Fitness – Zumba

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get fit and I have to admit it hasn’t been easy. I created a routine of treadmill, bike, cross trainer etc and to be honest I was losing the will the live trying to stay enthusiastic. Without the enthusiasm I wasn’t even breaking a sweat.

One Saturday morning i noticed that a Zumba class was just about to start when I arrived in the gym. I took one look at the treadmill and just had to walk away and went straight up to this class that I knew nothing about.

From the minute I walked in I was hooked and got really giddy. If you love shaking your tail feather, you will love this.
As soon as the music starts you are drawn in. In a whole hour I didn’t look for the time once.


I’ve tried so many types of classes and they are just pure torture. I can’t wait to get out and then make up a million excuses so that I don’t have to go back. With this I was chomping at the bit to go back.

Im a member of Westpoint Gym in Blanchardstown and in my membership I get access to all classes. Im now doing Zumba three times a week and would love to do more! What great value! The instructor in the Gym is Zumba Geoff and I have to say, he is brilliant. The routines and music are catchy. If you’re a fan of JLo, Pit Bull, Cheryl infused with Latino spirit you will not be disappointed!

If you can’t get to the gym Zumba Geoff has classes outside if the gym and I would highly recommend going. If you are thinking about getting fit in time for your wedding, this is a great place to start!
You sweat like a beast without even realising and the whole time you are just smiling.
If you are interested in starting Zumba, make sure to check out Zumba Geoff or Zumba Ireland.

2015 Wedding Trends

I recently published a series of blogs with WeddingDates.ie. There are 3 blogs in the series and i talk about what i see as being hot to trot in 2015 for weddings.

Part 1 talks about dresses and styles that appear to be dominating the bridal catwalks. I also touch on what ive seen in terms of price and quality now that we are post recession.

Part 2 discusses the role that DIY weddings will play as well as the movement back to luxurious venues whilst also trying to be original and quirky. I also look at 2 very prominent styles – the 20’s and Boho!

Finally Part 3 wraps up by looking at the increasing cost of a wedding and how people will fund their weddings.

Its definitely worth a read as you may find some interesting nuggets!

Skin Care Tip

Image Skin Care Range at Havana IFSC

Image Skin Care Range at Havana IFSC

In the lead up to my wedding I had a few facials and they were all a month to 2 weeks before the big day. On the last one I remember the beautician really scrubbing hard around my chin and at the time I felt it was a little hot but hey beauty is pain.
Morning of wedding…..you guessed it…..a MASSIVE yolk appeared on my chin and thank god I booked a brilliant make up artist, Lida Hertel, as she certainly worked her magic and covered it all up.
Like any spot, I assumed it would go. I was very very wrong!
I studied Beauty Therapy and am a fully qualified make up artist so I would be pretty aware of my skin and how to get rid of spots.
This outbreak would not move, in fact it got worse and spread up my face and actually turned in to an acne.
I tried everything. I would be a massive campaigner for dermalogica and even that couldn’t help. I left it alone, it got worse, I used creams, it got worse….basically it was not going anywhere.
Then, a Havana skin clinic opened up across the road from where I work so I went in to see if they could shed any light.
AND….they did.

They gave me testers from the Image range. One was Ageless Facial Cleanser, then a Vital C moisturiser and a separate Vital C Hydrating Masque.
I also got the tinted moisturiser and a serum – both very good.
I started using it in mid October and by Christmas all of the spots had gone. I still have some blemishes under the skin but this was a massive improvement.

I’ve ended up buying some the pieces I tested and to be fair, they’re not cheap but not too far off Dermalogica.

They do a lot of those skin treatments there in Havana and I would highly recommend paying them a visit if you want to get your skin looking amazing for big day. If you decide to buy Image products make sure that there is a qualified person there to bring you through the right options for you.

Behind The Scenes

I recently worked with a few key wedding suppliers to create some amazing images for my blog and for their promotional needs. Here are some behind the scene shots!

 

Work It!

Work It!

Graham Capturing The Moment

Graham Capturing The Moment

Elaine Working on Posing

Elaine Working on Posing

Elaine at Work

Elaine at Work

Team Work!

Team Work!

Running Away!

Running Away!

Make Up Artist at Work

Make Up Artist at Work

Wedding Dress Preparation

Wedding Dress Preparation

Hair & Make Up Prep

Hair & Make Up Prep

Final Touches

Final Touches

Camera Ready!

Camera Ready!

