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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5 things you possibly didn’t know about me! by TaraD

Booking a photographer is a pretty big deal! You don’t want to spend your day with just anyone. This is the one supplier that you will spend time with before the wedding (planning, prepping,  having a pre shoot etc). You may spend up to 12 hours with your photographer on your wedding day (depending on your choice of coverage). They will also be one of the only suppliers that you are in contact with after the wedding as the album design process begins. So it is really important to make sure that you feel a good connection and that you can work together well.

So here is a little insight and 5 things you probably don’t know about me.

1: Coffee addict
I enjoy my morning brew so much that I get up at 5am to sit and enjoy it in complete peace lol. I also find I’m incredibly productive at that time so coffee in hand I can take over the world lol.

2: I am a workaholic.

I love what I do so I think about work related things constantly! Working with my husband Dave, I often burst into conversation about an idea for a shot (often over breakfast when he has only just taken his first sip of coffee and has to tone down my enthusiasm), at least until he has woken up properly! 🙂 I am the complete dreamer he is the realist 🙂 It works pretty well to bring me back to earth when needed!!!!

I was actually working in the recent picture of me here, on the balcony of our holiday apartment at 5am before everyone woke! Can you also spot the coffee! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Because I have so many ideas, (the crazy artist in me!) I have learnt to always carry a notebook so I can scribble them down. It saves getting back to the office and not having a clue what that amazing brainwave was!!! 🙂 Anyone else super forgetful?

3: I am a super proud mother.

I always wanted to be a mum and our oldest arrived in an incredibly dramatic way (not the way I had imagined!) and it was quite traumatic but that’s a whole other story!

Now he is still dramatic lol but he literally makes every single day so much fun. He fills our home with laughter, mess and noise (his younger brother helps with that too!) but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

We were blessed with our second son two years ago. He had a much calmer entrance to the world (2 paracetamols and the job was done lol) and he is generally pretty laid back. He adores his big brother and is like his shadow copying everything he does. They literally make my heart smile and I realize how lucky I am every single day to have them in my life.

4: I love the sea

I was born in the city but the sea is my happy place, I love the sound of the waves, the smell of the seaweed, the vastness of nothing but sea ahead. I love to walk by the sea, play with the boys there and I feel refreshed and renewed by the sea air!

5: I love quotes
I even have a tattoo of one and it includes reference to the sea!!!  🙂

So that’s enough about me! Want to join me for a coffee to chat about you? 🙂
Tara x

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Hello readers! by TaraD

My name is Diana Ascenso (my friends call me Di) and I’m the new member on Tara and Dave’s team.

We’ve only been working together for a few weeks and so far it’s been quite amazing and lots of fun!
Sometimes we work together and sometimes we each work individually which makes for great work / life balance and makes Tara and Dave the best bosses ever!
I moved here from New York where I have been working in the fashion and graphic design industries for the last 20 years. I then qualified in Photography and now I combine all my skills to create one-of-a-kind products for Tara and Dave.
Besides acting as a second shooter when it’s very busy, I also work on designing one-of-a-kind wedding albums for all of you beautiful couples out there.

By now I feel like I have got to know many of you through the amazing wedding photos. I am looking forward to working with more clients in person, as we develop our plans here and that will help me to further personalise your albums.

Until then I will be keeping  you posted with our adventures! There is a very exciting and busy summer ahead!
Diana 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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And then there were four :)….. by TaraD

So most of you know by now we have been blessed with another beautiful boy!

Dáithí arrived at the end of May on a Tuesday which was really good of him not to interrupt a wedding day! 🙂

All went really well and now our home and our hearts are fuller and life is just that bit crazier! Who would have thought that could be possible?

I have to laugh when I get asked CONSTANTLY is he good? What defines a good baby? One that is happy and healthy and eats and poops regularly?

Does he sleep? Yes of course he does, but does he also wake? Well yes I would be worried if he didn’t wake up for a feed, a cuddle and some play time!

I don’t mind being woke up at 3 am and seeing the amazing satisfaction and pleasure that something as simple as a clean bum and a feed brings to him, makes it all worthwhile. He isn’t asking for much 🙂 His smile could make even the grumpiest person at 3am forget why they were ever grumpy!

So for all the new mums that may stumble across this post, keep doing what you are doing, stock up on coffee (as that helps when you are having a particularly tired day!) and remember that you are AMAZING!

