Reflections Photography: Blog https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog en-us (C) Reflections Photography barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:16:00 GMT Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:16:00 GMT https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/img/s/v-5/u974077138-o854898919-50.jpg Reflections Photography: Blog https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog 120 92 The Meet & Greet https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2015/8/the-meet-greet So today I just wanted to drop a quick line regarding the traditional Meet & Greet that usually takes place at the doors of the church just after the couple have walked back down the aisle as the new Mr & Mrs. As a photographer I have noticed recently that some couples are opting not to do any official greeting line at this point and instead doing a more relaxed meet and greet back at the hotel. Personally I think this is a great idea as it can often take up to 40 minutes to greet all your guests at the church door.
In my experience by not doing the meet & greets at this point the time saved can be very beneficial as the rest of the day progresses. It means that the couple can move off quicker for their photographs while the guests can get checked in at the hotel etc that little bit earlier allowing everybody more time to enjoy the day. It also means that the B&G will have more time to meet their guests back at the hotel having got the photographs finished early and again will be more relaxed and able to enjoy spending real time with their guests. Some couples will do an official meet and greet as guests are called into the meal which again is a good idea as people are more relaxed at this stage and most will have had a chance to offer their congratulations to the happy couple by now anyway.

So thats my little tip for the day :-). As a photographer I want to capture your wedding day as it happens and I want you to be able to enjoy as much time with your friends and family as possible and so by skipping the formal meet & greet directly after the ceremony you get to spend more real time with your guests. :-).

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Athlone Springs Hotel Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown City North Hotel Photographer camera drogheda wedding https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2015/8/the-meet-greet Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:15:00 GMT
Wedding fairs https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2015/2/wedding-fairs Wedding Fairs

 

Well as it is mid-February now that must also mean we are in the thick of the wedding fair season.  I was exhibiting at City North Hotel on the M1 on Thursday evening. I have to admit I am not a big fan of the mid week evening fairs. In general they don’t seem to be as well attended compared to the Sunday events. That said however I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout on the night.

 

Suzanne and the team had the room looking amazing and prospective clients could get a real sense of how the banquet room would look on their own big day. I counted 25 exhibitors there, which is a good number as there was a wide range of services and products on display.  Photographers of course were well represented but I like that. It gives couples a good change to view different styles of wedding photography and albums on offer from us and helps to focus them on what style and level of coverage tends to appeal to them the most. Also by chatting with the photographer, the couple can get a sense of how they would feel having this guy with them all day on their special day which is important for both the couple and the photographer to ensure we get great natural relaxed images.

 

Bookings rarely take place now with photographers at the wedding fair themselves. Most couples use the event as an opportunity to get an overview of what is available to them for their wedding day. Naturally couples will be looking for prices and packages and will leave the event armed with a pile of brochures which they can then sit down with over a cuppa and go through them at their leisure. From here they can compare prices, packages and styles and then start to formulate a plan and indeed a budget for their wedding day photography.

 

Many photographers will offer discounts and special deals if you make a booking with them at the fair. My advice here would be to avoid jumping in too fast. Im not saying that the deal on offer may be a bad one or anything like that. Im just saying that as your wedding day is such an important day in your life and you want to make sure you have everything perfect, now is not the time to be making hasty decisions. You will be looking at these photos for the rest of your life. They will be the one tangible item you will still have from your wedding day in forty years time and will become more precious to you as each year passes. Of course the budget must be considered when choosing your photographer but this is probably one of the few areas where the budget should not be the main priority. Maybe save a few bob on the sweet cart or the limo but take your time choosing your photographer and don’t jump at the cheapest price to save money now only to regret it after the event.

 

So take your time. If you see a photographer you like, step back, do some research and then get in touch again to arrange a chat and view albums etc. Eugenia will be at The Carlton Hotel fair in Tyrellstown this Sunday (22/02) while I travel down to The Athlone Springs Hotel to attend their wedding fair. If you are around come on over and say hi, but don’t book anything!

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Athlone Springs Hotel Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown City North Hotel Morrison Hotel Wedding fairs Wedding photographer louth https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2015/2/wedding-fairs Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:19:27 GMT
Im Back! https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2015/2/im-back Wow! I cant believe it has been so long since I posted anything here on my blog page. With all the other aspects of the business to deal with its always easy to put this end of things on the long finger I suppose until we end up where I am now, with nothing to say for myself for the past two years!

Things are going well. I have shot so many weddings since I last blogged. Louth of course is still my busiest area for wedding photography, but Dublin, Wicklow, Meath and Kildare also take me on my travels. Do I have a favourite wedding venue? I have many favourite wedding venues. They all fall into different categories of favouritism, from the hotel itself, the staff looking after us, onsite photographic opportunities, nearby beauty spots, ease of access, right down to "is the cuppa tea warm on arrival"!


I suppose if I was to present one venue with the prestigious "Reflections Photography Wedding Venue of the Year" award for 2014 it would have to go to the Carrickdale Hotel just north of Dundalk. (Check out  www.carrickdale.com). I just like everything about it. From the minute we arrive the team are excellent and cannot do enough for the Bride & Groom and their guests. The beautifully manicured gardens are perfect for photographs offering plenty of variety for both the group shots and the Bride & Groom photo shoot. The drinks reception area has plenty of seating for even the biggest wedding and the banquet room itself is stunning. The food is always excellent and most importantly, at the end of the night I am home in 40 minutes! :-D

 

 

 

So what else is going on? Well I have opened a lovely little studio in Dunleer which is popular for all sorts of shoots from family portraits, childrens' portraits, pet photography and port folio shoots with models, singers and actors. We also provide commercial services from the studio including corporate portraits and product shots. We have a viewing and consultation room which is ideal for couples to sit down over a cup of coffee and enjoy flicking through our range of wedding albums and just get their questions answered in a relaxed informal atmosphere.

