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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Baptism family photography in Stillorgan, South Dublin


My most recent baptism. Here at Our Lady Queen Of Peace, Dublin.

Baptism & christening, as it turns out, are one of my very favorite celebrations to photograph. I love documentary family photography and the baptism mass allows me to capture candid moments throughout this special ceremony. I am going to write a separate blog on the unique challenges of baptism photo shoots (...starting with the dark church/ lighting conditions...) but also, the potential for really interesting, joyful pictures with all the celebratory and ritualistic aspects of the mass.

My latest documentary baptism photo shoot, Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, near Ballsbridge, Dublin.

mum dressing baby boy in baptism clothes after wetting of baby's head
After the Baptism

Yes, baby is crying after the wetting of the head, but all these details are part of the story of this special day. Mum and dad & godmother all concerned as they dry baby boy's head...

baby being towel dried after wetting at baptismal font with mum and dad and godmother drying baby with concerned expressions
Crying after the wetting of baby's head

Then, all the fun moments. I love to capture baby laughing with dad, sat in the pews before the christening mass...

dad turning dad upsdie down as mum watches in the pews at church before the bapismal mass
Fun In the Pews

And don't forget what the other guest's children are up to in the pews. I like to capture all the unexpected moments as they arise!

little boy slumping over pew in church during baptism mass as mother and father listen to the mass

Baptism in Kilmacud Church, Stillorgan, Dublin

This was such a fun baptism photo shoot in South Dublin with baby & all the extended family. Starting off at the church, capturing the key moment where baby had his sweet head wetted at the baptismal font. After that, a celebration lunch at a nearby hotel. (Documentary Christening Family Photography Stillorgan)

Can't wait to share the full collection from this documentary style christening photo shoot in the heart of Dublin!

For more Christening family photo shoots Dublin, please see the Orthodox baptism in Stony batter & Holy Cross Church Christening Dundrum. Also see my Christening in Deer Park, Dublin recent blog post! Updated. I also just did a beautiful baptism in Our Lady Queen of Peace church near Sydney Terrace, Dublin. More to follow!

Over a 2 hour photo shoot which I advise for larger groups, extended family & friends, I could capture many candid photos of the family interacting together, classic family portraits at the christening and the documentary moments as they unfolded, particularly at the church.

baby boy wrapped in white blanket having head wetted at baptismal font in church as dad holds him. showing priest pouring water on baby's head. emotive baptism photographer dublin. bapism family photoshoot, in church and celebration after

I love this moment with wetting of baby's head, the way his little hands are held out at the font and the beads of water captured as they fall across his face!

Using a documentary style approach I captured the priest holding baby and performing the baptism ceremony. It is important to capture as many key moments as possible that tell the story of his baptism in an emotive way (emotive family photography)

Priest smiling at baby in babptism clothes as he holds him in church in front of the pews of family members. christening family photography by cara hodge photography dublin

In addition to this, I loved to capture baby in his dad's arms at the pew. As well as in the arms of other family members, particularly where I could also bring in the statue of Mary in the background or flickering canles by the alter. (More to follow on the photo shoot page of this action packed christening...

dad touching baby's wet head after the baptism
After the baptism

In doting neices arms (below) with other family members cherishing this gorgeous baby boy! I love to capture really natural, unposed movement & gesture.

neice holding baby in baptism clothes as other family member, girl in blue dress, gently touches his cheek

The light in the church was pretty non-existant. There was a small slither of natural light coming from a sky light above which I used as much as possible for a source of natural light. Other then that, I had to use flash photography in the church (which also had bright fluorescent style light) and in the Talbot hotel after, which equally had a lot of artificial lighting. Using Photoshop in the editing stage, I reduced the brassy warmer tones caused by the artificial light to cool off the portraits. Even with the flash, the low light meant I used a higher ISO, so I embraced the grain and made sure to sharpen the pictures and lift the shadows in the editing process.

By the way, I love the editing process when I do up my family photography Dublins sessions! I love cranking up the music and getting into the flow of editing my favorite pictures from the session.

For this Stillorgan baptism, I edited in color but also included some classic black & white portraits too.

(Below). Dad handing baby over the priest to be baptised (man, I did not want to miss this very special moment!). Without a doubt THE most important moment of the whole shoot was the wetting of the babies head!

dad about to lift baby swaddled in baptism clothes over to the priest right before baptism. christening and baptism photographer dublin with a documentary approach. candid, emotive family photographer dublin

Afterwards at the Talbot hotel Stillorgan below, I went around capturing as many of the guests as possible as they sit around the tables, each taking their turns to hold baby!

baby on a lady's lap being held also by the hand by another lady, at table with celebartion lunch. documentary style christening photo shoot by cara hodge photography
Content after the baptism

I LOVE this moment when the priest who was at the after party sat down on a chair holding baby, and with grandfather watching with a doting expression.

priest holding baby on his lap at after party as grandfather looks on
Held by the Priest

It was important to capture as many guests as possible of course. With a two hour event photo shoot it is possible to take individual portraits of family members and friends interacting naturally.

Two sisters holding a young girl in a pink tutu at christening after party Dublin. cara hodge photography, award winning family photographer dublin

And of course a few classic portraits of gorgeous baby boy taking a rest in his pram! (below). If there is an event with baby or newborn as the star of the show, solo portraits are a must.

baby in white clothes and little white cap in his pram as hand gently reaches to hold his hand. christening after party photo shoot by cara hodge photography dublin
Baby In Pram

To see more baptism & christening photoshoots please see my family highlights page, and my recent photo shoots page. I cannot wait to feature the full session from this fun filled baptism. It is one of my very favorite family photography sessions so far this year & I would LOVE to do more christening shoots next year.

For more information on my Christening photo shoots and baptism family photography, please contact me for further enquries. I am available before, during & after the special mass, for celebrations throughout the day & evening. Also for Holy Communion family photography before and after the mass.

Cara x


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