One of the busiest Wedding Photographers in Ireland

The Wedding photographer Ireland community are normally extremely busy at this time of year. I usually get to catch my breath a little with the arrival of autumn but, as we all know, this year has been like no other.  Never could I have imagined that I would go 6 months without shooting a wedding! Thankfully the past few weeks have given me the wonderful chance to shoot several small intimate weddings, some with as little as 5 and 8 in attendance, in beautiful locations such as the venerable Quad at UCC, Hayfield Manor and Innishannon House. I was thrilled to be able to shoot at one of my favourite spots; Templebreedy Church; a fabulous church ruin in Crosshaven with stunning panoramic views across Cork Harbour. In spite of restrictions, it couldn’t have felt more normal, only at one ceremony were masks compulsory in the church. One thing that will never change at weddings is the feeling of happiness, excitement & joy, no matter what life throws at us. Despite the current challenges, I am feeling very confident for the future of wedding photography in Ireland! 

LEADING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IRELAND

I am one of the leading wedding photographers in Ireland and an experienced corporate photographer. Thankfully, I have been able to continue to deliver high quality, professional wedding photography services to clients during the Covid-19 pandemic. Below are examples of some recent wedding I have shot.

ANNEMARIE & AIDAN – 25 JULY 2020

On this beautiful morning in late July, it felt almost surreal to be gathering up my various camera bags again for a much longed for wedding. Checking through my mental list I jumped into my van and headed to West Cork which is one of the most beautiful locations for a wedding in Cork. I felt a real sense of excitement for this wedding because as one of the leading Irish wedding photographers, I am normally incredibly busy so you can imagine how great it felt to be back on the road. It might seem strange to say that one of the perks of my job is travelling alone, but I get to see the best of what this island has to offer – I always use the travelling time to take note of potential new wedding photography locations in Cork and Kerry and all of the other beautiful parts of Munster and Ireland where I have been so fortunate to work. The only catch of course is that sometimes I want to stop and soak up the sights and locations for a little longer!

Unusually it had been months this time since I was last in Clonakilty. Normally I spend so much time in this most beautiful of Irish wedding locations that I really should have bought a house there – I always enjoy every second spent in West Cork. 

The bride, Annemarie, spent the morning at home in Bandon with her bridesmaid Ashling and her parents. The forecast was promising but it was still very overcast as I walked in to catch Dad in his polished shoes preparing his speech notes on the stairs and could hear the excitement building upstairs with the preparations. 

Wedding photographers in Ireland always get a great welcome even though the bride may have been up since the dawn with hair and make-up. Brides always comment that “It’s getting real now” and “actually happening” once the wedding photographer arrives at the house or location. I guess with our meetings prior to the wedding and the detail we go through it has been theoretical up to now but it all becomes very real when we meet again on the morning of the wedding. 

It was my first wedding in over 6 months and, of course, my first time wearing a mask at a wedding, which is a little strange still for all of us. I had waited so long for this, to return to what I do best and here we were after the longest break in my 20 year career as one of the best known Irish wedding photographers, I couldn’t have been happier. 

Darrara church which is located between Timoleague and Clonakilty is a beautiful stone building with a fabulous stained glass window behind the altar. Nearby farm outbuildings provided some great locations for Aidan and his groomsman, his brother Shane. Another first for me was seeing the interior of a church with all of the Covid signage in place for a wedding and boy were they in place. But we’re all so used to physical distancing now that it took no time at all for couples to space themselves out accordingly and get comfy. Canon Donal O’Mahony said mass and it was a beautiful ceremony. Afterwards there were lots of elbows on show to congratulate the couple as we all discovered the new way of doing things that were taken so much for granted previously. 

The promised sun was now out in full and we moved along to Ring Pier which was stunning in the beautiful light with boats and crafts of various sizes leaned again the pier wall. I always love the colours and textures you find on a pier or harbour. From the fading letters on a trawler side to the gnarly texture of scattered nets and the bulk of a lobster pot, I must say they’re my favourite places to shoot a wedding – really the options for wedding photographers in Ireland are endless. 

From here we moved along the spectacular coastal road to Doneen beach just past Dunmore House Hotel. This almost private beach is just wonderful for wedding photographers Ireland as there is hardly ever anyone on it and every photo is beautifully framed by the backdrop of the wild Atlantic Ocean and her jagged rocks. Anne Marie and Aidan strolled along the sand taking my directions as they went. It’s always a special thing for me as a wedding photographer in Ireland, with our notoriously uncooperative climate, to see a couple get the weather they deserve!  After dusting off the excess sand on our shoes we arrived at Dunmore House Hotel to be welcomed by all of the 49 guests! Thanks Micheál! The spectacular views from Dunmore House across to Inchydoney Island only got better as the afternoon sun got hotter and brighter. Sunglasses and champagne glasses sparkled along the terraces at Dunmore House as guests soaked up the rays and the bubbles. To my delight this was now no different to any wedding I had done pre- restrictions and the sound of laughter and enjoyment raised everyone’s spirits. 

