Top 5+ Iceland/Reyjkavic Day Trip Destinations

This Fall I traveled to Iceland for a wedding (Ellis & Kristen) and it was one of my favorite trips ever. It’s such a beautiful country that while small enough to feel familiar after a few days, can’t be fully experienced in the short week that we were there. We were able to pack in a lot of beautiful places in the few days that we had free after the wedding, and I’m happy with our itinerary enough to highly recommend these if you’re making the trip.

In no particular order, these are my favorite Iceland destinations. Drumroll please…

  • Glymur — possibly my favorite hike of all time. We took the lower trail up the ravine, crossed the stream and then hiked back down on the other side. I’d recommend doing the same. A bunch of the pictures from the blog post were from this hike. Not the most novice level hike (crossing the stream was slightly scary) but most definitely worth it. (IG photo)
  • Gljúfrabúi — little cave waterfall by the more iconic Seljalandsfoss. Definitely check them both out. I enjoyed all the more popular touristy waterfalls, but this small waterfall in a cave was much more secluded than the rest. (IG photo and story)
  • Black Beach near Vic — this place can get rather busy, but it’s definitely worth the trip east from Reyjkavic.
  • Geothermal pools at Hverasvaedid — self expalatory. Long-ish hike, but amazing and a neat experience. (map to it)

We also did the golden circle and a bunch of smaller destinations. I found this map to be very informative for finding good destinations. Some bonus items that didn’t make the list would be one of the islands nearby (that I didn’t have time for) that you can travel to by ferry or plane. Also the fish and chips stand by Skogafoss is worth a stop. :)

All in all, wonderful place. Highly recommend going when you can! A++ Enjoy the photos. :)

2017 Year in Review

Today I’m going to take you on a journey through the stories and lives that I’ve been able to be a part of this past year. What is always my favorite part of photography (or film or any media that touches into storytelling) is being able to almost physically touch a moment after it has passed. Sometimes we don’t know why we feel a certain way, why we love, or what draws us to certain people…yet photography can put a few pieces together to bring some of that back to tangible.

In reliving 2017, I think back through all the wonderful memories I’ve had both with the wonderful people that I’ve been able to work with, family, and friends. So I’m going to put both personal and client work all together. :)

This year I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe with my mom to visit my sister and to explore. We started in Lyon, France, drove to Switzerland, swung by Italy, and then back to France again. I plan to blog about this adventure soon-ish. Another favorite little trip was meeting up with some friends along the border of Illinois and Kentucky to watch the solar eclipse. I also became an uncle and took a trip to the smoky mountains with my family.

One of the greatest blessings in life is being surrounded by wonderful people. For that I’m very thankful. :) Hope you enjoy the photos! Thanks for following and/or being a part of this.

North Carolina Adventure

This is a tale of the Yoder family’s 2017 adventures in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. I adore my family and treasure any time that I’m able to spend with them. :) This year we stayed at a more secluded cabin than our previous time in the Smokys, so we had had fewer destinations, but stuck with a favorite swimming spot, favorite hiking/mountain spot (Max Patch on the Appalachian trail), playing games and hanging out at the cabin (hammock game strong), and more movie nights (with the Secret Life of Walter Mitty now a family vacation movie necessity).

Here are some of my favorite people. It’s my family–plus one & minus one. Enjoy the photos! :)

Behind the Scenes: USB Drives

Switching it up a bit today with showing off some of the newest goodies to reach the office–it’s the USB flash drives that I send to my lovely clients! The lovely folks at USB Memory Direct reached out to me to see if I’d like to to get some samples of the USB drives that they make (ummm, yes!), and I’m happy with how they turned out!

I went with the natural wood look for its simplicity and clean look. So fresh. Check them out if you’re in the business for custom drives like this. :)

2016 Year In Review

I always enjoy a good reminiscing session.

A time to create your sci-fi time machine that you might have fantasized about inventing. A time to flip that mental nostalgia switch and put yourself back into some glorious previously experienced stories. This is kinda like that, except this time around, the stories are from my time machine. :)

Let’s travel back to the year 2016. A year many had a lot of negative feelings attached to it. But in this nostalgia-session, you anything dark. You’ll find a collection of some of the most joyful moments I’ve been blessed to be a part of. You’ll find quiet moments, happy times, anticipation, and delight. Also you’ll find my cat. You’ll find some of my favorite non-cats that I’ve been able to work with–some of the best people around. People who are making the world a better place.

This is a mixture of personal adventures, details, engagement sessions, and weddings, organized in a very purposeful way that I can’t quite explain. I hope you enjoy this look back this past year through my various digital lenses.

Good times.

For more time machine posts, here are my previous years in review: 2015, 2014a, 2014b, 2013

Thanks as always for following along and for the words of encouragement. It means a whole lot. <3

New England Adventures

Throughout college I’ve been able to do a lot of exploring around here. I feel pretty familiar with the South now, having now been to most of Arkansas and all the surrounding states. I’ve done a fair bit of road trips too, but the large majority have started in Searcy.

