A lot has changed since then ... I have met many people on my way, some of whom have become close friends. My photography has changed - I see differently and work differently. In the meantime, I've also learned to use flash properly. In comparable situations, I would therefore most likely not do it anymore. I have slightly longer hair on my head and possibly my love handles have grown too. But on the other side my cameras are smaller and faster today. Back then I still had to search for photo spots in Ireland, today I find them blindfolded. And another significant finding from that time is that summer is a ungrateful season for photos in Ireland. How so? The best light is in the late evening and if you don't want to miss it, you are inevitably missing out on the food - that's better in autumn. The weather, by the way, too - at least sometimes.
So the film from back then is no longer suitable to be used as an image film. But it still remains an exciting contemporary document on 10 years of Brautrausch wedding photography in Ireland - especially in times when practically all my weddings in Ireland have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19.
So the film is a little journey through time into my past, into the past of Brautrausch and to the roots of Wild Atlantic Weddings - my wedding photos in Ireland. And what persists is the motto of the film ...
Getting to Ireland was not easy at that time - not because of Corona, lockdowns and travel restrictions, but because of a volcano.
Does anyone remember the Eyjafjallajökull? It's volcanic ash did not care that it's home was Iceland and not Ireland. And after the eruption in March 2010, there were massive air traffic limitations across Europe for months - also for us.
In July 2010 the time had finally come. With Anja and Andreas, my bridal couple, and Wolfgang our videographer, we went on board a RyanAir flight from Frankfurt-Hahn to Kerry.
Unfortunately, the connection is currently under discussion at RyanAir. That would be a shame, because hardly any other destination airport lets you dive into the West of Ireland as quickly as does Kerry County. The approach leads across fields, cows and sheep and suddenly you are there. The runway is literally tucked in between green fields. Just as suddenly you'll have left the airport again. Because the baggage claim is waiting right behind the entrance. And behind the next door you are already in the lobby and you're outside. The route to the next pub in Killarney or Tralee is correspondingly short. We decided on the latter at the time.
And so, just 20 minutes after taking over our rental car, we were already sitting with our first cider, heads above a map of Ireland and doing some route planning.
Four Pubs and a Handful of Houses
Our first stop was supposed to be Doolin in County Clare. So we headed north from Tralee, crossing the Shannon at Tarbert - a river that looks more like bay there - arriving in Killimer, County Clare. From there we continued through the rain to our destination Doolin, a beautiful West Clare village.
Doolin is a great starting point for numerous hotspots on the west coast - the famous Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands or the Burren, an almost surreal karst landscape - all just a stone's throw away. In addition - despite the very lively tourism - Doolin has simply remained incredibly charming and hospitable. And in addition to it's fantastic pub life - Doolin is considered the heart of Irish Folk - it also has a lot to offer visually.
Of course we had to use the Doolin setting for some photos and film scenes on the rocky coast.
The problem of summer: the best light comes relatively late. And in pubs food usually is served only until 9:00pm or (if you're lucky) 9:30pm. Unprepared as we were, that resulted in potato chips with “Vinegar Taste” instead of a nice dinner for our first evening.
The selection of drinks at McDermott’s - a wonderful local pub - luckily reconciled us. The loving care provided by boss Patsy and her team was also not entirely uninvolved. The party to live music with the locals until late at night did the rest. Anja had to dance (not only with Andreas) and even received a little serenade - so who needs dinner there!?
The next morning it started early, with a full Irish breakfast - fried egg, bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, baked beans, fried mushrooms and tomato as well as toast and Irish soda bread - a solid base for a day with a tight schedule.
When we took the first photos somewhere on a road towards the Burren we not only had animal spectators, but we also met a few pub visitors from the previous evening. The fact that we had apparently put our shoot in the middle of their route to work made for a party atmosphere as we had it the evening before.
Passing Lisdoonvarna - the place where a traditional matchmaker brings couples together and forges weddings each year in late summer - our path led us to the heart of the Burren - to stone circles, 5000-year-old megaliths and ruins of churches from Ireland's long past times.
But too soon we had to leave Clare behind. Our way led us south towards Kerry. Since the next day our plane would go to Germany again, we still had some plans and some spots on the Dingle Peninsula in mind - a lot stuff to do.
Over the spectacular Conor Pass we passed through the clouds into the coastal town of Dingle, with its colorful houses and lively streets. Dingle is definitely worth a visit - because of its seafood, the many pubs and of course the Dingle Distillery. However, we did not stay long, but headed west along the beautiful coast.
The so-called Slea Head Drive is one of the most impressive routes of today's Wild Atlantic Way and always rewards you - with a beautiful route, fantastic views and seagulls that catch oatmeal cookies from the air.
Shortly behind Slea Head, in one of the westernmost corners of Ireland, there is a small hidden beach - Coumeenoole Beach - where we should ring in the finale of our after wedding sessions. Even if this place has long ceased to be an insider tip, in the evening (during meal time, do you remember?) you are often completely alone. And the only life you encounter is most likely a bunch of seals.
The ocean off the coast of Kerry is also not particularly comfortable in July, at around 15 ° C. This is especially true on a day like ours, with strong winds and strong currents. Nevertheless Anja and Andreas gave everything again. Anja, in particular, plunged courageously into the floods as a bride, creating incredible motifs.
Far in the distance you can see the outlines of Skellig Michael on the horizon - known as a Star Wars filming location today and incidentally inspiration for the logo of Wild Atlantic Weddings.
Whether in Ireland or at home in Germany on my doorstep - engagement or after-wedding session, a wedding reportage or simple portraits - whatever you want.
After our photo session we went back to Tralee, slightly frozen but quite happy. In our B&B we first had to free Anja's wedding dress from the sand she collected - an amazing amount. And while we left the dress to dry in the well-heated bathroom, we headed for the town and its many pubs - a very good idea.
In a pub called Bailey's Corner somewhere in the middle of Tralee, you might still find the poster that inspired us to the title of the film - "Expose Yourself to Ireland" - even though it's interpretation of that claim is slightly different than ours. ;)
We fell into our beds really tired, as the next day we finally were heading to the airport and going back to Germany - with a lot of intense impressions and unique experiences for everyone in our luggage. Thanks to all of you for being there with me 10 years ago!
Ireland had already conquered my heart long before this trip. And it hasn't let me go until today. And with “Wild Atlantic Weddings”, the project from that time has long been given an official name.
Through Patsy - the head of McDermott’s in Doolin - I got connected with a wonderful couple from County Clare. They turned into my first real Irish wedding: Caitriona and Paudie in Bunratty and Ennis. My first wedding in Ireland was soon followed by many more - with Irish couples, but also couples from Germany who got married in Ireland, and last but not least with couples from all over the world who all share my passion for the Green Isle.
Of course, may things have come to a halt in these times. The caution against COVID-19 has a firm grip on Europe and not least on Ireland. So all of my Irish weddings are postponed to 2021 or even 2022 this year. We'll all have to hold on for a while - that's especially hard for a country so heavily dependent on tourism in many regions. Let's hope that something like "normal" will come back someday. Or as the Irish say ...
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BRAUTRAUSCH® wedding photography
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BRAUTRAUSCH® wedding photography
Feldstrasse 77b // 61352 Bad Homburg v.d.H. (Germany)