Your Presenters

Ronan Palliser

Dublin, Ireland


From Cork, but living in Dublin in Ireland, I have been shooting weddings since 2009 and loving every minute of it. My approach to a wedding is not to be a “bride and groom” photographer, but to try to capture the essence of the day. I do a minimal set of formal shots (so minimal, that I sometimes catch hotels and videographers off guard, in fact), but for the last 6 or 7 years have made it a habit to try to do a night portrait of the couple between dinner and dancing, which (in Ireland at least) can be anytime between 10 and 11pm. Since I started adding those shots to my coverage I’ve been getting booked, almost exclusively, for full day packages – occasionally I’m told I’ve been booked just for the night shot. I believe that there’s an untapped market out there for some many photographers who aren’t offering full day coverage to add value and boost their income without needing to book more weddings, simply by gaining confidence with shooting a photo like the couple won’t have seen in what can sometimes be a difficult venue, or in very little light. I’m an active member of the Irish Professional Photographers & Videographers Association since 2013, and have twice been finalist in the Irish Professional Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards. I’m looking forward to the community aspect of the NineDots Gathering and, as my fourth NineDots event, catching up with new faces and familiar ones.

Mini - Masterclass

A Shot In The Dark - Lighting the landscape for night-time portraits

Night time portraits are fast becoming a regular part of wedding photography, and bring new challenges that you may not have faced before. Finding the best light for your portraits is one thing if there is light, but when the winter sun sets at 4.30pm and it’s dark before dinner what do you do when there’s no light to be found? Not only do you have to light your couple, but you have to light the environment too. What if the environment is small, dingy or just a bit crap? What if it’s epic and awesome and way bigger than you can light? And what if your go-to night time shots are the backlit umbrella shot and the silhouette that everyone else is doing, and you want to push yourself to new creative areas?

This presentation-based mini-masterclass will focus on what’s (literally) behind the couple, and will give you practical tips and advice, by way of behind-the-scenes shots, on creating an environment for your night portraits using off camera flash. I will show you how I build up the light in a scene one flash at a time, with each flash solving a problem. The aim is to have an epic backdrop for your couple before you fetch them, pose them and light them. By giving you the tools to understand what you can do with one flash you’ll come away knowing how to light any scene with many flashes, and create a canvas for your night time portraits that wow your couples.