Light, beautiful, natural light

Bridal preparation photography, Clifton House, Dublin

Light, beautiful natural light
For a photographer, light is our best friend. The way it dances through the windows in the morning, falling softly on its subjects – flattering, twinkling, magical light. With light must come shadows and with shadows comes drama and mood. The marriage of light and shadow work together to paint images that you will just sink into and want to gaze at forever.
The beautiful morning sun shining through the windows can make a world of difference to your pictures. The room you choose for make-up should have a lovely bit of natural light flowing through it, not only for me as a photographer, but for your make-up artist too.
Honestly, the choice of room does not matter. For example, if the morning light that shines through the kitchen is the prettiest in the house, then it will most certainly make for the best photographs.
Think about where you will be seated too. Try and leave enough room between you and the window so I can shoot around you and also for your make-up artist to work around you. This gives me the ability to create a more dynamic range to the photographs, catching the light and shadows as they move over time.
I hope this was helpful ladies and gents.  Feel free to go back on recent posts on my website under Useful Tips For Your Wedding Day. If you liked this post, share it! Dena xxx

Detail Photography of Wedding shoes

Tell your Photographer what you want

Engagement Photography Donegal

What do you want? Where do you want it? Who are the most important people in your life?
In discussion with my clients I always relay a general plan of the family portrait shots and where they will be. I will then go on to discuss my plan of your wedding portraits. I do, however, feel it is important that my client gets to tell me if there is a specific shot of place of the venue they had in mind.
Don’t be shy to tell your photographer what’s going on in your head. I for one am going to be in charge and use my expertise to direct the shoot but I always like to take into consideration the vision that my client has too. If it doesn’t work out, that’s ok, but it might. It would be such a shame to turn around to your partner after the wedding and say, ‘I wish I has asked Dena …’
This same rule applies to the shots of the people on your wedding day. I try to capture everyone I can that is there on the day but, aside from the bridal party and immediate family, I won’t know who else is important to you. Therefore let your photographer know if you would like a picture of Mum and Dad on their own or a good few shots of Nannie.
The more I know about what you want, the more meaning your photographs will have to you.
I hope this was helpful ladies and gents. There will be more to come on aspects of timeline next week. Feel free to go back on recent posts on my website under Useful Tips For Your Wedding Day. If you liked this post, share it! Dena xxx

 

 

Timeline, expectations and light


During my first meeting with my clients I go through the contract and timeline. I feel it’s important to give my clients a general idea of how the day will flow and have found on numerous occasions that is a great help for them in which they can structure their plans around the timeline.
Some people want huge variety of portrait photographs to choose from and some people just want a few snaps and then go back to their guests. Either choice is absolutely fine, we are all different and we all have different priorities. What is important though, is how you structure your day to achieve the results that you want.
For example, if you are the person that would like a huge variety of portrait photographs, make sure that you have arranged the time for that. Take into account factors such as how big your receiving line will be; how long your family portraits will be; will there be travel to your shooting location? Having a fairly long cocktail hour, such as 2-3 hours is a lovely bit of time to play with. If you have arranged that you only have 1 hour of time before dinner. There probably wont be enough time to ‘go to town’ on the portraits.
Another important factor to take into account, and this applies to winter weddings more so, is light. The days are very short during winter and if you want outdoor shots (I would recommend you do as the light is absolutely beautiful in winter) remember the sun sets at 4pm. Therefore, you might want to consider starting the ceremony slightly earlier than you would with a summer wedding.
While we are on the subject of light, during a summer wedding, do not freak out if there are clouds in the sky! In fact, do a little dance cause this is great for photos. The light is softer on the skin and generally brings a better mood to the picture. However, if you do get clear blue skies and full sunlight, that’s ok too, I will just take you to a nice shady spot on the grounds.
I feel it is important that things are done as smoothly and efficiently from my side so that you can have enough time for the type of shoot you want as well as have some time during cocktail hour to enjoy yourself with your party.
I hope this was helpful ladies and gents. There will be more to come on aspects of timeline next week. Feel free to go back on recent posts on my website under Useful Tips For Your Wedding Day. If you liked this post, share it! Dena xxx

Love shoots

Engagement shoot in a park

Love (Engagement shoots) DO them!

 

If your photographer includes a love shoot in their package, which I do, I highly recommend you use it and take full advantage of it.

 

Erase all misconceptions of cheese now! Then, open your mind to the wonderful art of photography, with you and your partner in the picture.

 

How many of us have had a professional photo shoot done? Unless you are a model or an actor, the chances are your wedding day will be the first time a professional photographer works with you.

 

This concept can be quite daunting and I’m sure all sorts of feelings of anxiety and insecurity may weigh on your mind. Do you really want to risk the ‘deer in the headlights’ look on your wedding day? NO! Do all that funny stuff on your engagement shoot. Loosen up, have a laugh, let the photographer be your guide!

