On Photography

On Photography, Weddings

Background Noise

0008Wedding Photography DonegalSometimes we have to take a step back, turn off the background noise and remember why we’re photographers in the first place.  To remind ourselves to shoot for ourselves, and create images which truly reflect the lives and events we’ve been asked to document.0002Wedding Photography Donegal0003Wedding Photography Donegal0004Wedding Photography Donegal0005Wedding Photography Donegal0006Wedding Photography Donegal0007Wedding Photography DonegalWe’re not that interested in what someone on a wedding publication tells us is popular, or cool this year, or shareable, or blog worthy. 0013Wedding Photography Donegal0014Wedding Photography Donegal0017Wedding Photography Donegal0019Wedding Photography Donegal0020Wedding Photography Donegal0021Wedding Photography Donegal0022Wedding Photography Donegal0023Wedding Photography Donegal0024Wedding Photography Donegal0025Wedding Photography DonegalIf we concern ourselves too much with all that stuff we’ll miss great, meaningful photographs like these, because we’ll be too busy setting up novelty shots of the bridal party eating ice cream while balancing on one leg on top of the walls at Grianan Fort or the bride and groom standing in the middle of a corn field holding a bunch of balloons.0035Wedding Photography Donegal0037Wedding Photography Donegal0038Wedding Photography Donegal0039Wedding Photography Donegal0041Wedding Photography Donegal0042Wedding Photography Donegal0043Wedding Photography Donegal0044Wedding Photography DonegalChristine and Eamonn’s wedding was both a wonderful celebration of their decision to tie the knot and a reunion with family and friends gathering in Donegal from far and near.0053Wedding Photography Donegal0054Wedding Photography Donegal0055Wedding Photography DonegalThey knew what was important to them and why they’d asked us to photograph their wedding.  They wanted us to capture a sense of place,  to create a reminder of Donegal to cherish when they return to Australia, and to focus on their nearest and dearest, rather than making it all about the bride and groom. 0056Wedding Photography Donegal0059Wedding Photography Donegal0065Wedding Photography Donegal0067Wedding Photography Donegal0068Wedding Photography DonegalShooting details and decor has its place.  We love to shoot the details, the brides in their vintage gowns of antique lace, the fancy plates and chalkboard signs.  But if those things become more of the focus than the actual people and love stories, we’ve completely missed the point.  We know that it’s important to remember that 10 years from now no one’s going to give a monkey’s if we got published or won an award if we missed shots like the one above while trying to get popular or be trendy.0071Wedding Photography Donegal0073Wedding Photography Donegal0077Wedding Photography Donegal

So to those couples planning their wedding photography we say:  ask yourself what’s important to you in having your wedding photographed.  Don’t let convention or fashion dictate. Think about what matters to you.

On Photography, Weddings

In The Deep Midwinter

The basic requirements for making a photograph are light and time. Those two elements, coupled with some sort sensitive surface be it digital or film based and you’re pretty much sorted. If however, as Shane & Kerry did, you set the date for December 30th, you can be pretty certain that light and time are going to be in fairly short supply here in Donegal. It has often been said, in the world of wedding planning, that the one element you can’t book in advance is the weather. Nonetheless, while the weather could have been kinder, it could certainly have been much worse, and Shane & Kerry seemed  pretty unconcerned. The low, cool, blue winter light contrasted sharply with the warmth of St. Mary’s Church. Venturing into the cold once more even as dusk fell, Shane and Kerry were still determined to see through their plans to have their wedding photographs include at least some outdoor settings. So with the last faint rays after the sun had set, with a little help from a video light, the floodlights on the Castle Bridge and maybe just a hint of the wedding car headlights we made one last quick stop before the reception.

On Photography

Past, Present, Future and Forgotten Passwords

Time will never stand still and those moments that bring us such joy become memories in an instant. To capture such a moment and record it forever is truly monumental.

Joshua Atticks

We’re all familiar with the idea that to have a photograph of something helps us maintain a feeling of connection with the person or thing pictured. Since the earliest days of photography, this idea that we can ‘hold on’ to people or a thing now passed has been one of the primary motivations behind the taking or making of photographs. Photography though, from a technical point at least is in a constant state of change. From the earliest Daguerrotypes to Wet Plate Collodion to Silver-based Film and now to digital capture, the machinery has evolved over time. At the heart of the matter though, the wish to preserve images remains. In some minds perhaps, the photographic print or the wedding album seems out-dated, even unnecessary. Today we can store our images “In the Cloud”, we can carry them with us on our ‘phones or tablet, send them by email, post them on Facebook or distribute and share them in a dozen ways or more. The thing is though, that all these things will change. The value in a properly made photographic print you can hold in your hand or put on your wall however, remains constant. We all know we can trust these things to stand the test of time quite simply because we have seen the evidence, in our parents and grandparents photographs which hang in our homes without any device being needed to access them, no password required.


The Wedding Portrait of Doris & Michael Bradley : 1926

On Photography


“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever…it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

For almost fourteen years here at the Memory Factory, as almost anyone who has visited the studio will know, we have had our dogs here with us. Over the years our nutty pups have featured in more than a few photographs we have taken, sometimes they have even made appearances in clients family pictures, having been temporarily ‘adopted’ (by the kids usually!)

Sadly, a little over a year ago, one of our original pair passed away but Leica is still here and the other day saw her fourteenth birthday. Here she is, checking out a William Wegman calendar featuring one of his dogs, “Fay Ray” who as it happens, shared the same November birthday. Wegman and I share the same birthday too coincidentally, albeit separated by a few years. Fay, like Wegman’s other dog “Man Ray” is long since gone but their lives were recorded and remembered in books, calendars, short films and exhibitions.

Leica&Fay Ray

Photography and photographs have always been associated, by their very nature, with things past. Sometimes the real value in a photograph is not directly related to any aesthetic quality it might have, sometimes it simply serves as a reminder of someone, some thing, or some place we feel we want to remember.

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