December Brides

Three exceptional weddings in three separately fantastic venues with three soulful couples in late December has cemented resolve at pkstudio3 to keep doing what we are doing and to continue providing a well-honed service that has proved, this year especially, to be immensely satisfying. Combined with the usual challenges associated with the craft, December offered flooding, low light levels and days when the shoots had to be confined mostly to interior work due to prolonged periods of continuous rainfall and high winds. Thankfully we managed to produce image suites of a standard which belied the extreme weather. We experienced the joy and privledge of  working with great clients who despite the conditions kept love, family, ceremony, celebration and hospitality to the forefront of their priorities.


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Our  primary ‘second shooter’ Joe Carr weathered the elements (in a three-piece tweed suit) and showed flashes of pure brilliance especially when shooting, the details and portraits of the ‘little people’ of  the wedding day. The process of editing all three wedding suites gave me time over the holidays to reflect on the fact that we are very lucky to have Joe joining us again.  As my dad would say: ‘He is one of nature’s gentlemen’ His visual and people skills combined with a camaraderie and gentle good humour contributed in no small way to the service and experience and high quality of work offered from pkstudio3.

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As principle photographer at PKSTUDIO3 my own shooting style must be flexible. It varies from capturing formal family photos (within our painless and now customary 25mins of fun) to my mini shoot with the couple. And finally to my own favourite style, capturing true reportage work. This is among the most exciting and enjoyable aspects of the job where people are generally unperturbed by the viewer and the camera unmasks a moment, a side of their personality, that makes for great portraiture and elaborate storytelling within a single frame. We sourced new handcrafted albums with images printed to exhibition standards that do justice to this type of work. If you are interested in hearing more about how they are produced, designed and printed or would like to discuss a bespoke reportage booking just please let us know.

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The final three weddings of the season with their perfect storm of challenges outlined for me how my working world has in effect developed into a community. All three weddings were booked on recommendations. Firstly from Jim Butler  at Inspirational Arts who provides a printing service which is second-to-none. We recommend him to our clients availing of our free-to-use print-ready digital files. Secondly, a recommendation from Ruth Wiley who, when we first met her 10 years ago was simply a fantabulous bridesmaid and who now, because she shares a love of  all things wedding has qualified as an officiant of civil celebration. Thirdly, Derval  and Kevin whose outdoor wedding we had the pleasure of recording on a very special day at Lisnavagh in May. Their recommendation brought us to our final wedding of the season and to a venue which we hadn’t visited in some years: The Heritage in Killenard  Here, we were treated to the inimitable and graceful help and hospitality of Averil and John who provided supplemental house lighting and room rearranging  services for the photography team. We also experienced an exquisite plate of fresh seafood with service that will not be forgotten for its quality and warmth. I was unsurprised to later learn that this hotel is a sister hotel of our good friends at Clontarf Castle where we spent Christmas Day with family.

A busy season awaits and we know that the best is yet to come. Recharged and determined to keep the craic levels high! We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our clients, colleagues, family and friends the very best with lots of fun and a sense of peace. We live in a great country with a quality and variety of light (and of people) that only an Island nation perched on the edge of a vast ocean can muster. Lets experience, enjoy and record it all together.

Send us an e-mail to   if you would like to see more of a particular style or view images from any of our favourite venues visited this year: Ballymagarvey HouseBellinterr HouseBorris HouseBoyne Hill HouseCoolbawn QuayKilshane HouseTankardstown HouseThe MillhouseThe WestinThe New Intercontinental and Boyne Hill House.





Sallyanne and Laurence

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of returning to Borris House to shoot the wedding of Sallyanne and Laurence. A September wedding, and a day that was more like one at the start of Summer with that light starting to turn toward golden shades of Autumn.
Borris House is a special venue, one that, relatively speaking, hasn’t been on the wedding market for very long. Each time we return we discover something new about the House, with its antique rocking horses and richly adorned ceilings and about it’s grounds and walled gardens with secular trees and meadows. Not to mention the village of Borris itself that stands atop a hill with the old petrol station, the post office and pubs such as M.O Shea’s with their original shop frontages and the signage written in old Irish fonts. All of which offer a picturesque backdrop to the parade of brides, grooms and wedding guests often seen walking from the church at the bottom of the hill and up through the village.

