Surviving a Family Photoshoot by TaraD

How to make your next family photo session a stress free one.

Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations.  Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there is some extra coordination involved.

Below are some family photoshoot ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through.

1. Timing is everything. If you have younger children involved in the shoot, try and arrange the photoshoot at a time when they would be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.

2. Dos and don’ts of bribery. Get your family excited about the photoshoot instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier.

3. Relinquish control. As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.

4. It’s not just about the posing. The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your partner’s hand and just let the moents happen. 

5. Plan ahead. Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken. 

6. Keep those sugars levels up. If everyone is well fed, the photoshoot will also run a loot smooter. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few snacks and some water along for these who might need it. 

Enjoy capturing you memories.

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Tips for Beautiful Fall or Winter Photos by TaraD

There is a special kind of magic that comes with outdoor, winter photo sessions. The snow lightly falling and icicles hanging from the branches create a lovely backdrop for any photo session. Here are some tips to make your winter or fall photo sessions go smoothly.

  1. Dress warmly. You will be surprised at how often this is overlooked. Since you’ll be standing outside for a long period of time, short sleeves, thin fabrics, and open toe shoes will not be comfortable for very long. Shivering makes it hard to look happy and pose properly.

 

  1. Wear sunscreen. Protecting your skin should be a priority throughout the year, not just in summer. Use a good moisturizer to protect your skin from chilly winds.

 

  1. Watch the weather. Warmer days may seem more pleasant but melting snow can change the entire look of your backdrop. If you are looking for light snow flurries, try and keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure that you don’t end up with melting or heavy snow.

 

  1. Be flexible. If the weather isn’t exactly what you had hoped for, see if you can still make the photo session work. If you are however scheduling this session in advance, you may just have to work with the weather on that particular day.

 

  1. Incorporate color. Even though fall and winter have some amazing colors to work with, why not wear a splash of color to really stand out in your photos? For example, vibrant shades of blues and greens look amazing amongst crunchy brown leaves.

 

  1. Plan your day. Taking your photos just after the sun rises or just before it sets will provide you with amazing lighting so try and plan your session around those times.

Take some hot tea or coffee along to make your photo session even more enjoyable and get ready for some beautiful results.

 

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Two pregnant photographers! by TaraD

So recently I got the chance to take some maternity pics of friend and fellow photographer Caroline Flynn (Caroline Flynn Photography).

 

Caroline is an extremely talented photographer who creates beautiful fine art imagery and also amazing newborn photography.

Stepping into her studio would make anyone broody seeing all the gorgeous images! 🙂

Like myself, Caroline is always busy BEHIND the lens! For me capturing her at this precious time in her life was special so I was delighted when she agreed! 🙂

 

 

We decided to meet at her studio and both had very different ideas of what we could/ should shoot so we decided to throw the plan the window and prioritise fun instead and just let whatever happened happen!

We laughed a lot, almost cried from the laughter and of course ate chocolate (well I did!)…

 

Caroline also managed to get me in front of the camera and photograph my expanding belly!

Thank you Caroline this will always be a fun day to look back on and that’s what photography is all about! Capturing those special moments and laughter forever…

 

 

 

 

I can’t wait to meet your new arrival very soon!!! xxxx

 

 

A very special thanks to Georgina Mackessy for my fab makeup, check out her site here https://georginamackessymakeup.com and Tricia O Sullivan http://kerryhairdresser.com for our gorgeous hair. You girls are AMAZING! 🙂 xxxx

Tara x

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Behind the scenes… by TaraD

Summer is here and I hate to say it but the kids are almost back to school!

Cailean starts “big school” at the end of this month and I am excited for him and for me! I won’t know what to do with myself with all the free time that I will have to edit lol!

Has your summer been full of great moments or has it just whizzed by? 🙂 We have had the busiest wedding season ever, so to balance I get up at 5am edit for a few hours while everyone is still sleeping and then enjoy as much of the day as I can with my family before heading back to the desk. It is a fantastic perk of having your own business is that you may work late into the night or early in the morning but you have the freedom to do so and not miss out on life. When the sun is shining it is VERY hard to sit at a computer for the day!

