What an exciting month this has been!
Many months ago I got a mail from Australia. E & A, who had found me through the wpja.com, were wondering if I could be their photographer at their intimate wedding at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, 200m above the Polar Circle, in the north of Sweden.
They were looking for our photojournalistic approach that reflected their fun & happy personality and at the same time, captured the beautiful winter surroundings of the Ice Hotel, where E had spent some time working as trainee a couple of years ago. What a dream! Just my cup of tea!
We checked the weather and to our delight, it would be -34 C that week. Well, if you are shooting in the North Pole, let’s have North Pole weather, right?
Thankfully, the temperatures just reached -24 C that week, so we didn’t freeze as much as we thought we would. We succeeded planning their couple shoots for three hours and thanks to E’s amazing family, who came along with us with warm jackets, gloves and hats, we could ”uncover” them, take a picture, play a little, and then go back to covering them all over again!
When we got to Kiruna, we also noticed that everything was ”blue”. Really blue. Blue snow, blue people, blue everything. When we googled it, we learned that from December 15th to January 15th, a phenomena called ” The Blue Twilight” happens above the Polar Circle:
The blue hour
Around 1–2 o’clock in the afternoon, the residual light is reflected off the blue sea and the white snow, and the landscape is bathed in a glassy deep blue color. This wonderful blue stays with us as long as the snow covers the ground and there is twilight. However, the blue hour occurs a few minutes later every day during winter, as the sun gains strength.
The Blue was wonderful but not as wonderful for us photographers, as every single person looked like they had come out Avatar. Thanks to our research previous to our trip, we also learned that having our cameras’ WB on Kelvin degrees, we could fix the blue out of peoples’ skin, as well as using the flash at all times inside the Ice Hotel. For me who avoid as much as I can to use a flash, this was really an amazing learning experience, nothing better than a challenge to become better photographers!
E & A also decided not to have the wedding ceremony in the Ice Church, but inside the beautiful hall of the Ice Hotel.
Our groom surprised the bride by bringing her favorite Swedish artist to sing at the ceremony. Wow, how wonderful it was to see her reaction and to hear Jens Lekman sing a song he had composed specially to our cute Australians -January 15th (http://jenslekman.com/records/smalltalk.htm ). I looooove the lyrics! Please do note that there’s a little ”cloud” of smoke on every picture: their BREATH! ;-) As it’s -5 C inside the hotel, you can see everybody’s warm breath in every picture! ;-)
After the ceremony, the couple left for their nine month trip around the world before they go back home to Australia. Wow, what a couple, what an experience, what a wedding! We had soooo much in common that I’m sure I’ve made friends for life! ♥
Artists for the pictures below:
ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi. Boom av Wouter Biegelaar, Viktor Tsarski & Maurizio Perron
ART SUITE: Hot Type in a Cold Setting av John Bark & Charli Kasselbäck