Letters to Cailean – Tara’s new year project by TaraD

So as we approach back to school and work, planning multiple goals and new year resolutions (that are often certain to fail), is the norm at this time of year.

Many of us feel pretty shattered from late nights of partying (I wish!). Or if you have been working like us, you may feel delighted to have had such an amazing Christmas working with great people, but you are also looking forward to a few days off and a hot bath to ease the aches and pains. (Having cameras strapped to you for over 30 hours in 3 days makes muscles hurt that you didn’t know you had!).

So back to the resolutions! This year I have decided to do something a little different which combines the two things that I love the most, my family and photography.

I am going to write weekly letters to Cailean (my four year old), with accompanying photographs (which I will also print and NOT LEAVE ON THE COMPUTER FOREVER!)

At the end of it I plan to create a book with the photographs and letters which will be a nice keepsake and reminder of 2016. All going well (now I’m being super ambitious, it may be something I will continue for other years).

I am hoping that one day he may read them and it will give him an insight about life, love and the general day to day chaos that our family is! 🙂 They will be pretty short and sweet, so it isn’t like it will be taking up my already non existent free time 🙂

It is something that I feel will make me focus, give me headspace to take a photo that I am not being paid to take, that is just for me. An image that will record something that I want to take, be it on good days or bad for us to look back on.

I feel that it will encourage me to document our own memories more and as our gift is capturing other people’s stories, why shouldn’t we also be recording our own?

As I have heard many times it is like a painter not wanting to paint his own house or a plumber not fixing his own leaking tap!

So here goes and I am sharing them with you so that I can’t give up easily half way through! 🙂  ….

Dear Cailean,

It’s the start of a new year, 2016, which for many is a time of reflection, planning and setting goals for the coming year.

Usually they include things like:

  • Loosing weight, (which your dad and myself are going to attempt and has already been put off until tomorrow LOL).
  • Save money for holidays, (you have already asked if you can go to see where Santa lives so we better start saving now!).
  • Learn something new, well you do that every day and we also learn from you so you have that one sussed.  The list goes on so I’m sure you get the idea.

Anyway one of my new years resolutions is to write to you, so that one day you can read these and have an insight into what was happening in your mad house and how much we love you 🙂 

Today is a rare day off, we have been working all over the holidays so haven’t got to spend as much time with you as we would like. But we are about to snuggle up in our “cinema” as you call it and watch a movie.

It’s moments like these that make me realise how lucky I am.

 I hope that when you are a grown man you will still want to come and hang out with your parents every now and then 🙂 

Thank you for bringing such life and love to our home.

Lots of love,

Tara (as you only call me mum when you are tired/sick or up to something and trying to get around me!). xxxx



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Not all who wander are lost by TaraD

As we are fast approaching the holiday season and Christmas madness seems to be in full flow, I feel quite relaxed compared to previous years. Even though work wise, it is probably our most hectic year yet!

Why hasn’t the christmas madness set in yet? I guess it is because after years of working as hard as possible to build Tara Donoghue Photography, I was offered the opportunity to fly half way around the world, take almost a month off and get to finish the trip with shooting a wedding with the backdrop as Sydney harbour bridge (YES I KNOW IT WAS AMAZING!!).

I have finally managed to re set the balance which as any business owner will know is like turning the titanic (a friend recently explained it to me with that metaphor and it really “sunk in” lol!)

Most business owners work late into the night, don’t take days off and usually end up checking in on some aspect of their business over any major holiday season. While others are running out the door never to think of work again until the holiday season is well and truly over! Being self employed is completely different. It is very hard to let go! If it is a business that you are passionate about you literally live and breathe it.

Flying to the other side of the world forced me to let go. Sitting listening to the sound of the sea, coffee in hand, while this side of the world was fast asleep, makes you think about the chaos, the pressure and the insanity we all put ourselves through daily in order to be the best we possibly can and provide the best we can for ourselves and our loved ones.  Spending every day playing, laughing, talking, exploring was amazing for us as a family and me personally. Life still carried on, brides and grooms still continued to enquire and book us for their wedding day, as we corresponded via email and the business didn’t fall apart because it didn’t have my undivided attention for a few weeks.

