This week following lots of planning and communications I successfully organised and photographed a bridal photoshoot, complete with wedding dresses, beautiful models, makeup, hair and a superb manor house location at Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort in County Wicklow.
I was in contact with an awesome dress designer, Elaine Honey, who makes unique crochet dresses. Tulfarris Hotel were super helpful allowing me use their manor house overlooking Blessington Lakes. The manor house complete with opulent living rooms, ornate stairs, and elaborate chandeliers was the perfect setting for a bridal photoshoot. Big thanks to Sharon, Mark and the team at Tulfarris for their assistance.
Apart from the dresses and location, the other extremely important elements to get right were the models, hair, and makeup . I posted a request for models which was reasonably descriptive, no large tattoos, dress size 8-10. Given there was a designer and location involved there was a lot of interest and after many conversations to ensure everyone was committed and could travel to the location, I finally set on three models and couldn't be more happy. Keara Lydon from South Africa, Kellie-Nicole Byrne from Kildare and Tatiane Reiner from Brazil, an international cast of models, all now living in Ireland meant this shoot was going to be completely epic - I couldn't believe my luck!!
Completing the team, a makeup artist I'd worked with before Tara Kavanagh and a last minute offer to help from hairstylist Jemma. My good friend and fellow photographer Noleen Kavanagh agreed to assist. Having someone with you is so important on a big shoot as you can bounce ideas and they can help you keep on track as there is a lot going on its easy to get brain freeze, Noleen was a great help.
Having a plan and sharing the location details, directions, times, and agenda for the day with all the team I found to be very effective. Everyone knew their part what they should bring and when they could expect to finish, so there were no surprises. I brought some lunch and plenty of water to keep the team fed and hydrated, makes for happier day :)
Throughout the day I used mainly natural light, with subtle flash at times, and where possible included details of the surroundings whilst focusing on the dresses and our stunning models. The results speak for themselves, natural light was definitely the way to go, for this I'd like to thank Seamus Costelloe, a super photographer with covers on multiple wedding and social magazines, for his generosity in taking a call from me in the days running up to the shoot and sharing some tips from his extensive experience.
Meeting at 10.30am having never met in person before we did the introductions and our hairstylist, makeup artist and dress designer discussed the looks and which dress would best suit each of our three models. While they discussed this I had a look around the venue for the light, and locations to shoot. I'd been in the manor house previously and already had some ideas, but the day of the shoot might bring its own challenges so best to go over this again. Our first model was ready to shoot at 12pm and I expected each model to be ready on the hour, as it happened there was some overlap.
In my head I was telling myself to get head shots, 2/3rd and full length shots along with wider shots to include the manor house. It can be so easy to only shoot one perspective when every shot looks great but having these in mind meant I could get variety of looks, I probably still didn't change it up often enough though I still go a good mix.
Natural Light really!! Forcing myself to shoot natural light was an experience, when entering these large rooms our eyes adjust and everything seems bright, however put the camera to work and you realise shutter speeds aren't what you'd hope so immediate reaction is to bring out the studio lights to try compensate. Whilst studio or speed lights help the camera they can suck the life out of the place and removing the ambient daylight becomes less natural.
Shooting with natural light with the model close to the window provided romantic gorgeous light with incredible fall off and subtle shadows, I used a large reflector for fill and for a few images a medium sized softbox feathering the light to maintain the natural look. As the backgrounds were further from the window sometimes only a few feet they received less light and helped my model pop from the background giving a lovely three dimensional feel.
All the images from the shoot are here: gallery
If you would like to book me for wedding or portfolio images get in touch. Email