Photo shoots, viewings, and consultations are all by appointment only so please contact us by phone or email to arrange your meeting.

 

 

 

So thats enough for now I think. Over the next few weeks I hope to cover all sorts of topics from venue reviews, studio shoots and just general banter. I do have a few wedding fairs coming up over the next couple of weeks. On thursday night we are in City North Hotel on the M1 just south of Drogheda and on Sunday the 22nd of Feb we are splitting ourselves in two as we attend wedding fairs in both The Athlone Springs Hotel (www.athlonespringshotel.com) and the Carlton Hotel at Tyrellstown (www.carltonhotelblanchardstown.com) in Dublin 15. So if you are close by to any of these events on the day drop in and say hi :-)

 

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Athlone Springs Hotel Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown Carrickdale Hotel City North Hotel Photography studio in Louth Wedding fair drogheda photographer louth photographer https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2015/2/im-back Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:21:04 GMT
WIN a free Mother's Day Photo Shoot! https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/win-a-free-mothers-day-photo-shoot We all know mums are special and deserve to be thanked every now and again.. that is why we at Reflections Photography are offering one lucky winner the chance to capture their memories by having a photo shoot with their mum .. the perfect Mother's Day gift! What's more we will also supply one canvas print FREE of charge to the lucky winner! 

To enter this great competition simply email us at barry@reflectionsphotography.ie and tell us why you and your mum deserve this prize! Please include your full name, address and telephone number so we can get in touch if you are the lucky winner.  

Competition will close at 7pm on the 8th March 2013 and the winner will be notified the very next day. 
 

 

 

Terms and conditions apply.
 

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Day Day' Gift' Mother Mum family portrait s https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/win-a-free-mothers-day-photo-shoot Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:14:39 GMT
How to pose for your wedding photographs https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/how-to-pose-for-your-wedding-photographs Posing in front of a camera does not come naturally to most of us. Being the centre of attention is also a strange situation to be in. Add the most important day of your life into the mix and suddenly having your photo taken can seem like the most daunting challenge known to mankind! Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life so relax and enjoy it. You didnt decide to get married for the sake of the photographer so my advice would be for the most part, forget the photographer is even there. Just be yourself and let the day unfold naturally. You are surrounded by family and friends and all those that are dear to you so there is no reason at all to be nervous or uncomfortable. You will be looking your radient best and as a result your confidence will be sky high. This is the perfect combination for great photos so relax knowing that you have done your part and now its up to the pro photographer to do his part. All you have to do now is just be yourself and enjoy the day :-)

However if you are really worried about how to pose in front of the camera here is a piece from a recent article published by the good people at Confetti Magazine outlining the top 8 easy tips on how to look great in your wedding day photos. And the good news is you dont have to be a supermodel or a contortionist to pull this off. :-)

Whether you're the bride, the groom or a guest, looking great in the photographs is sure to be one thing on your mind at a wedding. Imagine spending the day dodging the camera, hiding behind trees or glaring at the photographer when he/she tries to get that perfectly candid shot? So, here are some of our tips on how to take a great photo.

  1. Don't forget the celebrity pose - hips 45 degrees away from the camera, one foot forward and weight on your back foot. And smile, hopefully you won't have to force this- or have lots of trouble a la Chandler in Friends!
  2. Take a leaf out of Tyra Bank's book and don the all important 'smize' (smile with your eyes) if that wide grin is making your face hurt and look stiff. These make for lovely, effortless photos without looking like you're annoyed.
  3. Take it easy on the fake tan, it can come across as even more orange in photographs- throw in the white of your dress and you'll look like a carrot covered in whipped cream ( ... mmm, appetising)
  4. Glitter and illuminating creams in front of the lens might make you look like a Sweaty Betty so keep them to a minimum.
  5. This one goes without saying- stand up straight, raise your chin up and out a little to avoid the dreaded double. (Even the skinniest of minnies can get a double chin)
  6. Chat to your photographer about which style you're going for and ask for a mix of colour and black and white shots. Do you want contemporary, traditional or docu-style? The choice is yours, just make sure you look at their work and know exactly what you want.
  7. Scope out your venue on the run up to your day and look for areas with great backdrops and features that are sure to complement you in shots.
  8. Most importantly, relax, laugh and enjoy your surroundings, company and overall day. You will undoubtedly be overjoyed and this is what will come across in pictures the most.

 

Follow these 8 simple tips and your wedding album will be filled with images as fantastic as the day itself! :-)

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) how to pose how to pose for photographs tips wedding Album wedding photographer wedding poses https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/how-to-pose-for-your-wedding-photographs Mon, 18 Feb 2013 16:05:37 GMT
Top 20 wedding Venues 2012 https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/top-20-wedding-venues-2012 As we are well and truely in the thick of the awards season right now with the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and indeed The IFTAS having all taken place in recent weeks, I thought it may be of interest to do a piece on the nominees for some of the most prestigious awards in the Irish wedding industry.  The Weddingsonline.ie Awards 2013 take place this weekend at the Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin and all the following information regarding categories and nominees have been sourced from their website.

Have you used any of these nominees? Are you looking for any of their services? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

AND THE NOMINEES ARE...

