Traveling- The Emerald City to the Emerald Isle| Day Tripping Outside of Belfast- Part 1 of 2

Tag along for our first day of day tripping outside of Belfast in Northern Ireland. We've come from Seattle to road trip around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and today we're stopping at Carrick-A-Rede and Kinbane Castle! 

One of the things we love about Belfast is that it's so easy to stay in the city and day trip out to some phenomenal Northern Ireland natural beauty. From Giants Causeway to Carrick-A-Rede to Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, Dunluce Castle and soooo many more, there are tons of jaw dropping attractions around the area.

At just under an hour and a half, our first stop of the day was Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. If you've been following my Ireland stories or personally know me, you know that the last time we were in Ireland I was insanely sick with a six week viral infection. Possibly one of the worst days of sickness was during our visit to the Giants Causeway and Carrick-A-Rede. Feeling much better this time around, I was determined to cross the bridge. Hanging almost 100 feet above water, the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge links the island of Carrickarede and is thought to have been crossed by salmon fishers for over 350 years. While the new bridge is as new as 2008, in 2017 before our trip, a good for nothing vandalist tried to cut the bridge, resulting in closure of the bridge obviously for safety concerns. When we saw the news, I was so infuriated that 1. someone would do that, and 2. I hadn't been able to cross it and they weren't sure of the reopening at the time, if ever. Therefore, we made it a point to add it back to our trip list to conquer it once and for all. Welp.. I wish I could tell you a happy story about how I conquered the bridge and checked it off my bucket list... but the one thing about traveling folks- make sure you get to popular destinations first thing in the morning, possibly even before opening. Upon reaching the line and hoping it'd move along and work out, we ultimately decided that there were so many other amazing things to see for free and didn't want to spend our time in Ireland waiting in half day long (or more) lines. The one thing about Carrick-A-Rede is because it's so small, they only allow so many people over the bridge at a time and you're only allowed to spend so long on the island. While that's fine and dandy, the process still can be grueling for the wait and you just have to determine whether the wait is worth it to you.

Since we'd already been to Carrick-A-Rede, we decided to do some exploring on a side trail heading away from the parking lot. Despite the BONE CHILLING wind, the views were drool worthy. Pro Tip: If you're visiting any part of the coastline in Ireland, definitely bring a beanie or snug hat as the wind stings your ears and any attempt to tame longer hair is feeble. As you can see in the fifth picture down, my hair was just constantly standing on end and I was pretty over it after a couple of minutes. 

There is a small snack bar serving soup at Carrick-A-Rede, but fighting the crowd to see the menu proved pointless (can't we all just kindly wait our turn, btw!?). We were grateful for the break from rude tourists anyways, and drove into Ballintoy for a bite. We chose to eat at Fullerton Arms after seeing some really good reviews. In my opinion, the food was just okay, but my husband loved the fish and chips. The bartenders were friendly, however, and we love the small town pub culture where fires crackle in stone hearths and an Irish Wolfhound was fed chips and given pats. Fullerton Arms Restaurant is hidden behind door number 6 in the Game of Thrones series themed door carved from a tree that fell in the Dark Hedges. If you're a GOT buff or fan, it is cool to see, however, please be courteous of the people actually trying to get in and out of the restaurant. I snapped a quick picture and moved on, but we had a hard time pressing past the tourists off of a tour bus to dine. 


Kinbane Head & Kinbane Castle

In all honesty, I'm conflicted sharing or speaking about Kinbane. It's truly a hidden gem and while I'd love for others to discover it, part of the reason we loved it so much was the lack of tourists and epic awe-ness that the solidarity provided. If I were to visit Kinbane again (which I absolutely would) I would pack a lunch and picnic down there for the majority of the day. The lapping of the sea against the rocks below the castle, the stream of water cascading off of the lush green cliff and the whisper of grasses around the castle was bliss. The walk down and up from the castle isn't extremely difficult, but still proves quite a trek. We were on a bit of a time crunch and spent only about 2 hours at Kinbane, but I'd rather have spent at least 4 just soaking up the beauty. This is also absolutely a place to bring warm clothes. I happened to remember that I had a little knit ear warmer band in the car and that at least saved me from withering away from chill. 

Kinbane was a good reminder that although you want to see so many things when you're traveling, if you find a place that sings to your heart, take the time to revel in it. Even if it means coming back a second day or pushing back plans, part of traveling is experiencing the world and letting it take it's hold on you. 

With wind chilled cheeks and tangled hair, we drove in stunning golden light back to Belfast for another night. 

...Stay tuned for more blogs about our trip from the Emerald City to the Emerald Isle- Road trips around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland!

Brittingham Photography is located in Orting, Washington and specializes in natural High School Senior portraits. We also offer Britt Beauty Sessions (individual women's shoots), Lifestyle Newborn, Couples Sessions and Intimate Family Photos. Thank you for stopping by to read my little blog!

