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Best Wedding Photographs of 2023

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After the craziness of 2022, when we were still catching up with all the weddings the were postponed and rearranged due to Covid, 2023 had an air of normality about it. 

Guest numbers were back to normal, dance floors were full and greeting lines with guests after the ceremony were back in fashion. The only thing still missing is the sign of peace handshake during the church wedding ceremonies. Maybe that will return in 2024.

I photographed most of my weddings in Cork again, with the occasional trip to Kerry. Fernhill House Hotel in Clonakilty was the venue I photographed in most, followed by The Maryborough and Dunmore House Hotel. 

Civil ceremonies are catching up on Church ceremonies and will probably overtake them in the next few years and outdoor wedding ceremonies are increasingly popular.

I went to The Blasket Centre, The Aghadoe Heights in Killarney and  The Walter Raleigh in Youghal for the first time this year and I’m looking forward to revisiting them when I can.

I received 12 Wedisson International Photography Awards, some of which are featured below.

I’ve added a 3 hour wedding package for smaller weddings and elopements to my list and it is becoming popular with couples who don’t want a full day’s coverage.

I’ve also bought my first mirrorless camera which I will be using when I get started again in February. Come back this time next year to see if it has made much of a difference to my style of photography.

I had a very difficult job picking this end of year selection. I wouldn’t call these my actual favourites as there are loads of photographs that I am really proud of, but they would mean more to me and the people in the photographs that to someone unconnected with the families. You can see those photographs in the family gallery link at the bottom of this post.

So, I have tried to choose wedding images that work without any connection to the people in the photographs. Some were structured and directed, particularly the backlit night shots, but many were captured on the fly as things were happening around me. The god of photography smiled on me as I pressed the shutter and everything fell into place!

I’d like to thank all the brides and grooms that trusted me to photograph their most important day and I’m looking forward to working with lots of great couples at fantastic venues in 2024.

Click here to see the wedding photographs Cork brides like best…

Fun Family Photographs…

Best Cork and Kerry Wedding Photographs of 2023

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Claire and Liam’s Elegant Ballyseede Castle Black Tie Wedding

Ballyseede Castle is a luxury wedding venue located just outside Tralee in Co. Kerry and it is a fantastic location for a wedding photographer in Kerry to find themselves working at. It was the perfect venue for Claire and Liam’s Elegant Ballyseede Castle Black Tie Wedding.

Ballyseede Castle Civil Marriage Ceremonies

Ballyseede Castle dates from 1721, but it has been thoroughly modernised with the addition of a new accommodation wing and a beautiful orangery, a glass structure where you can have your drinks reception after your church wedding or a civil marriage ceremony. Humanist and Spiritualist wedding ceremonies can be held in the hotel’s original dining hall or outside in the manicured gardens. Ballyseede is one of the best outdoor wedding venues in southern Ireland.

Documentary Style Wedding Photography

My photographic style is a mixture of documentary and directed photography and my approach is to work out a timeline and a schedule with each couple that fits in with their vision for their day.

This Kerry wedding venue is big enough for the bridal party and the grooms party to get ready in the hotel without bumping into each other before the ceremony and there are lots of places to do a first look if the wedding couple want to do one.

At Claire and Liam’s wedding, I was able to move between the fun of the bridal prep to the guy’s pre-ceremony visit to the bar and back again. I could to photograph both teams getting ready and have time for more personal family portraits on both sides before the 2pm ceremony began. 

I always schedule time before the ceremony the get these important legacy family photographs. Everybody looks their absolute best just before the ceremony begins and it saves lots of valuable socialising time at the drink’s reception in the afternoon.

Irish Wedding Ceremony Photography

During a wedding ceremony, whether in a church or a civil setting, I know where to position myself in advance of each element so as to capture the events as they unfold. There are no “take twos’ ! Claire and Liam had readings, a traditional hand fasting, an exchange of rings and the signing of the register before they rocked back down the aisle.