WeddingsOnline.ie Awards 2013 Finalists

"Best Wedding Industry Newcomer",

 

"Best Wedding Supplier Website",

"Bridal Hair Stylist of the Year",

"Bridal Jewellery & Accessory Designer of the Year",

"Bridal Make Up Artist of the Year",

"Bridal Shop of the Year",

"Church Singer of the Year",

"Exclusive Wedding Venue of the Year",

"Floral Designer of the Year",

"Groomswear Supplier of the Year",

"Honeymoon Supplier of the Year"

"Lakelands Venue of the Year"

"Restaurant Venue of the Year",

"Stationery Designer of the Year",

"Venue Decor & Event Stylist of the Year",

"Wedding Band of the Year",

"Wedding Cake Designer of the Year",

  "Wedding Entertainer of the Year"

 

"Wedding Entertainment Agency of the Year",

"Wedding Jeweller of the Year",

"Wedding Musician(s) of the Year",

"Wedding Photographer of the Year",

"Wedding Transport Supplier of the Year",

"Wedding Venue Co-Ordinator of the Year",

"Wedding Venue of the Year Castle"

"Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Connaught",

"Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Leinster",

"Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Munster",

"Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Ulster",

"Wedding Videographer of the Year",

Weddings Abroad Supplier of the Year

 

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Best Wedding Industry Newcomer Best Wedding Supplier Website Bridal Hair Stylist of the Year Bridal Jewellery & Accessory Designer of the Year Bridal Make Up Artist of the Year Bridal Shop of the Year Church Singer of the Year Exclusive Wedding Venue of the Year Floral Designer of the Year Groomswear Supplier of the Year Honeymoon Supplier of the Year Lakelands Venue of the Year Restaurant Venue of the Year Stationery Designer of the Year Venue Decor & Event Stylist of the Year Wedding Band of the Year Wedding Cake Designer of the Year Wedding DJ of the Year Wedding Entertainer of the Year Wedding Entertainment Agency of the Year Wedding Jeweller of the Year Wedding Musician(s) of the Year Wedding Photographer of the Year Wedding Transport Supplier of the Year Wedding Venue Co-Ordinator of the Year Wedding Venue of the Year Castle Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Connaught Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Leinster Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Munster Wedding Venue of the Year Hotel Ulster Wedding Videographer of the Year https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/top-20-wedding-venues-2012 Fri, 15 Feb 2013 21:56:20 GMT
The Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/the-heritage-hotel-portlaoise So now that I am enjoying the calm before the storm I thought it was time to fill you in a some more weddings I covered in 2012. Today I am going to write about a wedding I shot last October for a fantastic couple, Yvonne Tynan and Sean Culleton. (Now aka Mr & Mrs Culleton :-))

Yvonne first contacted me early last year on the back of a Facebook promotion I was running in conjunction with the launching of my latest wedding album at the time. After swapping a few messages on Facebook we arranged to meet up so that the three of us could sit down and just  have a general natter about their wedding day requirements and let them see the range of albums and packages available. I set up a slide show so that they could get a good sense of my style of shooting while Yvonne plied me with tea and biscuits, probably just to keep me quiet for five minutes! :-). Sean and Yvonne have been together now for over ten years. In fact they chose their wedding date in October because it was exactly ten years to the day since they first met! They have four beautiful kids who all had their roles to play on the wedding day. But before that, as part of the package Sean and Yvonne had booked an engagement shoot with me. They decided to make the most of the opportunity and we ended up having a great couple of hours doing a family photoshoot with plenty of photos of each of the kids individually as well as group shots. I think poor Sean is still hanging canvasses on every wall in the house even now!

One of the things I enjoyed most about this wedding was the real sense of family and community that Yvonne and Sean built their wedding day around. The church was in Ballyfin, just outside Portlaoise, which was Seans parish church and of course with The Heritage Hotel being in the heart of Portlaoise itself, by the end of the night the massive room was just heaving with neighbours and friends all enjoying a fantastic local couple's wedding day.

When I arrived at Yvonnes parent's house I was greeted by a full house of family all preparing for the day ahead, from toddlers to grandparents. There was a buzz and excitement in the air that is unique to wedding days. I will never tire of this buzz if I cover a thousand weddings. The bride herself was calmness personified as she helped everyone else with all the last minute details and preparations. Yvonne looked stunning in a gorgeous gown that exuded grace and elegance in a dignified understated way. The dress was a throwback to a more classical time and images of Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy would not be far from anyones mind when seeing this stunning bride.

Having got all the shots we wanted with the bride it was then time for me to get to the church to get shots of the groom and guests arriving as well as capture all the details; the church flowers, the leaflets and of course the style on show. Being late October the autumnal colours were at their radiant best in the sunshine providing the perfect backdrop for photos, and Sean couldnt have been more relaxed if he was kicking back on his couch with the slippers on watching his beloved Man Utd. The result (of the photos, not the match) was lovely natural images as Sean and his two boys, Rory and Jack, enjoyed chatting with everyone as they awaited for the brides arrival.

Enivitably the whispers started to circulate that the bride was on her way. (Who knows this information?? Do they have a GPS strapped to the bride's ankle, tracking her every move??) Everyone hurried into the church in anticpation of Yvonnes arrival and that special hush, which again I find unique to weddings fell across the church.  The beautiful old Mercedes pulled up outside the church, carrying a beaming proud father and for the first and only time during the day, his nervous bride daughter. 

 

 

 

Last minute adjustments and make up checks were carried out as a couple of late comers scurried past us into the church and the bridesmaids and flower girls and page boys all took their places and the excitement and anticpation levels rose again by another couple of notches. Once Yvonne was ready she instructed me to indicate to the musicians to start the music and on their que then the children started the walk up the aisle.

