Taking photos of dogs in Iceland

Iceland, the land of fire and ice

« Iceland is an island country in Northern Europe in the Atlantic Ocean. Geographically closer to the American continent due to its proximity to Greenland, the country is culturally and historically linked to Europe. More than 10% of the island consists of glaciers ». Iceland is full of mystery and fabulous scenery, there is so much to see that a single two-week trip was far too short. Between waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, Iceland is extraordinarily diverse. In this article I would like to take you on a journey to one of the most fascinating Nordic countries.

I’ve journeyed to Iceland twice, in 2020 and 2023. During my initial solo trip, I explored only the south, and on the second visit, we traversed the entire country with a few friends. Both experiences were truly fantastic.

Gljúfrafoss & Seljalandsfoss

This waterfall has been my favourite since the beginning. It is located right next to the very popular Seljalandsfoss, hidden in a canyon. It is unique, the light inside is magical thanks to the large opening in the rock. It was essential for me to choose a light coloured dog to take a picture inside, so my choice was for this splendid White Swiss Shepherd. Later in the evening, an Icelandic Sheep Dog joined us to continue the shooting at sunset.

Rauðhólar « The Red Hills »

« The Rauðhólar is located in the lava fields of Elliðaárhraun, part of the Heiðmörk Nature Reserve. The craters are estimated to be 5200 years old, giving visitors an idea of the geological composition of the area. The name of this feature, of course, comes from the dark brown colour of the rock ». I had a very clear idea when I went there, this reddish rock is covered with very dense moss in some places. I was lucky enough to meet Olga, the beautiful Poodle.

Hidden red volcanoes

A bit further northwest, you’ll discover stunning volcanoes adorned with vibrant red rock. This time, our models were the incredible Afghans from Mystic Glow Kennel, and they truly impressed with their performance! Following the shoot, we indulged in a refreshing dip in the extraordinary hot springs just 15 minutes away from this location.

The famous Icelandic waterfall: Skógafoss

« Skógafoss » is a waterfall located on the Skógá River in the small village of Skógar in the south of Iceland. The river Skógá flows from its cliffs and falls 62 metres forming a waterfall some 25 metres wide. The waterfall is one of the most famous and most visited waterfalls in the country ». On that day the river level had doubled after consecutive rainy days, so the waterfall was twice as powerful as usual. Tyra, the horse breeder’s dog, joined us for a shoot with two other dogs. A breathtaking show. This photo is one of my favourites from the trip, I love the special strength that comes out of it.

Dogs of Iceland Audrey Bellot Dog Photography Workshop Portraits of Dogs and Art

Unexpected atmospheres at the glacier

Just after Skógafoss, I headed towards this glacier located about fifteen minutes from the waterfall to meet Atlas, a Samoyed full of energy. A cloud was stuck above us, a fine rain kept falling, creating a constant fog. But it was to my great surprise that the setting sun brought out all this mist in the sky, creating flamboyant, almost unreal colours.

In my 2023 travel, I explored the glacier once again. I ventured deeper into the glacier and encountered a captivating ice formation, seizing the moment with my gorgeous Malamute model.

The Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara

« The beach is distinguished by the geological formations that enamel it. When you arrive, your gaze will inevitably be drawn to the Reynisfjall, the mountain whose feet drop into the sea in the form of basalt columns with a peculiar appearance: columns of square formation evoke, to a certain extent, the stacked stones of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. This is a true work of natural art, which will surely inspire the most creative minds ».

This place was the last of my first Icelandic journey. A beautiful sunset was in the offing, and two splendid Huskies as models. It was freezing cold, I waited for the sun to set completely to enjoy the extremely soft light of dusk. On my second visit, I captured a White Swiss Shepherd on the basalt columns, showcasing a unique and original movement.

Hidden lava cave

Here is an image from Iceland, captured in a place you may not have heard of: Grjótagjá. This cave is one of the most challenging locations I’ve ever photographed a dog in. While traversing the entire country, we paused in the northeast to explore beautiful locations like this geothermal lava cave, historically used for bathing due to its hot waters.

Entering was no easy feat; the areas where one could stand were very limited, with just two entrances providing opportunities for photography. Our model displayed remarkable courage, adapting beautifully to this unconventional environment. Inside the cave, gusts of wind stirred, and the steam obscured my view of the subject in the distance. I’m grateful that Bosì could stay on the rock undisturbed for a few moments, allowing the wind to settle, enabling a clearer shot.

a beautiful sunrise at Stokksnes

On our last trip to Iceland, we shared a sunrise at Stokksnes, a place that no longer needs introduction. In this moment, the tender caress of the power of now effloresces within me, reminding me somewhat of the breathtaking meaning of stillness. This place has given me the exquisite sensation of plenitude.

I hope to be able to see this country again soon, this experience has taught me a lot. It was not only to discover a new place, but also to question myself, and not only as a photographer. I went there alone, some of my friends know how scared I am of airports. But you know what? It was worth it. I had a wonderful time discovering the south coast with extraordinary dogs and their owners.

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