“Culture night is a national moment celebrating all that makes up the richness and diversity of culture in Ireland today.” Culturenight.ie
Together with a diverse group of young people aged 7-15 based throughout Ireland, we have been using photography as a tool of creation and exploration.
During lockdown, we reached out to young people interested in photography and asked if they would be interested in working together. We communicated online and began to look at what was on our doorstep or surrounding areas and how we could make it look interesting. We wanted to focus on creativity and inspiration in a time of such uncertainty.
The results have been incredible and the ideas and talent that the children have is so inspiring.
To be able to achieve this via online support, instead of via a traditional in person classroom situation, is also an additional achievement for the children. Photography is usually a real hands on skill to learn, but they didn’t let that hinder them and instead took all challenges and suggestions on board and figured out a way to create!
This project has become a passion of ours and we are now working on bringing these amazing photographs to print, in the form of a book that will be completed this year.
We are all very excited and hope that you like this sneak peak and insight to our project.
Where do you fit in, when you move from what you always knew?
I remember my first year in art college, we were set the task of creating a piece to do with “Identity”.
Most seemed to find the task so easy, as they had moved from home to college and they all identified with a particular place and the people from there.
Especially in Ireland you identify as being from “Kerry” or “Cork” for example.
I had no idea where to start. I didn’t have “one home,” I had lived in different places and my family were spread apart.
Almost 20 years later, a “random” video led me to being on a 3.30 am zoom call and we were discussing creating a piece about “Generations”. This would be a film piece, I am a photographer (challenge number 1! ). We had 8 weeks to complete it (challenge 2) and I still had to figure out all the technical details! (challenge 3-199 LOL!)
But unlike the feeling I had in college, this time I knew where I wanted to start and I was excited to try! So what’s the worst that could happen?
My mum has renovated a house that is over 100 years old. The house her grandfather built, my great-grandfather. A Kerryman.
I have always had a deep connection to my grandfather on my Dad’s side but I never knew much about Harry O’ Sullivan, until now. I decided to embrace this “Generations” project and started filming the land that my great grandfather worked and built his family home on. I decided to film my two boys who love to explore this land that we fondly refer to as “The hill”.
Conversations started with my mother reminiscing of days where she remembered helping her grandad on the hill.
My sons began to ask her questions and I realised how far back our family connection to this special place is.
As my film footage expanded, I tried to figure out how I could condense all this history into something that made sense for my boys in the future. I thought about the music and then another piece of magic happened. My mother handed me a cassette tape of an interview with her grandad and I converted it to digital and heard him sing….. WOW
I edited the piece within a few hours as I couldn’t stop. It all made perfect sense.
This was our story.
This was my great grandfather, born in 1890 talking to us and my children who were born over 120 years later!
To go from concept to a finished piece and feel that sense of accomplishment is amazing. I thought about keeping it just for our family, but that was coming from a place of fear. A place of worrying what others thought, being outside of my comfort zone. I ignored that feeling, uploaded the film and hit submit for what I thought was to receive review and feedback on how I could improve it…..
A couple of weeks passed and I woke up to AMAZING messages in my inbox from filmmakers in America congratulating me!
I had to go and find out what for!!! 🙂
The Educator’s Choice Awards have been chosen by the Lead Educator of the film project GENERATIONS, Allison Redmon, as those that fully embody the spirit of the FilmingLife® ArtHouse, and are noted for their storytelling, creativity and unique interpretation of the theme.
What Allison said about Tara’s film – ”From the first moment I pressed play on Tara’s film I knew this film was truly something special. Hearing the actual recording of her ancestors singing voice, seeing the old photos and hearing the stories of generations past, Tara masterfully edits her family history on their land in a way that made me teary. It’s a powerful reminder to record our family members, their voices, their pictures, their thoughts and to keep them alive in our own storytelling.”
My heart went into making this film and I hope to pour it into 1000’s more.
Not only for our own family but to be the first in Ireland offering heartfelt family films.
I feel so drawn to this as I know it is something that I “am meant to” do and I am grateful to those of you who have already reached out and asked me to capture your story.
As a photographer I have always loved capturing the essence of people’s stories. It has never been about “justpressing the button” for me. I see it as capturing moments that will become priceless in years to come. Now I have the opportunity to offer so much more. A way to capture the sound of laughter, as well as the visual reactions. A way to hear those conversations as well as view them. This isn’t just for us, this is for our future generations. This is for my boys and for their families.
Thank you to my mum for saying yes to all my crazy ideas, especially this one! I know it was way outside of your comfort zone too!
Thank you for introducing us to Harry.
I think he would get a kick out of “The hill” being seen in places as far away as Saudi Arabia, Australia, America and Canada.
As someone who is used to shooting weddings, a day full of beautiful things and beautiful beaming people, this last year has been a great challenge to stop and view what I shoot differently.
I am used to making everything look “perfect”, often ignoring the “mess” and creating the beautiful finished look.
Without weddings I have chosen to look at every day things in a fresh way that is equally as beautiful.
