The perfect weekend @ Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa

Some people live for the weekend. I don’t. Weekend’s are my busy time with weddings, events, studio bookings. Monday’s are usually my day of rest.

However I am sitting here reminiscing  after having what I would describe as the Perfect Weekend.

On Thursday evening I celebrated the end of  the first part of my Master’s in Fine Art Photography by opening our class exhibition in Belfast. I then got on the road early Friday morning as I started my journey towards West Cork.

After 5 hours travelling we arrived at our gorgeous destination, Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa. The hotel is nestled perfectly between 2 beautiful strands, one more beautiful than the next.

If you are looking for the perfect getaway, this is it. Full of intentions to explore West Cork, the car did not move from when we pulled up until we left. It seemed a sin to move when we had it all on our doorstep. Sea, surf, spa, cuisine and complete relaxation.

If only all weekends could be like this.

Scroll down to see my images from this heavenly location…..

 

 

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My 365 of 2015.

Jan 2 2014. Rossnowlagh Beach, Co.Donegal. Jan 2 2014. Rossnowlagh Beach, Co.Donegal. Jan 11th 2015. A Fresh Sunday morning run through the glens. Jan 11th 2015. A Fresh Sunday morning run through the glens. 5 Jan 2015. The last day of the holidays. Normality resumes tomorrow. 5 Jan 2015. The last day of the holidays. Normality resumes tomorrow. 4 Jan 2015. Chest infection. 4 Jan 2015. Chest infection. Foam beach party @ Bundoran Beach, Co.Donegal. 3 January 2015 Foam beach party @ Bundoran Beach, Co.Donegal. 5 Jan 2015 5 Jan 2015 January 6th 2015. Retreat in Co.Cavan. January 6th 2015. Retreat in Co.Cavan.



Make up for a photo-shoot; the photographer’s perspective.

Good make-up can transform a portrait.

A good make up artist for a photo-shoot will know what to emphasise,  how to use colour and how to give a flawless finish. I gave a talk to the South West College students recently who were preparing make-up for a photo-shoot for their final exam.They all had created mood boards and developed some very creative ideas.

Here are just a few tips that I gave them on what I think makes for a perfect portrait, from a photographers view-

1.It’s all about the eyes! I almost always put the focus of my camera on the eyes, in a portrait the eyes are my subject. The eyes are where I find the catchlight which brings a portrait to life. The eyes are best when they are well defined  by eye liner.I also am a big fan of eyelashes and catching the delicacy of them, which is best when not overloaded with mascara.

2.Tidy Lines. In a close up portrait there is nowhere to hide uneven or untidy hipline or eyeliner lines. Take care to have all lines perfect and smooth to give a more glamourous look.

3.Go easy on the tan. One of the biggest mistakes I see when doing portraits is overloaded tan. Your tan will look darker in photographs than it does to the eye. It does help to give a nice glow but only when done in moderation. Most photographers will use editing software to tweak and correct colours but dark fake tan is one thing that is impossible to work with, especially when placed beside a groom at a wedding shoot.

4. Have a good strong theme. Make-up has now become an art, people are becoming more creative with make up. Always start with a good strong theme for your photo-shoot and create your make up in response to that. Keep a scrap book  or Pinterest  with themes and ideas that you like, keep mood boards and colour boards.

5.Find the right model. It’s important that you find a model that you are able to work with and who has the look that suits your photo-shoot. A good model is patient and relaxed, they make have to wait around for a long time so please make sure this is something that we will enjoy! It makes such a difference when the model is as excited as you about you work.

I wish all the girls who took part in SWC make-up course all the best in their future projects!

 

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Autumn and Joseph

Autumn is like a gift to a photographer.

Everything just looks nicer in Autumn, the gorgeous diffused evening light, the colour changes and also the excuse to get wrapped up in cosy clothes. I also love it because me and my little man both have Autumn birthdays and although I do take alot of pics of him throughout the year, I always take him for a special Autumn shoot to mark his special occasion. Happy birthday to my special boy xx



Exploring Bali and Lone travelling

 

For the second part of my Bali trip I took advantage of my freedom and did a bit of exploring the island. I have travelled before but this was my first time on my own so was very different than any other trips. Also being a mummy, I was so nervous about how I would cope without my wee man for so long but I also knew I really needed to do this for myself. One thing I discovered when lone-travelling you are very rarely on your own, I met so many more people than maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I started with a trip up the East Coast of Bali to a beautiful quiet fishing village just outside Candi dasia. I had got a recommendation from someone I had met to stay in Lumbug Damuh, which is a cute little commune for travellers on the beach. My room was a little wooden hut on legs and we shared a really cosy communal area, where there was food and music in the evening. It was my first chance to really meet the natives, as they would join us in the evening   and usually one of them had a suspicious looking bottle of home brew spirits which were passed around. The Balinese are the warmest, happiest people and they would become an immediate friend. It was here that I saw the real Bali and also the real poverty. Despite the brochures showing the top class hotels and paradise settings, Bali is a third world county and it’s very evident in the rural areas. They are hard working and enjoy life and find joy in the little things.

I then travelled to Ubud (where Eat Pray Love is based). This was a totally different experience as the area is big with tourists and I was a bit taken back by the pace and how much the locals would hassle me to get a taxi/buy a kite/ rent a scooter/ buy a hand fan or just give them money. Thankfully my room was away from the centre and was down a little path and situated in the middle of a rice field. From here I did trips out and around the island, seeing temples, the volcano, palaces and the gorgeous terraced rice fields.

I finished the trip with a stay in a hostel in Legian, just beside the famous Kuta. I hadn’t stayed in a hostel since my around the world trip six years ago (before I had Joseph) so I wasn’t sure how I would cope in a hostel but I was very pleasantly surprised. The Island was so much better than the hostels we used in Australia during our backpacking. It was very stylish with a really nice pool and  lounging area. And it’s so easy to meet people, I met people from London, Berlin and Switzerland (loads of Europeans in Bali!) and we would share a beer in the evening and tips about what to do and what to see.

My last two days were spent lying on Seminyak beach on a lounger, with my little Balinese buddy bringing me Bintang beer, relaxing and people watching. And being interrupted every five minutes by the  Balinese beach ladies wearing five layers of coats, two hats covered in scarfs offering their wide variety of skills to me, ‘you want massage ‘(while groping me on my lounger)/ ‘oh your feet are hard you need scrub’/ ‘you like bracelet?’/ ‘you like a bow and arrow? I make it myself ‘/ ‘you like pedicure, manicure?’. So yes I did leave the beach having a foot scrub, manicure and with a bunch of not so pretty bracelets to take home.

The sunsets on Seminyak beach are totally amazing, and it feels like everyone comes out on the beach to watch it, it really is spectacular.

For me, the biggest attraction in Bali is the people and their culture. Their culture is so strong and they are so dedicated to keeping their traditions. Most Balinese will start their day with their offerings and you will bump into ceremonies throughout the day in all the villages.

 

I have definitely left this magical land with a hope that I will be back again soon.x