The Magazine of a Northern Ireland Photographer

Category archive

Favourite Pictures

The Bling Shoot

Recently I did a test shoot with the wonderful April. I wasn’t testing anything in particular, just trying to keep a little creativity flowing while in lockdown. There were various ideas, but one of which was to make a bling background out of tin-foil! Hope you enjoy!

We made a background out of foil towels (the ones you’d get to keep you warm when stuck up a mountain!). We then used various coloured lights to add some tone…

Finally, we played around with motion, aiming to produce some motion and drama. I think these turned out to be my favourite images.

Happy 5th Birthday!

This month, Stacey Irvine celebrates 5 years at Peter Thomas Photography Studio. A rare feat in this day and age, as trends see employees change jobs on average every two years. 


To celebrate, we got to interview Stacey about her time at the studio to date and see some of her earlier work!

Happy Birthday Stacey! Where did it all start?

“Thanks! I was was studying a new Photography course at University of Ulster and working part time in retail. A colleague at the store recommended I apply for the position when she saw it online.”


Did you always want to be a portrait photographer?

“My family had actually been planning to live in Lanzarote when I left school after my GCSE’s. They had an unspent dream of running a bar somewhere hot. I had secured a place at an International School on the island to continue what would be the equivalent of A-Levels. With this coming up, I began scuba-diving lessons with my own dream of becoming a Scuba Dive Instructor.”


But all of that changed with the recession and our home in Lisburn couldn’t get sold. After September rolled in, my friends had already arranged to go back to school for A-Levels. I made a quick visit to my local College and signed up for a B-Tec National Diploma in Art & Design. I was given access to a camera and photography studio and began having fun photographing class mates. That’s when I fell in love.”

Can we see some of your early work?

Yes! I am still good friends with them!

Early work by Portrait Photographer, Stacey Irvine














So how have things changed over the 5 years at the studio?

My initial job at the Studio was as a Digital Artist, 3 days a week, editing Weddings of which there were about 50-60 a year.


The portrait side of the studio was only starting up, which Peter took care of. And about a year in, the volume began to increase. That’s when I began also taking portraits.

Was your first session a family or dogs?

We didn’t start photographing dogs until much later! In November 2015, we brought in my own dog, Harper, to experiment how it might work and what best lighting to use.


The first dog photographed at the award winning studio
Stacey’s gorgeous black labrador, Harper.

You are pretty famous among our customers as the baby and pet photographer – how did you come to specialise in that?

While I was working at Peter Thomas Photography only 3 days, I covered Maternity leave at a Newborn studio in Moira. That was way back in 2014. I absolutely loved it!

What was it like to win Newborn & Baby Photographer of the Year?

Newborn photography is hard work – but once you persevere and get THAT image, it’s worth it.

It was pretty awesome to win the award as I was specialising a lot I’m Newborns. It is so gratifying to be recognised in your own field.

Any funny stories from newborn portrait sessions?

I now carry a change of clothes in my car as I have been peed and poohed a few times! And not only by babies but pets as well!


Winning Pet Photographer of the Year!
















How are you celebrating your 5 years?

Peter is taking us all out for some crazy golf followed by a Taster Menu at James St South! I am sure images will follow!


If Stacey has photographed you and your family and you would like to leave her a message – please comment below.


Top luxurious honeymoon destinations

One of the most exciting tasks on your wedding planning to-do list will no doubt be booking your honeymoon! Many couples take the opportunity to go all out and book a once in a lifetime trip and we say, why not! From sensational all inclusive resorts, to tropical islands, we’ve rounded up our favourite luxurious honeymoon destinations to ensure you kick off married life as you mean to go on… in style!


Bali, Indonesia

With a well-earned nickname of ‘Isle of the Gods’ it isn’t hard to see why. Acclaimed movie, Eat, Pray, Love may have brought this majestical island to many people’s attention but it has long been adored by romance seekers for its exceptional beauty. Take things to the next level with a trip to Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, perched atop a cliff 200 feet above the Indian Ocean and soak up that sunset.

Harbour Island, Bahamas

With a celebrity fan base including Bill Gates, Elle Macpherson, Diane Von Furstenberg and Mick Jagger you can expect only the best from Harbour Island. Spend time unwinding on the postcard perfect Pink Sane Beach and bathe in three uninterrupted miles of turquoise water.


