Unplugged Ceremony

An unplugged ceremony is a ceremony whereby the bride and groom and /or the celebrant/priest kindly ask all guests not to use their cameras or camera phones during the course of the ceremony until the bride and groom have left the ceremony room.

unplugged ceremony

As a photographer my instant reaction to an unplugged wedding is YAY!

This reaction is ‘selfish’ because:

  1. There will be nobody holding a phone in front of their faces trying to capture the bride and groom so I can grab shots of genuine emotions of happiness.
  2. There will not be an array of iPhones, androids and any other media camera devices hovering in the the crowd as a background to the bride and groom.
  3. Finally, when I’m walking down the aisle I won’t have at someone stepping out right in front of me as I’m trying the shoot the bride and groom. Yes, I am able to capture the shots I need but sometimes, the shot I really want, that perfect moment has been taken away by someone standing right in front of me taking their photograph. (heartbreaking).

This reaction is ‘unselfish’ because:

  1. Your guests will become completely immersed in what is actually happening right in front of them and feel the real emotion of love in the room.
  2. You won’t have the risk of your perfect day being uploaded to social media before you even have the chance to walk out of the ceremony room.
  3. You will not have an array of cameras and camera phones pointed at you throughout the process.

 

I feel that if an unplugged ceremony has not been opted for then I don’t really mind an image of camera phones on either side of a shot. In fact, sometimes I purposefully include it as a mark of the times we live in. There are advantages to your guests taking pictures of the ceremony – you have more photographs that they can share with you and sometimes guest’s perspectives can be quite interesting.

walking down the aisle

I feel the need to defend my clients investment here too. It is an investment to hire a photographer for your wedding. An investment both in monetary value as well as sentimental value. This person is here specifically to capture as much of your day in the most beautiful way that they can. If a guest stands in front of a photographer whilst they are working then they risk stopping them from capturing these precious memories. Having said that, most guests are very aware of not being in the way of the photographer.

If you are thinking about having an unplugged ceremony there are many ways to handle the situation that will help the process go smoothly. I have found that the most productive process is asking your celebrant or priest to kindly address your guests about the process before the ceremony begins.

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 would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

 

Engagement shoot Glendalough, Anne and Sven

When I met Anne and Sven last year, for me, there was an instant connection. What a cool pair of human beings. Their love for their dog, Cara, was an instant hit with me as I love dogs. We discussed various options for their engagement shoot and finally decided that the place that Sven proposed was most suitable. So, an engagement shoot at Glendalough it was.

The Shoot:

Move onto an extremely cold morning in February, I had arranged to meet Anne, Sven and Cara at a base in Glendalough next to the lake. The snow was falling down fairly heaving and I was pretty worried that we might not be able to go through with it. Luckily the snowfall cleared and the beautiful light of winter began to show itself.

The walk led up the hill and into a small lake area. To be honest, we really didn’t go too far, it was too cold for that. Everywhere is beautiful at Glendalough so travelling all over the place was not really necessary. My very kind boyfriend, John, had agreed to help me if we needed to hold Cara’s lead at any point. The walk was filled with chats about hen’s, stags, festivals and music. Cara kept us all entertained and the whole vibe was relaxed and jovial.

Sven, a photographer too, was not too keen on being in front of the camera (something I can relate to myself) but I have to say it really didn’t show and as usual a mans love for his lady always shines through during these shoots. Not only because it simply does but because he is making a serious effort to do something that would naturally by quite uncomfortable for him.

Anne, Sven and Cara all three of you made my work so easy and I am delighted with the results. I really can’t wait for Conabreany.

If you would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

Engagement shoot Glendalough engagement shoot Glendalough engagement shoot Glendalough engagement shoot Glendalough

 

 

Happy, lucky new shoes!!

My wedding shoeswedding shoes, wedding photographer Dublin

I have to be one of the biggest walking advertisements for Converse, I love them, I would probably wear them to my own wedding if I could. (Could be an idea..) Until that special day comes, I will wear them to my clients weddings. These will be my happy, lucky new wedding shoes.

My new wedding shoes would be a mark of a another year in the wedding photography business, a symbol of luck as well as a funky little accessory to my work attire.

I am a symbolic person. I believe that these little pink ladies are going to take me on a journey I will never forget. Who knows if they will last the whole year. I am certain though, when I look at them at the end if the year, all worn through, I will have fond memories of the beautiful people I have met, the stunning places I have seen and the countless things I have learnt that will make me a better photographer.

Roll on 2018!If you would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

 

Consider a First Look

Wedding photography tips for brides: Consider a First Look

 

A First Look is a fairly new concept that has over the years become quite popular with brides in Ireland.

Wedding Photography at City Hall, Belfast, First Look

For those who have no idea what I am going on about here is the explanation:

First Look: When the bride and groom pick a time (Before the ceremony and just after they have both put on their attire) to meet each other for the first time. There is no audience except the photographer(s). They then use this location or go to a location of choice to do their wedding photographs in a much more timely and stress free manner. Afterwards they head off to get married.

When I first heard about this concept, from a personal perspective, I didn’t quite take to it. Me being the hopeless romantic that I am I felt it took away from that magical first moment when your husband sees you walking down the isle. As I grew quite accustomed to it, via my photography, I started to see both the practical and romantic benefits for a First Look.

This suits couples:

Who haven’t much time between their ceremony and dinner reception and would rather spend that valuable cocktail hour with friends and family.

Who are very into their portrait shoots and would like the photographer to have more time with them

Who would rather meet each other alone for the first time as opposed to in front of everyone at the ceremony.

As a photographer it really alleviates the stress factor of whether I will get the adequate time to shoot my couples as well as take a step back and document the day as it happens ahead, rather than interrupting the couples to leave their friends and family.

We are all different though and I am sure there will be those of you who feel that the first time should be at the isle and that is perfectly fine. I will just leave you with a blog written by photographer Cassi Claire who has personal experience at a First Look as well as a blog written by Inspired by This..

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 would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

Light, beautiful, natural light

Bridal Preparation, smiling bride, light

Detail Photography of Wedding shoes, light

Photography Tips for brides: 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 would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

Tell your Photographer what you want

Engagement Photography Glendalough, Photography tips for brides

 

Photography tips for brides: Tell your photographer what you want

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 would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

 

Timeline, expectations and light

kids waiting for first dance, band setup, Photography tips for brides

 

Photography tips for brides: 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 would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

Love shoots (Engagement shoots)

Engagement shoot in a park

Photography tips for brides: Love (Engagement shoots) DO them!

 

If your photographer includes a engagement 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 engagements 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 an engagement 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 would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

 

 

Like your Photographer

 

Wedding Photographer Dublin, Engagement photography at The Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, Photography tips for brides

Photography tips for brides: Like your Photographer! Really like them!

It is very important that you like your photographer. 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.

If you would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

Wedding at Harvey’s Point, Donegal – Catherine and Joe

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 at Harvey’s Point, Donegal 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 Point 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 Point , chatting to all around him, not an ounce of nerves to be felt anywhere. Catherine looked just like a princess walking down the aisle. 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 PhotographyIf you would like to enquire about availability and wedding packages please click on this link, I would love to hear from you. Contact

Venue: Harvey’s Point, Donegal

Dress: Mc Elhinneys Store

Bridesmaids and suits: Mc Elhinneys Store

Flowers: Funky Flowers

Hair: Marie McDaid

Make-Up: Annemarie Carolan

DJ: Velvet DJ’s