What else has been happening…. Well some of you mums out there have been asking about my Letters to Cailean project. It is still in progress, I am just scribbling letters in notebooks to later post and publish into a book for Cailean. He has had quite an eventful year this year! He has done more travelling, learnt tons of life skills, made new friends and most importantly had fun!

We also lost an important man in our lives this year which was a difficult time and taught Cailean and myself a lot. I know I am drawn to photography because I capture moments and record them forever. It is like being an historian. There is nothing that makes you realise that more than when you are watching someone pass away and thinking back and looking at photographs of happier times.

On a much happier note, in the last two weeks we have also gained some very unexpected new additions “Strong” and “Coffee” to the household.

Cailean named them and it might give you an insight to our lives when even our 5 year old knows our addiction lol..

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So when we have couples coming to visit to discuss their wedding plans, they also get to see the “farm” which now includes: a husky and her two pups, hens, a rooster, bees, cats and fish (oh we got an extra one of those too called Nessie after being in Scotland lol).

I get asked so often how I have time for all this chaos, it is slightly organised chaos and it seems to work. It makes our family smile and that’s all that matters. We don’t have a tv (which takes up an awful lot of hours in the day if you think about it!) as we decided that all that was ever on was depressing nonsense! So our time is spent working (which doesn’t feel like work when it is something that you enjoy), having fun and making our house a home.

As the sun is beaming through the window calling me to go outside and the rooster is calling for his breakfast! I will leave you with the thought that “Today is a day that will never come again, so make it a great one!”

Lots of love

Tara xx

back to school pictures

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Celebrating the men in our lives by TaraD

This weekend we are celebrating the men in our lives.

The one’s who have put plaster’s on scraped knees, built tree houses, cooked dinners, taught skills from tying shoe laces to writing your name. The men who are proud of their children when they achieve a new goal no matter how big or small that goal is.

The men who are also there to pick us up when we fall.
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I am going to share something personal here…

Last week we paid tribute to my grandad and at his funeral I was given some photographs of my father who passed away when I was a child. It is a school photograph so he is roughly the same age as our son Cailean is now and the first thing I thought of is ‘that looks like Cailean’.
It gave a sense of comfort holding a piece of paper with an image printed on it from what must be 55 or more years ago. I wonder did the person taking that picture then realise how precious and valuable that image would be some 50 plus years later? It is an image that in another 10 years time I will show to Cailean and in 20 years time who knows he may show his son or daughter.

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I know it isn’t as easy for others to photograph their families and capture those magic moments (otherwise I would be out of business a long time ago lol!). I often get asked by people, “how can I stop them being blurred, under/over exposed” etc and I suggest that they come on one of our workshops to learn how to shoot like a pro lol.

But for those of you who do want a quick and fun selection of images to capture the love between father and child, I want to offer something to you…

Daddy and me mini sessions will be available throughout the months of June and July at a massively reduced fee of €129 (usually €200). As this is about giving back and not about making money (we are only covering our time) 20% of every shoot will also be going to the fantastic CUH charity.  We have been working with this charity recently and I can tell you that it is a fantastic service offering “a wide range of life changing and life saving equipment and services for patients attending Cork University Hospital”.
Both Dave and myself are happy to support in any way we can and we hope that our mini sessions can help raise some much needed funds for the charity.
Daddy and me

 

 

 

 

 

To book a shoot contact us on: 085 1555060 or 085 1196528
email info@taradonoghuephotography.com
To buy a gift voucher for that special man click here… 

Finally to the men in my life who have influenced who I am today, my dad and my grandad I miss you today and always.

To my own husband, Dave who doesn’t always get enough praise for what he does day in and day out. Thank  you I couldn’t do it without you!

To all the dad’s today, we thank you, we love you and wish you a very Happy Father’s Day….. x

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Rain gives us life! by TaraD

Boy running in the rain

Ok so I think we are all getting a little frustrated with the Irish weather. It’s april and we really are having four seasons in one day!