Santorini, Greece

Sensational sunsets and picture perfect villas await you on this idyllic volcanic island. With the superb mix of glorious beaches and adrenalin inducing activities, Santorini is fab for couples looking for that mix of relaxation and adventure.



Lough Eske Castle, Co. Donegal

For homebirds, a staycation might be an appealing option and thankfully you don’t have to skimp on luxury. Nestled in Donegal resides the picture perfect Georgian splendour of Lough Eske Castle. Unwind in the spacious and tranquil rooms, immerse yourself in luxury in the simply stunning spa and end your days with a sumptuous meal cooked to perfection in the hotel’s restaurant! Bliss!




The islands that form Fiji are enclosed by coral reefs resulting in warm lagoons and picturesque coral beaches. For a true taste of luxury, spend a night in an over-water thatched roof bungalow at Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji. Soak up the rich culture of this island by exploring its nature trails and ancient sites.

Fiji – Suva Island



With a longstanding reputation for luxury, Hawaii remains a popular choice with honeymooners. With tropical sunsets, crystal clear waters and stretches of sandy beaches, Hawaii always appeals to hopeless romantics.

Waikiki Beach - Honolulu, Oahu Island
Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, Oahu Island


Waikiki Beach – Sunset

St Tropez

Renowned as the playground for the rich, famous and fabulous, nowhere screams luxury quite like St Tropez. With beautiful people, notorious night life and parties on yachts, celebrity coupling fans include Victoria and David Beckham and Beyonce and Jay Z.



Sex and the City showcased this country in all its glory. Meander a movie set of belly dancers, snake charmers and a maze of souks and soak up the glory of gorgeous Morocco.  The country has long been the inspiration for many a designer’s collection, including Yves Saint Laurent, whose former home is well worth a visit.


Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and with miles of shoreline, amazing resorts, French cuisine to die for—Tahiti has all the traits of a luxurious honeymoon destination. Powder-soft sand, uninterrupted blue skies and a rainbow of coral and fish in sparkling azure lagoons are just a few of the reasons why this paradise is popular with honeymooners.


Happy planning from us at the studio! If you chose a honeymoon destination not featured on here and want to tell us all about it, please comment below. We would love to hear from you.


The Gift of Wet Weather

Thats a strange title for a Wedding Photographer! But every now and then wet weather forces us photographers to think differently and get creative.

The below two photographs were taken at a recent wedding. We didn’t take a single photograph outside all day – and it was in a location not normally renowned for indoor photography. Lovely couple – and I quite like these two photographs – both of which were taken ‘off the beaten’ track at the hotel and the church…

Above: Taken in a corridor outside the bridal suite.

Above: Taken on a white wall. There’s a flourescent light in behind the wall – think it was a 1970’s feature! I toyed with taken the wall on the left out – but left it in just for fun…

You can see more if you want here

p.s. I was just thinking that I quite like having a blog – it allows make to post pictures which might not be award winning, but are interesting or eye-catching in their own way…real-life pictures from normal weddings with normal weather (at least for N.Ireland!). Hope you enjoy reading these very random posts!

The joys of doing reprints…

I have to confess, I love my job. But if there was one part of the job I like the less than the others –  its doing reprints. I really love doing framed stuff (mainly because I get to hang out in a local gallery), but 6×4’s, 7×5’s etc don’t get me too excited. Having said that, they have a definite plus point…Firstly they help pay the bills, and secondly while working on them I’m often reminded of weddings that happened a while ago.

That happened tonight when I came across this wee picture in the middle of a reprint order. It’s funny how when you come back to a picture a year later, you take a totally different approach to re-touching it. I still kinda like this picture – so here it is again!

Wedding in Castlewellan & Slieve Donard Hotel

I had a great day with Frank & Karen in February. The wedding started in Clonvaraghan  (somewhere near Newcastle), then onto Castlewellan Forest Park and The Slieve Donard, Newcastle. It was a relaxed, fun day..Here are a few photos:

Above: one of the album layouts from the service.

Above: thought this chipboard would be interesting!

