March 23, 2011
I’ve always had a vested passion about Iceland.
My dad’s side of my family is from there. From the bits and pieces of family history I absorbed growing up, my great grandparents moved to Gimli, Manitoba from Akureyri way back in the day.
My great grandparents were awesome people, and having only really met them when I was quite young, there are only a few nuggets that really come to mind when I think of them. I remember my great grandpa being a badass – he’d eat live prawns right out of the traps and all the pictures I have of him he’s got a dead fish in his hands. My great grandma was a cool lady too, and I remember she pretty much only spoke Icelandic so our conversations were always to the point. They were incredibly unique and always interesting to be around.
Because of them, I became obsessively interested with finding out more about where they came from, and what Iceland is like. As I grew up, I always checked out news from Iceland (in English), listened to Icelandic tunes and tried to learn as much as possible about this place. Learning from afar, I’ve got to the point where I could rock out an Icelandic trivia game without much trouble.
But I’ve never been there, and it’s been driving me nuts for years. For a fist-full of reasons, its simply never happened.
Fast-forward to where I am today, working as a wedding photographer, where every single opportunity in the world is at your fingertips. Literally. Since working alongside Jakob, I’ve developed the belief that anything in this industry is obtainable if you give your ideas a bit of life. Think big, dream big, and make it happen.
So last January, I was flying home from Sweden via Iceland. I was in Sweden over the holidays with Therese, my lovely girlfriend, and this was as close as I had ever come to Iceland. Even flying over the country, I was stoked.
From the plane, I took a boatload of pictures and was surely driving everyone on the quiet flight crazy with my click-click-clicking. But I had a plan in mind for what I was going to do with the pictures, and my silly little strategy was to use these pictures to try and book a wedding in Iceland.
Easy enough right?
With these pictures, I made the most shameless SEO post of all time on my personal blog. I injected the post full of terms like Iceland Wedding Photographer, Island Gifting Ljsmyndari, Reykjavik Wedding Photographer, and linked everything back to the Nordica site.
The goal with the post was simple: If anyone Googled Iceland Wedding Photographer, they would find the post.
In a perfect world, whoever would have Googled that would beÂ planning a wedding in Iceland, they would realize how passionate I was about doing a wedding there, and this would lead them to the work Jakob and I do with Nordica. It was a long shot, but thatâ€™s what I did.
So a little over a month ago, this popped up in my inbox while I was eating Kraft Dinner on a lazy afternoon:
Cole’s experiment worked, because when I typed in “Iceland wedding photographer” his post was one of the first links! My fiancé and I are getting married at the gorgeous Hotel Budir this summer and are looking for a wonderful photographer. Glancing through your portfolio, I can tell that you have amazing eyes fro capturing the mood, moments, and details. Â I wanted to see if shooting a wedding in Iceland would be possible.
If anyone would have seen my reaction when I read this, they would have thought I was a madman.
My heart was racing. I was freaking out. Kraft Dinner was flying all over the place. I was listening to an Icelandic station at the time (XIÐ 97,7 – it’s awesome) and the loudest, strangest Icelandic rave music was absolutely pounding in my flat, so the whole situation was very odd. Exciting for me, but if anyone would have seen this scene shake done, yeah… they’d think I was bananas.
But it worked.
It’s crazy to even type that, but that silly – yet serious – blog post worked.
After emailing back and forth a few times with the couple, they booked us. I still can’t believe it, but Jakob and I are both going to Iceland and we’re photographing a wedding there.
The icing on the cake is the couple is perfect for us in every way and it would be difficult to envision a better fit for Nordica. They are getting married there because his family comes from Canada and hers from Sweden, so Iceland (which is where they fell in love) is halfway for both families.
Jakob and I thank our lucky stars to be as fortunate as we are to do what we do.
For me personally, this wedding is full-filling something I’ve wanted to do since I was a young lad, and I have nothing but good fortune and the best job in the world to thank for it. Hopefully this won’t be the last wedding we do there.