I always come back to this shot as a favourite. It’s hard to really feel it’s impact in 900px. That’s why I am a firm believer in printing your images and this one wants to be a large canvas.

The negative space on this image draws me in and that linked with the very soft, muted tones adds to a feeling of calm and peace. It tells of the vastness of the ocean, the immensity of nature, and how we are a small but important piece of that. I don’t always shoot this far back but on this particular evening I really wanted to capture that sense of awe and beauty. I wanted them to remember that feeling of it just being the two of them there, holding hands and to almost be able to hear the soft sound of the waves lapping against the shore.  There was a look out point on some dunes nearby so I climbed up there to get a better viewpoint and so the ocean could really fill the frame. Before I went I just told them to take a stroll just by themselves keeping close to the shoreline.

The funny thing is, we weren’t planning to create an image like this. It had been a warm, sunny day and just as we arrived at the beach the fog was rolling in and it created a completely different atmosphere.  This is what I love about photography. That it’s best not to overplan and you have to allow for the unexpected and be able to work with that. The great thing is, this means you can start creating something much more authentic and memorable for your clients.  That’s where adventure truly begins.

This was shot with the Canon MKIII, 35mm 1.4 lens. F2 at 1/1600th sec, ISO 200.  It pretty much straight out of camera. I prefer not to use a whole lot of post-processing on my images if I can avoid it, usually just adjusting slightly colour temp or contrast.

One Shot is a new series on our blog asking photographers to choose one of their own images and tell us the background to it. It could be the story, the emotions, the history, the technical aspects. What leads to this moment?


Based in Northern Ireland, Paula O'Hara is recognised far and wide as an incredible talent in wedding photography. Her work is heartfelt, gentle and sensitive. Her quiet, artful approach has lead to her receiving international acclaim. At Photography Farm, we are big fans of Paula's and we are thrilled that she will be returning to our Elements workshop in Belfast on the 19th and 20th of November.