Why should I have more than one photographer? by TaraD

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.

Diana x

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Dress for your shape by TaraD

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).

Here is a useful diagram we found on Reddit.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this helps!

Diana x

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International Chocolate Day by TaraD

Do you know anybody that doesn’t like chocolate?

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:

Butlers Chocolates and Cafes https://www.butlerschocolates.com/en

Cadbury Ireland https://www.cadbury.ie/ 
Skelligs Chocolate Factory in Co. Kerry – https://skelligschocolate.com/

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!

Yum yum!

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Best man’s speech…. by TaraD

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…

Diana x

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Mindset is everything…. by TaraD

“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…

Diana x

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Mothers day fundraiser for Heidi by TaraD

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…

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/mothers-day-fundraiser-for-heidi-tickets-87620173297?aff=ebdssbeac

If you cannot attend but would like to donate, please get in touch or click here:

gf.me/u/xgy854

The third little request would be if you can share our event to others who might be interested we would absolutely love your support! Together we can make a difference!

Thank you!

Tara x

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Why should I have an engagement/ pre wedding photo shoot? by TaraD

Firstly what is an engagement/ pre wedding photo shoot?

It is a photo shoot approximately 3-6 months before your wedding where you meet your photographer, often at a different location to your wedding and spend 30-40 minutes taking some photographs.

What is the point of this? Well the best way to think of it is what is the point of a hair or make up trial or a meal tasting? These appointments help you to finalise important details for your day. They help you to work through any plans and get on the exact same page with your vendors.

It also helps to:

  • Build a relationship with your photographer. We don’t turn up as strangers on your wedding day as we have already worked together.
  • Figure out any worries that you may have about being in front of the camera.
  • Help with some posing tips to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Have your photo taken in a much more relaxed setting than on the wedding day, so that on the wedding day itself you can relax into it. You will have seen the photographs from your pre wed session and feel completely reassured that you are in safe hands and know that your photographs will be AMAZING.

We offer all of our clients a complimentary pre wedding photo shoot. The reason we don’t charge is that it is important to us to get to know our couples before their big day.

Photography is personal and we want to portray YOUR story.

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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Fairytale Weddings by TaraD

I often refer to Ballyseede Castle as my second home, (a girl can dream can’t she?)….

There is always such as the incredibly warm welcome received from the moment you step over Mr Higgins or Molly (the irish wolfhounds) who are often found lying on the steps of the castle.

So when you are planning your special day, it would be silly not to consider a castle for the perfect setting!

It is a Photographer’s dream as well as a couples. You can get married on site, in or outside. The gardens and various rooms of the castle mean that you do not need to travel off site for your photo shoot giving you more time to spend with your guests!

The food is AMAZING, the decor is beautiful and it is located only minutes from Tralee town and Kerry airport which makes it super easy for your guests!

Don’t just take our word for it, look at some of the features that have been published of our weddings there….

Danica & Jack

 

A Charming Ballyseede Castle Wedding by Tara Donoghue Photography

 

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6 Ways to Always Look Fantastic in Photos by TaraD

From birthday’s to friends’ weddings, we’ve all been in front of camera at some point or another and if you’ve recently looked at a photo with disdain then this post’s for you.

If you know that you’re going to have a lens pointed in your direction in the near future, below are six simple ways to get better results.

  1. Get to Know Your Face.    

    This applies to professional photoshoots as well as every day photos. Take time getting to know your face, how to smile naturally and which side or angle of your face you like better.

  2. Easy on the makeup.    

    While an evening out is a different story when it comes to makeup, if you’re having headshots, family or maternity photos taken, go easy on the makeup. You want some basic coverage but don’t overdo it. You should also only stick to accentuating one part of your face so choose either your eyes or lips but not both.

  3. Facing the camera.

    Your photographer will help you when it comes to posing for photos but in general you shouldn’t be facing the camera head on. Positioning your body at an angle always makes for better photos.

  4. Controlling your chin.

    Photos where your neck is elongated and your chin is pushed slightly forward will lift your face and give it a more angular look. You might want to practice this beforehand in order to get used to it.

  5. Pick your outfit carefully.

    Put some thought into what you’ll wear to your shoot. Pair bold designs and patterns with solid colors to avoid too much distraction. You should also pay attention to the fit and shape of your outfit. Make sure it compliments you and that you feel comfortable.

  6. This is something that your professional photographer will be an expert at but the right lighting can mean the difference between that wow factor and disappointment. Avoid standing directly under a light as this will create weird shadows on your face. This is something we will help you out with because we are experts so take our advice when we suggest a specific time for photos.  If shooting outdoors, the best light will be 15-20 minues before & after sunset.  Unless it’s an overcast day, we will always try to get you in full shade so that the lighting isn’t dappled or causing weird shadows on your face.

As much as the above tips will help you during your professional photoshoot, always remember to have fun and relax as this will do wonders for your photos.

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