Control the things you can control… by TaraD

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.

Stay safe,

Tara x

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Making the most of this extra time…. by TaraD

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

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How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location by TaraD

Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn’t have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:

  1. What kind of theme do I want? If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don’t know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too.

 

  1. Are you allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it’s not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first.

 

  1. Is it accessible? Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way.

 

  1. How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it.

 

  1. Will the photo session be in a public place? If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location

Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.

 

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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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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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