1000km for Heidi by TaraD

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

donate to Heidi’s go fund me page here…

https://gf.me/u/x56n3j

We will then see “how far” we have walked collectively as a group and hopefully we can reach our €5,000 target!

This also means that people can join in from anywhere in the world and set any km target that works for them. So if you are interested in joining please let us know!

We are using the hashtag #1000kmforheidi or #walkforheidi

Hope you can join us!

Tara x

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Postponing your wedding? You may want to read this…. by TaraD

From Heartbroken to excited…..

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!

With love,

Tara x

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Irish Wedding Awards, Creative Photographer of the Year! by TaraD

Irish Wedding Awards, Creative Photographer of the Year
Winners of Creative Photographer of the Year 2020.

 

Wow what an incredible way to start the year!
We decided to go to Dublin last Monday as we were finalists in the category of:
“Creative Photographer of the Year” for the Irish Wedding awards.
We have never been nominated or attended these national awards before.

 

 

As it was on a Monday night in January and we knew a few other suppliers attending, one being a lovely past couple of ours Karen and Anthony (Karen is a florist and was also a finalist in the awards, https://www.facebook.com/flowersbykarenlimerick/ ).
We thought it would be a great excuse to go away for an evening and catch up with them and some other fantastic people, including Sharon from Ballyseede Castle!
Little did we know it would turn into a night of massive celebrations as WE WON!!!!
So there are not too many pictures taken that night by ourselves as we were too busy celebrating! But there are hundreds taken by the fabulous Nina Val and you can see those on the Irish Wedding Awards page. Thank you Nina for capturing the moments for all of us suppliers.

It is an AMAZING boost for us in January as we have been making huge plans for 2020 and we are starting it in the best possible way! I must say a huge thank you, for those of you who nominated us (that was a surprise in itself!) and for the judges who felt we deserved such an accolade. We are extremely grateful!

Just after we hit post on this blog another email pinged through to say we are one of the IRISH TOP 100 WEDDING SUPPLIERS! Wahoooo! 🙂

 

Winners badge

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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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Post Valentine’s Day! by TaraD

“Small things done with great love will change the world.”

On valentines day my friend Lorenzo, (you may remember him on the news/late late show/ social media etc visited my son’s school to tell them about his night out at sea. He told his amazing story of survival and explained the power of the sea and how we should respect it. The children asked how he survived, “Did he see any sharks? Did he get scared? What did he eat? How could he see in the dark? How did he stay alive?” and the real question from one of the juniors was “Did he get bored?”. It was an afternoon of lessons and laughter. We were reminded that we are all small beings in this huge universe, like he was a tiny speck that night out at sea. Lorenzo talked about never giving up no matter how tough things may seem. Even in the most difficult of situations there is always hope and if that was the only lesson the children took home, that is an incredibly powerful one!

After such an eventful afternoon, I enjoyed some time with my boys “doing nothing” which is a huge challenge for me as there are always jobs to be done! I guess those are the perks of running a business! In that downtime, my eldest had a real heart to heart chat with me, while my youngest began picking daises for me!

My mum offered to babysit, which meant Dave and myself could go out and enjoy dinner and have an actual uninterrupted conversation! Any parents reading this will totally get where I am coming from here!!!! 🙂 

So my reason for sharing this is, that sometimes we need to slow down.

We need to stop and be aware of the amazing things that we are often too busy to notice. We are more aware of acts of love and kindness on specific days like Valentines due to the radio, tv, magazines etc bombarding everyone with “Valentines stories and ideas”, and some feel obliged to buy the cards, flowers, chocolates etc.

But why can’t we apply the principal and show those acts of kindness all year round?

Be kind, share your story, listen to others and make someone smile, it doesn’t cost a thing! 🙂

“Happy Valentines” LOL….

Tara x

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10 years on…. by TaraD

This has taken me awhile to actually sit down and write because to be honest it is incredibly emotional for me!

Who would have thought starting out at (the somewhat nieve age of 25)  into the big bad world of having your own business, that there was any possible way it would work?

Yes I always had the drive (or stubbornness as I have been told many times!) but even I didn’t think it would be “enough” in such a competitive market.

I went to art college with the intention of making art to make a difference in someway. To make people think, change perspectives, to make a point.

