Why should I have more than one photographer? by TaraD

Your photos will be one the most important things you get to keep for memories throughout your life, they will be available for future generations and they will capture the special moments of your day forever.

We’ve had cases where we captured a photograph and it later turned out to be the last photograph of that person. It is often that moment when people realise the true value of a photograph. It then becomes absolutely priceless. This is just an example of why capturing as much of your special day as possible is important. With that said, we list a few quick tips on why this is better achieved with a team instead of a single photographer.

A team can be in multiple places at once

It is standard now to capture both bride and groom pre-ceremony and often this happens at different locations. A team can split up and cover the different events of the morning. This also applies to the most important part of the ceremony as the bride walks up the aisle or venue. One photographer can be at the front while another one can be at the back. This ensures that the reaction of both partners is captured in the photos, as well as the reaction from the guests.

Each photographer has their own personality / style that is reflected in their photos. By having multiple photographers you will get photos that vary in perspective and style while still blending the story of your day. One photographer might be more into the small details, another photographer might specialize in capturing people’s expressions throughout the day, another photographer might be really good at aerial photography. You will have more variety to choose from for your album.

An obvious advantage is that you will get more photos to choose from than if you choose a single photographer as they are covering more ground. That goes hand in hand with the fact that you will also have more special moments of the day. Multiple photographers can cover different parts of the reception simultaneously and they can capture the first dance from different locations and angles for example.

 

 

 

 

A team can also save you time throughout the day and make sure things are running smoothly and on schedule. While one photographer is shooting, another one can be fixing the poses, the dresses or arranging other details. One photographer can get to a next location ahead of the bridal party and be ready ahead of time, while another photographer finishes the previous location. There are several instances throughout the day, where the team can split up to save precious time.

If you choose a team that has both genders (husband/wife) or (man/woman) you also get a slightly different perspective to your photos. Women and men look at the wedding day from slightly different viewpoints. A female might better understand the brides concerns during pre-ceremony and try to capture those special moments and often help with details of makeup, dresses and heirlooms and so on.

A male might better blend in with the boys throughout the day and put them more at ease to capture funny and special moments. We are not implying this is always the case and that if the situation were reversed they can’t do a fantastic job for the day! We’re just saying that traditionally this set up puts everyone more at ease!

When planning a wedding on a budget it’s sometimes difficult to decide where to ‘save’.

Should it be the florist, the venue, or the photographers? Keep in mind the wedding lasts one day (in most cultures) and the venue, the music, the flowers will become a memory, but your photos will be all you have left to remember all those details and that can capture the love and joy of your special day. Not just for now, but for future generations to see also.

Diana x

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Best man’s speech…. by TaraD

After many years of photographing weddings, we have heard hundreds of best man speeches.

We have heard everything from one liners, to 30 minute long speeches, to hilarious speeches to embarrassing speeches and everything else in between.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some quick tips on things to avoid or do, based on the thousands of guest reactions we’ve experienced over the years. Don’t make your speech very long. 5 minutes is a good average, 8 minutes gives you plenty of time to talk about memories and life stories if that is your aim, anything longer than that and you risk boring your audience.
One or two good, interesting, or funny stories should be enough.

Watch your language.

Remember there are a few generations sitting in the audience, and the generation gap (in
terms of language) has never been wider. It should be common sense to avoid curse words or other derogatory or offensive words, that although might be the norm among the guys, would offend some in the audience. Also remember that sometimes the priest / celebrant, is also part of the audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t bury the groom – or the bride, or you might run the risk of losing that friendship forever! It’s perfectly fine to go for humour and tell funny stories about the groom, but be careful with the level of embarrassment you choose.
Remember that the groom is not well known to one part of the audience, you don’t want to leave them with the wrong impression of the groom. Try to stay clear of making jokes about the bride – it’s just safer for your own health!!

Another common sense point is, please don’t bring up the Ex in your speech!

Surprisingly, we’ve heard it a few times and it usually doesn’t end well.

This is the couple’s special day, it should be about them and some things are just better off in the past where they belong.

