Wednesday, July 27, 2011

i have my engagement photos, now what do i do with them?

Building on yesterday's post about engagement shoot tips, here's a little inspiration on how to use your images from your engagement shoot. Make sure you get a disc with your images on it. You need the files to upload to make Save The Date cards like the above available from Blush Printables on Etsy. Most people like to plan what their doing, especially in the summer with holidays, so it's a nice idea to send Save The Dates cards to your guests. These don't have to cost the earth. You can buy a template from someone like Blush Printables on Etsy, or even make your own.

Martha Stewart has some great ideas for making your own Save The Date cards. Have a look here. And this sweet idea from Martha shown below. Find how to do it here.

Use your engagement shots for your Thank You cards too. Or your wedding shots! Plan on the wedding day to take a photo with the words "Thank You" in it. See here on Martha again.

Look how cute this Thank You banner is on Etsy from You're That Girl Designs! And I'm sure all my clever readers can think of other cool Thank You props for your own wedding photo cards.

And again, the ever reliable Etsy has tons of ideas for templates for these cards. Like this one from Even Andy.

Just do a little search on Etsy. You can do magnets like these lovely ones off of Etsy from Fubabee.

So go ahead and have a creative engagement shoot with your photographer. And don't forget to print and frame one of those images (they make nice Christmas gifts for your parents too).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

engagement shoot tips and what to do with your e-shoot photographs

With the warm weather hopefully lasting a bit longer, it's an ideal time to photograph your engagement shoot. While an engagement shoot has always been included in wedding photography packages in North America, it's a relatively new idea here in Ireland and in the UK. Since it's new, some need to get their head around what it actually is. The idea of an engagement shoot is to document in an artistic fashion the way a couple is before they get married. An engagement shoot should be fun and tailored toward the couple. It should express them as individuals, and them how they are as a unique couple. For example, Gill and Jason above are both from Wicklow and we thought it would be nice to have Glendalough as the location for their e-shoot. It's nice to have a couple engaging with other in the photographs, and so I asked Jason to bring his guitar. Soon they forgot that a camera was in front of them and became themselves and enjoyed the shoot.

A nice idea is to bring along a change of clothes for the shoot. This gives some variety to the set of pictures and kind of refreshes the mind after the first part of the shoot (a shoot will typically last 1-2 hours). Wear something you're comfortable in, but is a bit special. If you are the type who likes to really dress up, then go for it! Have some California-flavoured inspiration from Jasmine Star's e-shoots here.

An engagement shoot is also about getting photos of the individual before they are married. Believe me, you will certainly become a different person after marriage! It's nice to have this opportunity to get some photos of yourselves as you are at this time in your lives.

And an engagement shoot is a GREAT way for you to find out what it's like to be behind the camera of your chosen photographer before your wedding date. You'll see if you're comfortable together and get along. And if you love your engagement shots, you're almost certain to relax on your wedding day because you know you'll look fab in the photos!

Have a look at this free e-book by a stylist and photographer who work in London. They have some great tips for your engagement shoot!

And stay tuned for tomorrow on how to use your photographs.

And some of my recent engagement shoots from this year:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

pretty pretty china from Pearl & Godiva at Dominique's wedding at Ballintubbert House

This past weekend,  I had the opportunity to see another part of the wedding day: the preparation that goes behind making an event look really special. I helped to set up china from Pearl's antique collection for her company Pearl & Godiva at historic Ballintubbert House in Co Laois. This was the home of poet Cecil Day Lewis (father of Daniel Day), and it contains beautiful gardens and a sculpture park which is open to the public. They also hold events in the big top tent on the property, and this is where Dominique's wedding and day-after bbq were held.

I think the Royal Albert china teacup at the top with the little bow is my favourite. How sweet!

Doesn't the tent look lovely? Mad Flowers of Dublin did the gorgeous wildflower arrangements. Pearl's china really made the event look extra special and whimsical. I'm sure Dominque was very happy with it and I wonder which setting she chose to sit at? Doesn't she look stunning the day after her wedding and after only having a couple hours of sleep? Congratulations and wishing you and your hubby many years of happiness!