 

 

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Interview with Tara by TaraD

Tara 

How did you become interested in Photography?

I was always interested in Photography and using Camcorders. I got my first camera when I was about 8.

Have you always worked as a wedding photographer?

No. I worked as a press photographer. I also worked as a studio photographer in Pixi Photos and I  worked in an Art Gallery as an assistant director.

Where did you study?

Firstly, I studied Art Craft and Design in Kerry College of Further Education. Then I went onto GMIT to study Fine Art and specialised in Sculpture. I’ve also done several courses on Photography in London, Spain, Scotland and worked with other photographers before starting out on my own.

What was your first camera?

I can’t remember my very first camera as I was only a child! But my first semi-professional camera was a Canon 350.

What make of camera have you now?

Canon 5D – mark 2’s and mark 1’s.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

Meeting people. Every day is different and there is no routine. I’m allergic to routine 🙂

What do you enjoy least about it?

Accounts!!

Have you any advice for someone interested in becoming a photographer?

Do as many courses as possible – you can never learn enough. Things keep changing, there are always new cameras, new techniques etc. We still go for training at least once a year!

Any advice for setting up a business in general?

Get a good Accountant. Talk to others in a similar business. Research – particularly market research. Is there enough work in the area to justify setting up in business in a particular location? There’s no point in 6 photographers setting up in the same area if there isn’t enough work to justify it.

How do you market your business?

Online, Bridal magazine adverts e.g. Brides of Kerry, Confetti. Real wedding features in different magazines, where they feature one of our weddings is always fantastic! Car signage, wedding shows and most importantly referrals!

Have you ever had any strange requests as a photographer?

I have been asked to do so many random things I can’t share! Some you just have to laugh at!

Have you photographed any celebrities?

Yes. President Michael D Higgins. The Healy-Raes and some other TD’s

What do you do in your spare time?

Sleep and Yoga!! I also try to get out and walk the dogs and spend time with my 5 year old son, Cailean

What’s your favourite movie?

I don’t really have one.

What’s your favourite drink?

Red wine – when I’m not pregnant!

What’s your favourite food?

Probably Spaghetti Bolognese.

What’s your favourite music?

Easy listening/Acoustic music

What two things would you bring to a desert island?

My child and a bottle of red wine!!

Have you a favourite saying/phrase?

It’s nice to be nice! (but hard to be good looking – Dave added that!)

Have you any dreams for the future?

To retire LOL and go to the desert island with my family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Behind the scenes… by TaraD

Summer is here and I hate to say it but the kids are almost back to school!

Cailean starts “big school” at the end of this month and I am excited for him and for me! I won’t know what to do with myself with all the free time that I will have to edit lol!

Has your summer been full of great moments or has it just whizzed by? 🙂 We have had the busiest wedding season ever, so to balance I get up at 5am edit for a few hours while everyone is still sleeping and then enjoy as much of the day as I can with my family before heading back to the desk. It is a fantastic perk of having your own business is that you may work late into the night or early in the morning but you have the freedom to do so and not miss out on life. When the sun is shining it is VERY hard to sit at a computer for the day!

What else has been happening…. Well some of you mums out there have been asking about my Letters to Cailean project. It is still in progress, I am just scribbling letters in notebooks to later post and publish into a book for Cailean. He has had quite an eventful year this year! He has done more travelling, learnt tons of life skills, made new friends and most importantly had fun!

We also lost an important man in our lives this year which was a difficult time and taught Cailean and myself a lot. I know I am drawn to photography because I capture moments and record them forever. It is like being an historian. There is nothing that makes you realise that more than when you are watching someone pass away and thinking back and looking at photographs of happier times.

On a much happier note, in the last two weeks we have also gained some very unexpected new additions “Strong” and “Coffee” to the household.

Cailean named them and it might give you an insight to our lives when even our 5 year old knows our addiction lol..

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So when we have couples coming to visit to discuss their wedding plans, they also get to see the “farm” which now includes: a husky and her two pups, hens, a rooster, bees, cats and fish (oh we got an extra one of those too called Nessie after being in Scotland lol).

I get asked so often how I have time for all this chaos, it is slightly organised chaos and it seems to work. It makes our family smile and that’s all that matters. We don’t have a tv (which takes up an awful lot of hours in the day if you think about it!) as we decided that all that was ever on was depressing nonsense! So our time is spent working (which doesn’t feel like work when it is something that you enjoy), having fun and making our house a home.

