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. (If you bought tickets please check your email for further info).
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 have already walked 125km so the team are smashing it. I need to get creative and figure out away to get the children walking, walks with them are at a snails pace (enjoying the surroundings which is fantastic!) but it doesn’t clock up many km’s! Maybe I could velcro them to the wall so they would still be in the same spot when I got back from extra walks? (Just kidding!). But I would like to catch up with the rest of team who are doubling my daily km’s so far this week!
When we announced the idea on Sunday so many people contacted me to ask if they could join in with us. We now have 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 have asked those who are happy to “walk with us”, to set their own km target for the month and raise some sponsorship if possible and
Thank you to Rima for writing this article for us…….
“It’s been over 2 months. I stopped counting the days once I got to week two and couldn’t figure out if it was Tuesday or Wednesday. My daughters harks to “When coronovirus is finished” so often, that now, its like a new month, era, a vision of when everything will be ok again and “normal”.
But after this “pause” of sorts, do we WANT to goback to “normal?”. Are our new personas able to fit into the circumstances of “before?” I’m not talking about fitting into wedding dresses here! I’m sure so many of us have learned lessons, about ourselves and others and life in general, that “normal” no longer exists. For many, working from home has opened the door for flexible work hours, helped them to develop self-discipline and many other advantages. As a mother, wife, teacher, I have seen many of these, though sometimes we have to look carefully for them.
Although there are some terrifying aspects to the coronavirus crisis, we have to accept, hasnt it been wonderful to see the whole world stay inside, keep themselves and others safe and find themselves? To witness the world healing, animals reclaiming land? To pause a little our frenetic lifestyles, to stop and smell the flowers, to make that banana bread. To stop, to breathe, to read the hungry caterpillar for the 1 millionth time without rushing your kids into the bath? It hasn’t been easy to juggle all these things under one roof, but it has been beautiful to learn to see each other as all the different parts of ourselves. To know that we CAN.
My children have seen me “teach” over zoom calls. I’ve heard my husband with his posh voice making work calls, I’ve seen my daughters become best friends.
There is always something positive. Having to postpone a celebration is so hard. But we develop resilience, patience and love never stops. It grows and grows. So when the day comes, think not about how and when it should have been, but how it is. Love so much bigger, better and bolder than ever before. How hugs are longer, how flowers smell sweeter than ever before.
My mum is always right, (as most mums are) and she always says, the best is yet to come…….
“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…
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!
How are you all doing? It is such a strange time right now as we aren’t meeting in person and chatting all things wedding or otherwise. Are any of you missing the interaction?
Are you using zoom and various apps to keep you sane?
Do any of you have a routine that you are sticking to? Or trying to stick to?
We are for the simple fact of helping to know what day of the week we are on and also giving us things to look forward to.
For example movie nights on a Sunday with the kids is a big one. Monday to Friday is school work and Saturday is a play day.
Monday is always an office afternoon for me, so I am trying to look at what I can improve. I think it is a really good time to re evaluate business and what works incredibly well and what can be better!
I have already established some ways I can serve our clients more efficiently so I will be implementing those changes immediately.
I am also using the time to brainstorm new ideas, to bring something fresh into our company. To learn new skills in this extra time. To study and of course take advantage of this extra family time we have been given!
Too often I have spoken to parents who say “they grow up too fast” “it went so quickly” and so on and they are completely right.
I went back to work straight away when I was building the business when Cailean was born and I remember the guilt I felt shooting a wedding on his first birthday.
I was more confident second time around and took time off with Daithi and we all enjoyed a work free Christmas together for his first Christmas and it was such a gift. We realised we had been pouring every second into our company.
So I am using this time to look inwards. What can I change? What can I do better? What will help others more?
I would love to hear what’s helping you guys through…. x
Yesterday I began a 90 day “I am” challenge with one of my coaches Christa Molter. The idea is to take a daily photograph of me saying an “I am” statement to myself in the mirror and to post that image on my insta stories to hold me accountable.
For Day one I chose the affirmation of “I am able” and today I have two ideas and they are “I am motivated and I am focused”.
If I forget to do a day I start back at day one. The purpose of this is to develop our self image with daily positivity and see the power of repetition and affirmations. If you constantly tell yourself that you can’t do something, chances are you will convince your subconscious mind that is true and therefore find it incredibly difficult to do the said task. Whereas the opposite is also true. It takes 30 days to form a habit so by the end of 90 days I should see and feel a massive difference!
If any of you would like to join me, I would love that so feel free to message!
With that in mind it has inspired a photography project and we would love you to join us with our “I am…..” Photography challenge. The idea behind this is to document what is going on for all of us right now. To acknowledge our feelings, be they happy or frustrated! To simply share as a community showing support to one and other as we are all feeling similar emotions. Sometimes it helps to know that others are feeling the same too!
