Digital Nomad Marketing Expert Brand Photoshoot in Iceland
Brand shoot spotlight on Sally Howard from 49 North Digital.
Meet Sally – traveler turned marketing expert! She spent most of her twenties globetrotting and is all about living life to the fullest and cherishing experiences over material possessions. When she's out exploring the world, she feels like the richest person on earth.
During her travels, Sally couldn't help but get drawn to those cool "digital nomads." She'd be like, "OMG, I wish I could do that too, they're so lucky!" But she didn't just daydream about it – she decided to start her own travel blog. And man, did she dive into marketing and SEO stuff to get that blog noticed! She wanted traffic, she wanted eyes on her content, and she wanted to monetize like a pro. Sally even sold her travel videos to some big-shot brands!
Life took a twist when her partner and she split while they were chilling in Vancouver, BC. But Sally wasn't ready to bail just yet. As her visa was nearing its end, she started freelance content writing gigs for extra cash. Smart move, 'cause she used her blog as a sweet portfolio.
Vancouver became her special place. And that's how "49 North Digital" came to life – named after the latitude of Van City, of course.
Now, Sally's the ultimate marketing maverick. Sure, the writing's great, but she's a total generalist and gets bored doing the same thing over and over. She's all about that full-stack marketing life! A year and a half ago, she transformed her personal brand into a "marketing expert!"
But you know what really lights her fire? Helping people build their online businesses and thrive doing what they love. Sally believes asking for time off is for suckers, and she's living proof that you can craft your dream life by owning your business. She's on a mission to show everyone what's possible when they go all in.
So when the opportunity to plan her brand shoot in Iceland came about, she knew it would be a fantastic fit and got to work making it happen. She wanted to put an end to using stock images on her website in favor of having more non-selfie photos. The goal was professional slash approachable (which is truly where most brands intersect - it's a common and important goal!).
With the goal of a million-pound business that would allow for the purchase of her dream traveling camper van, and custom-built house (and maybe even a second one), we set out to craft a shoot that screams both luxury and outdoorsy. Sally's mountain motif crops up all over her extremely recognizable branding so we wanted to get creative while staying well within the themes, colors, and pillars.
Soooo...how did we build the ultimate brand shoot (in Iceland!) to convey the two sides of Sally's luxury and outdoorsy brand?
Goal-focused - one of the tasks I set for Sally is to figure out before the shoot was what she wanted to say, as well as the names of her offers, and upcoming launches. I ask all my clients this but since the mountain motif and wordplay (one of my fave things!) are strong in her messaging I wanted to make sure we were arriving in Iceland with a clear plan of attack to make sure we were creating MEANINGFUL content that would be extremely relevant in marketing her marketing business. And we wanted to cover as much ground as possible without missing anything...all while not tiring ourselves out too much! Some of the wordplay and offers we played off were (you'll have to give her a follow to see how she works them into her offers and marketing strategy:
ice cold leads
Boujee rental - I always recommend that my clients start their shoot with a gorgeous rental that portrays the energy that will call in the clients they want to work with. It's great for getting a wide variety of shots and keeps us shooting regardless of the weather! The particular house that Sally found (Oak House) was practically pulled right from her vision board - full windows, forest views, and even had its own hot tub and sauna. It was perfect for getting a huge range of images from coffee pouring in the kitchen, to chilling and prosecco popping on the deck, to floor and couch working, and more! We got sooo many great shots!
Music - we had spotify take the reins with a playlist built off of Daft Punk and it was so great, keeping the energy high on our first shoot day. The rest of the days were energized by excitement, adventure, and noodles!
Days - multiple shoot days allowed us to capture different facets of her brand, resulting in a HUGE variety of images, without sacrifice, which is not always possible on a shorter shoot. See the schedule below/
Merge the two sides - we are allowed to be multiple things. We can be luxurious AND adventurous and that's how we represented Sally's brand. We incorporated the tent-toting hiker vibes along with the heels-wearing professional side, making sure that everything we captured was geared toward expressing her brand's voice, energy, and appeal. She even went and had a cute tin mug created with her logo!
Our Iceland Brand Photoshoot Schedule
Day 1 - met at Blue Lagoon for a quick cafe lunch then headed to the Oak House in Mosfellsbær to settle in and take naps before we started shooting around 6 through to about 10 pm, capturing loads of elevated digital nomad shots, ending with a glass of prosecco and soak in the hot tub barrel! Had the BEST night's sleep in our gorgeous boujee bedrooms.
Day 2 - Sally hosted an IG live as part of her Get Found on Google launch in the morning while I packed up the car and got some last-minute images of her speaking through that plus a few more shots in the lounge without the evening sun streaming in. We popped over to the Reykjadalur Cafe at the base of the hike to the thermal hot springs for some remote working shots while we both caught up with some laptop work and had some foodies before hitting the road to Vik where we would enjoy some mediocre black crust pizzas and camp along the route to set off the next morning.
Day 3 - this was our biggest day! Our first stop on day three was Svartifoss - a gorgeous basalt column waterfall within Vatnajökull National Park. The 35-minute hike was well worth the amazing view while we grabbed shots around the area. Along the way to Jökulsárlón (AKA Glacier Lagoon) we stopped for some open road shots with the map and Jeep to the backdrop of the epic Vatnajökull Glacier. Before heading across to Diamond Beach, we boiled up some noodles for the perfect parking lot dinner. We kept at it and drove all the way to Vestrahorn for some incredible golden hour tide flat photos. We even set up Sally's tent and got out her pack to create hiking images that showcased the digital nomad lifestyle. Somehow Sally managed to drive all the way back to the national park for us to camp - luckily we had plenty of daylight left to setup around midnight!
Day 4 - our final shoot day had us pulling over randomly to catch some shots of Sally on the open road wearing her Louboutins and in contrast working at a picnic table with her messy bun. We made it back to Reynisfjara, Vik's black sand beach where we got some shots in the waves and in the back of the Jeep. The lava rocks were so warm in the sun! I was such a happy little lizard. Then our final two stops were Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, two of Iceland's most breathtaking waterfalls! They were absolutely stunning, giving us loads of energy to finish our drive back toward Keflavik (seeing the smoking volcano along the way) for our final airport before flying out the next morning!
It was a PACKED itinerary with lots of time on the road but wow did we get so much great content for Sally!
We had separate bookings and ended up same row across the aisle from each other!
So here's to Sally, the marketing maverick with a passionate heart for adventure and entrepreneurship. Sally has the goal of getting 10,000 female business owners onto page one of google so if visiblity in your marketing is something you struggle with, make sure to reach out soon!
Have a scroll through to see how we brought Sally's Icelandic brand shoot to life! You can find Sally and check out her products and services online here:
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Summer Iceland Brand Shoot Pros and Cons
LOTS of daylight. The sun barely sets each night so we had lots of golden/blue hour possibilities
Weather was lovely and crisp - lots of sun but never sweaty hot!
Because of all the daylight, we got to shoot in LOTS of places that were quite far from each other
SOOO many vistas to capture - glaciers, open roads, horses, waterfalls, icebergs, beaches, galore!
LOTS of daylight. The sun barely sets each night so it's really easy to forget to rest (bring an eyemask if you need one to block out the light to get to sleep!
Definitely need a car - we spent lots of time on the road BUT got to go LOADS of places
Lots of tourists visiting so there are crowds in most of the photogenic places along the golden circle (can't blame them!)
It's a pricey place - best to know in advance so you can mentally prepare for the hit to your bank account! But also, you can get ramen at the grocery store quite cheap, so there are ways around it
Please forgive the banding in some of the images -
had to compress to get them nice and small to share!