The Magazine of a Northern Ireland Photographer

Tag archive

northern ireland

10 Reasons to have an engagement shoot

There is something magical about an engagement shoot. The excitement for married life, the big day and all that life has to offer.  

I love celebrating this! Its so lovely to have memories to look back on from this time – to bring a smile when times are tough or to remind you to be thankful when things are great.

Here’s 10 reasons to consider an engagement shoot.

1. We’ll have fun!

Engagement shoots are totally chilled out and fun. There’s no pressure and we can have some craic.

2. Practice

If you being in front of the camera is something you aren’t used to, an engagement shoot will show you how much fun it can be

3. Beat the nerves

If you are nervous about your wedding photographs, gain some confidence and banish those nerves!

4. Go somewhere special

Have the photographs taken somewhere you can’t go on your wedding day. Somewhere special to you or somewhere hard to reach in a wedding dress.

5. Include your pets

Include your dogs in the photographs. They’ll enjoy a nice walk too!

6. Get to know Peter. He’s not so bad apparently

Seriously though, its a great way to spend some time with your photographer, break the ice and get to know each other.

7. Use the photographs to decorate your walls in your home

This is a great excuse to get some stunning imagery for your walls. Whether its for the living room, kitchen or bedroom there’s sure to be a photograph to suit.

8. Give the photographs away as gifts to your parents

Christmas and Mothers Day are sure to be sorted this year!

9. Use them for save the date cards or wedding invites

Many of our customers have used the images as guest books, wedding invites or save the date cards. There’s no more personal touch.

10. Enjoy N.Ireland’s amazing scenery

We really do live in an beautiful country. It’s lovely to be able to capture this in your photographs.

Check out our engagement shoot page here

I am Dance

We kicked off 2020 by inviting young dancers into the studio. We had such fun – I simply wasn’t prepared for the breadth of dance practiced in N.Ireland. Everything from Irish Dancing to Hip Hop to Ballet – the range and talent was incredible!

We just loved using creative lighting to produce some really cool effects such as this silhouette…

… and these colour gels.

We had dancers of all ages – from 2 up to 18! How cute is this wee man?

One common theme across all the genres of dance was the commitment of the kids and their parents. Everything from meticulous outfits, to stories of far flung competitions – and lots of awards!

The talent was simply amazing. We are so blessed in this country to have such talented and dedicated young people.

And I particularly loved all the urban themes that came through!

Thanks to everyone who came – keep practicing and we look forward to photographing many of you soon!

A Reluctant Superhero

Every now and then the team here at Peter Thomas Photography come up with an idea I’m not all that keen on. I think they find it fun to wind me up.

‘Let’s do a Superhero project’ they said.




‘I’ve already booked you one in’.

Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Let’s get kids to come along in their superhero outfits, hype them up to the nines and create a living nightmare for me, the photographer! More crowd control than art.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. On the contrary, (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), The Superhero project has turned out to be one of the most fun things we’ve done in a while! Inspired by all these amazing super hero outfits and energised by the kids enthusiasm for the project, I thought I’d try and bring something a bit different to the party!

First up, we got some cool superhero signs printed up…

Pow. We had all sorts of outfits – not sure who the next one is but he sure is cool.

This was a great opportunity to play with some lighting setups:

Next up, I thought I’d play around a bit with gelled colours. After plenty of research, I think I’ve (almost) perfected this flare shot – all done in camera! Really love this!

Finally, I used a projector to beam some really cool patterns onto the wall. Here’s a few of my favourites!

Some of the superheros could even fly!

If you’d like a superhero session, just get in touch!

All the best,


The day I photographed a proposal!

It’s not every day you get to photograph a marriage proposal live! 

I arrived up at Dunluce Castle ahead of the couple. I must admit I was a little apprehensive – what if she said no! Raj assured me that was unlikely (very reassuring!) and so I went to work setting up the sign Raj had sent me and some flowers collected on route.

I must admit Raj had gone to some considerable effort! He’d organised a custom made sign and had it delivered to the studio. He’d also requested a bunch of flowers to be on site. Every little detail was organised on a spreadsheet to military precision! We must have had about 10 Skype calls before the big day organising every precise timing and detail.

I was receiving live updates from Raj as he approached – and so the tension was building! I could see them approaching so I lay in wait, hiding the sign and the flowers from the view of other tourists!

Raj wasted no time – straight down on one knee. Harina seemed somewhat surprised to say the least – but after a few moments of shock she said yes!!

