I honestly didn't know what I wanted to get out of my time with Don at first. I guess I wanted him to teach me tricks in Adobe Lightroom. And maybe some composition and lighting techniques. Little did I know that there was so much I didn't know. I'm now aware of a multitude of features on my camera that I never knew existed. But the most amazing part about my private workshop with him was getting to see an artist at work, first handedly.
We met when we were in college. Me, a typical college kid, who had no idea what I wanted in life. On the other hand, Don was a smart chemical engineering student that was loved by all and was already expressing his photography skills on the side. When we reunited, he hadn't changed much except for the fact that he had become this amazing artist/photographer/visionary, working out of Iceland. When Anthony and I decided to elope in Iceland, I asked Don if we could do a private workshop with a wedding photo shoot and he replied with enthusiasm. And I'm so glad he did, because the time we spent with him was golden, for both myself and Anthony.
Our adventure together started out with Don driving us to Volcano Huts, aka a nature lover's paradise. Nestled in the highlands of Iceland, we crossed 9 rivers to get there in his Land Rover Defender, the one with the scuba on it. Refilling our water bottles was as easy as letting them fill up in the stream. Surrounded by mountains and with no tourists in sight, it was the perfect location to be creative and to compose artistic scenes for our cameras. There were canyons, caves, and waterfalls everywhere we looked. Everything in the highlands was a stimulus for my eyes and hands. I could feel the stinging of the cold glacier water at my toes, and the bright green moss felt like thick bouncy carpet. The misty rain on the mountain tops looked like a soft layer of tulle, and the cave we climbed into had the most beautiful light that shown through like a spot light, perfect for taking portraits. Don also showed us around the mountains where the moss glowed neon and the desert was black. Being in the desert felt like being in an old black and white movie. But then I would look over at Don in his bright yellow rain jacket and realize it was real life.
Anthony enjoyed all of the waterfalls and the hikes, and I enjoyed my time learning about composition, camera settings, and finding the best light from Don. It was truly inspiring being around someone with so many ideas and creative energy. If anyone is going to Iceland during the summer months, I highly recommend doing a workshop with him. You'll learn a lot of camera techniques and will go home feeling inspired and motivated to create art, not just documenting every day life. Check out his website here, and his Instagram here.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll talk about our ceremony! Down below are the photos I took during my trip, using the techniques I learned from Don in taking the photo and also in editing. Aren't they way better!?
(above picture composed and edited by Don, the mastermind.)