After the ceremony, everybody filed past and congratulated Claire and Liam and then made their way to the drinks reception. I gathered both families and we went into the front drawing room to the formal family photographs. These are possibly the most important and the boring photographs of the day for any wedding couple, but if you have everybody that you need in place, you can fly through these in 15 to 20 minutes.

Wedding Speeches and Wedding Sparklers

The next part of the day flew by! I took shots of the wedding guests in the orangery, dodged the showers to bring Claire and Liam out into the gardens for some couple photos, shot the wedding cake and the dining room and then photographed the wedding party having a quiet drink in the bar while the guests were being seated for dinner. 

Claire and Liam were led through a cheering crowd into the dining room by a saxophonist. They decided to have their speeches before dinner was served so that the speakers could enjoy their meal. 

After dinner, when it got dark, we gathered around 20 guests and did some wedding sparkler photographs followed by some creative night time photographs at the beautiful temple in the gardens.

After that, all that was left was to hit the dancefloor for the first dance and then get everybody to party on for the rest of the night.

Click here to see my Favourite Kerry Wedding Venues…

Click here to see my Winter Weddings in Ireland Blogpost…

Claire and Liam’s Elegant Ballyseede Castle Black Tie Wedding

Visit Ballyseede Castle

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Wedding Photographs at Dunmore House Hotel

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Full disclosure, Dunmore House Hotel, just outside Clonakilty Town, is the nearest hotel to where I live, but despite any local bias, I can say with total honesty that it is a fantastic venue for indoor and outdoor wedding celebrations and civil ceremonies.

From a photographers point of view, Dunmore House Hotel ticks all the boxes. It is a four star family run hotel with a great reputation for friendliness and service and it has received many awards, including the title of Wedding Venue Of The Year.

But for me, what makes Dunmore House such a great wedding venue is the position of the hotel overlooking the ocean and the access to lots of other great photographic locations within a 10 minute drive. 

Firstly, you have a great selection of Churches to choose from for your wedding ceremony. Clonakilty parish church is huge and ornate, almost like a cathedral, and it has beautiful gold mosaic on the altar. Darrara church is a little further away, just outside the village of Ring. Darrara is the perfect size for 150 – 250 guests and has a red altar which adds a dramatic effect to the ceremony. On the other side of Clonakilty, the churches of  Ardfield and Rathbarry, similar in size to Darrara and nearer the beaches and forestry of the area.

Clonakilty town itself is a great wedding photography location, with traditional pubs, quaint shop fronts, an interesting Georgian square, a tiny converted church and multi coloured doors. If the weather is bad, I always bring my wedding parties to Clonakilty Town photographs

Duneen Strand, less than 5 minutes drive from Dunmore House, is another great location. There is something about the way the beach faces that gives it lots of shelter from the wind and lots of sunshine. It isn’t such a popular beach with tourists so even in the height of summer, you can get plenty of wide open space.

There is also a tiny headland overlooking the ocean directly opposite Dunmore House. It can be a bit of a effort to get down to it in summer as the path can get overgrown, but it can really be worth it if you get a dramatic sky as a background.

Have a look through the Dunmore House Clonakilty Wedding Photos below to get an idea of what I am talking about.

Give me a call or drop me an email if you want any information about wedding photography anywhere in Cork or Kerry.

Click here to see my Best of 2022 Wedding Photographs

Click here to see my Winter Weddings in Ireland Blogpost

Wedding Photographs at Dunmore House Hotel

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The Wedding Photographs Cork Brides Like Best

As wedding photographers, we are often in friendly competition with each other to get a more unusual or creative shot, to win awards in photography competitions or to use the latest photograph techniques and styles, but which are the wedding photographs Cork brides like best?

Off camera flash, super wide angle, HDR, vintage filters, old film finishes and extreme locations are just some of the trends that have around for the last few years, but what sort of wedding photos do todays couples want to have framed and displayed in their homes.

Each of my wedding photography packages includes a photograph in a simple black frame that my couples choose for themselves, and I am always really interested to see which one they choose from the 750+ images I show them from their wedding. 

Here is a selection of the images that my couples chose over the past few years, and it shows that despite all the camera trickery and post production voodoo I can get up to, most couples go for something simple and classic. 

Classic style and creativity never goes out of fashion…

Click here to see my Wedding Photography Packages

Click here to see my Best Wedding Photographs of 2022

The Wedding Photographs Cork Brides Like Best

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Fernhill House Hotel Wedding Photographs

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Fernhill House Hotel and Gardens in Clonakilty is a very special, unique and multi-award winning wedding venue. It is one of my all-time favourite’s and I have photographed well over 50 weddings there.

Here is a selection of Fernhill House Hotel Wedding Photographs I shot between 2019 and 2022.

Fernhill House Hotel is run by the 4th generation of the O’Neill family and is recognized in the industry as one of the most popular and successful indoor and outdoor wedding venues in Cork.

Over the past 10 years, they have focused on expanding their wedding business by creating a series of beautiful gardens in what used to be a pitch and putt course on their grounds.

The gardens feature a unique civil wedding ceremony area for outdoor weddings, and a huge permanent marquee for humanist and spiritualist weddings when the weather won’t allow an outdoor ceremony. 

If you have a church wedding and arrive at the hotel afterwards, or if you have your ceremony at the hotel, your drinks reception is held in the marquee, which allows your guests to mingle and explore the gardens with a drink in their hand.

The gardens are designed to have plenty of locations for fabulous wedding photographs. From the formal family portraits to the wedding party shots and the bride and groom’s location shoot, there are lots of options for every season. 

There is also space and fantastic light to allow for great candid and reportage shots.

The dining room is in the main hotel building, and Michael Sr. loves to ferry the guests up and down in his super sized golf buggy.

Sometimes brides like to get ready at the hotel on the morning of their wedding, especially if they are having their wedding ceremony on the grounds. 

The Woodfield Room in the main hotel is perfect and private for a bride and her bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup done and get ready for the day.

A unique feature of weddings at Fernhill House Hotel, and the icing on the cake for me, is the potential for a night shoot in the gardens after the speeches and dinner are over. 

The garden structures, like the bridge, the summer house and the moon gates make fantastic backdrops for sparkler shoots and romantic backlight photographs.

So, if you are looking for a venue that offers every option available to make your wedding day perfect, Fernhill House Hotel is well worth a visit.

Click here to see my Best of 2022 Wedding Photographs

Click here to see my Winter Weddings in Ireland Blogpost

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My Best of 2022 Wedding Photographs

It was a difficult job choosing my best of 2022 wedding photographs in what was another unusual year for the wedding industry as a whole. The Covid restrictions were eased and finally removed altogether, which meant that weddings could go back to normal, in terms of the number of guests you could invite and how long a wedding day could last.

Wedding bands were back in business, and the only aspect of the day that hasn’t come back is the Offering of the Sign of Peace at the mass!

This meant that lots of weddings that had been postponed due to the restrictions were rescheduled and fitted in amongst the weddings that were already booked for 2022, so by the end of August, all the wedding suppliers had already done a year’s work, and by the time New Year’s Eve came around, we were wrecked.

Luckily, January and February are quieter months, so we will all be rearing to go again in March.

To be honest, it’s hard to choose a definite “best of” selection for any year, but these are some of my favourites from 2022.

What makes me like these particular wedding photographs is that they show a genuine emotional connection between the people in the picture, which is what I’m trying to achieve on every wedding day

Brides and their dads, grooms and their mothers and grandmothers, just married couples, big wedding parties and close family members. For me, these are the important photographs that have to be captured on the day and I make sure to schedule some time to make sure I get them.

I was delighted to receive 6 Wedisson International Wedding Photography Awards for photographs I took in 2022. Thousands of photographers from all over the world enter the competition, so it is quite a big deal to be chosen. I like to enter the more creative and dynamic shots and it seems to be working out so far.

I’d like to thank all the couples that trusted me to photograph their most important day and I’m looking forward to working with lots of great couples at fantastic venues in 2023.