Christmas is all about family, it is about reaching out to friends, neighbours and strangers who may need a hand at this time of year. It isn’t about buying pointless gifts or stretching ourselves to the limit, it is about love.

As a Wedding and Portrait Photographer, it is my job to document and show “LOVE” on a daily basis. The love between husband and wife, parent and child, or sibling rivalry as may be the case in a family shoot 😉

We still have 6 more weddings to shoot in 2015, which is why I haven’t bought one Christmas pressie yet (but there is still plenty of time!). For me this christmas is about seeing our son in his first christmas play. It is about watching him get swept up in the magic of Christmas (Dave is still trying to convince him that Santa will need a beer left out for him!). It is about focusing on the present not presents and making and recording memories for us to look back on in years to come.

So if you feel yourself getting a little or a lot stressed out this Christmas, try to step back and focus on what is important.

Take time out to be present this Christmas.

With love,

Tara xxx



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Photography workshops by TaraD


farmyard photography, kerry landscape, Tara Donoghue Photography, husband and wife photographers


This month we were delighted to run our first photography workshop in Firies.

Since making the move back to the countryside, the open fields, hens, roosters, bees, sheep, outhouses and privacy makes for the perfect spot for any budding photographer to practice! We had a bunch of students with us for the day studying theory in the morning and after a lovely bite to eat putting it into practice in the afternoon. It was a great day for everyone and we were delighted that so many are hoping to come back for another workshop and are also booking one to one tuition to work on the areas that they are struggling with. So if you want to photograph your child’s sports days, parties, soccer matches etc. Or if you just want to get a better understanding of how your camera works then get in touch today to find out about our next workshop!

The mad bunch 🙂 having great fun while learning about photography.

Photography students kerry






Comments from the group…

” Had a great time really enjoyed it. I learned loads about my camera and taking photos the right way. Thanks again!”

“Well thanks so much to both of you for a wonderful day, the course was very good, the food was yummy and plenty entertainment! Looking forward to the next one. And what a lovely presentation box for the USB stick!”

“A well deserved beer for you both! Thanks a mill, had such an enjoyable (and very knowledgable) day! ”

“Had a wonderful day… Roll on the next one!”

Fancy one to one tuition?

Struggling with getting to grips on an aspect of photography? Get in touch! info@taradonoghuephotography.com or call us on +353 85 1555060 / +85 1196528

Our next full day workshop is on September 12th.

Gift Vouchers also available!



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How do you work with your husband? by TaraD

We get asked SO many times, how do we work together so well? So I thought it was about time that I wrote a post on it!

The short answer is, it’s pretty easy!

I have worked with many photographers over the years both before TDP began and since, but there is something very different about working with your husband. What many people don’t know is that Dave has worked with me since the very first wedding I ever shot. He came along and helped with my bags, got batteries, water and whatever else I needed and gave me the confidence and support I needed to step out into the big bad scary world of weddings LOL.

All the training, courses and work experience goes out the window when you are shooting weddings for yourself. It is now YOUR reputation on the line, YOUR responsibility and YOU want to give it your utmost and do the best possible job that any one can do! So with all that in mind, having someone by your side to help in whatever form possible was fantastic for me at the start of TDP. The added bonus was that Dave caught the photography bug and began to step out on his own. He began to study, question and understand why I shot something in a particular way or why I positioned couples how I did and began to get competitive with me which was great!

So this year TDP was fully booked by February for the year (WAHOO) and I knew that having Dave assist me just on wedding days wasn’t going to be enough. I needed help full time with admin, albums, editing, schedules, shoots and the general day to day chaos that happens in a photography business, so he came to the rescue again and is now here taking off the pressure full time 🙂

So back to the original question, how do we work together so well?