Above: There 2 were good fun!

Above: I’m into doing a few more interesting crops at the moment. This one was done in camera 🙂

Above: The Slieve Donard in all its glory.

You can view more here

Favourite Pics: April 2009 (part 2)

Here’s the second and final part of my favourite pics for April. Hope you like them.

1. Phil & Sara
This was a great wedding for me – as it was held in my church and I know the bride and groom (and quite a number of the guests) personally. Congratulations Phil & Sara!!

Above: Photographers are always looking for great, natural facial expressions…thanks Sara!



Above: I’ve never been to Larchfield Estate before – its a great venue. We came across this little out-house which makes for some interesting pictures.




Above: One of the detail shots – the light curtain makes for a great effect.

2. Darren & Laura
I’m obviously posting way to many pictures on this article – can’t help myself! Sorry if its a little slow to load! The 24th April took me all the way down to Burren (near Warrenpoint). I’ve been to most hotels in Northern Ireland at this stage – but it was great to visit a new photograph location – ‘Domantine Conference Centre’ – I’ve posted some photographs below.




Above: You may  remember from part 1 about my current drive for mens photographs. I think this one is quite interesting as Darren is almost framed by the tree.



Above: – Its not often there is so much colour in the trees – so obviously we took full advantage!


Above: The couple walking along at the front of Dromantine.


Above: The rings in the flowers.

3. Thomas & Bronagh
The final wedding in April was closer to home – Belfast Castle.


Above: as well as this picture, at the Brides request we also did the group picture on these steps. It actually is possible to get 120 people on them!


Above: The type of journalistic-style shot I love – I’m obviously in a black & white mood today but looks equally good in colour.




Above: A sample album page. In this case I’ve used a great Bible verse which is read at many weddings, but it could also be a poem or song.

And thats it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief selection of photographs. Its been a fun month!

Favourite Pics: April 2009 (part 1)

As part of the regular ‘Favourite Pics’ series, here are the first batch of my favourite pictures, all taken during April 2009. There are plenty more for part 2 – but I need to wait until the couples are back from honeymoon and give permission!

1. Deborah & Joe
Really enjoyed my time with Deborah & Joe  – here are a few black & whites. I really like this contrasty look. It was also good to catch up with Deborah’s sister who’s wedding I did last year.



2. Louise & Ryan
Another great day at the Dunadry – and probably the most organised couple in the world – the album has already gone to print!!

Above: This is the sort of documentary photo I love to take. It probably won’t make its way into the album, but its a great memory of a bridesmaid opening a gift she just received from the bride.


Above: the choir make a guard of honour on the way out of the church. Another nice documentary style shot.


Above: making the most of the rain – the trusty Peter Thomas umbrella comes into action!


3. Jackie & Joanne
My most local wedding recently (Whitehead & Greenisland), we had good fun down in HazelBank park. Great couple.



Above: men are often forgotten at weddings – and the bride gets all the attention. So at every wedding, I’m now trying to get a few really good pictures of the men. This one is in an interesting location – but I love the urban feel from the old grafitti.


Above: the first dance. Totally unscripted – they look totally in love!


Above: just to show you a fun storybook page layout. Makes you smile – job done!

4. Ian & Lorna
From a local wedding to the opposite extreme – I went through an entire tank of petrol at this wedding in Limavady & Ballybofey! A lovely service and a great location in Browns Gardens in Limavady. We just about beat the rain!



Above: A little bit of a ‘quirky’ image in panoramic – but I have to say I quite like it!


Above: as always the detail shots are important reminders of the day

So there you go – my favourite pictures in April 2009. They are all available for viewing at . Hope you like them – let me know! Part 2 coming in a week or two!

Favourite Pics: Feb 2009

The first of another regular series, we’ll post our favourite pictures of the last 4 weeks. Rather than show some pictures of weddings this month, I thought I’d post a few snow pictures.

Just outside Carrickfergus

Woodburn Resevoir
Woodburn Resevoir, Carrickfergus

The view from Knockagh
The view from Knockagh, Greenisland

Snow and Sun Combine
Abstract Snow & Sky, taken in Carrickfergus

All pictures above Copyright Peter Thomas Photography 2009

Go to Top