And so the ceremony was underway. Sean looked in awe as he turned to see his stunning bride for the first time. It was a beautiful moment as all the family met together for the first time that day. Smiles, tears and laughter filled the church and this set the tone for the day ahead. The ceremony itself was lovely; simple, unpretentious, romantic. Little Jack did his best to steal the show on a couple of occassions as he never strayed far from his daddy's side and even got involved in a game of chicken with the priest as he explored the workings of the 3 piece bell that sat on the alter steps at the perfect height for little hands. The girls completed their readings flawlessly and Rory looked every bit the little man as he sat behind his daddy throughout the ceremony.

And so with vows said, rings exchanged and register books signed, the new Mr and Mrs Culleton made their way out of the church surrounded by their young family and with their friends in tow. After being mobbed outside by well wishers offering congratulations and blessings it was then time for the happy couple to move on to the next part of the day. As the guests made their way to the magnificent Heritage Hotel in the town Sean and Yvonne and the kids made a detour and headed back to Seans Parents home just a mile down the road from the church. The weather was beautiful and sunny but it being late October there was also a bit of a chill in the air and the first priority when the wedding party got back to the house was to get a bit of a warm up and get a bite to eat as it already had been quite a long day at this point. And what better way to kill two birds with one stone than to tuck into a hearty bowl of homemade soup and soda bread? It certainly made for a great photo opportunity as the bride sat at the kitchen table in all her splendour enjoying her soup and sandwich! This was also to be the venue for the formal group shots along with Sean and Yvonne's own photoshoot. The garden itself was immacculately kept and the old out houses and buildings on the land made for perfect backdrops and photo opportunities. A set of swings and a slide made for a fantastic family photograph and made a welcome change from the typical set up which often looks like a football team defending a free kick as the players bulid a wall!

 

Wedding photographer. Drogheda.BM-599 And so with everyone fed and watered and all photos in the bag it was time to join up with the rest of the guests at The Heritage. This hotel really is a fine wedding venue. Great central location with ample parking and easily accessible for those local who dont want to bring the car. The front exterior of the hotel offers an imposing grandness and this is offset by the impossibly friendly staff that were on hand to greet us on our arrival. Banquet Manager Nichola looked after Yvonne and Sean from the minute they arrived at the hotel and no request was too much for her. The bar was warm and inviting and indeed was been enjoyed wholeheartedly by the guests as they tucked into canapes, tea, coffee and champagne. The well lit spacious front lobby was the perfect location for the entire group shot and again the staff were a great help in assisting me in rounding everyone up for this photo. At 5:45 the bell was sounded calling the guests to dinner, bang on schedule. The staff were well organised and professional and contributed significantly to the success of the day.

As the guests entered the function room the air was filled with gasps and ooohs and aahhs such was the decorative splendor in the room. The top table was dressed immacculately and the attention to detail was clear to see. Every glass, every piece of cutlery was sparkling and the layout was impeccable. No less attention to detail was paid to the guests' tables and the seating plan was well displayed and easy to follow. The service could not be faulted with a constant flow of wine and drink on hand. The meal; Oh my God, the meal. Absolutely gorgeous! I just had the main course and went for the turkey and ham option. The meat was so tender and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. I didnt have the starters or the desserts but from all accounts the feedback I got was very positive. During the meal a giant screen showed images on a slideshow from the happy couple's engagement shoot earlier in the year and made an excellent backdrop to further enhance the occassion. Nichola was on hand throughout to ensure that everything ran smoothly and we slipped seamlessly into the speeches at the end of the meal. One of the highlights of the day was the announcement from Mummy and Daddy that for their honeymoon the entire family were going to Disneyland, Paris! The excitement from the kids was just unreal!

Following on from the meal and speeches the room was quickly rearranged to set up the band and dancing area, and again the staff managed to do all this without barely disturbing any of the guests. The new Mr and Mrs Culleton took to the floor shortly after nine pm for their first dance and the floor was never empty again for the rest of the night.

I really enjoyed this wedding. Yvonne and Sean are a lovely couple and are just so dedicated to their children. The family atmosphere was prevelant throughout the day and the choice of venue for the photoshoot added another level to the personal touch that made the occassion even more special. The staff and management at The Heritage should be very proud of their service and I look forward to returning there again soon someday. Now if I can just get Sean's mother to rent out her garden for photoshoots....  

 

 

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Photographer Portlaoise. The Heritage Hotel Wedding photographer Offaly drogheda wedding https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2013/2/the-heritage-hotel-portlaoise Thu, 07 Feb 2013 19:31:37 GMT
Buying a camera this Christmas? https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/12/buying-a-camera-this-christmas As Christmas fast approaches, our minds turn toward the festivities that lie ahead. Office parties, family get togethers, house parties are part and parcel of what makes Christmas time a special and fun time of the year. It is also one of the best excuses to get out the camera and capture some great memories and that has prompted me to write a short blog regarding purchasing a camera, either as a gift or as a special treat for yourself.

Let me start by briefly touching on the camera phone, which has probably become the most common form of camera used today. Most camera phones come with at least 2 Mega pixels, on average 5 MP (mega pixels) and some of the higher end phones will include an 8MP camera or better. I dont want to get too bogged down with technical jargon here but a quick explanation of mega pixels would be as follows:

The image on the left shows pixels. Digital cameras capture images as pixel elements, known as pixels. Simply put, a megapixel is equal to one million pixels.

Digital images are made up of thousands of these tiny, tile-like picture elements. The more pixels, the higher the image resolution. But what is image resolution? Well image resolution relates primarily to print size and the amount of detail an image has when viewed on a computer monitor  at 100%. The more of these "square tiles", called pixels, are contained in an image, the better quality that image will be, both printed and viewed on screen.