Even if you’re happy things didn’t work out with the ex and can make great jokes about it, we advise you to resist the temptation.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t just read your speech because you’re nervous or just want to get through it quickly.

And whatever you do, don’t copy your speech from the Internet!

Doing all these things doesn’t show much appreciation or thought for the bridal couple and your relationship with them.

It’s understandable and normal that you might be feeling nervous, but if you just take a few deep breaths and just be yourself, it will show.

You don’t need to race through the speech, you can read it at your own pace by taking tiny breaks and looking around the audience and the bridal couple.

Eye contact and even adding your own humour in between sentences goes a long way. And if you want to break the ice, you can always start by being honest and funny and saying something like “I’m absolutely an awesome best man, but not exactly great at speeches…”

Keep the best for last.

If you want your speech to be memorable and make an impression, keep something amazing
for the end. Whether you end with a joke for laughter, or whether you end with a poem for tears, just make the ending special and make eye contact with the bridal couple as you do it. And if you want to make it extra special, toast not only the bridal couple but also their parents. This will touch their hearts and show that your thoughtfulness.

And last, and probably the most important advice we can give is, don’t drink too much alcohol before giving your speech!!!
We’re sure you can see the wisdom in that…

Diana x

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Mindset is everything…. by TaraD

“When you have a ‘solution thinking mindset’ and choose to focus 80% of your thoughts  / words on solutions – you will not only be heading more speedily to long-term success, but you will immediately feel better in the moment.” Karen Salmansohn

For those of you who don’t know who Karen is, she is the best-selling author of Be Happy Dammit, among many other books.  I thought her quote was appropriate for the theme of this short blog: solutions and mindset.

By now everyone has a story to tell about the state of the world and their own experience within it.  Within our own diversity as human beings everyone has approached it in different ways; some people have chosen to dwell in misery and continue to hold on tight to the drama that is splashed all over the media, others have accepted the facts and started looking towards the future and finding options and solutions.

I personally have chosen to surround myself with positive things, people and situations.  I’m not ignoring the situation and hiding under a blanket. I am simply looking for the silver lining in the positives in my life instead of dwelling on the negatives, or on what’s broken.  In reality we’re all facing similar things, but it is our mindset that makes all the difference.

Let’s make this article more specific to the thousands of brides who had to cancel their weddings.  Or did they?  I’ve been following brides from around the world, who find themselves in the same situation, and was pleasantly surprised to see how some of them handled the situation and came up with different solutions for their story.

Of course these ideas will not work for everyone, based on several circumstances, but it is just to give you a glimpse of possibilities; where couples chose not to dwell on what IS, but chose to get excited about what WILL BE.

For some couples keeping the original date of their wedding was important, and they didn’t mind giving up the reception part. I’ve seen couples who held a wedding celebration with just themselves (bride and groom) and the celebrant in their own backyard that was beautifully decorated.  They had a beautiful cake, toast and flowers.  They chose to hold a reception and renew their vows on their 1st wedding anniversary.

I’ve seen couples getting married in the church, only themselves and the parents were present (and distanced appropriately as per the rules in place at the moment).  They chose to say their vows now and hold the celebration next year.

I’ve seen couples getting married in the Registrar’s office, or City Hall, depending on what country you live in.  Only the couple and witnesses were present, at appropriate distances of course.  They chose not to do the church wedding and hold a celebration next year for their anniversary.

I’ve seen couples get their family and friends together to get enough chairs to hold a wedding / small reception on a farm, out in the open, where everyone could sit a bit further away from each other.  They chose to have only family present in order to be able to hold the wedding.  Everyone chipped in with flowers, chairs, decorations…definitely a tale for their story book.

I’ve seen many couples who just accepted the current situation as a fact and made a decision to postpone their wedding until next year because for them it’s still important to have the wedding as originally planned with all their loved ones present.  But what I have seen is a lot of them getting excited about the chance to ‘revise’.   Many of them now have a chance to review and change any part they were not completely happy with, like the venue.  Others have decided to make their wedding next year ‘bigger and better’ to make up for the delay.