I don’t think this is out of the ordinary considering that I’ve lived in Arkansas for the last ~8 years, but I’ve recently had the realization that I’ve seen a lot of the South but haven’t even been to a lot of the states around Pennsylvania where I grew up. So I decided to change that.

Thanksgiving always brings me home to Pennsylvania, so I decided to use that to jumpstart my bucket list trip of exploring the far northeast of the US. Big thanks to my cousin Ethan for joining and my Canadian friend Jon for loaning me a his car and camping trailer which made the chilly nights far more survivable. It rained a good part of the week, so tent camping would have been dreadful. Ok…on to the trip!

Destinations of our trip included visiting:

  • Scranton Pennsylvania (looking for The Office memorabilia, failing)
  • My good friend Meg in Connecticut
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Portland, Maine (Two Lights State Park and Crescent Beach State Park)
  • Popham Beach State Park
  • Boothbay Harbor
  • Acadia National Park
  • Conway, New Hampshire (Cathedral Ledge State Park & Diana’s Baths)
  • Crawford Notch State Park (where we just stopped along the road because of the snow. :) The mountains between NH and VT were so pretty)

Then back to Pennsylvania via New York. Then back to Arkansas. All in all, I put around 4,000 driving miles in those two weeks. :) It made me avoid cars for a little while after that, but was definitely worth it.

Going in the vacation off season was kind of nice for all the empty (or in many cases closed) parks and the expanse of nature and ocean coastline to ourselves, but I still would like to go again during the peak Fall season to see all the colors that the New England states are famous for. But that will be for another year. :)

Enjoy the brief look into my far northeast adventures!

Smoky Mountains

Good family time is always a treasure, which these past handful of years has been rare, considering that the 8 of us are now spread between Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and California. But starting last year, an adventurous family vacation is now a yearly tradition that I’ll try to keep going for as long as possible. :) This past July (yes, I’m late) we all stayed in a cabin near Gatlinburg Tennessee and explored the beauty of nature that is the Smoky Mountains. Here’s a brief chronicle of our 2015 Yoder family adventure!

I’m a big fan of nature, but the family time is what I’ll treasure about this time the most. :)

2015 Year In Review

This is probably the most nostalgia-inducing post I do each year.

Each of these photos bring back a flood of memories and put me right back into the moment that I pressed the camera shutter. All the memories of joy, tears, quiet contemplative times, and feelings of thankfulness that I’m able to work with some of the best humans…it’s all still here.

Contained below is the collection of tiny moments of what this past year has been to me. From personal adventures to weddings to portraits to engagement sessions. It has been a wild ride.

Thanks for being a part of it and/or for following along. It means a lot. :)

001-JonYoder-YearInReview-2015Read More

Pacific Coast Adventures

This is only exactly a year late, but this is the extended version of the Pacific Northwest Adventures of 2014.

It all started with an idea to road trip up the cost with my California stationed sister. My sister Felicia is always up for adventure, so of course was down. I don’t know exactly how the conversation developed, but we soon arrived at the idea of seeing if the whole family would want to join us. This for me felt pretty crazy since my family is pretty frugal with money and we’ve never done anything similar to this. I was also skeptical that our whole huge family with everyone having different jobs and things going on would be able to travel to the west coast  for 10 days at the same time. But then…

Everyone said yes!

After that, a sketchy craigslist RV, and a bunch of Southwest credit card sign up bonus miles later, we were off!

Our chronological destinations included:

  • Whiskeytown Lake in Redding, CA (swimming, paddle boarding)
  • Crater Lake (sunrise hike, exploring & hiking)
  • Silver Falls State Park
  • Portland, OR (visited some good friends, ate some good food)
  • Vancouver…WA. Meant to make it up to the Canadian Vancouver, but we didn’t want to rush the rest of the trip to do so. A quick drive across Portland’s Columbia river brought us to a town of the same name. So yes, I’ve been to Vancouver.
  • Cape Kiwanda beach, OR. The whole coast south of there is the most wonderful stretch of road that I’ve driven — Hwy 101. I was constantly blown away by how beautiful everything was on this stretch. We probably pulled over 5-10 times for different pretty stops along this highway. I mean…I wasn’t going to just drive by! :)
  • One of these unscheduled stops–that happened to be one of my favorite places ever–was Cape Perpetua and Thor’s well. Such a cool place.
  • Redwoods State Park (lots of hiking & exploring)
  • Finally, back to Nevada City -> Sacramento -> Home

It was grand. I absolutely recommend a trip like this to everyone. :)

Here’s the photo diary of the trip…

This took a lot of planning and was not without problems and dilemmas, but these 10 days turned out to be some of my favorite travels of my life. Looking back on all the good memories and seeing my family so happy makes it all worth it.

I guess you could say that this trip kinda brought back the trend of having a yearly family vacation. This weekend we got back from a week in the Smoky Mountains. I plan to blog that in less than 12 months. :)

If you’d like to see part 1 of my favorite images from this trip, here’s the post Pacific Northwest Abridged.

Invest in memories, not things.