 

Fear not my future Mr and Mrs Confetti models, once you get to your engagement shoot and start working with your photographer, it is not nearly as scary as it seems and more often than not, a really enjoyable experience.

 

Pro’s of a love shoot:

 

  • Another chance to spend time with your fun and fabulous photographer. A perfect opportunity for us all to get to know each other a little more and on a much more personal level. Have coffee and cake or a glass of wine after and discuss how it felt, or don’t and just have a buzz.

 

  • Firsthand experience on how your photographer will work with you on the big day. Get to see them doing what they love best and experience how they will direct you during the day.

 

  • A chance for you to feel comfortable in front of your photographer (whilst being fairly intimate with your better half). Sometimes this takes a little while but after some time you will feel totally at ease. The wedding day shoot will be a total breeze.

 

  • A fabulous set of photos in a different location to your wedding that you can cherish forever.

 

Con’s of a love shoot:

 

–   NONE

 

I hope this was helpful ladies and gents. Feel free to go back on recent posts on my website under Useful Tips For Your Wedding Day. If you liked this post, share it! Dena xxx

 

 

 

Like your Photographer

Like your Photographer! Really like them!
I mean it when I say this: the calibre of wedding photographers in both Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland is outstanding. Gone are the days of cheesy, kitsch wedding photography! Over the last 10 of years a mass of extremely talented artists have emerged into the wedding photography industry and the newcomers are more creative and driven than ever before. Being a great wedding photographer has become an art in itself and I for one am so excited to be part of such a talented revolution. By the way, all of the above applies to wedding videographers too! With all these fantastic artists out there to choose from, how do you decide on the right photographer for you?
There are several important aspects involved when making the right choice. The first one I would like to mention is personality.
I can only speak for myself but I feel it is so important that you make a connection with your photographer and like them as well as their work. Select a few photographers that you have either chosen or have been recommended to you, get in touch with them, and if they are free to work on your wedding date, ask to meet them for a coffee chat before making your final decision.
Rather than asking them the general shop questions and requesting to see their work (let’s be honest here, you’ve seen their work already on their website) – ask them about their past, where they come from, try and find a common boundary and if you find yourself really enjoying the time spent with them, BINGO! Remember you have to spend the guts of 12 hours with your photographer and it is important that you are comfortable around them. You need to get to the point that you almost forget they are there, but also, when portrait time comes along, you and your husband feel comfortable enough to be fairly intimate with each other around them.
I believe the only way to achieve this is by establishing a bond with your photographer. It will 100% make for better photographs throughout the day not to mention you being left with a great feeling of admiration for how effortless it was working together.
Another important thing to do prior to the wedding is schedule a LOVE shoot. This shall be delved into more deeply in next week’s post.
I hope this was helpful ladies and gents.
 Dena xxx

Catherine and Joe, Harvey’s Point, Donegal

Catherine and Joe are two of the most laid back people I have met working in this profession. From the minute I met them I knew by their relaxed demeanor that this wedding was going to have a completely chilled out vibe to it.

There I was harping on about where I came from and why I love photography when Joe interupted me and said, “Dena, you can stop now, we are happy to have you as our photographer, we love your work.” They went on to explain that all they wanted was someone to capture the day as it was, with as little posing as possible. That’s me all over as a photographer, I love being in the background and documenting all the magic unfold.

Harvey’s Point in Donegal was the wedding venue so, not having been there before, it was a perfect excuse to drag my boyfriend there for a ‘recce’ shoot ahead of the big day.

What a magical place! Set in the middle of the mountains right next to Lough Esk, the feeling for pure escapism is overwhelming. Harvey’s exudes elegance and luxury. The staff treat you like royalty yet at the same time make you feel as if you are their close friends. We loved it so much, we have booked it again this year for our anniversary so it’s no wonder Catherine and Joe chose Harvey’s Point for their wedding day.

The morning of the wedding was perfect. Catherine, calmly getting ready in her parents home whilst her lovely little niece fluttered around the house, enchanting everyone around her with her excitement. Joe, waiting patiently at Harvey’s, chatting to all around him, not an ounce of nerves to be felt anywhere. Catherine looked just like a Princess walking down the Isle. After an incredibly organized and effortless ceremony we were blessed with beautiful winter light to shoot our portraits both at the pier of Harvey’s and then up the hills, looking down on Lough Esk. Fair play to them, it was freezing up there but they pushed through like troopers.

Even though it was clearly evident already, the speeches proved that these two were made for each other. The rest of the night was full of dancing, laugher and happiness.

