Posted on May 9, 2015
I think I’ve said it a few times that I can be a bit of a photo nerd. When you are lucky enough to combine your passion and your work, you never feel like you are really working. One of the things I find myself doing a lot of is heading to a church or a venue when it is nice and quiet, and taking the time to really have a good look inside, at different angles we may not get to see during a wedding.
We have an abundance of beautiful Churches around Ireland, both inside and out. I’ll be posting regular blog updates about various Churches in Ireland and some photos of how I see them. I was in Mullingar today and popped up to Killulagh Church, just outside Delvin, Co. Westmeath. St Livinus Church in Killulagh is a stunning church, sitting atop a hill over looking the farmland layed out before it. The steeple of the church is visible way back at the main road.
The Church itself dates back to the late 19th century but recently underwent a bit of a facelift. I have been lucky enough to work in Killulagh Church on a number of occasions. The outside of the church provides a stunning backdrop, the main doors providing a beautiful frame and backdrop to compliment any bride and groom. I have some great photos and memories as Hurling guards of honor formed for the newly weds to pass under. Whilst the inside of the church may be pretty tight, the wooden pews and the wooden beams along the ceiling provide a beautiful warm glow and make for great photography, both of the Bridal party and of their guests during the ceremony. I love to keep an eye on the guests seated behind the newly weds, taking photos of little moments they miss with their back turned, some laughter, some chatting and even the odd tear being shed. The balcony at the front of the church giving another great vantage point of the days ceremony.
I’m looking forward to shooting here again in the future.
Posted on April 9, 2015
As I’ve said plenty of times before, Engagement Shoots can be great fun, both for the couple and for the photographer. One great thing about an engagement shoot is you can pick a theme and plan it out, a little bit like a wedding, but not for the same cost. Yvonne and Peter jumped at the idea (well Yvonne certainly did) when Fiona suggested a vintage themed engagement shoot. So Fiona gathered together all of our props that we use on these shoots, including my a Tea Set that belonged to my Grandmother that we think is over 60 years old. Next we talked to the lovely people up in the Three Towers in Kylebrack about using their amazing venue for our vintage themed picnic. So with the sun shining and Fiona ready to do the real hard work of designing the scene we set off to Kylebrack.
The props that Fiona managed to get her hands on were fantastic, we had old Record Players, with LPs (remember those!) of Nat King Cole, we had a 1970’s film Fujica camera (still in working order), an old acoustic guitar and even a few old volumes of some Shakespeare books. We chose to use some of the garden area up at the back of the Three Towers and began by hanging up our bunting and laying out our picnic blankets. I left all the hard work to Fiona who was in her element of designing our little set. The result was superb, and it made my job so much easier. Peter and Yvonne were equally as impressed so we got on with the easy job of taking a few photos.
The shoot went fantastic, the results were amazing if I may say so myself. Its a great way to do something just a little bit different. We had selfies, some readings from Shakespeare, a bit of guitar and even a cup of tea. We used the photos from the engagement shoot to design and print up a signing board for Yvonne and Peters wedding as a special memento for their guests to sign. On your wedding day, you wont have this sort of time available for you to do something like this, so why not arrange to have a themed engagement shoot with us, we love peoples ideas, and I can’t wait for our next one.
Make sure you watch our little video at the end of this post.
Thank you to Yvonne and Peter for sharing our vision, and thank you to all the guys up at the Three Towers in Kylebrack who let us use their amazing venue.
The Three Towers – http://thethreetowers.com/
Posted on April 8, 2015
Its not a new trend to get married abroad, people have been doing it for years, and I have to agree with them, its a fantastic way to get married. I had the honour of shooting a wedding in Playa Blanca last week for a wonderful couple (Bevin and Shane), and I had an amazing time. So i thought it would be a good idea to give a few hints and tips from my side of the celebrations
Photographing a wedding has a number of challenges, and photographing a wedding abroad carries even more. One of the most obvious ones (to me at least) is knowing the location where the wedding will take place, the church, the reception venue, the beaches, parks, woods, mountains, all these areas that could be a 5 hour flight away (or longer). To get around this, I flew into Lanzarote the day before the wedding to make sure I got to view all these locations, Google Maps is great but you can’t get a real feel for a place on it. In fact I was lucky enough to visit Playa Blanca about 5 months before the wedding, just to check it out for photographic locations. I’m always of the opinion that knowing your location makes it a lot easier for me on your wedding day, I know some photographers don’t like to do this, they like to arrive with no preconceptions of a venue. This is great for just a photoshoot, but when there is a timetable to keep to (loosely) you run the risk of causing delays trying to figure out locations, angles and lighting. In terms of Lanzarote Wedding Photography one big thing to bear in mind is sun and shade, there is a lot of sun, but not too much shade.