 

The typical mobile phone on sale today contains a camera as a standard feature and the quality of the camera is often judged solely on its megapixel count. The general idea is the higher the number, the better the quality. However this is not always the case. Whereas some phone manufactures will include a high level of camera software in the making of the phone, most do not, relying heavily on promoting the mega pixel number (MP). Take a photo in the phone shop and it will look fine on the phone. It will be pin sharp and well exposed. However you are viewing an image on a screen no bigger than 3" x 2". That is fine if all you want to do with that image is stick your phone in someone's face and say "Hey look at this great pic I took on my phone!" or if you want to forward it on to another phone, or post it on a social media site. There is alot to be said for the camera phone. They are handy, convenient and allow you to share your picture immediately. However the quality when printing an image taken on a mobile phone will be poor in most cases. You might get away with a 6"x4" print but anything larger will be just a fuzzy series of dots on a page with the idea of an image in there somewhere. This is because alot of the software needed to convert digital images to high quality prints is simply not included in the manufacturing of all but the highest end moblie phones.

So, armed with that knowledge you now need to determine what is important to you when you take a photograph. Is it the convienence of just taking your phone out of your pocket? Is it the ability to share that image immediately? Do you want to be able to print your image? How large do you want to be able to print that image? Can your camera cope with the many different scenarios you will find yourself in when taking a photo? A darkened room. Bright sunlight, fast moving objects, no flash available, no flash allowed. The camera phone will easily tick the boxes for the first two considerations but it will struggle to meet your needs after that so its time to think about purchasing a camera 100% dedicated to fulfilling the role of taking photographs for you and then allowing you to share or print your photos at their best.

 

The good news is, in my opinion anyway, there are no "rubbish" cameras. With the technology available today, even "own brand" cameras, on sale in places like Lidl or Aldi are decent cameras. They come with at least 10MP and have a wide variety of features included as standard, allowing even the most beginner of photographers to take a decent photograph. So dont be put off by a brand name. As with all things in photography, choosing your camera is all about choices and compromises. What sort of photos do you want to take? holiday snapshots? family? travel? landscape? sports? underwater? The options are endless but by deciding what type of photos you will be taking in general and your priority regarding portability, versatility and quality, and by reading this blog, hopefully you will be able to make a better informed choice.

There are three types of digital cameras available in the mainstream; the compact camera, the bridge camera, and the SLR camera. Lets start with the compact camera.

Compact camera buying guide

The Compact camera is ideal for a pocket or a handbag. This may be the camera for you if you just want good quality snaps, children, family and holiday pictures. Increasingly easy to use they are ideal for everyday snaps. Auto Scene Mode, a standard setting on most compact cameras,selects the best options for you to produce a great picture. All the technical decision making is done for you by the camera. All you have to do is point and shoot.

Things to look out for: The larger the screen at the back of the camera, the easier it is for you to frame and view your pictures. Some more advanced cameras have touch screens.  Others have movable screens, allowing you to tilt or swivel the screen for a better angle.

Video is generally a standard feature on all compact cameras now. Some of the better cameras will come equipped with High Definition Video. Look out for models that say 720 high def for extra quality or even 1080 high def for unbeatable video quality.

Memory cards: There are several formats of memory cards available although most compact cameras work with SD format. A standard 4GB card should hold about 1000 photos if shooting in jpeg mode although be aware that capturing video eats up an awful lot more memory.

Batteries: Some cameras take AA or AAA batteries, but most cameras take re-chargable Li-ion batteries which last much longer and can be recharged, saving you money on replacement batteries. Again, the battery life will depend on how the camera is used. Video recording, zooming in and out, using flash, all make extra demands on your battery which means it will be needed to be replaced or recharged more often.

A basic compact camera should cost anything from €50 right up to the stunning Nikon 1 at around €635.

 

 THE BRIDGE CAMERA: As the name suggests, the bridge camera is a crossover between the compact camera at one end and the SLR camera at the other. Whilst not quite as small or compact as the compact camera it is less bulky than the SLR format although it does look more like a SLR and would have more features than the standard compact, notably increased zoom sizes. The lenses are fixed, although offer powerful zoom, up to 42x closer.

If you like taking landscape or group shots look out for the Super Wide Angle feature. Continuous Shooting allows you to keep your finger on the trigger to capture a quickfire range of shots and then choose your favourite image from that selection, particluarly useful with shooting fast moving objects or even with group shots where someone blinking can be an issue. A typical lens on a bridge camera ranges from wide angle through to close up zoom.

A bridge camera would set you back anything from €120 up to and beyond €300.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SLR Camera.  The Single Lens Reflex (SLR) aka the DSLR (Digital Single lens Reflex) is the ideal camera for those who wish to have more creative control over how they capture their images. While these cameras can still be used in the automatic settings, allowing you to just point and shoot, the DSLR camera also has full manual setings, giving the photographer complete control of exposure, light, shutter speeds etc.

The DSLR camera is the preferred choice of the serious enthusiast and an absolute must have for the professional. An enrty level DSLR camera would cost around €500 for both the camera body and a standard tele zoom lens. However with mid to high end DSLRs the body and the lens are purchased separately. The range and variety of lenses on the market is vast with  different lenses more suited to one form of photography than another. For example there are the huge big lenses often seen on television being used by sports photographers. These would be 500mm lenses, capable of zooming into the action from great distances.These lenses are often used by wildlife photograhers on safari etc for obvious reasons. Then there are lenses which specialize in macro (close up) photography. Other lenses are suited to portrait work and others to landscape photography and so on. A good all round lens to have would have a zoom range of 18mm to 70mm. This would cover most typical scenarios and once you have this lens you can then add lenses to your collection as your interest in photograhy grows. A word of warning though, not every lens is compatible with every camera. For example a Canon lens wont work on a Nikon body. 

