This is one of my favorite weddings. Yes, I even dare say that it is quite classical in it's approach - and yes, with a modern twist.
The people of Ireland have a very dear place in my heart. It was always the place for me to disappear into when I needed a break from the manic world and its problems. It was it's people who made me feel whole again - real even. One of my mentors is the great Irish Master Photographer Edmund Ross. He is a legend. It was also fate that we came face to face one day as I walked into his studio on Grafton St. He taught me the finer things about being a 'master photographer' like himself and I like to think I learned well. His elegant, old school, very posed, very classical and yes, rigid style - 'the damn hands man, the damn hands, look how terrible her placement is!' And yet, I feel an infinity towards his way. Funny enough the wealthiest clients I have ever been luckily enough to work with seek this. Anyone can put a filter on a couple standing / running / laughing in front of a building or a mountain. But capturing the real stoic inner personality of a person in a posed portrait is actually quite difficult to execute to a high standard. Recently the Queen of England had a family portrait captured by the so called edgy Annie Leibovitz. It was a damn good attempt at capturing the old style and in a bit of a modern way (the side light was gorgeous) but that little voice is still calling out - look at their hands! Unbelievable how she bolloxed that!
The dinner / reception / party venue – the Middleton Park House Hotel which really is one of Ireland’s premier wedding venues, one that was painstakingly restored to a very high standard by a wonderful family. It is a place I know well as it brings back so many happy memories of so many wonderful friends.
The weather: typical Irish, glorious sunshine one minute, gray and rainy the next and then a rain shower bathed in golden light that came out at just the right time as the beautiful Mara awaited for the start of the official portrait session. BTW, in Ireland, the official portraits are really a big deal and the Middleton provides a striking location with that incredibly staircase and those paintings.
The people? This is Ireland, you know you are going to have a wonderful, fun filled, emotional and very intimate time and the bonus: Mara and her lovely family are from Brazil so it was quite lively with her family & friends in attendance.
And the couple: Mara & Billy, two very sweet, endearing, wonderful people who are obviously greatly loved and adored by so many.
It was in a word: beautiful. One of my highlights, Mara & Billy dancing a jig (?) as Mara’s maid of honor and I were both fighting off a very friendly large dog who demanded to be photographed with them and nearly on them. Or the wonderful sentiments expressed during the speeches. Or simply driving through the heartbreakingly beautiful Irish countryside as we headed to County Westmeath in a convoy of cars happily honking their horns as the befuddled cows stood by watching. Or Mara sharing a huge hug with her next door neighbor… or the lads and Billy sharing a laugh in the snooker room. Or, on and on and on. Truth is, there were so many wonderful, special moments that occurred during that day and I consider myself lucky to have worked like crazy (12 hours?) to capture as many of them as possible.
Moments like these truly are priceless.
One day when Mara & Billy reviews these images with their children I know that they will be smiling and looking at each other with that twinkle in their eyes.
Thank you again Mara & Billy for choosing me to share in this special moment of your lives. And congratulations on the new addition to your family. Dorota and I will are looking forward to catching up with you and hopefully soon.
Until then, I wish you both much love, happiness and success. Kurt