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It’s that time of year again! Another year has passed and that means it’s time for overviews. To put it lightly, 2023 has been an amazing year for my photography. I got to experience a lot of firsts again, got to meet amazing people on photo workshops, made new (photography) friends and I won a few awards. More importantly, I grew as a person and a photographer. This year, I decided to take my yearly overview into a different direction with 3 different blogs: one about my favourite camera shots, one about my favourite drone shots and, finally this last blog: my classic ‘Year in Review’.

Time To Look Back On 2023

I didn’t expect it, but 2023 turned into a whopper of a year for my photography and myself with many high notes. In this final blog of the year, I’ve listed 5 of the most important moments and achievements to me. But why do I do that? By writing them down I create a way for me to motivate myself to continue forward in the new year. Let’s dive in!

1. Photo Workshop Galore

This year I (co-)hosted no less than 9 photo workshops, with a few private workshops & several private volcano hikes in-between as well. Together with amazing groups of participants, I discovered Greenland in winter and summer, spent time with puffins on a remote island, explored the Icelandic highlands and chased the golden winter light along the south coast of Iceland. Throughout all of these experiences, I got to meet and engage with so many amazing people. I am truly blessed that I get to show all these amazing locations to people who are equally passionate about photography, making new memories for people in the process.

Want to join me on a photo workshop in 2024? There are still a few workshops available with limited spots. If you want to read more about my previous photo workshops, make sure to check out my photo workshop reports on my blog.

Iceland and Greenland Photo Tours: Capture the Arctic

I had the privilege to guide so many amazing people this year on various different photo workshops.

Iceland and Greenland Photography Tours: Capture the Arctic

One of my favourite photo workshops is Puffins in the Midnight Sun, which I am hosting again in 2024.

Photo Workshop Report: Highlands of Iceland (Mads Peter Iversen)

A lot of the photo workshops I (co-)host focus on drone photography and how to get the best results out of even the smallest drones.

A group photo on the boat in Greenland during a photo tour

In West Greenland, we explored the Ilulissat UNESCO Icefjord with our own privately chartered boat.

2. The Litli-Hrútur Eruption

July was a busy month for me, especially with another eruption at Fagradalsfjall. After a longer buildup than during the 2022 Meradalir eruption, a third eruption began at Fagradalsfjall on July 10th. At the time of the start of the eruption I was heading back to Reykjavík with two customers who had booked my time to explore the highlands. Because we had been waiting for this eruption to begin, we were all ready to go. About an hour and a half later, we were already on-site, ready to commence the hike. I will forever remember these hikes because they were long! On average, I hiked 22 kilometres each visit. One time I even hiked 27 kilometres! As it goes with these eruptions, the first two weeks were best with a lot of interesting light and changes making it fun to photograph.

If you want to see more of my work surrounding the volcanic eruptions in recent years, make sure to check out my Volcanoes in Iceland gallery and volcano related blogs.

Behind the Shot - New Earth

Three years ago, I didn’t even dare to dream I would write my own book, let alone pose with it in front of a third eruption.

2023 – My Photographic Year in Review

Just a few weeks before this eruption began I purchased a DJI Mavic 3 Pro, which came in handy with its zoom lenses.

2023 – My Photographic Year in Review

Throughout the four weeks this eruption lasted, I managed to capture a wide variety of photographs – mostly with my drone.

3. The Sundhnúksgígar Eruption

After the dramatic events in the small town of Grindavík on November 10th, the area at Svartsengi inflated again. Since then we have found out that there is a magma chamber which seems to be refuelling itself. This ended up in a fourth volcanic eruption on Reykjanes Peninsula since 2021, which began on December 18th. The Sundhnúksgígar eruption not only takes the cake as the biggest mouthful to pronounce but also as the shortest eruption on Reykjanes since 2020. The eruption lasted only 3 days. During that time, I had the privilege of visiting the area four times with press access as I was working for various media companies. I even captured one of my favourite drone photographs of the year during that eruption.

