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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Outdoor Communion photo shoot. Donadea Forest Park near Dublin.

This outdoor Communion photo shoot in Donadea Forest Park with mum, dad, brother, grandma and a long time friend of the family. Of course, the star of the show - one girl in a gorgeous Communion dress along with veil and long white gloves.

Communion is such a special day for all the family & friends here in Dublin, Ireland. Communions here commonly take place in May. Communion photo shoots Dublin with me can be at the church, home, and any outdoor location you love! Communion photography can also be a day before or after the main day.

This family had come straight from mass at the church on route to home where a party & further celebrations were planned. This outdoor Communion photo shoot was one hour en route home at Donadea Forest Park, a leafy forest park in Kildare, near Dublin.

Outdoor Communion photo shoots are really popular at the beach or park, or a much loved local beauty spot outside. For example, a beach Communion photography session in Howth HERE.

I wanted to make sure I had a mix of classic child portraits for this Communion photography session as well as candid documentary family photography.

Here are a couple of examples of classic Communion child portraits. A close up of this Communion girl's face so you can see her head dress and veil. For these, the background falls into soft focus so her face & expression is the focus.

close up of Communion girl smiling with headband and veil and dress in soft focus. natural, classic communion portrait by cara
Communion Girl

girl in communion dress with headband and veil with castle ruins behind her in soft focus
Fairytale Communion

Then I asked her to move and twirl with the family standing close by. First twirling on her own, and afterwards, with mum, dad & brother. I repeated the twirling under the shade of trees on a forest lane.

girl in communion dress and long gloves swinging her bag and veil flying with family watching and the ruins of a castle in the background

Here's dad giving his Communion girl a helping hand under the shade of some trees!

dad helping his daughter to spin in her communion gown in a forest park

And back again twirling with her brother. You can see the edge of light & shade very clearly in this picture and how she is not blown out because of being able to use the shade from trees. Shooting this Communion girl from the back, I can clearly see her brother's smiling face.

brother dancing with his sister in a communion gown on a lawn with castle in background and family member watching close by

The weather was boiling. Seriously, for Ireland it was a very hot day!!

This outdoor Communion photo shoot was at 2pm, when the sun is almost at its highest point in the sky. Without shade, this meant intense harsh light. Arriving at the forest park in Kildare, near Dublin, this meant seeking out some shelter.

I chose a lane flanked by tall trees for more Communion portraits. These had a really candid, care free feel.

I picked a bunch of wildflowers for this little girl to hold in her hands to give a natural focal point to these Communion pictures.

girl in Communion dress holding a bunch of wild flowers including dandelions on a county lane in forest park with lots of light and shade on the path
Bunch of flowers

girl in communion dress blowing on dandelion flowers and scattering seeds. outdoor communion photo shoot dublin.

As well as natural, vivid color I love to include black & white in my child & family galleries. Black & white works particularly well when there is high contrast between light & shade. It can also soften the bright tones of color that go hand in hand with more intense mid afternoon light.

girl in communion dress with face semi obscured by her holding wild dandelions

And now for the fun bit. Since the light was so hard it was great to simply embrace those intense light and shadows. When this little girl climbed her favorite tree in her Communion dress, I could capture the leaf print shadows across her dress. Since I already had plenty of classic Communion portraits, it was okay to experiment with the intense light, particularly as she did want to revisit a favorite tree...

girl in communion dress standing on branch of tree with leaf shadows cast across her dress
Shadows on a Communion dress

When I am doing outdoor Communion family photography Dublin, I love to take the children on an adventure. On my beach Communion photo shoot we ended up tumbling down a sand dune and this was one of this family's favorite pictures. There is a great fun contrast between being dressed up like a princess and going on a childhood adventure which might mean getting a bit mucky. The contrast gives a bit of interest and a storytelling element to the Communion session.

two sisters tumbling down a sand dune in communion dress and older sister in red dress

I love the interplay between classic Communion portraits & documentary family photography where I capture the moments that come up naturally in the middle of a photo shoot. For instance, when dad took a picture of his daughter on his mobile phone. And when the little girl was so thirsty for Fanta in the heat of the day!

These two pictures here are some of my favorites from this outdoor Communion photo shoot in Donadea Forest Park. For more unscripted family photography Dublin moments, please visit my Fly On The Wall page HERE

dad taking a picture of his daughter in communion dress climbing a tree with her brother

girl in communion dress drinking bottle of Fanta her dad is holding out to her

For more Communion family photography you can visit my family sessions page HERE.

I offer three popular packages for my family photo shoots Dublin. Communion photography can be at the church, mass, and at your own home & garden. They can also be in an outdoor location before, after or on the day of the Communion.

For more information or to book your family session please contact me HERE & have a great week, Cara x


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