Travel Family Photography | Hill of Tara, Ireland

Family enjoying countryside walk together.

Today I am featuring a travel family photography session in Ireland. Follow along as I share the story of a family of three from the USA, documenting their adventures at Bellinter House and the Hill of Tara. Erin, the mother – and a journalist – crafted an inquiry that had me looking forward to our time together.

From her first email, she spoke my language:

I’m a journalist and your work reminds me of all my photog friends. You capture life as it happens.

Living in the United States and of Irish descent, Erin wanted to surprise her husband with a family photography session while they were visiting Ireland again.

6 years ago, Sean proposed to Erin on the Hill of Tara, so it was only natural to return there with their son Jack.

We want our little boy to see the place we got engaged.

Ballinter house in Ireland with blue sky and red door

I suggested that we start the session at Bellinter’s house where they were staying, in their bedroom. First of all, it’s a beautiful location and most importantly, photographs taken in a vacation accommodation (with all the “mess” we bring with us when we travel with a small one) would bring them right back to their vacation later on.

little boy hypnotised by the TV while his mother hand the remote over

Erin LOVED the idea.

It’s all these small moments that matter but no one captures. I want these photos to capture us as we are right now. Raising a toddler in the rough and tumble of living a life.

Parents playing with toddler on bed
Toddler laughing during playtime on bed.
Mother putting suncream on toddler on bed with toys in hotel room.

Then, we went together to the Hill of Tara and I photographed their family as they explored together and reminisced about their proposal.

There is something very special about their proposal story. Erin had been to the Hill of Tara many years previous with a friend and the wishing well held a special place in her heart. Sean didn’t know any of this when he chose to propose to her a few years later.

Hearing their story felt very special and a bit surreal… and when we got to the wishing well, a new bench had been erected and it said “Jack’s Seat”. I think we all felt the magical power of the Hill of Tara and its legends at that particular moment! You couldn’t make it up.

We never had proper engagement photos taken! And we were returning to the spot where we got engaged, so I wanted someone, the right someone, to capture that moment for us.

Toddler with pacifier leaning on wooden furniture.
Woman using phone in bedroom, reflected in mirror.

As a journalist, I treasure photos that show people living everyday life, and I wanted that part of us captured. When I found Johanna’s website, I loved her shots. Her ability to tell a story with an artistic eye. I wanted to touch her photos. They’re visceral experiences.

Woman and child existing vintage styled room.
Toddler smiling, family gathering indoors.

The day was everything I hoped it would be. I felt so seen. So special. Jack took to Johanna right away, and she captured little moments of him and us with him, just as I’d hoped she would.

Father smiling, baby foreground, classic interior decor.

She put me and Sean at ease right away. After a few great shots, I’d asked her to take, we all got into our rental and Sean drove us through narrow hedge-lined roads to the Hill of Tara. Being back for the first time since we got engaged there in 2014 but now with the addition of little Jack was special enough, but having Johanna with us to take photos as we lived the experience meant so much.

Close-up of a woman's hands, wearing rings.
Family enjoying countryside walk together at the Hill of Tara in Ireland.
Couple embracing in sunny countryside field

And the results — such perfect images to remind us of that day together and Jack as an 18-month-old — were exactly what I wanted. They mean the world to me. As a mom, I feel how quick time passes in my bones, and how fleeting every moment is. She froze that experience for us. She stopped time!

Man and baby enjoying outdoor playtime under blue sky, Hill of Tara.
Man pretending to propose to woman near standing stone outdoors at the Hill of Tara.
Man kissing woman's hand outdoors
Family enjoying sunny day outdoors

I marvel at our photos around our house daily and feel the power of that day.

Mother embracing toddler, black and white photo.
Mother and child enjoying a sunny day outdoors.
People walking on country trail, woman in floral dress.

My wedding photos were not exactly what I wanted, and in many ways, this photoshoot with Johanna made up for that.

Woman and child walking towards churchyard in sunlight at the Hill of Tara.
Family enjoying countryside walk near old church.
Family walking on country path, sunny day.
Mother and child sharing a moment on a bench outdoors that says Jack's Seat.
Informational sign about The Well at Tara.
Family enjoying sunny day at the Hill of Tara Wishing Well.
Mother, child, affectionate moment, black and white photo.
Woman exiting stone structure outdoors.
Tourists walking near countryside church on sunny day.
Toddler asleep in car safety seat.

Thank you again Erin for having me capture that special day for you. It was an honour!

As I wrap up this blog post I’m reminded of the joy of capturing special moments with loved ones. If you’re interested in documenting your own family adventures, find out more about my travel photography sessions and reach out to schedule your own session. Let’s create memories together that you’ll cherish forever.


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