Pearl's china can also be seen in the photos I took at The Alternative Wedding Event at the Guinness Storehouse Dublin, and in the Etsy Ireland shoot at Burtown House which Pearl styled.

Monday, July 18, 2011

intimate blessing ceremony wedding at Waterford Castle, Ireland

I'm really excited to share this intimate blessing ceremony at Waterford Castle that I was invited to photograph very recently. It's most definitely the smallest ceremony I have photographed (bride, groom, and their four children), but it's also the one with the most details. I've put together some inspiration boards from the evening and hopefully another publication or blog will share the rest with you.

Pam and Rick chose to have their ceremony at Waterford Castle because they fell in love with pictures of the drawing room fireplace. It is truly a magnificent space, and if your wedding is large enough, you can get married in this room. Pam and Rick had their ceremony outside in front of the castle, with only their four children in attendance. They all traveled to Ireland from Denver, Colorado and stayed the rest of the week in the country sightseeing by car.

Pam and the girls carried elegant white bouquets made by Flowers by Lucy in Waterford. They all bought their JS Boutique dresses from Nordstrom in the States. The gorgeous silver shoes were BP. Platinum from Nordstrom. I love that they all wore the same shoes and went shopping together! And the girls all wore beautiful glass jewelery handmade by Pam Stinson of The Goddess Within Jewelery on Etsy. Last, but not least, the men wore suits by Jones of New York at Men's Wearhouse.

Tom Colton, a minister of the Spiritualist Union of Ireland, performed their ceremony which was personalised towards the couple. Part of ceremony included a sand ceremony which I've never seen performed in Ireland before. It was very sweet!

We took lots of pictures in a beautiful soft evening light with no rain. And later, everyone sat down for dinner in the most exquisite conservatory that they had for their exclusive use. Hmmm, I never did find out if they ordered the pig's head on the menu!

All the best to the Sheehan's of Denver and may you have many happy years together!

Friday, July 15, 2011

the wonderfully whimsical crochet art of Angela Carr for Grace and Favour and Where There's a Wool: MADE in Ireland!

Welcome to the wonderfully whimsical world of Dublin-based Scottish ex-pat Angela Carr. She is the artist (and trained architect) who crochets luxurious materials such as alpaca, mohair, silk, and eco-bamboo fibers into confections that are perfect for weddings.

 That's Angela above looking lovely in her creations for Grace and Favour. You can find her at craft shows and vintage fairs across Ireland, and also on Etsy and her webpage.

I first came across Angela's creations when I was sourcing items for my Etsy Ireland shoot at Burtown House in Athy, which was styled by Pearl & Godiva. I thought the crocheted lavender hearts and jewelery would be perfect. I loved the jewelery so much I bought earrings for myself and my mom! Angela gave me a heart as a little present and I can assure you, it's just beautiful and would add a touch or Irish to your wedding or event (or even your home). It would even make a cute ring pillow as I thought when I photographed the antique reproduction rings from The Vintage Goldsmith.

More of the Etsy shoot can be seen in this fantastic artistic video by Rodolphe of Best Day Productions.

secretgarden from best day productions on Vimeo.

Here is a little interview I did with Angela. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of her in our wedding world here in Ireland!

