Weighted down with heavy camera gear, I boarded the plane, not knowing what to expect when I landed, but excited to find out.  Iceland was even more wondrous than I could have imagined!  Whether it was the Icelandic horses I had gone there to photograph, the incredible landscapes, the wild birds, or the people themselves, everything was a dream come true for a photographer like me.  Here are just a few of my favorite images and experiences…  Enjoy!

Iceland is often referred to as a land of fire and ice; it has many volcanoes, and also has glaciers.  The landscapes are phenomenal.  Here is a bit of the ice…

Blue Ice

Yes, the ice really was that blue.  This was taken where the glacier begins to break off into huge pieces of ice which float out to sea.  This ice is actually moving at a fast clip, but is so large that it’s hard to tell.

As for the “fire,” I interpret that a little differently than most.  One evening late in the day, the setting sun illuminated the mane of a horse and it looked like a beautiful flame.

Icelandic mane like flame

There were many other spectacular landscapes and wildlife to photograph.  Here is an image of part of the very large Gullfoss waterfall.  While it was beautiful in the sunlight with the spray creating rainbows in the air, I stayed late into the evening and found myself drawn to the mysteriousness of the waterfall after the sunlight was hidden behind the cliffs.

gullfoss waterfall

There were also charming little towns with iconic red-roofed churches surrounded by fields of lupine and perched on hillsides, peeking through the fog.

church in Vik Iceland

There were many colorful and interesting birds to photograph, such as this oyster catcher sitting on a wall in a cemetery guarding her eggs hidden below.

oyster catcher bird on wall

And of course I tried to photograph the adorable puffins, but because they were nesting in protected areas, my only chance was from afar (note to self: start saving for a bigger zoom lens!).  They were sitting up in the cliffs at the beach, and there was barely any light at 11pm by which to photograph.  But I was happy merely to see them.

tic tac puffin

Of course, the real goal of my trip was to photograph the magnificent Icelandic horses.  They were a joy to watch and to be around and to ride: sociable, hard-working, charming, strong, and beautiful.

Icelandic stallion and mare Icelandic foal girls riding Icelandic horses on black sand beach Boticelli girl with Icelandic horse Icelandic horses running in water



  • Andrea Brandt - These are gorgeous! Iceland is at the top of my bucket list, and capturing the horses there in photos. I’m vicariously living through your post, lol! Would love to see more 🙂ReplyCancel

Register today for our 3-day photography and business workshop “Focus on Horses” to take advantage of the earlybird discount which expires soon. This small group intensive workshop runs September 18-20, 2015 in Castro Valley, California (San Francisco Bay Area) and will cover

  • Business Identity, Marketing, Branding, Pricing, and Best Practices
  • Portrait photography shoots of horses and models in real world settings (GREAT chance to build or add to your portfolio!)
  • Image editing, post-processing, and portfolio development/review

We also will have goodies and discounts for our attendees from some of our favorite vendors such as Bay Photo, Sticky Albums, ProPhoto, ThinkTank, Smugmug, and others.

For all the details and to register, click here.


Handsome Jeep lives on the property where we will have the workshop, and graciously modeled for me to test the location. Actually, he was more challenging than gracious, but that’s because he wanted to test my skills. 🙂

Dropping to my knees, slithering on my belly, running here and there in zig-zag fashion, all the while making strange noises, does draw a few strange looks from passerby.  I’m used to it:  I’m a pet photographer.

One of the difficulties of being a photographer is trying to carve out time to photograph my own loved ones.  Almost weekly, I find myself encouraging someone not to wait, yet I myself find it all too easy to say “Next week when I’m not so busy…”  But “next week” is always busy.   So on a recent trip from Placerville to San Francisco to meet with a dog training client, I decided to bring my own dogs, and my camera, and visit our old stomping grounds, and the best place on the planet:  Fort Funston.  I let the dogs simply romp and have fun, and didn’t try to pose them or control things in any way.  I watched, enjoying their enjoyment, and let the right moments, photographically speaking, find me.

Luna had to stop and rest many times, and watching her was a bittersweet:  a reminder of how precious our time together is, and how important it is to live in the moment with her, but also to preserve those moments regularly with photographs.  Vesta is in the prime of life, and can run forever, then still strike a pose like doggie supermodel!

siberian husky pet photography sacramento portrait blue sky

senior dog photography placerville

dog playing photography siberian husky dog photography  beach beach dog portrait photography dog photography beach ocean

I’m feverishly working on the final details for the Horse Photography & Business workshop I will be co-teaching with Suzon Murray of Fuzzywunkle, September 18-20, 2015 in Castro Valley, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area).   We will be covering business & marketing skills and information, editing & post-processing fundamentals, portfolio development and review, and of course we have lined up some great horses and models for multiple photoshoots.  Cost for this 3-day intensive workshop will be $1495, but if you sign up before June 15th, you will receive the Earlybird price of $1195.

If you’re interested in being added to the mailing list for more details or hear of special deals on photography workshops, please message me and/or sign up for my email list.

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Stay tuned for updates….  In the meantime, I leave you with this image I took last year at Return to Freedom wild horse sanctuary.   🙂

horse photography workshop inspiration wild horse sanctuary

A beautiful horse in the Shelton Herd at Return to Freedom wild horse sanctuary.

Whether it’s a purple toy, an enormous stick, or a treat in between poses, Ernie prefers to have something in his mouth most of the time.  Ernie is the quintessential labrador retriever puppy.  Our fun photography session involved playing games, fetching, training, hiking, and basically doing everything lab puppies like to do.  I was able to spend lots of time creating the perfect images from Ernie’s session which was an add-on to his 4-week Puppy Training Camp stay at Sierra Dogs in Placerville, California (Ernie lives in San Jose, California, but it’s not uncommon to have puppies from all over the San Francisco Bay Area come here for training and for photographs).  For more about session pricing, including boarding/training add-on specials, visit our photography pricing page.

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At the viewing session, the owner and I put together a package of products including a custom designed photo book, two large framed prints, a video slideshow, and a custom image sharing app to share with friends and family.  Here are a couple of the page spreads from his photo book:

custom pet photography products photo book

Sample page spread from Ernie’s custom photo book

custom pet photography products dog photo book el dorado hills

Sample page spread from Ernie’s custom photo book


And here is Ernie’s custom video slideshow documenting his photography session: