When the pandemic hit, Ruth Calder-Potts gathered together a group of creatives and imagined this dreamily romantic wedding shoot on an organic apple orchard in Kilkenny

This is a story of how a talented group of individuals came together during a pandemic to create a magical photoshoot on my family home; the home where I am to be married next year.

A photoshoot that was possible because an entire industry came to a grinding halt in one of the worst health crises of our lifetime. A story of some light and some joy, created through the darkness.

Allow me to start at the beginning. I’m Ruth, an Irish photographer who got engaged to a wonderful man called Jamie just before the world was turned upside down.

We got engaged in South Africa, came home to Ireland and a week later we went into lockdown. Instead of the usual engagement celebrations with friends and family, we celebrated in our little apartment in Dublin.

Lots of wine was drunk, lots of emotions were felt, good and bad. Then we started talking about when, where and how we would like to get married and finally decided on my parents’ farm, an organic apple orchard in Kilkenny called Highbank Orchards. A date for next year was picked, thinking positively that a celebration would be possible by then. As anyone who has attempted at-home weddings before would know, they are not without their challenges. Everything needs to be thought of, everything… but that’s part of the fun.

However, this is not a story about Ruth and Jamie’s wedding; it’s about a photoshoot. So, let’s cut to the chase…

In the morning light, a figure of a woman could be seen building a giant flower cloud of baby’s breath, suspended between two old fir trees.

This is the florist, Tina McGrath of The Wild Bunch. I met Tina when restrictions were eventually eased and we were able to meet suppliers for our wedding at Highbank Orchards. Tina has the extraordinary ability to create beautifully wild floral masterpieces.

She came out to the farm and we had a walk and discussed how to make the impossible possible and mad ideas a reality. The conversation moved from our wedding to how much we both missed our work; how that urge to do something, to create, is just too strong to ignore.

And so we came up with the idea of a photoshoot. Why not, we thought, it’s the only summer everyone has time on their hands!

An idea of a real bride and groom on top of one of Sigita’s (Fern Cakery) contemporary cakes began to appear in my mind and from there the photoshoot began to blossom.

I asked two close friends who are both talented actors, Shane Robinson and Siobhan Stella, would they mind playing a bride and groom for the day.They said, “YES” (the fact that they both did not mind the idea of going into a lake with a wedding dress or running through barley fields was a plus). Siobhan exclaimed how she could […]