Early in 2020, I was contacted by professional model Sandra McKenzie Vass Keogh, who asked me if I would be interested in doing a wedding dress photo shoot with her.
I was delighted with the idea as it meant that I could try out some new ideas and techniques that I wouldn’t have time to experiment with on a real wedding day.
Diamond Bridal, the award winning wedding dress shop in Cork city would supply the dress and veil, Sandra would get her hair done by boziuke83, make up done by Amanda Tattan and I would be able to suggest some great photographic locations around Clonakilty.
Then Covid 19 struck Ireland in mid March and all our plans had to be put on hold. Finally, after a lot of rearranging, we agreed to go ahead on Sunday the 2nd of August.
At this stage, I hadn’t shot a wedding in over 6 months, and I was starting to worry that I had forgotten how to do it!! Luckily, as soon as I had the camera in my hands and a bride in front of me, everything came flooding back.
From the very beginning, I had the gardens of Fernhill House Hotel in mind for the main part of the shoot, and depending on the weather, I planned to go to one of our fantastic local beaches for some seascape shots.
I contacted Michael O’Neill, 3rd generation proprietor at Fernhill with the idea, and he very generously gave us access to the gardens and a room for Sandra to get changed into her wedding dress.
On the day, the weather was perfect. No wind, no rain, cloudy skies with the sun breaking through. As it was the height of Summer, the gardens were perfect too, with everything neatly clipped and flowers blooming everywhere.
We made our was around the gardens, from the formal summer house and the outdoor ceremony building to the pergola and the bamboo avenue. I shot with my beloved 16-35mm for the landscape shots and the mighty 70-200mm for the portraits. I used on and off camera flash, and I made poor Sandra climb through the forest of wild flowers in her heels. But it was worth it!
After a couple of hours at Fernhill, we packed up and went to a field of barley I had spotted in Ardfield, about 15 minutes drive away, for some dramatic and moody black and white images. I was worried that the field would be cut when we got there, but thankfully, we beat the farmer by a couple of days.
Our last stop was Sandscove, a small stony beach near where I live and where I have photographed many times before. Sandra’s dress had a long ornate train and I wanted to create an image that looked a bit like a mermaid sitting on a rock, you will have to decide if I captured it or not, but I love it!!.
The whole afternoon was an education, being able to take the time to set up unusual shots and to play around with ideas. I’m really happy with the results and I hope that you like them too.
Wedding Dress Photo Shoot