Some couples chose to do a celebration of the original date of their wedding, whether it’s just a toast in the garden, or a movie and pizza night and do a video to send to their family and guests with the invite for the new date next year.  Some couples have done some really cool photo / video montage of their story to send out as the new ‘wedding invitation’ for next year.

Not all these ideas work for everybody as everybody’s situation is different and so is the mindset.  This is just something small to give all our brides a burst of positivity and some excitement about what WILL BE.  Fall in love with your wedding plans again, it is not so much about WHEN you will get married, but more about WHAT do you want that day to represent?  You have a chance to review what is really important for you, who do you really want to share it with, what can you do to make it extra special?

We will be bringing you some trends from around the world soon to help you feel that excitement once again…

Diana x

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Postponing your wedding? You may want to read this…. by TaraD

From Heartbroken to excited…..

Since we shot our last wedding on the 14th March 2020, I, (like many others) have been dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions.

I have learnt so much from the last month and feel that I have really grown as a human being (and not just physically with all the extra food I’m snacking on!).

We have been chatting to lots of brides and one mentioned that I had changed her perspective from “heartbroken” to “excited again”.

Just think about that for a moment, from “heartbroken” to “excited” completely opposite emotions.

I then went onto have a business call with a group of business owners and I mentioned in conversation, how I had switched someone’s perspective and it made everyone stop. It was almost a mic drop moment. They felt that my words had potentially changed that woman’s life in a great way and I hadn’t thought of it. They asked how the rest of her day would have continued with her fiancee? Her family? Her friends? To go from upset and heartbreak to being excited again just by reading a heartfelt message that I had sent to her. How would her next phone call go? Instead of tears it would be “but we can do that now instead, we have more time to save for this etc….!”

For me its all about perspective, it is about seeing things from a different point of view. Life has always been that way for me. I studied “To kill a mockingbird” in school and recently again during this lockdown with my 8 year old. I explained to him a quote that has stuck with me ever since. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.. until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.

I think by nature we often become so focused on our own problems that we don’t see others. Not because we are selfish, or careless but because it doesn’t necessarily affect us.

I have noticed online in various wedding groups and heard lots and lots of couples using words like “devastated”…. “heartbroken” …..“torn”.  I began to feel that I was missing something, or maybe they were (un-intentionally of course!). Those words are associated with grief and death, which I could relate to the virus. But I wouldn’t associate them with rescheduling a wedding.

Why? Well, we aren’t talking about cancelling a wedding which is associated with loss and grief when a relationship dissolves. We are talking about postponing. Simply moving the celebration to a later date. This is a chance to breathe. We are always so busy with life and planning a wedding is even more hectic than the everyday stress. Now you have an opportunity to literally just breathe! Have fun together, go for walks (within 2k!), learn more about each other than you ever knew before.

This unprecedented time is like an intense pre marriage course! You are with your spouse 24/7. This time will help you to adjust, to give each other space, even if you can’t physically! You will learn to share jobs at home that you never had to do before. You will learn how to come up with solutions to keep each other sane! 🙂

If you are already parents, you will have a whole other range of challenges and learning opportunities thrown into the mix! 🙂 All the parents reading this are currently saying “HELL YEAH!” 🙂

This time together is incredible. This pause is giving you the opportunity to focus on what you REALLY WANT, without all of the daily distractions and pressures that are normally happening while trying to plan a wedding. You can give it your complete attention now, or very little if you choose to take a break from the planning! Both are perfectly ok, you choose what works for you!

For me  instead of focusing on the fact that I don’t know when we will get to shoot a wedding again. (Just to clarify this is our livelihood. Like many other suppliers, to potentially loose all our weddings this year is not something we can brush off lightly). I am looking at all the opportunities this last month has given me and I am incredibly grateful for that.

Instead of feeling sad every time I get an email with someone changing their wedding date, I am feeling happy that they are now stress free. They can now look forward to their wedding instead of being scared on the lead up to it.