As the bell rang for dinner we strolled up to the golf course and the lay of the land meant the couple looked like they were walking amongst the clouds. A few last images to wrap up this wonderful day and hand  Anne Marie & Aidan over to Carol at Dunmore House. With the sun at my back I headed East, and back home to Cork, windows down enjoying the beautiful evening it turned out to be. Life felt good.

From here we moved along the spectacular coastal road to Doneen beach just past Dunmore House Hotel. This almost private beach is just wonderful for wedding photographers Ireland as there is hardly ever anyone on it and every photo is beautifully framed by the backdrop of the wild Atlantic Ocean and her jagged rocks. Anne Marie and Aidan strolled along the sand taking my directions as they went. It’s always a special thing for me as a wedding photographer Ireland, with our notoriously uncooperative climate, to see a couple get the weather they deserve!  After dusting off the excess sand on our shoes we arrived at Dunmore House Hotel to be welcomed by all of the 49 guests! Thanks Micheál! The spectacular views from Dunmore House across to Inchydoney Island only got better as the afternoon sun got hotter and brighter. Sunglasses and champagne glasses sparkled along the terraces at Dunmore House as guests soaked up the rays and the bubbles. To my delight this was now no different to any wedding I had done pre- restrictions and the sound of laughter and enjoyment raised everyone’s spirits. 

As the bell rang for dinner we strolled up to the golf course and the lay of the land meant the couple looked like they were walking amongst the clouds. A few last images to wrap up this wonderful day and hand  Anne Marie & Aidan over to Carol at Dunmore House. With the sun at my back I headed East, and back home to Cork, windows down enjoying the beautiful evening it turned out to be. Life felt good.

SHIRLEY MURPHY & JIM SULLIVAN , HAYFIELD MANOR

When I heard there would be 8 people including me at the wedding I was delighted that Shirley & Jim had chosen me to be their wedding photographer. We’ll see more and more of this size wedding in the future in Ireland and I must say I’m fast becoming a fan. In a normal year as one of the leading Wedding Photographers in Ireland, I’d shoot half a dozen very small intimate weddings like this. When I myself got married 10 years before Covid we had a comparatively little 76 guests – with all my experience of weddings in Ireland at that stage I knew they were the way to go. No introductions are required anywhere in an intimate wedding and you are surrounded only by the ones you love. 

Even with this small number I blend into the background where possible to shoot those candid wedding moments that really capture the laughter and fun. An intimate wedding is a fabulous occasion and Shirley & Jim couldn’t have picked a better setting than Hayfield Manor. The civil ceremony had a 2.30pm start so I headed up to the bridal suite for 1pm for some prep shots. Shirley looked stunning in her blush pink dress as her daughter Amy helped her with the final preparations. I have always loved art so I found the beautiful landing, with many colour canvases hanging on the walls, and its large couch, the ideal spot to snap the boys sipping a beer and settling any final nerves. A mirrored table offered up a great shot of the boys surrounded by the colourful artworks. This is what a skilled wedding photographer Ireland does best, thinks on their feet and uses every opportunity each location has to offer each minute of the wedding day.

 

Jess, Shirley’s son, gave her away as Jim stood with his son Stephen. Bernadette Caulfield Waugh was the registrar. I know her for many years from working on weddings together and, as always, she performed a very beautiful and personal ceremony. For once the candles behaved and lit perfectly. 

Again with fun throughout, the wedding ceremony was seamless. Once the ceremony was over we walked across the road to the grounds of UCC. After checking if any exams were due of course we strolled across the Quad to the steps of the President’s office. The ivy, showing autumn is on its way, provided the perfect colourful backdrop. From there we moved the wedding party to the ancient stone corridor and with most lectures online at present we had the place to ourselves. The pointed arches and windows along those corridors offer a stunning backdrop to any wedding photograph. From there after a few selfies in the background we walked back to the leafy surrounds of Hayfield Manor where Shirley and Jim’s private dining room awaited with the table set under a stunning chandelier. 

I’ll say it again folks, after a fun day surrounded by wonderful people in a stunning wedding location you have got to pinch yourself that this is work! Whether I am in Cork or Kerry, wedding photographers in Ireland really do have the best job.

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