Norway

Capturing Norway

with photographer duo Lindsey and Rebecca Amber

No stop signs or street names mark the way, only cows and sheep dot the roadside, signaling that we’re headed in the right direction as we wind our way north from Oslo with twin sisters Rebecca and Lindsey. Splitting their time between the West Coasts of Canada and Norway make this photographer duo well-versed in long-haul flights, but more importantly, offer them two distinctly stunning natural environments to influence their photography business. Read on to discover the coastal Stadland area of Norway as Lindsey and Rebecca invite us to join them as they play host to a photography and surf retreat in their Norwegian backyard of the remote surfing village of Hoddevik, population in the mere dozens.

After planes, ferries and winding roads, we arrive in the village of Hoddevik
After planes, ferries and winding roads, we arrive in the village of Hoddevik

“Our destination was the end of the road – leading us to the Atlantic Ocean, where the Norwegian mountains kiss the sea and the waves lap the sand. Preparing to greet the 21 guests attending our first Nordic Retreat, we couldn’t believe that our dream of sharing the beauty of Hoddevik with other creatives was about to come true.” – Rebecca.

“A paradise for playful surfers and passionate photographers – the summer sun never sets in Hoddevik.”

Shaking off the jet lag on the open village roads
Shaking off the jet lag on the open village roads

“The constant change in light, temperature, weather and waves allow for many unforeseen adventures. I had to hold Rebecca back as she hung out the window with her camera on every drive we took.” – Lindsey

These twin sisters and business partners decided to host a photography retreat in Lindsey’s adopted home, where she lives with her partner and daughter on an ocean-front farm, after deciding that they could no longer keep the magic of the Norwegian coastline all to themselves.

Watching the waves, waiting for the perfect set to roll in
Watching the waves, waiting for the perfect set to roll in

Hoddevik may not be the first place that comes to mind when you ask a photographer for their dream destination, but with sunlight available nearly 24 hours a day, and a perfectly curving bay surrounded by steep mountain edges that shelter from the whipping North Atlantic winds, this remote village made an ideal backdrop for the curious guests.

A hike to kick off the 4-day Nordic Retreat
A hike to kick off the 4-day Nordic Retreat

After landing in Oslo and taking the 8 hour journey north west, guests arrived to be greeted by a midnight sunset and a layer of ocean mist clinging to the cool air. The retreat kicked in the morning with a yoga session to stretch out the travel-weary muscles, before spending the day capturing the environment (and maybe a wave or two for those comfortable in cold water surf).

“We taught, we shot, we surfed, we hiked, and we watched the sunset at midnight. What more could you ask for?”

Panoramic views and powerful winds above the West Cape, Norway's most western point
Panoramic views and powerful winds above the West Cape, Norway's most western point

With no shortage of white sand beaches, Stadland is Scandinavia’s secret summer oasis, and yet, there are only a handful of homes gracing the hillside of these scattered villages. The neighboring village of Leikanger is home to a population of under 2500 locals who aren’t fond of outside interference in their long-held coastal way of life.

“This far off the beaten path, local farmers let their herds roam free, while local sustenance depends on the ebb and flow of the sea.”

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Much like the stunning location they chose for their retreat, the twins believe in the important mantra of moving quietly through life, but leaving a big impression. As we wound our way down single lanes, shooting the shifting light and taking in the panoramic views, we reflected on the beauty that lies in exploring a lesser known destination.

Surf check in the late-night light of Hoddevik
Surf check in the late-night light of Hoddevik
Exploring the open roads
Exploring the open roads

Photos by Lindsey and Rebecca during their inaugural Nordic Retreat.

Written by Amy Sheehan.

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