Recently international wedding photographer Donal Doherty agreed to give an insight into his own photographic procedure. Below you will find Doherty’ exclusive tips for all photographers.
holdupnow: Digital or film – which do you prefer and why?
Donal Doherty: I have always used digital, apart from once in my City and Guilds course when I had to use film. With digital I like being able to review an image on the back of the camera if I need to and then adjust what I need to get the perfect exposure. I shoot 3,000 to 3,500 images at a wedding so I’m glad to have the ability to do this and not to have to pay a fortune in processing.
holdupnow: Tell me about your hardware, what do you favour? Anything on your wish list?
Donal Doherty: I’m a Canon shooter and I started in 2005 when I signed up for a City and Guilds photography course and bought my first digital camera, a 350D. My main body now is a Canon 5D MKII and I have a back-up 40D. The lenses I have now include the 70-200mm f2.8, which is probably the lens I use most. The 24-70mm 2.8 is my go to lens and I love the wide perspective this lens provides. The 100mm f2.8 IS macro lens is not only incredible for shooting details, but it’s an amazing portrait lens too. I invested in the 50mm f1.2 in November and the colour and depth of field of this lens is out of this world. I’m moving to use more prime lenses now, so the next on my list is a 85mm f1.2 and I would love the Canon 5D MKIII, but for now am happy with the 5D MKII.
holdupnow: Are there any shots which you are particularly proud of? If so, could you provide a brief deconstruction of why, and what you have done to take that photograph?
Photograph of couple in front of the newly opened Peace Bridge – Summer 2011
Donal Doherty: I shot this image with the newly opened peace bridge in the background last summer. I metered for the background and then lit the couple with off camera flash. This seems to be one of my most popular wedding images from the last year.
holdupnow: Where would your ideal location for a creative shoot be?
Donal Doherty: I’m working on a creative shoot at Redcastle Hotel at the moment, which is going to be amazing. The hotel is on the waterfront and we will have access to a yacht to shoot on which will be incredible. I had the chance to shoot in Ghost Town outside of Las Vegas and that was also one of the coolest locations I’ve visited. It is a photographers dream for a creative shoot!
holdupnow: You seem to use nature and movement quite prominently throughout your work; Do you scout the locations out first? What is your procedure?
Donal Doherty: I usually let couples decide where we do their pre-wedding or wedding photos. I think it’s really important because if the location means something to them, the photos will be more significant. A lot of couples get inspiration from the numerous shoots on my blog. When shooting I love putting things in front of the lens and shooting wide open as this can give a really cool effect. Movement is important as I want my images to look really natural, so by getting people moving, the moments I capture are much more authentic.
holdupnow: Coming from a PR & marketing background, do you have any advice for budding photographers/journalists in terms of which aspects of PR & marketing could be beneficial for them and why?
Donal Doherty: It’s really important to be yourself through all of your communications. By being yourself you will attract clients like you and repel those who may not be the best fit for you. A website and blog is great and add this to social media such as Facebook and you’re on to a winning combination. As long as you are authentic and your work is good people will buy into your brand.
A message from holdupnow: A very big thank you to Donal Doherty for his personal insight and a special thanks to Jay Knight for his photography insights.
Read a full feature on Donal Doherty here:
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