  • We know how each other thinks, (not in a boring predictive way, but in a scary sort of mind reading way that seems to happen). I need a lens he has it already, he needs a flash, I have it set up where he wants it. I need cars moved for a shot, it’s already done.  It’s intense teamwork at its best at every wedding.
  • He also knows “that look” and vice versa. So if we need to communicate across a room, cathedral or venue, a look can say a thousand words and we will know what the other needs.
  • Being married ourselves we have been through the “big day” together. We know all the emotions, stress, fun and games leading up to the day and of course the day itself. So if someone has a meltdown on the day, we completely understand! We have been there, done that and can tell you what’s the best next step to move on to enjoy your day! 🙂
  • The groom gets to have another guy with him in the morning. Dave fits in to the grooms preparations as if he is just another one of the lads. He is able to talk to the wall and the guys always have so much fun with him in the morning (resulting in great shots!).
  • Did I mention that Dave is a golfer (I don’t golf), but did you know that means he is like a walking weather man! This is amazing to have on wedding days! He has impressed so many couples giving me up to date weather info literally to the minute, in order to complete our shots and get shelter before the heavens open!
  • Sometimes our attention to detail and focus on your wedding photographs can be bad for us, like when we forget to eat, or when I need caffeine! But because we’re husband and wife, we care for each other; he knows what I need before I do and vice-versa! So, “Grab me a Coke from the bar real quick!” can be life-saving in the middle of a wedding party in the 6th hour of photography.
  • Most importantly we have fun and we enjoy working together. We are competitive so we enjoy challenging each other, we are real and we enjoy your day. If we didn’t love weddings as much as we do you would know. We live and breathe weddings and we love having the opportunities to work with such fantastic couples from all over the world, many of whom we now call friends.

If you think about it, how could it be anything else other than a huge advantage, to have a husband and wife team working with you on something as important as your wedding?!!!


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What do I do if it rains on my wedding day???? by TaraD

We are having such an amazing year this year that I am not getting enough time to blog (sorry!). So how did we kick off the new year? Well we were delighted to start it with a bang and photograph a fantastic Irish/American Wedding with a difference…..

It never stopped raining! 🙂 So what did we do? Kim put on her wellies that she had customised and brought with her to Ireland ‘just incase’ and we danced 🙂

The streets of Kenmare were infected by the fun and laughter we were having and I think the pictures say it all….

Thank you to mrs2be for such a fantastic feature of their day check it out here…









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Killarney Brewing Company by TaraD

On Sunday evening we were delighted to be invited to a networking evening with Kingdom biz at the Killarney Brewing Company.

Craft beers, a tour of the brewery and making new contacts, what better way to spend a Sunday evening!

The brewery is the perfect place for meetings, events, parties and it is so close to the town centre.

I will definitely be back for another visit! 🙂


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Weddings Online Photographer of the Year Awards by TaraD

A couple of weeks ago I had my hair and make up done (a very rare treat for me!) and I was on the road to Dun Laoghaire.

With my fabulous friend Cathy Troth (of Savoir Faire) we were all set to attend the Weddings online Awards at the Royal Marine Hotel.

For the second year running I had been selected as a finalist for Wedding Photographer of the Year 2015. To be honest to make it to the finals once (I was blown away) to make it twice was unbelievable. There are so many Photographers in the country and as you can imagine the competition is incredibly tough so I was over the moon.

Unfortunately I didn’t win the title of Photographer of the Year, but I had such a fabulous time meeting with the top wedding suppliers in the country. It was an incredible night and we definitely danced the night away as if we had won! J

So to all of you who took the time to vote for me, write us such lovely reviews and send such lovely messages while I was at the awards THANK YOU!

An award like that reinforces confidence in couples searching for their suppliers and also acknowledges the hard work and skill that goes into being the best that you can be in your chosen field. So here’s to next year and hopefully I will be recognised again and celebrating even more!