Thank you Joe and Catherine for allowing me to be a part of such a beautiful day. I wish you all the happiness in the world. xxx

Winter Wedding at Harvey's Point, Donegal

Winter Wedding at Harvey's Point, Donegal

Winter Wedding at Harvey's Point, Donegal

Ring shot Photography

Dress: Mc Elhinneys Store

Bridesmaids and suits: Mc Elhinneys Store

Flowers: Funky Flowers

Hair: Marie McDaid

Make-Up: Annemarie Carolan

DJ: Velvet DJ’s

 

 

 

Suppliers and Referrals

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Suppliers and referrals:
Well, you’ve set a date and most likely decided on a venue, perfect! Now the fun begins with searching for all those amazing people who are going to bring this big day together.
Of course, you can go on wedding forums and search for suppliers, or even speak to your friends who have had their wedding day. Why not go one step further than that – get referrals from people who are in the wedding business!
Do not be afraid to ask your hair stylist if he/she knows a good photographer or ask your photographer if they know of any good videographers or musicians. We all work very closely together on the day and chances are if you like your photographer as a person then you will also like the people they recommend.
Referrals from friends, great!
Referrals from your professionals who you like as people, even better!

Sibeal & Rob, The Bellinter House

It all started in 2006 in a 6th year Math’s class for Sibeal and Rob. Their teenage romance blossomed into a beautiful relationship and their mutual zest for life led them to travel Asia and Australia in 2011. By 2012 they had fallen in love with beautiful Australia and decided to settle in Sydney for five and a half years.

Rob proposed on a weekend break in Tasmania and they planned to come back to Ireland not only to get married but to return home for good.

This wedding was a ceremony of two beautiful people committing their lives together as well as an emotional welcome home to Ireland that they had left so many years ago.

To say that all this was so evident on the faces of family and friends would be an understatement.

The excitement started to build up in both Sibeal’s and Rob’s homes as they were getting ready and once at the beautiful St Sylvester’s Church in Malahide, it was evident that the guests were so appreciative to have these two back in their lives again.

The reception followed in the fabulous Bellinter House in Navan. For portraits we made the most of what Bellinter House has to offer and walked all over the grounds ending with final shots in a few of their uniquely designed rooms.

Speeches were filled with jokes and laughter followed by an amorous First Dance under the stars on the grounds of Bellinter. Sparklers, Candles and John Legend created a romantic scene for Sibeal and Rob to dance together for the first time as husband and wife. Don’t even get me started on the Father and Daughter dance that followed!

The day was magic from beginning to end. Welcome home Sibeal and Rob. Wishing you a wonderful life together.

Dena xx

 

 

Video: Paul Barker Old Pine Films

Ceremony Music: Oak Music Ireland

Band: Hitmen Trio

Hair: Sian Sharkey

Make-up: Michelle Regazolli Mrs Make-up

Flowers: Flowers by Moira

Rings: GS Diamonds

Suits: Love Suits

Dress: The Town Bride

Bridal Party wear: Pamela Scott

Cake: Shannon Herlihy

Sarah and David, The Cliff Townhouse

The Cliff Town House, wow!!! That’s all I can say, Every part of the venue oozes style and class-it’s just a perfect venue for a an intimate city centre wedding. Choosing the unconventional approach of getting ready for their wedding whilst popping into each of their rooms for a laugh and a chat, the atmosphere was relaxed and jovial. Sarah and her bridesmaids enjoyed the final part of their preparations together whilst the groom and his family and friends went off to Cafe en Seine for a pre-wedding pint. A civil ceremony took place in the beautiful Ceremony room upstairs followed by dinner and drinks. Portraits in the lovely St. Stephens Green were followed by everyone singing and dancing away to the talented Manilla Strings who never cease to amaze me. The out come was a 1920’s Speak Easy feel to the whole day matched with two incredibly lovely people and their favourite people. Congrats Sarah and Dave, it was such a pleasure to be a part of your wedding day. Dena xx

 

Thanks David Duignan for assisting and second shooting with me, best photog buddy!!

Flowers: Irish Flowers.ie

Make up: Charlotte Tilbury in Brown Thomas

Rings: David Cullen Jewellers

Wedding Dress: Ben de Lisi

Band: Manilla Strings

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The Beaufield Mews, Rebecca and David

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For our Engagement Shoot session I chose The Iveagh Gardens in Dublin City Center. I love it! It is small, easy to get around, quiet in the mornings and the vegetation is ever changing which makes for unique portraits every single time.

The Engagement Shoot is a crucial part of my Wedding Photography Package, as it is the time where we can all break the ice, get to know each other and have a laugh. Most importantly though, this is the time when my clients have the opportunity at a ‘practice run’ ahead of the big day.

Rebecca and David’s love for each other just shone through every single shot and I was delighted with the results.

Their wedding took place in the lovely Beaufield Mews. Being the oldest restaurant in Dublin it boasts beautiful old walls and wooden features, a stunning Garden and don’t even get me started on their Vintage Tea Cocktail Room! The staff bent over backwards for everyone involved, including myself. There is certainly great care and attention put into this lovely little Gem.

An intimate civil ceremony united Rebecca from Berlin and David from Dublin and the unanimous love for this couple reverberated around the room.

It was such a pleasure to be a part of this special day. Thank you so much Rebecca and David, I hope you find great happiness when going back on your photographs for years to come.

Dena x

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