“Please don’t rain” was my mantra on our second day in Iceland. We were on our way to Reynisfjara from Skógafoss, where it had just been drizzling. Our engagement session was less than two hours away, and I could deal with the cold and wind, but NO RAIN!
When we approached the world famous, black sand beach of Reynisfjara, the rain had subsided and exposed a beautiful blue sky. We explored the beach by yourselves for an hour, admired the tiny beach sand pebbles, and then decided to get all dolled up for our photoshoot. Being only about 40 degrees and windy outside, everyone was dressed in their winter jackets, gloves and scarves, but not us. I was sporting my royal blue rain boots, which were hidden under my flowy, purple Lulus dress. Max wore his new blazer and chino pants, looking like he just jumped out of a Banana Republic catalog.
Our session was amazing! First off, our photographer, Michalina with Reykjavikphoto, was amazing. I credit all the photos on this blog post to her! Her artistry and passion are shown in her magnificent work. I had “met” her on an Iceland Facebook group months prior and fell in love with her photos. As soon as we got engaged, I messaged to her set up an engagement session while we visited Iceland.
We started our session on the far East end of the beach near Reynisdrangar. According to local Icelandic folklore, the large basalt formations that make up Reynisdrangar were once trolls trying to pull ships from the ocean to shore. However, one night these trolls went out too late and dawn broke on the horizon, turning the trolls into solid stone. These stones are a landmark for the nearby town of Vik, and have been seen in shows like Game of Thrones.
We also found out during our visit that Reynisfjara is Iceland’s deadliest beach. Many people have unfortunately lost their lives simply standing on the black sand. There are no significant landmasses in between Antarctica and the shores of Reynisfjara, meaning the waves have thousands of miles of build, and the sneaker waves can be, well, sneaky. A sneaker wave is much larger than the others and can sneak up far onto the beach. They can travel past the basalt columns, which when you’re standing on the beach would seem impossible. They happen arbitrarily and once you are sucked into the icy water, the rip current will take you away. With that being said, there are numerous warning signs advising visitors to never turn their back to the waves. Luckily, we had Michalina to be our eyes and watch for sneaky waves for us. We did get a chance to see some in action though, and I thought they did have a beauty about them. Being able to watch sneaker waves wash away all the tourist footprints again and again, making the beach seem like untouched earth, was humbling.
We were almost done with our session when something magical happened. We had finally made our way back to the basalt columns by the entrance of the beach and it started to rain. Iceland’s weather is unpredictable, so even though it was sunny and drizzling, the day could get stormy quick. So we hurried to get a few shots on the basalt columns before we got rained out, but to our surprise the rain suddenly stopped after 5 short minutes. We peered around the columns to see an incredible rainbow arching over the beach, right next to us. Now if that isn’t a picture perfect moment I don’t know what is.
* These spectacular photographs are taken by the very talented, Michalina Okręglicka with Reykjavikphoto. Thank you for capturing this extraordinary moment for us! <3