Month: September 2015


Thoughts on Photographing Weddings

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We’ve been musing a lot recently about one particular aspect of our work at Memory Factory Photography. It’s become a large part of our business although it’s not something we ever imagined ourselves getting involved in. The main thing that put us off was probably everyone’s preconceived notion of wedding photography, even the fact that there is such a term, as if it’s something separate from any other kind of photography.

Really what we’ve always been driven by was a fascination with photography, and, while the particular event being photographed matters, in the end the important thing is to see each event as simply an opportunity to make beautiful, moving, insightful pictures (with a bit of luck). So we would say we’re still not really interested in “wedding photography” – what we are interested in is making photographs at weddings.

The way in which couples have chosen to have their wedding day recorded for posterity has changed so much since photography firstbecame popular. My granny and grandad, married in 1925, spent their honeymoon in Moville and caught the steamer to Derry where their wedding photograph was taken in a local studio – just one beautiful picture of the bride and groom leaning on wooden table, a vase of flowers for a bit of decoration.


In 1950 my mother and father were married at St Aloysius Chapel, Garnethill in Glasgow and walked round the corner to a studio in Sauchiehall street to have two pictures taken, one of the bride and groom and one of the bridal party. The one of the bride and groom was carefully hand tinted and presented in a mirrored glass frame.


In 2013, almost a century later, Lindsay, my Grandmothers Great Grand-daughter was married in Cambridge. We took a few pictures . . quite a few pictures, actually.

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On Photography

None of Them

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“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ”

Richard Avedon

Portrait Photography

We Gotta Get Out of This Place

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We spend a fair amount of our time here in the studio photographing families – usually the kids for the most part, with the parents resisting the idea of being in front of the camera! Yes, certainly, we do shoot a lot of families as a group, but in the mind of Mum & Dad, the primary concern is their children, and sometimes the family group can seem almost like an afterthought.

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Working in the studio can be great too. We’re in control of the lighting, the weather isn’t an issue, and there’s usually a bag of sweets somewhere that can help if needed. Sometimes though the studio environment perhaps over emphasises the process, the situation can become as much a part of the subject as the photograph itself.

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The value in having that portrait made, of the family all together is undoubtedly clearer over time, it marks and preserves an idea of a family for future generations, and repays the effort involved many times over. Yet, sometimes, it’s maybe just a little too, well, “photograph-y”. OK, so that’s not even a word, but you get the idea. So weather and all, (and here in Donegal, the weather is a significant factor!) sometimes we like to get out . . .

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Photographing families and kids outdoors on location brings its own challenges in terms of light & lighting, wind, maybe rain (Not unknown in this part of the world!) Ultimately though, we feel it can be worth it. Kids in the studio can be great, co-operative and fun. Outdoors though, in The Wild if you like, the emphasis moves away from the photographic process, and while the situation is necessarily controlled, shifts back towards the subjects in front of the camera.