Sallyanne and Laurance chose Borris House private chapel for their civil ceremony as they were all up for making the most of the beautiful surroundings, swiftly moving from an improvised tango choreography amidst the tall grass ending with a passionate cradled-kiss to posing by the old barn, pitch and fork in hand. The result… we hope you enjoy it as much as Paul and Eoin enjoyed shooting it!





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Martina & Greg

Back in July  another love story took us to  Cahersiveen, a colorful gem nestled in the Ring of Kerry and the exact same spot where this story began five years ago. You may say it was destiny that brought Martina and Greg together; destiny disguised as a mutual friend who for years had been trying to introduce the two and with Martina persistently refusing to be set up. Eventually their paths crossed  in Cahersiveen, Martina’s home town, on a June bank holiday. Fast forward on the same  bank holiday four years later, Greg popped the question on a hill overlooking Howth Harbour. The day of the wedding we were blessed with warm weather  and with a sky that was a photographer’s dream: cloudy but bright, with a light that softened hard shadows and that made the colours of this part of Ireland look even richer than they are. The ceremony was held in the gothic revival church in Caherciveen and the reception took place in Sneem Hotel.Martina and Greg couldn’t have been more full of love for each other. The guests were  full of smiles and fun and all up for a good time. It was one of those weddings that when we go back to the office to work on the editing make us wonder why  our cheeks are sore and then we suddenly realize that our mouths have been stretched in a big smile mirroring that of the people in the pictures.














From Essex with Love

We captured Nicola and Darren’s wedding on a beautiful, warm July day in the majestic setting of Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare. Originally from Essex, Nicola and Darren had visited Dromoland twice before. A place that had seen their love story unravel and that was tightly entwined to their love for Ireland, Dromland Castle was the obvious choice to host their big day. Six years had passed since the day they got together and yet you would have sworn the pair had only just met. There was a spark between them that can normally only be found in a young love.
Their day was all about creating a relaxed atmosphere for their family and friends.The effortless elegance of the natural setting surrounding the castle offered a timeless frame to their wedding day. The soft pink and cream hues in the  floral and in the maid of honor’s and flower girls’ dresses  added a romantic and feminine touch to the celebration giving the day an informal feel in spite of the grandeur of the location.
From the ceremony, to the walks through the walled garden or by the lake, to the dance floor and the evening photo booth it was a truly fun-filled day that we are sure will add so many special moments to Nicola and Darren’s Irish love affair.

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Paul Kelly Studio3 Photobooth fun

We love to do a Photobooth at weddings. It’s so much fun to see the couple and guests enjoy themselves, dressing up and having some fun. We hope it shines through in our pictures and our brand new video that we created.

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Love across the water at Clontarf Castle

As you probably by now know we’re hopeless romantics and probably one reason we got in to the wedding business in the first place. We’ve recently had the pleasure of shooting the gorgeous couple Zoe and Rob at the Clontarf Castle a 12th century castle with an impressive classic yet stylish interior set in the idyllic seaside village of Clontarf.  One of the most romantic castles within the city of Dublin surrounded by leafy grounds with pretty gardens it is a magical setting for a wedding day in Dublin.

Zoe and Rob’s story really does sound like a fairytale. They met each other all the way across the pond in Australia during a trip into the rainforest. After separating for a few weeks they ended up spending 11 days together before they decided to move back to Ireland to live together. And the rest is history.

Rob’s proposal was as romantic as any bride-to-be could wish for. On Christmas morning Zoe woke up to find the room had been lit with candles and Rob dressed in his best suit, down on one knee holding a diamond ring. Of course she said yes!

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10 questions to ask your wedding photographer


1. How would you define your style?

A great wedding photographer will shoot in a variety of styles. When asked, he or she will be able to explain these in simple terms and be able to show you examples.  Tip: How the photographer answers this question will tell you a lot about his personality and will give you an indication of how well you will get along. So it is best to ask this question early on. Your style and your photographers style should overlap.

2. Why Are You a Photographer?

The profession is one of privilege. As a photographer you are chosen to share and record one of your clients biggest and happiest Days. When you enter a family home or venue on the morning of a wedding you are privy to the inner workings of that family even beit just for a couple of hours. As a client you must fully trust and be comfortable with the photographer you choose. The photographer who can succinctly and honestly let you know why they chose their profession is the one who will possess true integrity and passion for the craft that is required in order to fit seamlessly with family  dynamics and the myriad of social situations they will encounter during your celebrations.

3. Can you show me a complete set of recent wedding pictures?

Make sure you get to see an example of a full suite of wedding images. Also ask to see  some current work and some of their own favourites.