Every morning I start with a coffee and my notebook and list 10 things that I am grateful for. This may sound completely crazy, (or pointless) I know, I thought so too when I was first asked to try it! But what have you got to loose? Try it and see how it makes you feel, how it switches your PERSPECTIVE on things.

How you start to realise how incredibly lucky you really are! You have your health and you are safe. In the world we are living in right now that is worth celebrating.

So lets switch our perspective and see how it makes you feel.

Instead of stressing over how I am going to make ends meet, I am grateful for the amazing amount of focused quality time with my children. I am learning about them, watching them grow, teaching them daily life skills as well as the home schooling! I have got to know them both better which seems crazy, but we now have much more time to sit and talk. It isn’t rushed or interrupted by me looking at the screen editing/emailing/designing while agreeing and nodding to them. (I know, great parenting! As I said at the beginning I have learnt a lot!).

I have also learnt how much I genuinely love my career and I can’t wait to return to telling people’s stories. I really miss it!

I miss creating, but now I am capturing my own story and my children’s story, for their futures.

Today I am grateful for the gorgeous sunrise and another opportunity to work in my garden. I am grateful for my family and friends health, my morning coffee, my husband, as we are continuing to work great as a team keeping everyone upbeat. The roof over our heads, the chats I will have with friends, the books I now have time to read, the memories I am getting the opportunity to create.

I am grateful for you, if you took the time to read the longest post I have ever written! I hope it helps!

With love,

Tara x

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Mothers day fundraiser for Heidi by TaraD

This is an event very close to my heart and I appreciate those of you taking the time to read this post.

We photographed Sinead and Steve’s wedding back in 2015 in Cork and like many of you hopefully know, we love to stay in touch with our couples and catch up for coffee’s when they can and hear about their growing families.

Our youngest Dáithí was born in 2017, Sinead and Steve had their first baby in 2017 and we were so excited for them and were messaging back and forth about the pregnancies, sleepless nights etc. Little did we, or Sinead and Steve know at the time, that Heidi would face many difficulties. Heidi is partially blind and hard of hearing; she also has Cerebral Palsy and therefore needs a lot of physical and emotional support. Seeing their beautiful little girl in and out of hospital was heart-breaking for us and we wanted to find a way to help. I had noticed that Heidi needs a lot of specialist equipment to help her sit up or have a bath, or even go out to the park she needs a specially adapted pushchair. Any parents reading this know that having a child is expensive but these additional costs can be crippling!

With that in mind we decided that we needed to do something to help and have organised an event on Mother’s Day at the Brehon Hotel in Killarney.

The afternoon will include an amazing 3 course lunch with entertainment for a super reasonable fee of €45 per person with all the proceeds going direct to help Heidi.

We also have the amazing Grace Foley who will perform for us and we have lots of other surprises for the afternoon in store.

We will also be offering all attendees a complimentary family/couple or individual portrait. This alone would normally cost much more than €45 euros so the value for money is going to be huge!

So if any of you are able to attend you can buy tickets here…

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/mothers-day-fundraiser-for-heidi-tickets-87620173297?aff=ebdssbeac

If you cannot attend but would like to donate, please get in touch or click here:

gf.me/u/xgy854

The third little request would be if you can share our event to others who might be interested we would absolutely love your support! Together we can make a difference!

Thank you!

Tara x

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All things wedding albums… by TaraD

Happy new year! We are in full flow this January hitting the ground running!

Does anyone else feel that Christmas was a distant memory even though we are only a few days into the new year? Well we do but we are incredibly excited about all the adventures and events lined up for 2020 so we hope its a great one for you too!

Diana has kicked off the blog writing for us, in between designing some beautiful albums. So here is some info from her on that!