Elaine Getting Some Close Up Shots

Elaine Getting Some Close Up Shots

Mad Hatters Preparation

Mad Hatters Preparation

Conaill Getting the ascend Ready

Conaill Getting the ascend Ready

Station House Signal Box

Station House Signal Box

Hair Dresser in Motion

Hair Dresser in Motion

Lizzelle at Work

Lizzelle at Work

Love This Dress!

Love This Dress!

Bellinter House

Bellinter House

Ciara Working Hard

Ciara Working Hard

Credits:
Elaine Barker Photography
The Station House Hotel
Bellinter House
Kilkenny Design Trim
Ciara’s Hair Creations
Laura Make Up
Once Interiors
Timeless Bridalwear
Cascade Flowers Trim

Mad Hatters Tea Party Themed Wedding

Mad Hatter Theme Wedding

Mad Hatter Theme Wedding

I love  a quirky wedding theme and there’s nothing more fitting than a Mad Hatters Tea Party theme wedding. You can go as mad as you like or do some subtle nods to the theme.

At a recent photo shoot, Once Interiors designed the set. As you can see, the more bonkers the better!  The Wedding Dress is supplied by Timeless Bridal Wear. It’s a Vera Wang – brand new €695. The location was The Station House Hotel. Photo by Elaine Barker Photography.

If you don’t want to go over the top you can use Etsy to source some small additions for your tables and venue.

Mad Hatter Wedding Cake

Mad Hatter Wedding Cake

Photo a Booth Props

Photo a Booth Props

Wedding Entertainment

Wedding Entertainment

Wedding Signs

Wedding Signs

Favours

Favours

Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations

Drink Me Labels

Drink Me Labels

Alice in Wonderland Cake Topper

Alice in Wonderland Cake Topper

Cup Cake Toppers

Cup Cake Toppers

Wedding Bouquet

Wedding Bouquet

Favours Idea

Favours Idea

Tea Cup Labels

Tea Cup Labels

Guest Book

Guest Book

Arrival Reception Biscuits

Arrival Reception Biscuits

Wedding Re-Shoots

Wedding Re-Shoot

Wedding Re-Shoot

Today’s Guest Blog is brought to you by Elaine Barker Photography

When the wedding is all over you really only have your husband, the ring and a photographic record of the greatest day of your lives, the photographs are so very important and you’ll oinly realise how much so down the line when your children are enjoying the album. Lots of friends of friends, upon hearing that I was a photographer, insisted on telling me about how unhappy they were with wedding portraits, double chins, rain on the day, no time, or a package cheap deal etc etc. So much so that it gave me an idea for a niche market. I researched a little more and found that 72% of the 140 post wedding brides that I interviewed said their wedding portraits were extremely important, most placed quality over price and but 31% said that they would be interested in doing a wedding day reshoot of their portraits due to dissatisfaction with the end result of their albums.

Ruth's reshoot @ The Phoenix Park

Ruth’s reshoot @ The Phoenix Park

A wedding day can be stressful for a lot of people and a photographer is under a lot of pressure on the day. Sometimes there’s no time to find the best light, pose, location combination and quick portraits and running around become the name of the game to tick the boxes of all key photos.
Lot’s of brides also ask for natural style photographs and no posing but are then disappointed with results because they don’t look their best and oh no that double chin in is loads of photographs.

image

Pik Ki’s re-shoot @ Guinness

It’s never too late to capture your perfect natural, beautiful, directed portraits of yourselves. I am doing more and more wedding day reshoots so when a bride is unhappy with her wedding photographer’s work, she comes to me and I do a new shoot. Think about how easy this is, nobody is rushing off to dinner, you put back on the dress and get your hair and make done again and get another day to parade around looking your absolute best with a photographer that will direct you in perfect body shapes customised for your unique style and curves.

I meet with the bride beforehand to show me their album and we talk about what she wasn’t happy about. Then we pick a day and two hours before sunset we head off to two locations of their choice and do a photo shoot without any pressures of time.

image

Michelle’s re-shoot @ Donabate Beach

I love weddings and I love wedding day reshoots even more because people understand the value of a really good portrait of themselves. Maybe there was a location that was special to you but you had your portraits at the hotel instead? There are lots of reasons why some wedding day portraits don’t work out but no reason to not reshoot your wedding portraits if you weren’t happy.

A little direction goes a long way and everyone can look like they belong in a magazine! ​

How To Pose For Your Wedding Photographs

Wedding photographer Dublin irelandGuest Blog brought to you by Elaine Barker Photography

A lot of people are scared of ‘posing’ and everything to do with the idea of it, having to do it, cringing at the end result and the embarrassment of everybody looking at you while you’re ‘posing’. I completely understand and I know why, I’ve seen the awkward posing of couples, brides and family portraits that look stiff, unnatural and slightly robotic with Barbie shaped arms and hands. This is not flattering to anyone…ever. Let’s face it, we’re not models and we don’t know what to do but a great photographer will direct you into a flattering body shapes that emphasises our natural beauty, regardless of our shape. This is what I do.

