Remain in the Light - Logo

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting a rather lovely lady called Mairéad McDaid, who not only is a bride-to-be herself, but who is also a very talented photographer. Happily she agreed to feature her fine work and top tips on this month’s Photography in Focus blog. Mairéad started her love affair with photography while living in South Korea (rather bizarrely while she was there,  she knew a good friend of mine – don’t you love Facebook friend connections?!).

She now runs her own company called Remain in Light and photographs weddings, couples and lifestyle shoots. Her style is focused on the relaxed and natural. She loves taking photos of the real moments, as they happen, and as unobtrusively as possible. She loves capturing the big emotional moments, and the little details that you’ve spent months (and months!) getting just right. You can tell all this by her stunning photos below.

So let me hand over to Mairéad to share her thoughts on all things wedding!

What are your top 2 ‘Do and Don’t’ tips for couples on their wedding day?

Do – Have a bit of flexibility in your schedule. Things sometimes tend to run on, so when planning your timeline for the day, allow more time for certain things than you think you’ll need.

Do – Have fun!  All the planning is done, it’s now time let it all go and enjoy your day.

Don’t – worry too much about the weather – especially in this part of the world, where you can never be certain what season it will be today! Invest in a sexy umbrella and you’ll be fine!

Don’t – try to make everything perfect. Nothing ever is, and some things just won’t go to plan, but that’s okay.

What is your advice when a couple is looking for a photographer? 

Ask to see a few full wedding galleries, so you know how they photograph the whole day, rather than just seeing their best shots! Also, try to meet up or video chat beforehand. This person is going to be with you for most of your wedding day – you want to make sure that you like them!

Your top tip for Styling your day?
Don’t get lost down the Pinterest rabbit hole! I love Pinterest and I think it can be really useful for wedding planning, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by ideas, so try to use it wisely!

Do you think you should “Trash your Dress”?
I definitely think you should Trash the Dress! Even if you don’t want to ruin the dress, you can still have a lot of fun with a post-wedding shoot. You get to dress up in those beautiful (and often expensive) clothes again, and have some fun getting creative with your photographer.

Engagement shoots seem to be very fashionable at the moment. What are the advantages of having one?

Remain in the Light - Engagement shoot
I think that engagement shoots are a fantastic way for you to get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding day itself. It’s a bit of a test run, and you get to know your photographer and see how they work. Bonus – you get some awesome photos that you can use for the wedding – we’re using ours for our wedding website!

What has surprised you the most about wedding photography?
Before I started working in wedding photography, I wasn’t sure it was something I would enjoy. But I absolutely love how emotional it is, and that I get to capture one of the best days of people’s lives. They’re going to show their grandchildren these photos, and feels really special.

How you describe your style of photography?
My style is creative and modern. My approach is documentary for most of the day; I like to take pictures of everything as it unfolds naturally. I do also love to get creative; trying out new things and having some fun with you along the way!

What can a couple do for you on the big day?

Remain in the Light - Wedding couple on the floor

Just have fun! This is your day and happy smiling faces make for the best photographs! I also love an adventurous couple, the ones who are willing to lie on the floor for a good photo, go exploring at sunset for that beautiful light, or venture out in the pouring rain (with that sexy umbrella of course!).

Indoor or outdoor wedding?

Remain in the Light - Gay Wedding

I love both! Of course an outdoor wedding can be spectacular, but with the pesky English weather it’s always good to have a plan B. As long there is beautiful light then I’m a happy photographer.

Themed or no theme?
Again, I love both. My fiancé and I toyed with the idea of having a Bowie-themed wedding for a while, but we’ve decided to have little hints of Bowie instead! I think that a themed wedding can be so much fun, but even if you decide not to go for it, you can always incorporate the things that you love into the day in little ways instead.

Local or Destination?
It depends what you want from the day itself. Destination weddings can be fabulous and beautiful, but there will be a lot more work involved. Also, you have to accept that quite a few people may not be able to make it. Decide what’s important to you, and go from there!

Big or Small?

Remain in the Light - Happiness is a wedding
I’ve shot weddings with 25 people, and weddings with 250 people, and both were amazing! The 25 person wedding was lovely as it was so intimate and the bride and groom had the chance to spend more time with each person. On the other hand, it’s lovely to have all of your family and friends together in the same room – the only time in your life this will really happen. And what a party that makes!

Big thanks to Mairéad for sharing her thoughts and fabulous photos with us. You can see more of her great work on  Facebook, Instagram and of course her Website.