These are often the things that we take for granted. If the last year has taught us anything, it should be not to take anything for granted again. Planting strawberries is a simple task but now I have recorded it in such a way, that it is a beautiful memory for me and my husband and I know it will also be a beautiful memory for our boys to relive, maybe with their children.
Family films were born out of the idea to stop living for tomorrow and wanting this all “to be over”. Instead let’s start living for today.
Let’s find the beautiful in today because when we start to look, it is everywhere.
Take a look….
If you would like me to capture your family story please get in touch and I can book you in for this summer.
Past clients can avail of a fantastic offer for 2021.
Dates can be rescheduled if needed.
We will be working in line with all government guidelines.
Almost a year into the pandemic and I am sitting here writing this with a heart full of gratitude.
That sentence sounds strange. How is gratitude possible in a world where there is so much suffering? It doesn’t mean that I am oblivious or unsympathetic to what is happening right now. In fact it is quite the opposite. I often empathise too much (if there is such a thing). I have shred tears over the loss of people I may have had the honour of only meeting once. We also lost two beautiful women from our own family during 2020. But I decided that for my own sake and for my children’s, that I would choose to control the things that I can control. To let go of what I can’t and to be truly present, as none of us know what tomorrow has in store for us.
Yesterday I got up early and had a great plan for the day, but my youngest choose to take our day on a different journey by getting a bead from a toy stuck up his nose! We had to make a dash to the local gp and then onto A & E! As I sat in the waiting room with him, I thought about how lucky I am to have this service within 12 minutes of my home. I thought about how I was grateful he wasn’t in any pain and how he could breathe through the other nostril. I chose not to sit in a panicked, fearful state, thinking of all the worst case scenario’s (which I would have previously,) but instead in a calm, grateful mindset. I asked where I could get some water and a nurse went out of his way to buy me one from the canteen! I sat there thinking how lucky we were, while other patients were shouting at staff and complaining about the wait. Guess what, our patience and gratitude paid off as we were seen after about an hour (which is super fast compared to previous visits). The GP’s original plan for anesthetists etc, were all avoided when another Dr said, “lets try this first” and managed to coax my three year old to breathe out as hard as possible and dislodge the object himself! I was grateful and relieved, the two Dr’s also told me they were grateful for a good news story from their shift with very little intervention needed!
So why am I sharing all that? Well because we always have two choices. One is to panic, shout, fear, complain. Focus on all the doom and gloom and worst case scenario’s. Or we can choose to trust, to stay calm, avoid negativity and focus on what you can do in this current moment right now. What can you do that will make you feel great? Can you turn up some music and dance around your kitchen? Will you feel silly? Maybe, but will it lift your mood? DEFINITELY! Can you go for a walk? Can you take some time to sit and read a book or start a project that you have always wanted to do? Let’s use this time as an opportunity. Find things to be grateful for in your life today and I promise you, your life will change.
Mark Twain once said “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
These words have never meant so much to the world as they do today, where we live in such a fast paced world that we have forgotten some of the simpler things in life, like kindness.
The Random Acts of Kindness day, also known as RAK Day, officially started in 2004 after co-founder Josh de Jong
was stuck in Auckland, New Zealand traffic one afternoon and watched some irate drivers ahead of him getting into
a bit of a road rage.
He began to think… “what would it be like if on one day every person in New Zealand was kind to a stranger?”
That was the beginning of a movement that becoming more and more popular across some nations and is
gained wide spread popularity on social media. In New Zealand, on September 1st , the whole country comes
together to celebrate this very important day. This is also a great example of how one person CAN make a
Being kind is not difficult or very time consuming so why aren’t we all being kinder to each other? There are so
many small actions any of us can do at any given time to be kind to another. We shouldn’t need to have a
designated day to be kind to ourselves and others, it should part of our daily lives. In New Zealand you can even
download and print the fun RAK cards that you can leave with messages and gifts anywhere.
Here are some of our favourites:
Compliment a stranger
Write a note to someone telling them how much you appreciate them
Let someone go ahead of you in line
Leave a nice message on a stranger’s car
Write a card to someone overseas or an elderly person in your community centre
Drop off flowers on someone’s desk
Buy extra food with your shopping and drop it off at a food bank
Wash someone else’s car
Pay the bus fare for the passenger behind you
Pay for a cup of coffee to the person in line behind you
Leave a thank you note for someone who served you that day, like the table waiter.
Leave books you no longer need in public places for others to pick up
Have your wedding guests donate to your favourite charity in lieu of wedding gifts
Can you think of ideas for showing kindness to others and drop us a line in the comments box below?
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.
Wedding dress shopping is one of the most important things on a bride’s To Do List.
It can also come with a certain amount of stress if a bride is not sure where to start of what kind of dress would look best for her body shape.
This is a very simplistic, general guideline of the main body types and some choices of dresses that would best suit each particular body type.
Rectangle Body Shape
The body is well balanced at top and bottom and is fairly straight with a well defined waist.
In this case you want to enhance your arms and legs equally; add definition to both bottom and top body.