Wedding day portraits usually don’t get as much time as the photographer would like so all the ‘key shots’ are often rushed so there is little time for direction into flattering poses to really show off the dress and figure of the bride. For me, I would rather get five amazing photographs of the bridal portrait section of the day that show her figure, dress shape in excellent light and capture the personality and beauty of the bride on the day that she looks her best rather than ten good shots in whatever situation is just handy.

Posing:

Ever wondered why the women in the fashion magazines look so good? Well here’s all their posing secrets that I can for you.
There are seven rules of posing that I like to direct to guarantee that every woman looks sensational.
Wedding photographer dublin
1) Chin. We all need to push our chins out towards the camera and down a little depending on the shape of your face. Rounder faces need to come down a little lower to give excellent definition to our faces. Lean faces only come down a little. The camera should always be on eye level with the bride and when our chins go out and down our eyes look bigger in the camera so we are empathizing the best assets of our faces with this simple move. I am constantly saying to a bride on a wedding day, ‘chin out and down’. It’s a good idea to practice in the mirror and you’ll see the difference when you push your chin towards the mirror and down in fractions to see where suits your face shape best. There is nothing worse than a double chin in wedding photographs and usually the first thing that a bride notices and doesn’t like about the photograph, no matter how beautiful the light or scene is, its a posing opportunity missed.

2) Shoulders. ‘Work that front shoulder.’ This is the second thing that I will say to a bride and again it adds definition no matter your body type. You’ll see this in all fashion magazines that the front shoulder is pushed forward or inwards so there’s a lovely curve to the top of the shoulder. It’s such a simple move but it also slims down everyone.

3) Hands. No stiff fingers or Barbie hands and arms as I call it. The third thing I will say I’d simply ‘Ballet hands’. Everybody knows what to do with their hands when I say ballet hands, we want a soft look and the hand shape can often reveal a weak photographer. Again a simple tip to avoid posing looking stiff and uncomfortable…ballet hands!

4) Curves. I love curves, we all do and it’s the most desirable female body type. We want the curves to look even and a nice ‘S’ shape and a bride will usually tell me before the shoot what she’s self-conscious about. Whatever is closest to the camera will look biggest so if brides don’t like their bums we put the weight on the back foot so everything falls back and away from the camera. Brides with small tops lean can forward towards to the camera to emphasise their curves and anyone with a rectangle body shape we work the hips and hands on hips to create shape. There’s nothing we can’t do to give you the most flattering direction that you will love.

Elaine barker photography
5) Asymmetry. Most fashion poses will be asymmetrical, asides front the androgynous look where everything is exactly straight and equal, asymmetry refers to arms being in different places and heights perhaps on hips, one is higher than the other or one hand is on the hip and the other behind the head. This sounds horrific but executed correctly and you’ll look like you belong in the magazines.

6) Connection. There’s nothing worse than ‘dead eyes’ I’m always eye to eye with the bride and if we haven’t formed a good natural and trusting bond before the shoot it will be more difficult. The personality of the photographer is a huge factor and a bride has to like him/her. I often tell brides to do a ‘opposite squint’ You raise the bottom of the lids up a tad and look straight into the camera. It’s a similar look to that look we all give ourselves just after we’ve done our make up and look in the mirror for a quick check we all have a slit second of an upward squint and it’s the best thing ever!! This is easily achieved by asking the bride to mirror me, I will do the face and they will all copy me without feeling foolish.

7) Legs and weight. It’s very important to distribute the weight unevenly, it pops out our hips to add more curve and those sexy S shapes to our bodies. Take for example a straight on looking out the window shot. If the bride is standing straight on with equally distributed weight then her body shape will just go straight down. However, when I tell her to put all her weight on whichever side feels most comfortable its instant shape and with the right dress shape, like a mermaid, I’ll ask her to pop her knee forward to add even more curve.

So even though all of the above sound like a lot it’s realy nothing for the bride to worry about but for me to say ‘Chin out and down, work that shoulder, ballet hands on hips, one arm down, put weight on right side, lean into me and smoking eyes’ That’s it in a nut shell, it’s not awkward posing, it’s direction into our best body shape and you will be amazed and delighted. I know I’ve done my job right when people say “I look like I belong in a magazine”. Yes you do gorgeous girl.