1. When did you start crocheting?  I remember being taught to knit by my Aunt Rose when I was quite young with a ball of pink wool and my brother with a ball of sludge green. He wasdisgusted at the idea of a boy knitting but I was fascinated by the way the yarn could be transformed into a material and different shapes, and it wasn't long before my dolls were decked out in a series of bulky, unflattering garter stitch garments! I continued knitting and crocheting
into my teens when a traumatic incident brought it all to a temporary halt. I'd been working on a large sloppy Aran style jumper - it was the '80's, after all - and to make sure it was large and sloppy enough, I kept adding stitches and rows to the pattern as I went. When it was finished - it was beautiful - V-necked with a large single cable running down the front and each of the sleeves. It was also so large that when I slipped it over my head, it slithered all the way down my body and landed at my feet! My brother, at this point 6'4", and my sister, 5'10", were able to stand side by side in the jumper, with room to spare. It became such a running joke within the family, I couldn't look at knitting needles with any pleasure for a long time! I took them up again in the Winter of 2008 - I'd just set up my own business and the knitting was intended as a distraction to keep me from spending all my time at the computer. By the following year, I'd starting making items for the home - tea cosies and cushions - under the banner Where There's a Wool', having by this time knitted more scarves than one woman could ever possibly use. For Valentine's Day this year I created a line of crochet hearts filled with lavender and was invited to supply these to a Wedding Fair in the UK - I recognized an opportunity to take my work in a different direction, making fancy things for special occasions, and Grace & Favour was born. The current range includes hand crocheted collars, capes and shawls, felt brooches and hair accessories, crochet jewellery, as well as the lavender crochet hearts.

2. What inspires you?  I trained as an architect, at Glasgow School of Art, where I learned take inspiration from all kinds of influences - buildings, photographs, paintings, poetry, music, nature... For me anything that creates an emotional response can inspire. I think the architect's discipline is to walk a line between the practical and emotional - taking inspiration from the unusual or the everyday, translating that impulse back into a material form which will then inspire a new set of emotions in someone else. With Grace & Favour, the emotions I want to create are joy and delight - I'm very much exploring a new set of materials, playing with them to see what they can do, and taking my inspiration from that to imagine the next piece or to push my ideas further. I use high quality natural materials - alpaca, mohair, silk, bamboo - because I want to make things to last and also nowadays as consumers, we're more aware of the comfort and sustainability of natural fibres, over man-made, and more careful about the choices we make. I've also discovered an eco-felt made from recycled plastic bottles and I love the idea of taking a material that is essentially unsustainable and transforming it into something beautiful instead. The felt pieces are quite structured and it's here that the architect's instinct starts to show through! Mostly, I'm inspired by nature - the natural world builds and replenishes itself, so there's a lot to learn from it. My work is for anyone who is looking for something individual to wear, who enjoys colour, expressing themselves, and values the quality and attention to detail that comes with hand-made pieces. A new range of crochet and beaded pieces are designed to be flexible and can be worn as a brooch, a hairpiece, a corsage or on a sash - to be adapted by customers to suit an individual look, style or occasion - and I'm always happy to take on commissions or customize pieces, on request.

3. What's next for Grace & Favour? Well, I want to continue developing new pieces and growing the range of products and I'm currently exploring the use of recycled materials for new pieces. Also, I'm looking at possible locations and outlets for selling my work - at the moment, I have a Facebook page and Etsy shop where my work is on display, and can be ordered, but I'd love for customers to be able to view pieces in the flesh. I'm doing various markets and events around Ireland, over the coming months, the next of which will be 'Frock Around the Clock' Vintage Fair in Belfast on 7th August.

Thanks Angela! Watch out for Angela's work in an upcoming eco-chic wedding look created by One of a Kind Weddings and photographed by Christina Brosnan (click the link for a peek on Christina's blog with Angela's headpiece!).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

on the other side of the camera...

Maybe you saw the family portrait swap in the previous blog entry that  was at Emo Court? Well here are Christine Burns beautiful photos that she did of me with my family here. She did a fabulous job!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

family photo swap at Emo Court County Laois with photog friend Christine Burns

This is my friend Christine Burns who is also a photographer. I met Christine through Twitter. When she left a comment on my blog, I thought I'd email her to see if she'd like to meet. We met up for lunch at Avoca and discovered we had some of the same photographer friends! Ireland is a really small world :)

Christine suggested we do a family photo swap. We have tons of pictures of our kids, but none of ourselves or as a family. I've been wanting to do this for a while, as I have no family portraits up of the O'Dwyers. So we decided to meet at Emo Court & Gardens in Emo, Co Laois to do the photo swap.

I took some photos of Christine and her family first while my family had a picnic lunch, and then Christine took some of my family. It was a fun project and can't wait to do it again!

And it's great to see that after more than 10 years of marriage, a couple can be so in love still! Cute!