In the famous words of Ned Stark: WINTER IS COMING! So I thought this would be the perfect time to highlight some winter destinations, specifically Lapland, Finland. During my time in Lapland I was able to partake in my first photo expedition, and it was a blast!
Photographing the Stunning Arctic Landscapes of Lapland, Finland
What is a Photography Expedition?
As someone who loves photography, I have always wanted to do a photo expedition. But honestly, I didn’t really even know what that meant. Is it like an on-site photography class? Well, yes and no.
This was my first (and hopefully first of many) photo expeditions, and from my experience it was more like a fun venture out to a photography lover’s dream landscape, and they help you with taking the photos when it comes to settings, technique, position, etc.
You have to have a basic knowledge of photography I think. I consider myself super amateur, and when people start talking about aperture and shutter speed I get a little anxiety. But this trip was perfect and because of the small group size, we got personalized attention, which was key!
Most the photos I featured in this article were shot with my Sony Alpha6000 with my 10-18mm wide angle lens that I’m obsessed with. I also used my GoPro and iPhone for a few shots.
Note: battery life is severely decreased in freezing weather so make sure to bring some extra batteries along!
Beyond Arctic Photography Expeditions
Beyond Arctic is a tiny Finnish company ran by 2 awesome guys, both named Juho! They personally lead all the expeditions themselves and work their butts off!
With Beyond Arctic, no 2 expeditions are the same! That’s because they have several different areas around which they can visit and tailor make the tour based on the groups wishes (& also based on weather).
Their expeditions have a max of 8 people, so the group always stays small and intimate. I had 2 others on my tour and we really got to know each other and it was really nice not having to be herded around in a large group.
Beyond Arctic also offer Northern Lights photography tours, ice fishing, skiing, and wilderness snowshoe adventures. They also offer summer and autumn expeditions, where you can experience and photograph the midnight sun!
What Kind of Clothes/Equipment Do You Need to Go on this Expedition?
Honestly, you can basically show up naked and they will dress you from head to toe. But please, if you do, wear underwear! But really, even if you don’t have the proper winter gear, it’s no problem at all, they will provide everything you need. They gave us hats, ski gloves, overall ski suit, waterproof boots, and a backpack to store all our stuff.
Photographing the Stunning Arctic Landscapes of Lapland, Finland: Where We Visited
We drove for about 2 hours to Riisitunturi National Park. We began our trek through the park up hill for about 1 hour, through the snowy forest, stopping frequently to take pictures and take in the views. The trek is 4.5 km and requires a moderate level of physical fitness.
The views from the top of the fell were incredible. You get a stunning 360-degree view of the national park and the nearby lake which was frozen, adding to the dramatic arctic landscape.
If you’re dreaming of a winter wonderland (which I was) this will for sure satisfy your needs!
We stopped at this cute little cabin base camp where we started a small fire and began to grill some lunch. We were provided with some yummy sausages and a grilled cheese sandwich.
I alerted them ahead of time of my allergy and they even made mine with gluten free bread. Oh, and they even had a gluten free apple cake made for me for dessert! I’m so not used to getting such goodies (with my past luck, the tour “forgets” about my allergy and I end up starving half the time).
The trek back down was a lot easier and quicker and the lighting was a bit better. The sun was starting to fall so there wasn’t any more glare or brightness blinding you.
It was very cold, but I felt bundled up enough. Overall, the trek wasn’t as bad as I thought, mainly because we kept stopping for photo ops.
After the tour, Beyond Arctic sent us some photos they took during the expedition, which was cool to see some candid shots. Here are a few Juho took below:
There’s me trying to get some good iPhone pics.
The view from the top of the fell where you can see the frozen lake.
Me looking satisfied (and bundled up) at the end of the tour. Can we do that again?♥
RECOMMENDED TRAVEL GEAR FOR LAPLAND:
1.Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!
2. Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. I use this lens more than the original and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.
3. E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.
4. Anker Portable Charger: this helps me recharge my iPhone several times a day when I travel. It also has dual ports so you can also charge your camera or other electronics simultaneously. I couldn’t travel without it.
5. GoPro Hero 11 Black: I am a proud GoPro ambassador and obsessed with GoPro selfie pics if you didn’t notice! The Gopro cameras are the best for action and underwater shots, and of course for taking those selfies when you’re traveling solo. It’s super small, compact, and easy to travel with. Plus it’s so much fun to use! 🙂
Tips: The one thing I will recommend if you do this tour is to bring sunglasses (wait, what, on a winter tour?). It’s actually really sunny and the wind at the top is no joke. My eyes were watering for like 30 minutes straight and I could barely see. Also, staring at the bleach white snow for hours on end can put a little strain on the eyes. Oh, and bring tissues. Your nose will be running.
If you enjoyed this, click photo to PIN for later♥
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Beyond Arctic; however, my opinions are my own and I am in no way obligated to write a positive review. This small company was awesome and I would highly recommend them to my family, friends, and fellow travellers. ♥
*this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t already use and love! ♥