding Photographer Phillip Allen : phill@misterphill.com