 

 Without question the two leading players in the DSLR market are Canon and Nikon. However Sony, Fuji, and Luminex to mention just a few, also produce excellent products. There is a seemingly bottomless pit of accessories available to purchase for all cameras, from lenses to flash heads, to filters, to converters. The list goes on and on. Camera bags, tripods, remote controls, editing software and on and on and on it goes. So the good news is, if you give your Loved One a camera for christmas and they get the photography bug, you will be sorted for gift ideas for many birthdays and christmasses to come.

 

Happy shopping! :-)

 

 

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) 1 Canon Christmas DSLR G5 Nikon V1 advice bridge camera compact gift ideas lenses. powershot https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/12/buying-a-camera-this-christmas Wed, 05 Dec 2012 08:45:00 GMT
The d Hotel, Drogheda https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/6/the-d-hotel-drogheda I know, I know. I said I would post regular blogs featuring hotels and venues from recent weddings I have shot and nothing new has been published on this subject for quite a while now. Well today is the day to do something about that and I have decided to write a little piece on a local wedding I shot back in December last, just after christmas. To be honest the reason that spurred me on to feature The d Hotel in Drogheda was the fact that I was there recently when the Drogheda branch of Comhaltas put on a great night promoting their bid to bring the Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann to Drogheda in 2014. Check out their website www.droghedacomhaltas.com for more information on this if you are interested. Anyway that reminded me what a good location The d Hotel was and what a great wedding I attended there back in December...

The couple in question were Sinéad Taffe and Keith Crilly, living in Duleek now but originally from Coolock in Dublin. I met with Sinéad and Keith a few months earlier and we all seemed to just click immediately. They had a lovely laid back attitude about them which complimented my style and approach to shooting weddings so right from the start we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.

The big day arrived anyway on December 29th and I was up at Sinéads house bright and early to get all those candid shots of herself and the girls getting ready for the day ahead. Ben Garry of Ben Garry Hair & Beauty, based in Navan and Trim was there well before me and hard at work on five women all demanding his very best. At around 11am Sinéad ordered the biggest spread of breakfast I have ever seen! Breakfast rolls, sausages, fried eggs, rashers, big mugs of tea, the works. Like I said, one laid back couple!  Suitably fed and watered and with plenty of shots in the bag, it was then time for me to leave the women to their own devices for a while and so I headed to the Church in Duleek just to get a few exterior and interior shots before the crowds arrived.

I was expecting Keith and the lads to arrive at the church any time now and was starting to worry for them when there was still no sign of them at 1:15 as they were aiming to be there around 1ish. It turned out though that they had arrived just before 1pm and had actually gone straight to the pub across the road. I hadnt spotted them arriving as I was in the church at the time. Anyway I eventually caught up with the lads and we got some great shots of Keith and the guys having a quiet pint in the empty pub before I had to scurry back to the house to get the last shots of Sinéad before she left for her wedding. It was at this point that the weather turned nasty. A biting wind picked up and the rain was always an imminent threat. We got a few more last minute pictures in the house and then I nipped back to the church to get shots of the bride arriving. There was only a mile between the house and the church so this gave me great scope to get shots at both locations.

On arriving at the church the wind was now really misbehaving and there were dirty big drops of rain falling as well causing Sinéad to make a dash from the limo to the shelter of the church porch. If nothing else it made for some great action shots anyway. :-). The ceremony itself was lovely and forty minutes later the new Mr and Mrs Crilly emerged from the church into a still windy but drier churchyard. We had originally planned to do the couple's photoshoot in the nearby St Marys Abbey ruins but we had to switch to plan B as the weather was just not playing ball with us at this point in time.

Plan B was by no means a less preferable option as we had The d Hotel's magnificent Penthouse suite with its panoramic views over Drogheda available to us so the entire bridal party piled into the lifts and headed skyward. As the rain had stopped we decied to get some group shots out on the balcony with the Viaduct in the background and the bridal party enjoying champagne all round. Unfortunately the light was starting to fade now and to say it was a little chilly would be the understatement of the year so we headed back inside and got some great group shots as well as fab shots of the bride and groom as they sat around on the beautiful white leather couches and plush red rugs. The d Hotel is a very modern building and has a great cosmopolitan feel to it. This is evident from the lobby right the way through the hotel all the way up to the stunning penthouse suite.  Once the bride had thawed out and the rest of the bridal party had retreated back to the bar myself Sinéad and Keith then settled in to a very funny and laid back photoshoot, making the most of the beautiful room, the rose petals laid out on the huge bed and the floor to ceiling glass walls, offering stunning views over the town with its streetlights blending perfectly with the christmas lights. 

Having kept the Bride and Groom away from their guests for long enough we returned to the bar area where everyone was enjoying tasty warm nibbles and drinks. I had often wondered in the past how The d Hotel would work as a wedding reception location as it has just the one main bar and resturant area. To be honest I was surprised how well it did convert into a very chic and stylish yet intimate wedding venue. The whole ground floor area to the right of the main entrance was simply closed off using very plush curtains giving the bride and groom and their guests ample space for, well everything really. The bar was at the centre of everything and was well manned by excellent and very friendly staff and the resturant area was decorated beautifully for the meal. The seating arrangements added to the sence of intimacy at one end of the area while at the other end a stage and dancefloor was effortlessly installed to ensure a great night of entertainment later in the evening. Laura O'Donovan was the banquetting manager on the day and both she and her team did a fantastic job looking after the happy couple from the minute they arrived at the hotel right throughout the entire event.