“Designing an album for a special event in someone’s life, like a wedding, is an important part of a photographer’s job.   Our job is not done after the day is over and we all go home.  After someone ‘s special day, and after the long editing process , we get to have some more fun!  The first part of designing an album is to choose the top 100 photos (in the case of a wedding) that we feel represent the major parts of the day.  They should represent special moments like the bride & groom getting ready before church, bride arriving at church, the ceremony, family portraits after the ceremony and so on… 

 

 

Then we review what we know about the couple, from working with them in person as well as from the photos. For example, what are some of their hobbies?  What are their favourite colours? Are they part of a team?  We do this so we can better personalise their album with something more relevant for them like their favourite colour or poem or song or special moment from the wedding.  

 

 

While the majority of couples choose a plain black / white background for their wedding album, giving them the option of colours, themes or graphics can really make their album and photos stand out.  Every couple should consider this when working with their photographer on their album.  While we create this initial version of the album, we work closely with the couple on revising it until they are happy with the final product. This album will exist for generations to come and will tell your story, it should be as personal to you and as beautiful as possible.”

 

 

Want to know more about our albums? Or would you like us to design a beautiful album for you? Then get in touch today to see more samples!

Until next time,

Happy January!

 

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Post Valentine’s Day! by TaraD

“Small things done with great love will change the world.”

On valentines day my friend Lorenzo, (you may remember him on the news/late late show/ social media etc visited my son’s school to tell them about his night out at sea. He told his amazing story of survival and explained the power of the sea and how we should respect it. The children asked how he survived, “Did he see any sharks? Did he get scared? What did he eat? How could he see in the dark? How did he stay alive?” and the real question from one of the juniors was “Did he get bored?”. It was an afternoon of lessons and laughter. We were reminded that we are all small beings in this huge universe, like he was a tiny speck that night out at sea. Lorenzo talked about never giving up no matter how tough things may seem. Even in the most difficult of situations there is always hope and if that was the only lesson the children took home, that is an incredibly powerful one!

After such an eventful afternoon, I enjoyed some time with my boys “doing nothing” which is a huge challenge for me as there are always jobs to be done! I guess those are the perks of running a business! In that downtime, my eldest had a real heart to heart chat with me, while my youngest began picking daises for me!

My mum offered to babysit, which meant Dave and myself could go out and enjoy dinner and have an actual uninterrupted conversation! Any parents reading this will totally get where I am coming from here!!!! 🙂 

So my reason for sharing this is, that sometimes we need to slow down.

We need to stop and be aware of the amazing things that we are often too busy to notice. We are more aware of acts of love and kindness on specific days like Valentines due to the radio, tv, magazines etc bombarding everyone with “Valentines stories and ideas”, and some feel obliged to buy the cards, flowers, chocolates etc.

But why can’t we apply the principal and show those acts of kindness all year round?

Be kind, share your story, listen to others and make someone smile, it doesn’t cost a thing! 🙂

“Happy Valentines” LOL….

Tara x

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10 years on…. by TaraD

This has taken me awhile to actually sit down and write because to be honest it is incredibly emotional for me!

Who would have thought starting out at (the somewhat nieve age of 25)  into the big bad world of having your own business, that there was any possible way it would work?

Yes I always had the drive (or stubbornness as I have been told many times!) but even I didn’t think it would be “enough” in such a competitive market.

I went to art college with the intention of making art to make a difference in someway. To make people think, change perspectives, to make a point.

The other career I considered was a lawyer (so you can see how these both relate!). I meandered back and forth to photography and then once I left college, I was encouraged to persue it more and learn from some of the best photographers I know. Some of these I am now lucky enough to call friends. They gave me the skills needed, the confidence and practical experience allowing me to train with them and enable me to take the leap on my own.

So you may be thinking but how on earth is being a Photographer making a difference? Well for those of you who have lost a loved one, you will know that you grasp onto anything you can, to keep the memories of that loved one alive. The first thing we all look at are photographs. So for me (who lost my dad at a young age) photographs kept those memories alive. They remind me of those happy times, the laughter and of course also the tears. Being a photographer has allowed me to pass on this gift to others. I feel incredibly honoured to be able to photograph any event as I know that the product I am producing will one day be brought out in 10/20/50 years time and discussed with joy and love attached to it. It isn’t just a “picture”. It is a visual aid that can transport us to a different time, a different place. That is why each wedding, newborn or family portrait session is so important. It isn’t just “a shoot”. It is a record. Of that day, that moment, that precious time, that we want to keep in our hearts forever. In the instant, “throw away” commercial world we currently live in there are very few things that you can say that about.