I know a lot of Wedding Planners offer a photographer along with their packages, and that is great, but I always think that when you have someone with you for the majority of your wedding day you should get to know them before hand. You want to make sure that you get on, you are on the same page when it comes to your wedding photographs and you can trust them. This is why I had an engagement shoot with Bevin and Shane before their wedding, it really helped me on the day to know how they would behave and to spot their little mannerisms. On the flip side I think it helped them to relax around me, in fact they were so relaxed, I felt almost like a guest at their wedding.
Overall my experience of shooting a wedding abroad was a massive positive, everything was so relaxed which in turn helped all the guests and bridal party relax too. In terms of scenery for photoshoots, you will find that there is so much on offer, just because it is different from what we are used to. I really am looking forward to my next destination wedding.
Princess Yaiza Hotel – http://www.princesayaiza.com/
Posted on March 20, 2015
One thing that I hear over and over again from couples when we meet to talk about wedding photography is that they really don’t look forward to posing for photos. They have a fear that they will be standing at the side of a lake for 2 hours with the bridal party being ordered to stand in every combination it is mathematically possible to put them . . . Bride and Groom, Bride, Groom 2 Bridesmaids; Bride Groom and 2 cousins 3 times removed . . Don’t worry, its not like that at all. I want my “posed” wedding photos to be fun, to be a part of your day that you will look back on and say “that was actually a bit of craic”. And thats how it should be, there should be no part of a wedding day that you should dread (apart from the speeches, but thats another blog altogether)
Lets be honest, unless you are a model, its really hard to hold that smile and make it look genuine all day long. You should have a real laugh or smile on your face when you are with your new husband/wife and your closest friends. And a real laugh looks so much better than a forced posed one. I send couples off away for a few minutes, and let them spend a little time together telling each other what happened that morning whist they were getting ready. The funny little stories and what seemed like a crisis just a few hours ago, are now just laughed at.
I like to let the lads loose on each other and see what happens, as long as their clothes stay on and relatively dry, I have no problem with what they do. They usually lift each other up or try to throw the Groom into a lake or fountain. The girls are the same, I usually let them loose on the Groom for a few minutes, that makes for fantastic fun photos.
One last thing, lets be honest, things will not go according to plan on your wedding day. The best thing to do is to roll with it, and have a laugh with it. Be it the wedding car breaking down, the weather turning sour or even being stuck in a traffic jam, the most important thing is that you are with the people who are closest to you and your guests are all being well looked after back in the venue anyway.
Its your wedding day, they will be your memories. These moments should be special, they should be fun and they should make your wedding day as amazing as you deserve.
Posted on February 26, 2015
I love candid photography, capturing those little moments that are real, the little interactions between people. Looking at these moments in black and white, with the absence of all the other distracting colours works so well for me. It adds a timelessness to a photograph, especially at weddingsin my opinion. I love photographs where the bride is walking up the aisle, her expression could be one of nerves, excitement or nearly crying for joy, to her side peoples faces as she walks by, and of course the grooms expression.
I put on slideshows for my couples and their guests at weddings. One wedding recently, up in Sligo lent itself really well to black and white photos, so I processed about a third of the photos in black and white and played the slideshow. It went down a treat, the bride and groom loved it. But the best compliment I got was from a gentleman in his late 60’s who was astounded by the black and white photos. As he said, they looked like they were taken back in New York in the 50’s.
Not every photograph will work as well in black in white instead of colour. For example, you will have a beautiful bouquet of flowers on your wedding day, full of different colours. Looking at these flowers in black and white would cause you to lose so much from the photo. When i give couples their DVD of their wedding day, the majority of the photos will be in colour, but there are always a select few that I have worked on in Black and White. Photographing people and their expressions, laughter, tears and joy works perfectly with black and white.
I have a few examples below that I love.
One thing I always tell couples, is that nothing cleans up a messy room like a black and white photograph, I suppose in a way it simplifies the scene. Ted Grant, a world famous Canadian photographer once said “When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph people in Black and White, you photograph their souls“. And it is true, if you look at a black and white photograph of a group of people, you see the face, the expressions, the laughter, what they are wearing does not jump out at you in bright blues and reds and pinks.
There will always be room for black and white wedding photography in my portfolio, I may not want to capture your souls, but I do want to capture those unique and real moments that only happen on a wedding day.
Thats just my ramblings.