Snow in the morning, flooding in the afternoon, a blast of sunshine and even storms brewing at night.
The kids want to get out to play, the adults want to get out for a walk or do some jobs in the garden instead it is a daily challenge to get from the house to the car without getting saturated!!!
It brings everyone’s mood down, makes us all feel a bit rubbish unless of course you are a 4.5 year old!

As many of you might have realised, I learn a lot from my son. Looking at the world through a child’s eyes is an art we as adults loose.

Let’s look at this crazy weather from a child’s perspective…
Anytime that we look out and it’s raining, Cailean says it’s ok “Rain gives us life”. It’s that simple!
So instead of complaining and feeling sorry that we aren’t sitting on a beach right now, I will look at the world through my son’s eyes. Yes Cailean rain does give us life and our grass wouldn’t grow as easily as it does in a drier climate. Our country quite simply wouldn’t be as beautiful as it is if it didn’t rain so much! So instead of complaining, I will pass on another little piece of wisdom I once heard. “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!” So lets throw on our wellies and waterproofs and make every day count!

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Letters to Cailean, “Stay you”… by TaraD

I have always encouraged you to draw outside the lines, to think outside the box and nurture the creative streak that you have. This means that others may find you “different” and you ALWAYS have to remember that being different is AMAZING! The most interesting people I know are “different”.
What fun is it to follow the herd? It’s boring spending your life in others shadows. So continue to “invent” ways to travel to space, tools to make your day easier, robots to clean your room (I would love if you could organise that LOL). All the inventions that you tell me about daily are amazing for your age. I hope you always have that passion of figuring out how to make the impossible possible. I still try it at 32, constantly questioning but “What if?”
Sometimes it works and I get to try amazing things and other times it doesn’t and I learn from those experiences.
You are an incredibly strong individual. You are making your way in this challenging world and I can already see you developing some pretty smart coping mechanisms in dealing with your peers who are questioning where you “fit in”.
Stay you little man and always remember, “when you follow the herd, you are bound to step in sh*t!” 🙂

Love mum xxxx12832308_10156627771180261_1842384485803187863_n

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Letters To Cailean – Dress up! by TaraD

So I have well and truly fallen off the wagon! These letters have been scribbled in my notebook but haven’t made it to the blog as I have just been too busy!

I have seen many social media posts where January has been regarded as a practice month for new years resolutions, with many beginning again in February.
So with that in mind I wont beat myself up but get on with it and start getting back on track!

For those of you who have also let the new years resolution slip, don’t give up lets start again.
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“Dressing up!”
An average day in our office begins with two cups of coffee each and a long list of tasks to get through. Our to do list never gets much shorter, but I often reassure myself that if it was to get shorter that would mean that work would be quieter and there would be less to do, this in turn would probably make me panic lol. So its good to have a constant “To Do” list
We often get distracted from this list and the days plan of action as phone calls an emails can mean our priorities change.

As many of you know working from home of course has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage being when your child is sick, it is easier to juggle looking after your baba and work. Whereas if you were tied down to set hours in a specific workplace you have to organize a babysitter or phone in sick yourself.

Cailean was sick and off school for a week and he was popping into and out of the office between naps. This particular day both Dave and myself were dealing with a difficult task, the stress levels were increasing and Cailean popped into the office with some accessories on. He was wearing high heels, bracelets and a necklace and said “Look mum I’m you!”
Straight away the mood was lightened and everything was quickly put into perspective. Our son was obviously on the mend (which is all any parent cares about) and there will always be days when work may be more of a challenge but it isn’t worth getting stressed over!!! J
Cailean then decided to dress up as his dad which was even more hilarious (See pics).
I am sure every parent is blown away by their children daily but our little one really does impact on our lives in such a huge way. We are so blessed to have him!

Dear Cailean,

I love those random memories that make me smile, no matter what is going on in my life right now.

Love mum x

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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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