I think it is this love that has driven our business. It is what keeps us in the office late into the night or early in the morning before anyone else is up. It is that love for what we do. It has a purpose.

It isn’t just a “job” or a “business” it is our story blending with those that we meet to capture and create something new.

So from an idea which started with me and a laptop on my knees and one camera in a bag. To a fully operating and expanding photography business that now supports our family, inspires those that we teach and train and those who come on our internships. I am incredibly emotional, happy and thankful to all of those who have made this possible. I will be forever grateful.

We hope that you will continue to be part of our journey and we will always be honoured to be part of yours.

Thank you to each of you who celebrated our milestone with us in person and in spirit at the Killarney Brewing Company. We were incredibly blown away by the turn out, (especially for the weekend that was in it!). To our good friend and collegue John Foley, Cosmo Video Productions for capturing all the antics on camera for us, THANK YOU! For the AMAZING cake by O Carroll’s Cakes, that tasted just as good as it looked! Thank you!!!!

Thank you to Liam Sheehan www.liamsheehan.ie who surprised and enthralled everyone with his tricks and mind reading! We can’t wait for an opportunity to have him back again! He is a “must have” for any event! Words honestly can’t do him justice!

To Elaine and the team at the brewery for putting up with us (thanks again!) LOL!

To each and every one of you for your support and good wishes, we hope to see you all again soon.

Wishing you a very happy and peaceful new year.

With love!

Tara & Dave x

 

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Today I am thankful…. by TaraD

This week I was asked if as a “Scorpio” I am a private person, my reply was, “maybe, sometimes”. The person asking me laughed and said well even your reply is somewhat private.  I was unaware how private I actually am until I started to think about it! 🙂 It also made me realise that there is an awful lot that goes on (in all of our lives) that many others are not even aware of.  So for the day that is in it, I want to make public what I am extremely thankful for….

  • I am thankful for my family. Life would not be the same without them. Our two boys have brought us the most amazing happiness and I will always feel extremely blessed that they made it into our lives and this world.
  • I am thankful for my mum who puts up with all of our chaos even though I am now 35 LOL.
  • I am thankful for my friends. The one’s who probably don’t even realise how much I love and respect them, but I know and that’s all that matters 🙂
  • Hugs, but they have to be more than 20 seconds long! There is scientific research to show the health benefits.
  • Our (work in progress) home. It is full of love, provides warmth, shelter and a place for the kids to play. As we face into the cold weather (and as homelessness is a topic that fires us up as a family), I am thankful that we are able to have these “basics”.
  • The smell of coffee brewing, it is a simple thing but it makes me feel good!
  • My career. I work hard and long unsociable hours, but it is at something that I enjoy. I am lucky to have the opportunity to do that. I couldn’t be in a 9 to 5, I would go completely insane!!!
  • Being able to work with my husband (even though sometimes I want to strangle him LOL!). But we make a great team and we keep each other on our toes with our competitive natures!
  • My health and the wake up calls it gives me when I need to slow down! (I do listen (most of the time!) I promise!).
  • Random acts of kindness. They are the best!
  • A heartfelt thank you note. If someone takes the time to write, it really brightens my day!
  • I am thankful for LOVE, for without it what would there be? I wouldn’t have a family, a career, or a story to tell! 🙂

What are you thankful for today?

Tara x

 

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Choosing the Right Props for Your Next Photo Session by TaraD

Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures. Get your children to hold coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot. Love sports? Then use baseball bats in your next family photo to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session.

 1. Avoid trends.While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from.

2. Be realistic. It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your photo session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone in the photo.

3. Size matters. There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions such as using your grandpa’s farm tractor as a background piece. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn’t detract from it.

4. Make it meaningful. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family.

5. Use what you have. Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing.
Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus.

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