Monday, June 20, 2011

Corina & Noel

I knew Corina & Noel's wedding was going to be good craic, because they're both lively characters, full of fun, and always up for a laugh. And it really showed as I was glancing through the images to select a few for this post. They're smiling and laughing in so many of the pictures, with a dollop of dreamy romance thrown in for good measure.

The ceremony was beside the seaside in Kilglass, Enniscrone. The obvious thing to do would be to go to the beach for some pictures afterwards, so we did the opposite, and headed inland towards Cromleach Lodge. Corina and Noel liked the idea of greenery and lakes in their pictures - they're too used to shoreline. With an early start and Corina's time-management skills, we were able to relax, take some unhurried pictures and still be back at the hotel in plenty of time for a glass or two of champagne before dinner.

The weather was kind to us again - despite the fact that it seemed to be raining all over Ireland, the sun shone over Lough Arrow. Corina was radiant in her classical Maggie Sottero dress as we walked across the freshly-cut meadow to Ballindoon Abbey. The opening image of that walk is definitely one of my favourites from 2011. Eamon from Big Apple Video was alongside me all day and, as always, added to the fun and enjoyment. With William his second cameraman you can see there was more than one happy couple present on Saturday. Noel & Corina - enjoy the Thai beaches, and Corina, if you're looking for your sunglasses case, I'm keeping it safe in the studio here.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lucy & Martin

It was a blonde bombshell weekend for me, with Lucy & Corina's weddings. Lucy was first up, on Friday. From Sligo, living in London and marrying a Glaswegian, Lucy recently cycled from London to Paris with her bridesmaid Orlaith. Martin is no slouch either - he's not satisfied with ordinary triathlons, but instead competes in the Iron Man versions - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle, followed by running a full marathon. Every time he visits Sligo, he runs to the top of Knocknarae for some light exercise.

Running was far from his mind outside the Church on Friday, as he waited for Lucy. She was well worth the wait too, looking stunning in her Luci Di Bella dress. After the ceremony, we headed to Tobernalt and Lough Gill before going on to the reception in The Sligo Park Hotel. The promised rain never materialised; instead, guests sat outside and mingled in continental-style sunshine.

A recurring motif throughout the day was the series of caricatures that Martin's father Robin had drawn, which appeared on the invitations, booklets, seating plan, menus, and even adorned the label of the special edition Lumarmacy bottle of red wine. I was gone before best man James's speech, so didn't get to hear him deliver his carefully rewritten oration, which was amended after detailed negotiations with Lucy's mother, Helen. Caroline Clancy of Pink Lime will have captured it all on film I'm sure.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

HiMac!

This week I said hi to a new piece of equipment, and a new way of working. Technology changes at such a pace now that to keep working at the highest quality standards means continually upgrading and replacing gear. Already this year I've replaced my main camera, lens and flashgun. And with my trusty old Dell Dimension starting to slow down with the demands of newer RAM-hungry software packages, it was time to get something with a bit more power.

My mate Ger of Cedar Tree Digital Media has been a long-time user of Apple Macs and has spent the past couple of years nagging me to take the plunge and switch. So I finally did, and a new 27" iMac arrived the other day. At first it felt like writing left-handed, but it's all starting to make sense now. It's incredibly quick, the screen is fantastic, and no cables! Hopefully, it'll help me keep on top of a busy summer of weddings.

MACBlog

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anne & Gerard

I was back in The Abbey Hotel for the second time in a week on Saturday. Anne & Gerry are pretty cool, unruffled customers - they only booked me a couple of months ago, but luckily I had the day free for them. When I spoke to them late last week though, things were pretty hectic and the pressure was on. Anne did a lot of the preparation work herself- she made the cake, and did all the flowers with her friend Jacinta - a great example to her Home Economics Leaving Cert Students.

When I popped into the church on my way to Anne's house it was already decorated with dozens of sunflowers, which also made up the bouquets. During his sermon, Fr Glennon spoke of the unforgettable sight of a vast field of sunflowers he'd seen in Turkey. When you added in the table decorations in the Abbey, there was probably a fair-sized field's worth used on Saturday, to great effect.

The day went smoothly and on schedule with only a brief hiccup when we tried to drive to the old Abbey Ruins instead of walking down from the hotel. After diversions into a couple of housing estates, we got sense, went to the Abbey, and strolled down. It's great to have different locations within a minute or two of the hotel - it adds variety and colour to an album - and as I mentioned last week, the mature trees in The Abbey gardens make great backdrops. Tom Grealy was as welcoming as always, and kept everything moving smoothly along until dinner was served.

Whan I met Anne & Gerry first, we were having a laugh about Gerry revealing his romantic side for the camera - well done Gerry, there's plenty of passion in the pictures!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Linda & James

I rounded off my Whitsun Weddings in Longford on Saturday, as Lavagh girl Linda married Newtowncashel man James. I didn't realise until I got to her house that Linda's Dad is Longford football legend Liam Tierney, who played on the first Irish International side in the 1984 Compromise Rules Series, and now commentates on Shannonside Radio. He looked very proud walking Linda up the aisle, but was very modest when Fr Joe Brady spoke about his talents later.

I first met Linda at last year's wedding fair in Kilronan Castle - she's a big fan of classic black & white images, which is one of the reasons she liked my albums. Its ironic then that a lot of the the pictures from Saturday demand to be in colour, with greenery, flowers and blue skies at the Quarry Park in Newtowncashel, and beautiful mature trees in the grounds of The Abbey Hotel. As you can see from the pictures, there was a bit of rock-climbing involved at the quarry. Many brides might have opted to stay at ground level, but Linda was game and climbed all the way up to The Lovers' Retreat where she and James enjoyed a quiet moment or two together.

We had a giant family portrait session in the evening sunlight on the lawns of The Abbey before dinner, and having delegated the first dance shot to Linda's uncle Tony, I headed home tired but happy after my three-in-a-row. When you see a man sporting L Series glass on a 5D, he usually knows what he's doing. I'm back in The Abbey next Saturday and would love to get the same weather again.

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Emer & Padraig

I was back to Sligo and Carraroe Church for the second time in a couple of weeks for Emer & Padraig's wedding. I had photographed Emer's bridesmaid Karen's wedding a couple of years ago, so was delighted to hear that she now has a 10 week old baby boy, Cian. Emer would have been one of Karen's bridesmaids too, but she was expecting Hannah at any moment, so had to turn down the job. Little Hannah made a beautiful flower girl on Friday.

The reception was in the Radisson, so we headed up to Rosses Point to take a few photographs. Unfortunately, though the rest of the country was baking in the sunshine, there were grey skies overhead and a damp mist rolling in off the Atlantic. This triggered a frizzy hair alert, so we had to run for cover and head back to the hotel, where the craic was good, as there was plenty of time for people to mix and have a couple of drinks before dinner. Avril from Dej√° Groove was a guest at the wedding, and no doubt she and the band rocked the joint later on. Padraig and his family are all musicians too and play in different groups and line-ups including Vinegar Bil, so I'm sure it was a late and lively night in the resident's bar.

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