This is one of my favorite weddings. Yes, I even dare say that it is quite classical in it's approach - with a modern twist. The images are laid out like a book to give you an idea of what theirs look like... I wish I could show more even...
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 of photojournalism and its heartbreaking stories & problems. It was truly Ireland's wonderful people who made me feel whole again. One of my mentors is the great Irish Master Photographer Edmund Ross. He is a legend. It was fate that we came face to face one day as I walked into his studio on Grafton St wanting to see what an old time photo studio in Dublin looked like. We met on the stairs, shared a few laughs, many stories and immediately hit it off. His wife Anne is really lovely too and took a liking to me...
Edmund taught me the finer things about being a 'master photographer' and I like to think I learned well from his advice over the years we stayed in contact. 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 her posing!' I feel an infinity towards his way - the old way. Funny enough the wealthiest clients I have ever been luckily enough to work with seek some of this style.
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 very high standard. Recently the Queen of England had a family portrait captured by 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 (ok, Edmund's voice) was calling out - 'look at their hands! Unbelievable how she bolloxed that!'
But I digress, this is really a story about two wonderful people - who had a truly beautiful heart warming wedding - two people who are so nice they can melt the coldest of hearts.
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 and a wonderful wedding photographer whose wedding I once captured when it first opened.
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 her official entry into the grand building. 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.
The couple: Mara & Billy, two very sweet, endearing, wonderful people who are obviously greatly loved and adored by so so many. I really can not say enough about these two. Listening to the speeches and the heartwarming expressions of love that was shared between not only them but their many friends and family just proves just how wonderful people can truly be. Mara is not from Ireland and yet she has a new and very large family there.
The wedding was simply beautiful and I will never forget it.
One of the 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 jumped all over them. Or that incredible sunlight that was breaking through as a soft summer rain was coming down behind Mara as she was about to make her formal entry. 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 cows stood by munching away on that vividly green grass. Or Mara sharing a huge hug with her next door neighbor an elderly lady who looks to her like a mother to a daughter… or the lads and Billy sharing a laugh in the snooker room over a pint of Guinness. I can go on... Truth is, there were so many wonderful, special moments that occurred during that day that I consider myself lucky to have worked like crazy (12 hours?) to capture as many of them as possible - I just could not tire of it all - I really could not.
Moments like these truly are priceless.
One day when Mara & Billy reviews these images with their children (first one is now here) I know that they will be smiling and looking at each other with that twinkle in their eyes and hugging each other closely.
Thank you again Mara & Billy for choosing me to share in this special moment of your lives when you two came together as husband and wife. And congratulations again on the new addition to your family. Dorota and I look forward to catching up with you and hopefully soon.
Until then, I wish you both much love, happiness and success. Kurt