7 Ireland Photography Tips

In the spirit of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I have Ireland on my mind. You guys. If you haven’t traveled to Ireland yet, then please add it to your bucket list. From the sprawling landscape to the friendly people, I’ve been to Ireland a few times and I can guarantee that you will love your trip. Anywhere that you travel in the beautiful country, you are bound to stumble upon an incredible photo opportunity. Instead of being overwhelmed by the task at hand, follow these seven simple tips and arrive home with photos of Ireland that you will cherish forever.

7 Ireland Photography Tips

With so much to do and see, how can you document your trip through photographs? Here are seven (lucky number 7 … get it? Hint: Luck O’ the Irish) photography tips when photographing in Ireland.

1.) Stop at the Pull-Off Spots

As you drive through the winding roads of Ireland, you’ll notice that there are pull-off stops alongside the road. Even though stopping will add more time to your journey, be sure to do so. During my last trip to Ireland, we stopped at more than a handful of pull-off spots and I’m so glad that we did. These pull-off spots offered such a unique photography opportunity.  
Take for example the photo above. When we first stopped at this pull-off spot on the side of the road, we came across horses and sheep. I was able to capture them on the coast with the ocean behind them. The ocean backdrop with the animals and greenery in the foreground made for such a beautiful moment in photography. As we kept walking, we came across a cliff that overlooked the ocean. I turned around and the photo above is what I captured. Had we kept driving, I never would’ve been able to create one of my favorite photographs from our trip.
The roads of Ireland may be narrow and filled with sheep, but the roads are also photographer-friendly. There are a lot of spots along the roadways that allow you to pull off to the side of the road, squeeze in a break from being in the car, take in the scenery, and create a few photographs.

2.) Capture the Animals

Yes, you read that correctly. The landscape of Ireland is full of animals. From sheep to horses to llamas, you’re bound to see countless animals during your trip. Why not capture them? They are part of your journey and they help tell the story.
During my last trip to Ireland, we stayed in a room that backed up next to a farm. While trying to fight jetlag, I went for a walk to get fresh air. When I walked up to the farm’s edge, I came face-to-face with the beautiful horse pictured above. I waited and waited until he made eye contact and then I hit the shutter button. This photo will forever remind me of the alone time that I had during my first day on the trip and how special that time was for me.

3.) Document the Landmarks

Ireland is full of beautiful landmarks that should be captured on film. The last thing that you want to do is take a lot of detailed and angled photographs. Then, return home only to find that you missed out on capturing the landmarks throughout the country. 
The photo, pictured above, is of The Trinity College Library. As soon as I rounded the corner and saw what I captured above, the sight took my breath away. I saw that cameras were not allowed in this part of the library. However, the security guard allowed me to photograph and I will be forever thankful for that opportunity. 
When photographing landmarks, be sure to capture the overall landmark but then be sure to also document the details as well. 

4.) Pick a Theme

Ireland has so much history and beauty … it can be a bit overwhelming at times. From the cemeteries to the doors to the landmarks, with so much to see and do, you’ll want to capture most of it via photographs. What I fell in love with during my last trip to Ireland were fences, doors, and celtic crosses. I played a little game of Frogger to capture the doorway pictured above. It was well worth the effort since this was one of my favorite doors captured. 

5.) Use the Weather to Your Advantage

As you probably know, the weather in Ireland is almost always overcast. Letting what you can’t control dictate attitudes of what you can control is a sure setup for failure. While not every day will be sunny, there’s beauty in the mood of fog, rain, and snow. Be sure to capture that beauty.

6.) Minimize and Maximize Your Equipment

When packing for my last trip to Ireland, I decided to pack only one lens: my nifty fifty. Shocking, right? I couldn’t believe it either. In the end, I’m so happy that I made that decision. Having that one lens on hand at all times made me think creatively. Pick your favorite lens and stick with it. Extra gear can hold you back due to the extra bulk and weight. Also, changing gear all the time might make you miss a magical moment. 

7.) Look for the Unexpected

During one stop that we made during my last trip to Ireland, I saw a fence that I couldn’t wait to capture on film. When I looked to the right, I stopped dead in my tracks and just about freaked out from happiness. What did I see that was placed ever so perfectly on the fence? A colorful fabric (pictured above) which brought out and tied together all of the photos of the landscape. I couldn’t wait to capture this moment. You never know what you might come across to always be on the lookout and embrace the moment. 

What’s your favorite travel photography tip?

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