(A special thank you to Linda Clarke who took this lovely photo of us!)…

Thank you!

Tara xxx



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Kerry Wedding Show 2015 by TaraD

IMG_0567So our year is well and truly driving at full speed ahead after Sunday’s Kerry Wedding Show. With over 70 exhibitors it was the perfect place for any couple to book their wedding suppliers and grab fantastic deals!

This year I was honoured to be sponsoring a free wedding photography package for one lucky couple in association with Radio Kerry and Brides of Kerry Wedding Magazine.

Hundred’s of entrants from all over the county and from as far away as Cork and Limerick 😉 sent in their entries via email and Facebook.

The idea was to send in a photograph of yourself and spouse and your wedding date. The winner was then chosen by a panel of judges at the show. Thankfully I didn’t have that difficult task as I wanted everyone to win!!!

The winning couple chosen were Karen O’Mahony and her partner Anthony Lane who are getting married this December. I believe Karen was so excited that she cried and to me that means the world. If we could all take time out of our lives to give someone a gift that makes them so happy they cry, the world would be a better place! 🙂

So when Karen eventually gets over the shock, we will be busy planning her day with her looking forward to photographing a very special wedding. When the wedding and honeymoon is over, the excitement still doesn’t end, Karen and Anthony also get a fantastic double page feature of their wedding in Brides of Kerry Magazine! So I can understand why Karen was crying, it really is an amazing prize to win 🙂 🙂 🙂

For any of you brides reading this, Brides of Kerry is a must have! It is full of tons of tips, ideas, real wedding inspiration and generally everything you need to help plan your day. So if you weren’t at the wedding fair and got your hands on a free copy, I would recommend you get out to the shops and grab one before they are all sold out!

So before I get back to today’s editing, I would just like to say CONGRATS again to Karen and Anthony, WE CAN’T WAIT TO SHOOT YOUR WEDDING 🙂

Also a massive THANK YOU to Melanie O’Sullivan from Radio Kerry. Melanie is amazing, she works incredibly hard behind the scenes and every year manages to organise a fantastic event which is a must for all brides and grooms! We are already planning and looking forward to next year’s Kerry Wedding Show!

April Drew from Brides of Kerry, it was a pleasure working with you and thank you for calming my nerves before our radio interview (I will get over that fear this year lol!).

To my husband Dave, you survived your first wedding fair and thank you so much I couldn’t have done it without you!!! xxx

Finally to all of you who stopped by to look at our work and for a chat, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you and to those of you who booked on the day… let the excitement begin as we start our journey together!!! 🙂

Tara x


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Happy New Year! by TaraD

So as most face the first week back at work / school / college ready to face a new year, what are your plans for 2015?

Ours are….

To create a new website showing more of what we do, who we are etc (which you are hopefully reading this post on!)

To officially bring Dave on board to the team (I know it’s about time to acknowledge all the hard work that he does in the background!).

To spend more time with my family!!!!

To allow more time to get the creative juices flowing and refreshing the batteries (away from the computer!)

So as my foot has been firmly to the floor over the past number of years working extremely hard to build up our clients, to keep learning and up skilling and to be better and better each year. My New Years resolution is to slow down 🙂

Easier said than done for a workaholic writing this post at 1am! Don’t worry you will see just as many fabulous weddings, (if not more!) but my life/work balance will be hopefully be more balanced!!! I will attempt to do what very few self employed (working from home business people can do) and work to an almost reasonable office hour schedule (obviously this only includes my editing admin time and not shoots and weddings!). This takes extreme discipline and I’m hoping I can achieve it.

In return my son won’t be asking me to “look at him and not the computer” as I will be finished work when he is home. I won’t be missing out on the moments of life that we can never get back.

From talking to so many people lately they are feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of daily life and organising a wedding is a massive stress.

In order to keep things in perspective, I have found the perfect quote which is particularly relevant for us in Kerry ☺…..

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” Fitzhugh Mullan

Until next time ☺ Tara xxx

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