What photography means to me

 

What photography means to me

Hi. My name is Tadhg. Thanks for taking the time to visit my site. This section may take a few minutes to read but I’m guessing if you are here and already like the style of my reportage wedding photography, and you might like to know a little more about me and what makes me tick! It’s a little personal at times, mostly because I want to connect with people, and in the days of social media fake personas I want to offer you something real. 

The short story

The short story is that photography for me is all about connection, presence, emotion and memory. I believe human connection, and a sense of belonging is part of our deepest human desire. Presence to me means being there fully for you, bringing my eye, heart and mind to every moment. Emotion is about paying attention and capturing the emotional moments and key events of the day. Finally, memory is the feelings that you will feel again when when you see your natural wedding photos. 

This philosophy and my relaxed manner helps me create reportage wedding photos which you will always treasure.  

It’s all about people.

The longer story

 The longer story is I’ve been taking photographs since I was 9. Yep that’s a while ago! As a kid I started out taking photos of my pet cat Zeus, nature, my friends and time in the scouts. I loved the craft of it. I got to learn how to take photos fully manually. There were no digital screens to check. It was all negatives. Back then there was a big wait to get to see the finished photos.

Above – My sister Ais and me in primary school

Later on in 5th year in school I got to work in a pro lab where we developed and printed commercial work.

When I left school I studied electronic engineering at DCU. I had strong technical skills and was curious about how things worked. Also, at the time I didn’t have the confidence to pursue photography or film making (another passion of mine). I felt the important thing was to study something I could make a living at. A few years after college, while I was working in the US in 1996, a friend took me to see a photography exhibition in New York City. The photographer was Henri Cartier Bresson. I was blown away by his photography and it re-kindled in me my long term desire to earn my living as a photographer. This photo taken in New York in 1946 in particular inspires me deeply:  

The photo is of the moment a mother and son are re-united after World War 2. I love how he captured such a tender moment happening in a sea of eager people waiting for their loved ones. Nobody else is paying attention to what is happening.

At this time the seeds were sown for me to change my career sometime in the future. I knew this style or reportage photography was what I wanted to do!

 

It’s all about people

Before I made the change to full time, professional photography, I was working as a manager in the technology sector. I was fortunate to take a few courses at the Irish Management Institute related to people skills and emotional intelligence. These courses opened the new world of psychology to me and were life changing. Little did I realise at the time how important people skills are in getting natural wedding photographs of people! 

My interest in psychology and spirituality since then has grown and deepened. 

Decision time

In late 2007, there was a big change in my life circumstances, The short story is I found myself juggling a very demanding management role and spending considerable time minding my 4 year old daughter. I wasn’t able to do both. I took a week out from all the noise to reflect and I decided family comes first. I decided to go full time with photography. Working from home meant I could be there before and after school and have more harmony in my work and home life.

Training

I needed to hit the ground running. Although I had photography skills built up over the years I knew I needed help to develop my wedding photography skills. I found and mentored with a couple of top UK photographers. I was chuffed when I graduated that class with the only 1st they awarded. 

Reportage Wedding Photography

Since those early days I’ve concentrated on developing my ability to shoot weddings without interfering with the natural flow of the day. Robert Capa (founder of Magnum photo agency with Henri Cartier Bresson) said’ “if your photos aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. Close enough means physically close as well as emotionally close. 

I believe the only way to get natural wedding photos is for the people being photographed to feel comfortable being themselves in front of the camera. No techniques to create the same photos at every wedding. Real and natural photos that capture real moments will always resonate more personally. 

I love connecting with engaged couples, gaining their trust and photographing their wedding days, capturing images that will always connect them to their deepest bliss. Connection is the only way natural and real style photos can be captured.

My philosophy in life is harmony. Harmony in my work, my relationships and my spiritual life. The presence that arises from this is what I bring to all my weddings.   

Mindful

Mindful photography means photographs which…
Connect to your deepest bliss.
Connect to your joyful memories.
Connect to your natural self, with who you are.
Connect to beauty, love and freedom.

I practise meditation daily and all of the above are close to my heart.

Emotion 

My name is Tadhg and I am a wedding photographer and a family photographer (Photo: Garrick Hunt)

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