From a photographer's viewpoint The d Hotel is an excellent location for photographs especially if the weather is any way decent. Obviously the best location is the penthouse suite rooftop terrace. This location has been used by many photographers and tv crews as the backdrop and views it provides are spectacular. But there is also the riverside promenade and the nearby pedestrian bridge to give a very modern and stylish photoshoot and close by are some very famous landmarks including St Lawrances Gate and Millmount Tower to provide a more dramatic background. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how well The d Hotel worked as a wedding venue and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone checking out wedding locations. It has a central location in a busy town, has ample accomodation for even the largest weddings and has an excellent and friendly team of staff all well capable of ensuring that a wedding at The d Hotel in Drogheda will be a very special and memorable occassion for all. Check it out, www.thedhotel.com  and tell them Barry sent you...

 

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) ben comhaltas d drogheda duleek garry hall hotel photographer scotch wedding https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/6/the-d-hotel-drogheda Sun, 24 Jun 2012 13:01:46 GMT
Wedding spend in Ireland survey 2011 https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/6/wedding-spend-in-ireland-survey-2011 I recently came across this article online and I found the figures to make very interesting reading indeed. However I cannot take the credit (or the blame :-)) for any of the data published.  Below are the results of Irish Wedding Survey 2012, a wedding and civil partnership survey conducted by mrs2be.ie in conjunction with Annie Byrne of Aislinn Events.

Almost 1,350 brides and grooms were surveyed in detail which makes this Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive wedding survey to date.

What is the Irish Wedding Industry Worth?

Weddings are big business in Ireland. mrs2be.ie estimates that the Irish wedding industry is worth between €500 million and €1 billion annually. It is difficult to calculate an accurate figure because even though the amount couples spend tying the knot is known, there is also a huge level of related expenditure to consider. For example, guests who attend a wedding usually have a range of costs including wedding gifts, alcohol at the reception and overnight accomodation. There is also the spend on all those hen and stags, new outfits and beauty costs for attending guests to take into consideration.

What couple’s spent on their wedding in 2011

 

       
 

2011

2010

% Change

       
Ceremony Venue (including donations)

€378

€461

-18%

Reception Venue

€9,905

€9,751

2%

Reception Band

€1,753

€1,762

0%

Reception DJ

€383

€384

0%

Photographer

€1,489

€1,632

-9%

Videographer

€975

€1,071

-9%

Wedding Planner / Coordinator

€1,100

€1,150

-4%

Wedding Dress

€1,290

€1,329

-3%

Bridal Party Attire

€965

€970

-1%

Wedding Jewellery

€605

€618

-2%

Beauty / Hair and Makeup

€402

€428

-6%

Florist / Décor

€630

€613

3%

Invitations / Other Stationery

€290

€351

-17%

Wedding Cake

€340

€329

3%

Ceremony Musicians / Singers

€369

€419

-12%

Wedding Day Transportation

€466

€427

9%

Wedding Favours

€204

€210

-3%

Wedding Accessories / Candles

€157

€204

-23%

Miscellaneous Costs

€997

€1,320

-24%

The Honeymoon

€4,362

€5,506

-21%

       
Total Wedding Cost (including honeymoon)

€27,060

€28,935

-6%

       
Excluding honeymoon

€22,698

€23,429

-3%

 

Other key findings arising from Irish Wedding Survey 2012

  • 9 out of 10 engaged couples say that their wedding plans have somehow been affected by the tough economic conditions. It looks as if conditions have worsened recently as 7 out of 10 couples who got married in 2011 said they had been affected by the recession
  • Overall cost of a wedding (excluding the honeymoon) has fallen from €23.4k in 2010 to €22.7k in 2011.
  • Last year’s Irish Wedding Survey 2011 predicted a fall in budgets for 2012 (engaged brides were asked to provide a total cost for their upcoming weddings). The cost looks set to fall again in 2013 and beyond.
  • December is by far the most popular month to get engaged. Just under 1 in 4 of all engagements happen in this one month. August is the second most popular month, but it is closely followed by October and September.
  • Engagements are longer now than they were a few years back. More than 1 in 5 couples are now engaged for more than 2 years before tying the knot.
  • Online wedding communities such as mrs2be.ie continue to be a hugely popular resource for helping couples to source and research their ideal suppliers for their weddings. This trend is continuing on an upward climb.
  • Couples who got married in 2011 have indicated that were more influenced by quality but price also played a major role when it came to deciding between wedding suppliers and venues. For couples who are still engaged, the new emphasis is actually on price.
  • The choice of reception venue and the photographer receive the highest spend priority during the planning. These are closely followed by the wedding dress and the band to play at the evening reception.
  • In terms of what DIY projects couples undertake; favours, stationery, accessories and providing transportation on the day are the most popular. The wedding dress is the item least likely to undergo the DIY treatment. The DIY trend is still huge.
  • Average guest numbers who were present for the full sit down meal were between 101 and 150.
  • 2011 saw a large increase in couples using web technologies to help plan their wedding. Almost half of the couples surveyed indicated that they encouraged RSVPs via email which represents a 25% increase since 2010.
  • Whoever said that social media is a waste of time? 28% of couples who got married in 2011 indicated that they sourced some of their suppliers directly through Facebook and Twitter. This is a sizeable increase from a figure of just 10% in the previous year. For engaged couples yet to marry, 37% indicated that they are using Facebook and Twitter to source some of their suppliers.
  • There has been a notable increase in the number of wedding receptions being held in restaurants (3.4% in 2011 compared to 1% in 2010).
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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Mrs2be.ie Photographer budget getting married in Ireland irish wedding survey 2011 wedding wedding cost https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/6/wedding-spend-in-ireland-survey-2011 Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:51:32 GMT
The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan, Co Meath https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/5/the-station-house-hotel-kilmessan-co-meath The great thing about being a wedding photographer is that I get to do my job in some fantastic locations while at the same time being part of a very special occassion and being surrounded by people who are in great form, all combining to give me a very pleasant working atmosphere which is the envy of many. I have been lucky enough to ply my trade at some fantastic wedding venues and so I will try to review as many of these hotels as best I can. Please forgive me if alot of the review cames across moreso from a photographer's viewpoint rather than that of a guest but you have to remember that I spend most of my day on location with a camera pressed up against my nose. :-)