To join the challenge capture a photo on any device inspired by the “I am ….” statement. Some examples are as I mentioned above, I am able, or I am motivated, I am focused, I can do this. Or it could simply be I am tired! 🙂 It can be anything at all but it should inspire the photograph that you have captured. Then tag us in a picture taken with the hashtag #TDPiamchallenge so we can all inspire each other and keep each other motivated to do it. Again the reason for sharing this is that we support each other and also lets make it fun! Lets encourage children to come up with “I am” statements. It is also a great way to find out how they are feeling without directly asking them.
We will also share some tips and tricks throughout the challenge to help develop your photography skills and another bonus is the visual diary that you are creating of yourself, your family and your environment during this unprecedented time.
So I hope you will join us….. I am willing, I am able, I am going to do this! Will you? 🙂
I was recently called to be interviewed about a piece on successful business women in Kerry, inspired by International women’s day.
#EachforEqual was the theme this year for International Women’s Day. This day was created to celebrate the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women across the globe.
It has been acknowledged since 1911 and more than 100 years later, we’re still going strong and fighting for our rights, our beliefs and our way of being in the world.
Separately and together we’re building a gender equal world for our children and the future generations.
As individuals we contribute by being mothers, employees, housewives, but collectively we also contribute by starting companies, organisations, support groups, going into men dominated fields.
Each one of us can make a difference, but together we become so much stronger.
There is much we can do to help and support women all over the world to succeed because when one of us succeeds, all of us succeed.
We can form support groups or join them, we can support companies created by women, buy products made by women, encourage our daughters to enter male dominated fields if they so desire, we can buy books and artwork from female artists, watch movies from female producers.
We are strong, we are resilient, we are powerful, we can create and achieve anything our minds can conceive, we need to pass this knowledge onto the next generation of daughters we are raising.
When someone phones you out of the blue and refers to you as a successful business woman that they want to interview, it is quite surreal to be honest!
I guess (would I be wrong to say as women?) we never see ourselves in the way that we should? Or give ourselves credit for the work that goes in behind the scenes to keep everything going behind the scenes.
So while it was and is, an absolute honour. I am also extremely grateful to be made to look at myself differently and recognised as an expert in our industry. I think even multiple awards and qualifications sometimes don’t hit home as much as a simple question regarding advice. If a person feels that they can turn to you for advice in whatever area that may be, then I guess they feel you are someone of knowledge in such an area. As I said even though I run a successful and growing photography business, have an amazing team supporting me and we also train other photographers, when someone that doesn’t know you approaches you it is quite an honor.
Thank you to Connect and their team, it was a priviledge to be asked and featured amoung such fabulously talented ladies!
The forth of February is World Cancer Day. Many people have a negative reaction when they see the ‘C’ word and that’s
exactly why this day was created.
In today’s world it is very rare to meet someone or a family that hasn’t been touched in some way by some form of cancer and who doesn’t have a story to tell.
Here are some basic facts about this very important day and why we should all join in on the celebration.
The World Cancer Day was established at the turn of the millennium, on February 4th 2000.
Its purpose is to encourage the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer by targeting misinformation, by
raising awareness and by reducing the stigma surrounding it.
Over 100 countries participate worldwide with almost 1,000 activities taking place around the world. People hold festivals, walks, seminars, campaigns. Some campaigns like the nohairselfie charity (#nohairselfie) go a little beyond and bring people together globally to shave their heads and post it on social media to show courage and support to those undergoing cancer treatment. You can even do it virtually through the app without having to shave your actual hair.
Major cities around the world have started to light up their major landmarks in orange / blue in support of this important day.
This year’s theme is “I Am and I Will”. It is a beautiful theme that is all about you and how you see yourself fittinginto this global event.
You complete your own sentence. I am (fill in the blank) and I will (fill in the blank).
For me this year’s theme is: I Am a survivor and I Will support others on their journey.
This was also my journey a few years ago and the fact I’m still here to write this article is a blessing. So I commit to
helping others on their journey in whatever ways I can, by donating, participating in events, talking and listening to encourage and support those on their own journey.
What does this day represent for you? Who will you be and what will be your theme?
If you want to know more about this day and how to help, participate, be a part of it…you can check out the official website www.worldcancerday.org
This will be a unique experience for a photographer of any level.
We will be facilitating an overnight workshop with lots of fun and laughter also guaranteed.
We will be meeting in the beautiful setting of Glenbeigh with Rossbeigh beach on our doorstep.
The course will include approximately 6 hours of shooting time – covering landscape and portrait photography, the sunset, astro photography and for the early risers, the sunrise the following morning! Bring warm clothes!!!
Also included is accommodation, dinner on the night of arrival (which is a great opportunity to network!). Breakfast the following morning, before our editing session where we will show some images that we have shot over the weekend and our post processing techniques. Wrapping up with a Q & A session by 12pm on Sunday.
If you are interested in taking a huge leap with your photography this will be a fantastic learning experience. Grab your tickets here:
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…