Well after booking the venue, the next big thing to book as early as possible is your photographer! I knew the second that I got engaged who I wanted this to be.. but if you are unsure of who you should book do a little research first! The main thing to think about are what kind of photographs do you want: traditional, posed, natural, impulsive? Look at different photographers – most have their own website where you can view images or a Facebook page. Once you think you have decided – set up a meeting either in their studio or home and see what you think after talking to them and viewing a few sample albums! Remember – you will be spending a lot of your day around your photographer so make sure you choose someone you feel comfortable around and can get along with. You should be able to be at ease and have a laugh along the way aswell.
I had my photographer booked straight after I finalised our wedding date (2 years before the big day)! I contacted Jay Doherty and we arranged a meeting in his home in Muff. My first impression of Jay was that he was very down to earth and easygoing, he made us feel comfortable and just relax instantly. We had a cup of tea, a chat about what we liked and didn’t like photography wise and we viewed a few of his sample albums. After meeting him in person I was even more positive that he was the photographer for us!
Just before the big day, I called down to see Jay and confirmed the plans and where we were going for pictures, etc. He asked how I was getting on and I told him the truth – that I was far too laid back! Everyone was beginning to loose patience with me and I was still so calm and not feeling the ‘pressure’. He laughed and told me to stay like that.. that it would make his job easier on the day itself.
On the morning of the wedding, Jay arrived at my house at around 11am (an hour and a half before the ceremony). His second photographer on the day, Gerard O’Kane, went to Kevin’s house at around the same time. He just worked away, while I finished getting ready – photographing little things that were happening in the house, me getting Lilly Rose ready, my dress, shoes, etc.
Jay has an unbelievable eye for detail and stunning landscapes. We had our wedding photographs taken at ‘Pinch’, overlooking the beautiful backdrop of Dunree. This was ideal for us as our ceremony was in the Star of the Sea Church, Desertegney and it just meant stopping en route to the Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel for the reception. This was the only stop that we did for photographs before the reception – we wanted to make the most of our day and as it was a winter wedding we needed to act fast to get them in daylight. I will add here that we were prepared for all weather – i had cute umbrellas bought for rain shots (Jay is a great photographer for working with the elements) and had a cape to keep me warm over my dress! It rained all morning until after the chapel, then it faired up and the sun even made an appearance!
Jay and his second photographer, Gerard, snapped away and just told us to do simple things like walk down the hill, lean in for a kiss, look at each other, etc. Nothing too fussy or posed and they just captured all the natural moments and fun in between. It was the first time in my life I’ve ever been photographed and not felt silly standing there like “CHEEEEESE” with a forced smile. Jay took so many photos that I didn’t even know about, ones from the morning, outside the chapel, of our guests, and I didn’t even notice him during the speeches or first dance! He really did just blend in and let the day unfold.. like a story. He was so fast and efficient, especially when it came to things like family photos – getting everyone organised and in place. He didn’t spend ages trying to get one shot – he snapped away and worked his magic!
In the evening between the meal and dancing, we hopped in his van and headed to the beach below the hotel! It was pitch dark out and we had such a laugh getting ready for photos, Kevin even had a bottle of beer. To be honest it was a wee chance for us to get a breather and to just be silly for half an hour! We got some amazing shots like this one.
Now I know everyone loves their wedding album and treasures it forever, but not everyone loves the experience and memories made while getting their photographs taken! I can safely say that I did. Speaking of albums, Jay must never sleep! Just 5 days after our wedding he had made us a little slideshow and sent on a few photographs to share on the likes of Facebook. He had all our photographs ready for picking at the end of January – only 1 month from our wedding day! All my family and friends commented on how fast Jay worked and I myself didn’t expect to see photos or get an album for nearly a year!
I cannot recommend Jay Doherty enough. He truly captured every moment and memory of our day in the most beautiful way! He was so easy to meet with, talk to and just get on with! Anything we wanted to do was no problem and he was full of ideas himself. You can check him out on his website at:
Or on his Facebook page:
Happy planning and whoever you book to photograph your special day, just make sure they are right for you!