A-line dresses work well, ruffled, sleeveless, strapless and sweetheart lines all work well.
Triangle Body Shape (commonly referred to as Pear Shape)
The body has narrow shoulder and wider hips;
Especially the butt and thigh areas which are visually bigger. You want to enhance the top body to create balance.
A-line dresses also work well for this body type.
Dresses with more details at the top work well (whether it’s ruffles or V-necklines).
Avoid skin fitting tops / loose bottom dresses.
Hourglass Body Shape
The body is equally proportioned at top and bottom with a well defined waistline.
All types of dresses will look on this body shape, but anything that accentuates the waist or just a bit below the waist works the best. Body hugging dresses look good for this body type as well.
Inverted Triangle Body Shape
The body has broader shoulders than hips and is sometimes compared to an athletic body shape.
In this case you want to enhance your hips and bottom body to create balance. Keep the top of dress simple and minimal and let all the details (ruffles, layers, accents,etc) be part of the bottom.
The old trick of the deep V-necklines also helps to elongate the top body and give the illusion of narrower shoulders.
Round Body Shape (commonly referred to as Apple Shape)
You have a heavier upper body, broad shoulders, bigger bust and heavier at midriff with a minimal waistline. Since the weight concentration is above the hips, you want to highlight your legs and bottom for balance.
Deep V-necklines work well to elongate torso and give the illusion of narrower shoulders.
A-line dresses and Empire waist dresses are your best look.
Any dress with a higher sitting waist will work well. Long sleeves and ¾ sleeves also work for the top.
Avoid figure hugging dresses (like the mermaid style dresses for example).
Well we kicked of June with a 1000km, yes that is correct a ONE THOUSAND KM challenge to walk from Kerry to Manchester AND back in 30 days for Heidi.
Some of you may remember and some of you may have bought tickets to join us for our mother’s day event that unfortunately we had to cancel due to lockdown.
The event was to raise much needed funds for Heidi Patterson who has Cerebral Palsy. Heidi is almost 3 years old and the daughter of one of our couples from 2015.
We have spent months trying to come up with alternative ideas within these current restrictions it has been difficult. But I got this mad notion to go walking and for me it has always been “go big or go home” so I thought lets blow it out of the water with a big challenge like this.
I asked the team who were organising the mothers day event with me, Diana, Siobhain, Dave and Romy (who is one of our 2021 brides got roped in to this too lol) and they all said YES!
We started on Monday (June 1st) and with 3 days to spare we reached 1000km! It was an absolutely incredible journey for all of us. Mentally and physically it was absolutely amazing!
When we announced the idea so many people contacted me to ask if they could join in with us.
We had people walking throughout Ireland, the U.K and as far away as AUSTRALIA!
We wanted to keep the challenge of 1000km as a team and if we split that between more people it would make it much less of a challenge.
So we asked those who were happy to “walk with us”, to set their own km target for the month and raise some sponsorship if possible and
You can still donate to Heidi’s go fund me page here…
We have reached our financial target of €5,000 and people are still donating! Thank you!!!
#1000kmforheidi or #walkforheidi
We also had a live raffle of all of the amazing prizes that were donated for our original event and Grace Foley who was due to sing at our live event, kindly sang on zoom for us.
I am sad to see this journey come to an end. After a week of no walks I am anxious to get back into that routine again.
So I guess there is no time like the present and I better get my walking shoes back on!
We don’t, we’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like that sweet, smooth little piece of heaven.
Today is International Chocolate Day, and yes, that is a thing! We seem to celebrate so many other things, so why not celebrate something we all love so much?
Let’s admit it, we all find excuses to buy, eat of gift chocolates, so why not actually eat them on the day we’re celebrating it?
For those of you who like fun facts, chocolate has been around since 1750BC, as evidence found in Mexico.
Chocolate originates with the cocoa tree and it takes roughly 400 cocoa beans to make 1 pound of chocolate and 2-
4 days to make a chocolate bar. No wonder it’s considered a luxury.
Lindt, Godiva, Ferrero are all names that most people recognise globally. But who needs those when we have our own amazing chocolates right here in our backyard?
Ireland and Germany rate as the third biggest consumers of chocolate in the world! And it’s no wonder when we have our own brands of delicious chocolate being produced all over the country.
Many of them are hand-made and unique…and what can beat that as a gift? This is the gift that can’t ever go wrong.
If you have a special occasion coming up, like your wedding, or you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, an anniversary,
birthdays, Mother’s Day, here is a short list of some of Ireland’s best chocolates:
Hand made chocolates and an amazing day trip for the family as well to visit the factory and watch the chocolates being made.
Lily O’Brien personalised chocolates and great options for wedding gifts too. https://lilyobriens.ie
https://trufflefairy.ie/ – hand made chocolates. Requires a bit of travelling to Kilkenny but so worth the trip if you’re
into award winning chocolates! https://chocolategarden.ie/ – another choice for award winning hand-made chocolates, straight out of Co. Carlow.
They accept school tours too!
Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll make a great choice!
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…