If you want to see more of my work surrounding the volcanic eruptions in recent years, make sure to check out my Volcanoes in Iceland gallery and volcano related blogs.

My 5 Favourite Drone Photographs Of 2023

This is one of my favourite photographs of this year, taken at the Sundhnúksgígar eruption. The new lava field resembles a tree.

4. Becoming an Icelander

This is not really a ‘moment’ or an ‘achievement’ for my photography but it was still a big event for me personally this year. Eleven years ago, I visited Iceland for the very first time. It sounds maybe a bit ‘cliché’ but it’s no understatement when I say that this trip changed my whole life. The Icelandic nature left a big impression on me, one that would make me rethink everything about the direction my life was heading in. Only four years after that trip I sold all my belongings and moved to Iceland. Fast-forward to this year and the final destination of my journey has been reached: becoming an Icelander myself. In July, I was formally granted Icelandic citizenship.

If you want to read more about my backstory, make sure to check out my About-page.

2023 – My Photographic Year in Review

Getting this blue passport made me feel like I was finally coming home.

5. Awards & Commendations

I’ve been honoured to be celebrated several times for my photography this year:

FEP Awards 2023 - Silver Award in Category Nature (& More!)

In April, I travelled to Prague to receive this award in person. It was a great experience during which I met a lot of colleagues.

FEP Awards 2023 - Silver Award in Category Nature (& More!)

Skýjasnúningur / Cloud Inversion

FEP Awards 2023 - Silver Award in Category Nature (& More!)

Meradalagos / Meradalir Eruption

FEP Awards 2023 - Silver Award in Category Nature (& More!)

Hraunhjarta / Lava Heart

A Few Tidbits

While the previous list contains the most important moments/achievements, there are a few smaller tidbits I wanted to add which took my photography (business) in the right direction:

  • In early January this year, I said that I would be incredibly happy if I would make it to 100.000 followers on my Instagram page before the end of the year. Somehow, I managed to double that! On top of that, I finally managed to grow my Facebook page (slightly) after years of being stagnant and I dramatically increased my website visits.
  • I managed to lock in a few photography sponsorships, among which is Canon Belgium.
  • I began licensing my photography/videography through Stills, a photography licensing platform. It’s something I should have done ages ago but I’m glad I finally did now.
  • I began writing and publishing new blogs more frequently, with this being my 100th blog on my website!
  • I launched two big print collections, with another one on the way in the new year.
  • I updated my drone photography e-book several times, making it even more complete than before.
  • My volcano footage went all around the world this year and was shown on different international media. Recently, I was even invited for a 6-minute interview about my work on ABC Australia.
  • I found my way to yet another new social media platform, called Threads. I only recently joined but I’m starting to get the hang of it.

I did a little photo shoot with my friend Shari Asselberghs, who took a ton of photos of me this autumn!

Bring On 2024!

Well, that was 2023! It was such a good year for my photography but… I think 2024 might become even better! Amongst others things, I have lots of photo workshops scheduled to Antarctica, Patagonia and Greenland. I should also be able to speak about a few projects that have been ongoing this year and will see the light in 2024. I am incredibly excited about what 2024 will throw at me.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who have been following my photography, supporting my work and more. It means the world to me and I am eternally grateful. I hope I get to meet even more of you in 2024!

Happy holidays and a happy new year!

Support Jeroen’s Work

As an independent photographer, Jeroen partially relies on your support to keep producing worthwhile content such as blogs, photographs, books and much more. If you want to support his work, it is possible to do so by buying his e-books & books, prints or calendars.

You can also sign up to the newsletter to stay up to date on new blog posts, projects, workshops and other interesting information.

Thank you for considering!

Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Jeroen is an award-winning Belgian photographer based in Iceland. The past years, he dedicated his photography to the Central Highlands & volcanic eruptions. Most recently, he received international attention for his work at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.

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