As the sun is beaming through the window calling me to go outside and the rooster is calling for his breakfast! I will leave you with the thought that “Today is a day that will never come again, so make it a great one!”

Lots of love

Tara xx

back to school pictures

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Rain gives us life! by TaraD

Boy running in the rain

Ok so I think we are all getting a little frustrated with the Irish weather. It’s april and we really are having four seasons in one day!

Snow in the morning, flooding in the afternoon, a blast of sunshine and even storms brewing at night.
The kids want to get out to play, the adults want to get out for a walk or do some jobs in the garden instead it is a daily challenge to get from the house to the car without getting saturated!!!
It brings everyone’s mood down, makes us all feel a bit rubbish unless of course you are a 4.5 year old!

As many of you might have realised, I learn a lot from my son. Looking at the world through a child’s eyes is an art we as adults loose.

Let’s look at this crazy weather from a child’s perspective…
Anytime that we look out and it’s raining, Cailean says it’s ok “Rain gives us life”. It’s that simple!
So instead of complaining and feeling sorry that we aren’t sitting on a beach right now, I will look at the world through my son’s eyes. Yes Cailean rain does give us life and our grass wouldn’t grow as easily as it does in a drier climate. Our country quite simply wouldn’t be as beautiful as it is if it didn’t rain so much! So instead of complaining, I will pass on another little piece of wisdom I once heard. “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!” So lets throw on our wellies and waterproofs and make every day count!

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Letters to Cailean, “Stay you”… by TaraD

I have always encouraged you to draw outside the lines, to think outside the box and nurture the creative streak that you have. This means that others may find you “different” and you ALWAYS have to remember that being different is AMAZING! The most interesting people I know are “different”.
What fun is it to follow the herd? It’s boring spending your life in others shadows. So continue to “invent” ways to travel to space, tools to make your day easier, robots to clean your room (I would love if you could organise that LOL). All the inventions that you tell me about daily are amazing for your age. I hope you always have that passion of figuring out how to make the impossible possible. I still try it at 32, constantly questioning but “What if?”
Sometimes it works and I get to try amazing things and other times it doesn’t and I learn from those experiences.
You are an incredibly strong individual. You are making your way in this challenging world and I can already see you developing some pretty smart coping mechanisms in dealing with your peers who are questioning where you “fit in”.
Stay you little man and always remember, “when you follow the herd, you are bound to step in sh*t!” 🙂

Love mum xxxx12832308_10156627771180261_1842384485803187863_n

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Letters To Cailean – Dress up! by TaraD

So I have well and truly fallen off the wagon! These letters have been scribbled in my notebook but haven’t made it to the blog as I have just been too busy!

I have seen many social media posts where January has been regarded as a practice month for new years resolutions, with many beginning again in February.
So with that in mind I wont beat myself up but get on with it and start getting back on track!

For those of you who have also let the new years resolution slip, don’t give up lets start again.
TDP28793

“Dressing up!”
An average day in our office begins with two cups of coffee each and a long list of tasks to get through. Our to do list never gets much shorter, but I often reassure myself that if it was to get shorter that would mean that work would be quieter and there would be less to do, this in turn would probably make me panic lol. So its good to have a constant “To Do” list
We often get distracted from this list and the days plan of action as phone calls an emails can mean our priorities change.

As many of you know working from home of course has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage being when your child is sick, it is easier to juggle looking after your baba and work. Whereas if you were tied down to set hours in a specific workplace you have to organize a babysitter or phone in sick yourself.

Cailean was sick and off school for a week and he was popping into and out of the office between naps. This particular day both Dave and myself were dealing with a difficult task, the stress levels were increasing and Cailean popped into the office with some accessories on. He was wearing high heels, bracelets and a necklace and said “Look mum I’m you!”
Straight away the mood was lightened and everything was quickly put into perspective. Our son was obviously on the mend (which is all any parent cares about) and there will always be days when work may be more of a challenge but it isn’t worth getting stressed over!!! J
Cailean then decided to dress up as his dad which was even more hilarious (See pics).
I am sure every parent is blown away by their children daily but our little one really does impact on our lives in such a huge way. We are so blessed to have him!

Dear Cailean,

I love those random memories that make me smile, no matter what is going on in my life right now.

Love mum x

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