The other career I considered was a lawyer (so you can see how these both relate!). I meandered back and forth to photography and then once I left college, I was encouraged to persue it more and learn from some of the best photographers I know. Some of these I am now lucky enough to call friends. They gave me the skills needed, the confidence and practical experience allowing me to train with them and enable me to take the leap on my own.

So you may be thinking but how on earth is being a Photographer making a difference? Well for those of you who have lost a loved one, you will know that you grasp onto anything you can, to keep the memories of that loved one alive. The first thing we all look at are photographs. So for me (who lost my dad at a young age) photographs kept those memories alive. They remind me of those happy times, the laughter and of course also the tears. Being a photographer has allowed me to pass on this gift to others. I feel incredibly honoured to be able to photograph any event as I know that the product I am producing will one day be brought out in 10/20/50 years time and discussed with joy and love attached to it. It isn’t just a “picture”. It is a visual aid that can transport us to a different time, a different place. That is why each wedding, newborn or family portrait session is so important. It isn’t just “a shoot”. It is a record. Of that day, that moment, that precious time, that we want to keep in our hearts forever. In the instant, “throw away” commercial world we currently live in there are very few things that you can say that about.

I think it is this love that has driven our business. It is what keeps us in the office late into the night or early in the morning before anyone else is up. It is that love for what we do. It has a purpose.

It isn’t just a “job” or a “business” it is our story blending with those that we meet to capture and create something new.

So from an idea which started with me and a laptop on my knees and one camera in a bag. To a fully operating and expanding photography business that now supports our family, inspires those that we teach and train and those who come on our internships. I am incredibly emotional, happy and thankful to all of those who have made this possible. I will be forever grateful.

We hope that you will continue to be part of our journey and we will always be honoured to be part of yours.

Thank you to each of you who celebrated our milestone with us in person and in spirit at the Killarney Brewing Company. We were incredibly blown away by the turn out, (especially for the weekend that was in it!). To our good friend and collegue John Foley, Cosmo Video Productions for capturing all the antics on camera for us, THANK YOU! For the AMAZING cake by O Carroll’s Cakes, that tasted just as good as it looked! Thank you!!!!

Thank you to Liam Sheehan www.liamsheehan.ie who surprised and enthralled everyone with his tricks and mind reading! We can’t wait for an opportunity to have him back again! He is a “must have” for any event! Words honestly can’t do him justice!

To Elaine and the team at the brewery for putting up with us (thanks again!) LOL!

To each and every one of you for your support and good wishes, we hope to see you all again soon.

Wishing you a very happy and peaceful new year.

With love!

Tara & Dave x

 

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Today I am thankful…. by TaraD

This week I was asked if as a “Scorpio” I am a private person, my reply was, “maybe, sometimes”. The person asking me laughed and said well even your reply is somewhat private.  I was unaware how private I actually am until I started to think about it! 🙂 It also made me realise that there is an awful lot that goes on (in all of our lives) that many others are not even aware of.  So for the day that is in it, I want to make public what I am extremely thankful for….

  • I am thankful for my family. Life would not be the same without them. Our two boys have brought us the most amazing happiness and I will always feel extremely blessed that they made it into our lives and this world.
  • I am thankful for my mum who puts up with all of our chaos even though I am now 35 LOL.
  • I am thankful for my friends. The one’s who probably don’t even realise how much I love and respect them, but I know and that’s all that matters 🙂
  • Hugs, but they have to be more than 20 seconds long! There is scientific research to show the health benefits.
  • Our (work in progress) home. It is full of love, provides warmth, shelter and a place for the kids to play. As we face into the cold weather (and as homelessness is a topic that fires us up as a family), I am thankful that we are able to have these “basics”.
  • The smell of coffee brewing, it is a simple thing but it makes me feel good!
  • My career. I work hard and long unsociable hours, but it is at something that I enjoy. I am lucky to have the opportunity to do that. I couldn’t be in a 9 to 5, I would go completely insane!!!
  • Being able to work with my husband (even though sometimes I want to strangle him LOL!). But we make a great team and we keep each other on our toes with our competitive natures!
  • My health and the wake up calls it gives me when I need to slow down! (I do listen (most of the time!) I promise!).
  • Random acts of kindness. They are the best!
  • A heartfelt thank you note. If someone takes the time to write, it really brightens my day!
  • I am thankful for LOVE, for without it what would there be? I wouldn’t have a family, a career, or a story to tell! 🙂

What are you thankful for today?

Tara x

 

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