Monthly Archives: January 2019

Wedding Photographer of the Year Shea Deighan | Best Wedding Photographers Northern Ireland

Wedding Photographer of the Year – London 2019

I spent most of the last week in London at the SWPP convention and awards. What a week!

The convention is held annually and this was my first visit. Being surrounded by so many amazing photographers from around the world was a little daunting and I’m glad that my work held up more than well against the rest of the competition.

My photography under the microscope.

Best Wedding Photographer Northern Ireland

As you all know, I was nominated for Wedding Photographer of the Year. What an honour! I was so happy with just the nomination and would have settled for just that if I’m honest.

In the end, I came in third place in the Wedding Day category. How crazy good is that? Third best wedding photographer in the world. An amazing photographer from Australia took first place. I think Australia has the world’s best wedding photographers so to be mentioned in the same breath is amazing for me.

Admittedly, I was a little disappointed for five minutes after my name was called out and I received my award. I really wanted first place and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.

That’s when I realised, professionally speaking, I’m not ready for first place. Third place in an international world renowned competition with hundreds of the world’s best photographers competing is amazing. I am really happy with the award and to be the only Northern Ireland wedding photographer in the mix is another bonus.

Where’s Shea? I promise I’m in there somewhere. :-)

My Journey To Be The Best Wedding Photographer In Ireland

On another note, competitions aren’t just all about winning awards and coming first, second or third. They are all part of the journey. The journey that my myself and my couples are on.

In just a few years, I can stand back and see how much I have grown professionally and how much better the overall standard of my work is compared with yesteryear.

In fairness, my work was good back then but having pushed myself, I’m happy my work is back at an all time high.

This time next year, I hope that I’m writing my blog saying that I have gone up yet another level.

All Of This Is For You

In the end, all this work is for you, my couples. I want to give you my absolute best, all of the time.

Awards are great but the real prize is the reaction I get when I hand over the wedding album to my couples.

Thank You Again

As always, I would not and could not be in this position without the help of my couples. I thank each and every one of you for giving me the opportunity to photograph your wedding.

If you are a future bride or groom, will you come on this journey with me? Let’s see what we can create for next year’s awards.

Wedding Photographer of the Year – 3rd Place


Week Two. What’s been going on?

Hey everyone, it’s almost the middle of January so it really is back to porridge for everyone. Hope you have all had a great week are looking forward to the weekend.

So what’s been going on?

On Monday, I visited lovely Cookstown, County Tyrone for a PPANI seminar with Gary Hill. Gary is a portrait photographer and his seminar was about studio lighting and techniques. It was great but the best part of the day was meeting some faces I haven’t seen for a while.

For any fellow full-time professional photographers reading this, the PPANI is a great organisation and something you should be part of so try to become a qualified member of it. The PPANI trys to ensure that it’s members meet a high standard of photography.

PPANI seminar, Cookstown, Tyrone

Like Hollywood, it really is awards season everywhere and in addition to my visit to London next week for my nomination for Wedding Photographer of the Year, I’ve been putting together some of my best images from 2018 for the upcoming PPANI awards.

The PPANI awards is a local Northern Ireland competition and the best photographers in Northern Ireland submit images of your best work from 2018.

It is difficult to get nominated for the wedding categories because it is the strongest and most competitive section of the awards.

I really love this image. Is this charming little man singing or yawning?

I really love the reportage wedding category. It’s so much fun looking back and seeing some of the funniest characters from my weddings over the last year.

I’d love to get nominated again. Fingers crossed I will as it’s a great measuring stick to see how well your work is doing. I’m always striving to be the best wedding photographer that I can be and the awards are a tool to help you be your best.

From Una & David’s fab wedding. One of my favourites from 2018. Will it be a winner?

In a moment of great self confidence, I purchased a real bow tie for the awards in London. Several YouTube videos later, I’ve managed to successfully tie it once. I immediately pulled it apart to see if I could do it again, I could not. Hopefully I get the hang of it before next week.

The rest of my week has been split up between appointments for new wedding photography couples and editing.

I’m editing Samantha & Mark’s amazing wedding from Roe Park Resort in Limavady at the moment. It’s nearly ready and I can’t wait to share the images with Sam and Mark as well as one or two shots on the world wide web.

This Sunday. Thr City Hotel Derry Wedding Fair

On Sunday, I’ll be exhibiting at the lovely City Hotel in Derry for their wedding fair. It’s open from 1pm to 4pm which is an hour earlier than normal. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there.

With all the awards news lately I’m in such a good mood so I might have an offer or two for you if you come along.

Have a great weekend and hopefully I’ll see you at Sunday’s fair in Derry.

New Year, new challenges and new successes.

First things, first. Happy new year. I hope 2019 is both happy and healthy for you and your families. If you are reading this post, you are probably getting married so I wish you well in your planning and hope your wedding day is amazing.

One of my MANY new year’s resolutions is to begin a blog on my website. A blog that I intend to keep up to date, hopefully.

I loved 2018, it rocked. It was amazing but I have a feeling 2019 is going to be even better. Let’s hope there is plenty to talk about.

January 2019 is only a few days old but already it has been crazy busy with enquiries, consultations and bookings.

In case you missed it, my diary for 2020 weddings is now officially open. Selected dates for 2019 weddings are available. Please check your availability on my booking page.

I began 2019 spending the day with my nieces and a visit to Ikea in Belfast. It’s great for little things and my new studio has plenty of Ikea charm. For my youngest niece, Ikea proved to be an adventure park for her and I hope Santa can fit some lay flat boxes into his sack for Christmas next year!

Ikea selfie. :-)

Back to work and already I’ve met some of the nicest couples in this lovely country and I’m happy to help them plan their wedding day beginning with their photography. (Shout outs to: Anne Marie, Charles, Kimberly, Neil, Audrey, Steven, Kelly & Peter.)

All this has been happening in my new studio at the Diamond Centre in Claudy. It’s a brilliant space and everyone who has visited have commented how great it is and how easy it was for them to visit.

A professional studio premises is a must have for any professional photographer and something every proper photographer should have.

In a couple of weeks, I’m off to merry old London. (Cue thoughts of Joey from Friends stepping into a map to find his way.) Before I began my journey in photography, I’d never been to the big smoke. In recent years, I’ve visited on quite a few times for various photography events.

Joey & Chandler from Friends – “The One with Ross’s Wedding”

The next visit is the start of a new adventure for me. I’m nominated for Wedding Photographer of the Year. How crazy is that? I found out in December that I was nominated and I still can’t believe it.

In a world where it seems everyone is an award winning photographer and there is almost an award for everything it’s almost natural to assume that this one is as artificial as the others you see floating around on social media.

It’s not. It’s as authentic as I am.

Along with the WPPI, the SWPP is one of the most respected photography organisations in the world. If you are fortunate enough to get nominated or win anything with either of these organisations, you are doing very well.

To be in the position I am in took a lot of hard work, a lot of luck and I am so unbelievably happy to be in the mix for winning the top prize in wedding photography.

The biggest reason for my success is of course my past, current and future brides & grooms. Without each and everyone of you, I would not be in such a position and I thank you all.

It doesn’t get much better than this and even though I am so happy to be involved, a little bit of me is sad as this might be the only time in my career that I reach such a height.

When I get to London, win or lose, I hope to make the most of it.

One of my other new year’s resolutions is calling me so that’s all for now.

Enjoy your weekend.

Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International