During my career, I have been very privileged to have been commissioned to photograph at many wonderful locations and events. Every photoshoot offers its own unique challenges and opportunities. Here I want to share some memorable moments and the story behind the images.
Kinnitty Castle at night
I’ve visited Kinnitty Castle many times. My sister got married there, I’ve stayed there, photographed the castle and shot many weddings at the castle over the years. This exterior night shot of the castle is one of my favourites. It is a featured image on their website and marketing material. It has also been featured on GQ magazine’s article on Best Castle Hotels.
I captured this photo just before dark during Summer. Preparations for a fireworks display were underway. The lights in the foreground are flares giving off a lovely glow. I love how the front door is open and the suit of armour is visible inside. In a busy hotel there are always people about ready to photobomb! So it was a matter of waiting for the right moment, where the light was just right and people were absent!
I’ve had a great relationship with the Osprey Hotel in Naas for many years. I was delighted when I was asked to shoot their fabulous new spa designed by Hugh Wallace architects. On the day of the shoot I learned the wonderful Grace Connell was to model for us. For me, it’s not unusual on a shoot for details to change, new ideas to be explored, changes and improvements are always welcome. The challenge is frequently the time it takes to create the perfect shot vs the schedule of other shots on the day. Therefore, thinking quickly and great teamwork are hallmarks of a successful property portfolio shoot.
We didn’t have a plan for the shot above other than “seaweed bath photo”. The first thing I did was look at the light in the room, the angles and backdrop. Looking at the bath I wondered if a side-on shot would work. This would help feature the feet and I felt symmetry would make for a stronger image. With bath filled the water as high as we could and added seaweed. Grace finished the shot off beautifully by angling her face just right and stretching her feet like a ballerina to finish the look.
Ballykealey House Civil Wedding Ceremony
Ballykealey House commissioned me to take some photos to update their wedding portfolio. They wanted several outdoor photos and Karen had put together a mood board of the look she wanted to achieve. This was a brilliant way to prepare and really helped guide us on the day. We watched the weather and planned the shoot day to suit.
My favourite idea for the day was a circle of chairs around the fountain for an outdoor ceremony. The circle of chairs, like spokes of a wheel draw the eye to the center. The whole scene is surrounded by lush green grass, hedges and trees which contrasts beautifully with the stone and white chairs. The sunlight and shadows show what’s possible on the right day for an outdoor ceremony. Overall it makes for a very strong feature image on Ballykealey House Hotel website.
Cahernane Christmas Photography
Cahernane House Hotel commissioned me to do some Christmas photography. The brief was for a few photos in lounge and a bedroom. The idea was to capture some of the atmosphere guests will enjoy there at Christmas.
Every photo tells a story. For me the story I see here is a Christmas stay in a beautiful boutique country house hotel. There is no need for a full room photograph to tell that story. Part of the bed with a few presents is enough to show. I see an antique table, comfy sofa, table and chairs. The room looks big without having to see it all. The 2 windows, the lamp and candles add atmospheric light to the scene. The champagne and mini-desserts help me see myself and my partner in that room enjoying the delights on offer. Hmmmmmm.
Cask Bar & Restaurant
I had the pleasure of doing an interior shoot at Cask in Cork. Every nook and cranny has something to offer so I find it hard to choose one particular photo as the signature shot. What I remember most from the shoot is that there was so little time to get the photos. The bar was due to open for evening drinks and food so we had a little over an hour to get all the photography done. With busy restaurants and bars I often have to shoot around staff and customers! Thanks to Arthur from Isaacs helping so much on staging I was able to shoot in slivers of time a capture lots of photos of the unique and interesting details that make up this award-winning bar.