4. Are you the actual photographer who will shoot my wedding? 

You book your photographer for good reasons ranging from personality and manner to talent and style. As a client you should ensure that the person you meet will be the photographer there on the wedding Day. A good studio will however have options for backup photographers who can shoot in the studio style. These may be long-term assistants/protégés and you can sometimes get better value if you do agree to use a studio photographer as principle photographer on the Day

5. How far in advance do you need to book with you?

The earlier the better! Photographers get bookings as early as 2-3 years in advance so if you already know your wedding date and have your venue set make sure the next thing is your photographer. If you don’t your choice will inevitably be more limited.

6. What happens if the camera develops a fault?

Make sure to ask that question and be happy with the answer. Unless you know a lot about photography equipment you won’t need to ask for specific details but just ask whether or not they have a backup. A true professional will have a backup of the backup i.e. at least three working camera bodies.

7. What happens if you fall ill on the day?

First of all lets all hope that this won’t happen. Again, a good professional photographer will have an emergency support network – professionals that are equally as qualified to cover your Day. He or she will not loose a beat answering this question.

8. What Products Do You Offer?

Kind of an obvious question but still a question you need to ask. Wedding packages vary and can change so be sure to ask what’s included in the package you’re buying. For example, are printable digital copies of the photographs included? How many pictures will appear in my finished album?

9. How many photographs will I receive in the final cut?

Less is more. In this digital age  photographers tend to take 100’s of images. A great photographer will only allow the very best images out to his client. The edit  is a large part of the work that happens behind the scenes in a good studio and part of the reason you shouldn’t expect to receive your wedding images the next day!

10. When will I see my pictures and when will I receive my Album?

As a paying client you should make yourself aware of the timeframes for receiving the edit from the Day. Also ask how long it will take for the studio to produce your album after you have submitted your own selection.


Climbing 2,242m to find love

This is an Italian-Irish love story (and you know how we at Paul Kelly Studio3 love romatic love stories). Catherine and Barbato met in 2010 after an early morning hike 2,242m above sea level, at the top of La Meta, in the beautiful Abruzzo National Park in Italy. The name of the mountain translates as ‘the destination’ which in this case is more than appropriate. Their new journey together started from that point on.

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You always expect Italian men to be romantic, but Barbato really fulfills this image. Like a real gentleman Barbato asked Catherine’s father for her hand in September 2012. Only 15 weeks and some pretty amazing organisational skills later was their big day. However before that Barbato together with 60 friends and family surprised her on New Year’s day with a traditional ‘serenata’. Everything about this wedding was beautiful and unique including the fact that they got married on 3.1.13 at 13.31 due to their mutual love of numbers.

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They decided to get married in the Brooklodge in County Wicklow, because they wanted a cozy venue with relaxed ambience that would make their guests feel welcome and at home. Being an Italian-Irish wedding food was a very important factor. They wanted somewhere that could provide the best in seasonal, local and high quality food and that could also marry the best of Irish and Italian cuisine. Brooklodge managed to deliver all that and more for the couple and their 185 guests.

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Paul and Lucia at Paul Kelly Studio3 always look forward to  Catherine’s visits for coffee and chats and albums and unusual wedding prints.

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We like to ask our couples what the best part/moment of their wedding day was.

Here is what Catherine and Barbato answered to that question:

Having one of the first ‘Gatherings’ of the year – it was so special to get so many of the people who are important to us together for our special day. The sun shining in through the stained glass windows at the altar just as we said our vows, the beautifully mild weather on the day, the exceptional food and wine in Brooklodge, Paul’s photobooth, the music, dancing, chat and singsong all made for an incredibly memorable day.

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Walking down the aisle in Trinity College

We have to admit some weddings are just so much fun to shoot and be part of. Avril and Austin’s wedding in August was definitely one of them. Such a lovely and fun couple who had the ceremony in Trinity College followed by a lovely reception in Marquees among the beautiful Wicklow countryside.













Catherine and Rob at the Carton House

It was yet another fabulous sunny day at the Carton House, Kildare for the special day of Catherine and Rob. We loved working with the couple and it was very clear how very much in love.they are. Rob swept Catherine off her feet with a Hollywood style kiss surrounded by a magnificent garden with the historic building behind them.

The Carton House, one of the most luxurious venues in Ireland, is famous for making each wedding personal and unique and we think they’ve succeeded yet again with a fantastic day for Catherine and Rob.