 

This week I want to talk about a recent wedding I shot at  The Station House Hotel in Kilmessan, Co Meath. Pamela and Karl were the happy couple on the day. Having met with them on a few occassions before the wedding itself I took a spin out to the hotel to do a recce of the grounds to get a good idea of the best locations for photos as well as to check out the lighting conditions etc. I met with the banquetting manager, Sarah who could not have been more helpful. Sarah took time out to show me all the prime spots for photo opportunities of which there were many.

The Station House Hotel would be well known as a premier location for outdoor weddings and I was not disappointed with the many choices available to me. There is a beautiful outdoor reception area between the main bar and the function room where guests can mingle and enjoy a drink in the sunshine or under the warmth of outdoor heaters if it is a bit on the cool side. Sarah then took me to the Signal Box which has been converted into a beautiful and very unique Bridal Suite. This is a very quaint building and extremely picturesque which is ideal for photographs.

From there we went to the Carriage Room. This is an old building which as the name suggests, once housed train carriages which would have been brought in for maintainence etc. The building has been lovingly restored and is now the main function room. With its exposed stone walls and tall windows this room really is a beautiful location to host any wedding reception.

But it is outdoors where I think The Station House really comes into its own. There is a wooded area which to describe as enchanting simply does not do it justice. Pamela and Karl had opted for an outdoor civil ceremony (in February!) and there was a magical feel to the whole thing as the guests made their way along the winding path in the woods lit by lanterns to an opening which reminded me of a fantasy fairy ring. This was beautifully decorated by the hotel staff with seating laid out in the sunken circular arena. Again from a photographer's viewpoint I was seduced by the sunlight weaving its way through the trees and hav ing a forest as a backdrop made for some very unusual and romantic images from the ceremony.

Adjacent to the forest the Station House boasts beautifully manicured gardens which were ideal for the formal photographs. With a variety of seating and other natural props close to hand we were able to capture plenty of great group shots. All of this was close enough to the bar that everyone was able to sit and relax when they werent needed for photographs and also made it easier for the guests to grab their own candid snaps as we set up the different group dynamics.

 

Once this part of the day was completed myself and the bride and groom then took a walk through the grounds where we proceeded to get some fabulous shots, some candid and some posed. There seemed to be an abundance of brilliant locations and props at every turn from love seats to winding tracks to archways and then at the rear of the garden is an old stone railway bridge with ivy overhanging the archway which, with the use of some off camera flash lighting, we got some stunning portrait images.

At this point it was time to let the bride and groom get away from me and my camera and let them enjoy their day with their guests who were by now nicely settled in the bar or out on the patio enjoying some beautiful springtime sunshine. The atmosphere created by these stunning grounds was very laid back and it was clear that everyone was by now very relaxed in their surroundings. The bar staff were excellent and nothing was too much trouble for them. I got to sample some of the nibbles on offer and I have to say the food was excellent.

Having spent some time taking informal and candid snaps of the guests enjoying their day it was soon time for everyone to be seated in The Carriage Room and the new Bride and groom to be announced into the room and seated at the top table. This was handled extremely well by the hotel staff. The service throughout the meal was excellent and the meal itself was absolutely gorgeous. (Another perk of the job!) Then with the speeches completed the guests returned to the bar while the staff very quickly readied the room for the night's entertainment. I got some great shots of the first dance and again the hotel had done a fabulous job with the layout, lighting and acoustics in the room for this part of the wedding experience at The Station House Hotel.

My overall appraisal of The Station House Hotel would be very favourable equally from the Bride and Groom, the guests and a photographer's point of view. The location is stunning yet portrays a very laid back and relaxed atmosphere. The staff are extremely helpful and very friendly and the food served is fantastic. So its a big thumbs up from me for The Station House Hotel anyway. I am due back there next year for two weddings and I will be delighted if I get the chance return to this, one of my favourite wedding venues, again before this year is out.

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) Co Drogheda Kilmessen Meath. Photographer Station House hotel Wedding https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/5/the-station-house-hotel-kilmessan-co-meath Sun, 06 May 2012 18:55:39 GMT
Welcome to my new blog https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/4/welcome-to-my-new-blog Hi.

Welcome to my new blog. I will be posting here regularly on all sorts of topics, mostly related to photography. I will be chatting about upcoming work I have scheduled, some of my favourite wedding venues, and portrait shoots. I will also try to give tips and advice on all sorts, from how to pose for a picture to what sort of camera to purchase and everything inbetween.  

If there is anything you would like to ask me or just have a chat in general please leave a comment and we will take things from there.

I will sign off for now and will crack on with the good stuff during the week so watch this space......   :-)

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barry@reflectionsphotography.ie (Reflections Photography) advice camera drogheda photographer portraits posing wedding wedding venues welcome https://www.reflectionsphotography.ie/blog/2012/4/welcome-to-my-new-blog Sat, 28 Apr 2012 01:22:12 GMT