So after the big deed was done, we set about marking the occasion with some photographs. The couple live in the US, so I was pleased the weather held up for some scenery photographs!

We visited Carick-a-rede rope bridge and Ballintoy Harbour too. Beautiful locations. By this stage we had got to know each other – and I realised that this couple where full of ‘craic’. They were really great fun to be around.

There you go – a live marriage proposal on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. Raj & Harina – thanks for trusting me with this special moment!

Tyrone & Alexandra: Clandeboye Lodge

I’d take a fair guess and say that Alexandra likes her shoes! Not only were Alexandra’s shoes amazing – but Tyrone is the first groom I have ever seen wear cool blue shoes! Was a great day.

Here’s a few photos:

And now a few at the Kingdom Hall…

Below: It’s so easy to miss these wee moments – love this one:

The reception was at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel:

The next photo makes me smile:

And finally two candids – the first of the cake cutting and the second of the bride chatting to friends:

Wedding at The Stables Enniskillen – Jason & Sarah

I was looking forward to Jason & Sarah’s wedding in April. I know them from way back – and after doing their engagement photographs knew it would be good fun.
It was also in a new location – The Stables in Enniskillen followed by more the more familiar Manor House Hotel. Here are just a few of the photos…

Above: Love these details – the car is a touch of class..

Above: Clio didn’t want to be left out!

Above: this is what happens when you blog while hungry!

Above: Check out the tulips – just had to be taken.

You can see more weddings at

Christopher & Charleen – Galgorm Resort & Spa

Charleen & Christopher got married at the end of March and had their reception at Galgorm.

From the first time I met Charleen I knew it would be a stylish wedding – and indeed it was! I love the dress, shoes and pretty much everything else! Enjoy!

Above: The two flowergirls were great.

Above: Really like the silhouette photo. It was taken just after the service in a wee nook in the church..

Above: one of the album layouts..

Above: I took this photo during the first dance! Think it captures the moment well…

View other weddings at

Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena

One of my new years resolutions is to post a few pictures from each wedding on the blog…so here goes the 1st!

Taken in January 2010, at the Galgorm Resort and Spa, Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

The Phantom House


Enjoying the view

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!

Getting Ready: preparing for rain!

While every bride and groom hope for a nice day, in this country its far from guaranteed! So in the first of my ‘Getting Ready’ series of blog posts, I give some hints on what you can do to prepare for the worst.

1. Don’t worry!
One great thing about our ‘mild’ climate is that it rarely rains all day. Our weather tends to showery, and so its usually possible to get at least some of the photographs taken outdoors. And even if it does, some of the most moody shots I have taken are of people walking under umbrellas or standing in doorways looking out at the rain. Dramatic skys can often be great!

2. Get a professional!
Over the years, I’ve got good at taking photographs on wet days. I’m not writing this to plug my own services – but indoor photography is about 100 times more difficult than outdoor photography – so make sure you hire a full-time, professional photographer. They’ll be able to handle whatever the day throws at them! Whoever you choose, ask for a few examples of wet weddings. Many photographers will have online examples of wet weddings.

3. Get an umbrella!
I usually try to carry a few umbrellas with me, but why not buy a few wedding umbrellas. No need to spend a fortune -I wouldn’t spend any more than £20.

For ladies: I normally try to get a ‘bird cage’ umbrella – something like .
For men, a plain black umbrella will do.

I always carry a white towel, so that if it rains I can always dry off seats and protect the all important wedding dress!

A groom in the rain!

4. Think Location
If you haven’t already hired your reception, you might want to take a good look inside. Fireplaces, a nice bridal suite, stairs, old windows and brick walls are all great props. Some couples spend their wedding night at a separate hotel – if that’s the case you may think about visiting that hotel too (but make sure you get permission first!). An example was a recent couple who had their reception in Shu, but booked their wedding night in the Merchant Hotel. It rained all day – but we were able to go to the Merchant for a few photographs. There are also some houses available for rent – Redhall (Carrick) & Kilymoon Castle (Cookstown) are examples.

5. Plan for time
You don’t want to spend your whole wedding day taking photographs – but I’d suggest leaving a little buffer time in the schedule. This allows you to stop if a shower comes, then go back outside again later. If you’d like 1hr of photographs at your reception – why not leave 1hr 30mins in the schedule. If you don’t need it, you can always use the spare time chatting to your guests!

There are often sheltered places for photos - in this case in a covered doorway

And Finally…
No matter what, just enjoy your day! We’ve done lots of wet weddings (including one the day this happened – and guess what, the photos were great!).

Go to Top