-Andrea Brittingham

Owner, Photographer
Orting, Washington Photographer


Instagram Best Nine: 2017| Orting, Washington Photographer

It seems another year is upon us, and while I've never been a big one on resolutions, I do like to take some time to reflect back on the year. Growing is realizing your weaknesses and celebrating your strengths. Having the opportunity to see your favorite images from the year is so humbling and wonderful! I love that I get to see what my audience is loving most, and to see my growth in each image. 

1. #thatpnwballerina -Kelsey's Pike Place Market, Seattle Senior Photos

Ever since picking up a camera, a ballet shoot has been the top of my list. I absolutely love the movement, strength, grace and beauty ballet displays. When Kelsey mentioned she did ballet and asked to do photos in her tutu she REALLY had to twist my arm. Totally kidding. This couldn't have been a better first try at a ballet shoot. I love mood, fog, simple colors and no fuss and while these may not be traditional dance photos, I'm really proud that they're not. These are truly #thatpnwballerina and I think that's amazing. And... do I even have to mention how gorgeous Kelsey is!??? Probably not, since you voted a second image from this shoot as number 2!

See the blog post here: Seattle Ballet Senior Photos in Pike Place Market 

Image Taken: August, 30th 2017
Subject: Kelsey Summers, Emerald Ridge High School Senior


2. #thatpnwballerina -Kelsey's Pike Place Market, Seattle Senior Photos

Am I surprised to see this shoot on this list a second time? Absolutely not. Thank you Kelsey for being so gorgeous, and killing it! I just have to add that when you trust me and relax in front of the camera, magic happens. Easier said than done, but Kelsey's confidence and calmness really come across in this photo. This was all her, simply breathing and playing with her tutu.

See the blog post here: Seattle Ballet Senior Photos in Pike Place Market 

Image Taken: August, 30th 2017
Subject: Kelsey Summers, Emerald Ridge High School Senior


3. Gracie's Rialto Theater, Tacoma, Washington Senior Photos

Sweet Gracie! The Rialto is one of my favorite spots in Tacoma to use as a backdrop. It adds a fun sparkle and minimal hint of color. I love it when I have clients that listen to outfit suggestions as well. While everyone has their own style, the atmosphere and my editing style really affect the flow of a photo. Gracie's simple black top and gorgeous gentle curls allow her to be the star of this shot without fighting the background. A little behind the scenes- I had Gracie looking at her friend Amy, which resulted in this adorable smile! If you're shy, bringing a friend along to your shoot can be fun and bring out more candid reactions as you'll focus on the camera less. 

See the blog post here: Downtown Tacoma Washington Senior Photos

Image Taken: August, 7th 2017
Subject: Gracie Walters, Puyallup High School Senior


4. Kyra's Olympia, Washington Britt Beauty Model Photos

I'm so excited to see this image on the list! This is one of my most recent shoots, with my most up to date editing and style of shooting. I love that you guys are loving it, and Kyra's stunning smile is definitely the crowd pleaser! Yay for these beautiful wintery tones, rich ruddy hair and nose wrinkle smiles! 

See the blog post here: Olympia Portrait Session- Coming Soon!

Image Taken: December 23, 2017
Subject: Kyra Combs, Modelling a Britt Beauty Session


5. Gracie's Mount Rainier, Britt Key Team Model Photos

Hey! Look who it is again! This has been one of my favorite shots because I'm all about embracing this Washington rain! It's not always realistic to do an entire shoot in the rain, but you can't get any more PNW than this! Thank you Gracie for laughing off the raindrops even when they were rolling down your face! 

See the blog post here: Gracie's Mount Rainier Senior Session

Image Taken: April 22, 2017
Subject: Gracie Walters, Puyallup High School Senior

Brittingham Photography Gracie Mount Rainier Senior Photos.jpg

6. Leah's Mount Rainier, Washington Britt Beauty Model Photos

This is another more recent shoot and so spontaneous! Leah is a former Britt Key Team Rep of mine and while she was home from college over Thanksgiving we headed out to Mount Rainier. Rainier has so many stunning scenic spots, but I love stopping at some of the less used places. This particular spot is always a challenge due to a shadowy tree line, but still produces a stunning backdrop. I had Leah doing a slight half swirl, which she looked at me like I had two heads when I asked it of her, but clearly it worked! I love the movement in this shot and Leah's beautiful berry colored poncho contrasting with the deep blues and greens. 

See the blog post here: Leah's Mount Rainier Britt Beauty Session

Image Taken: November 25, 2017
Subject: Leah Britt, Boise State University, Modelling a Britt Beauty Session


7. Kelsey's Britt Key Team, Mount Rainier Senior Model Photos

We meet again! This beaut graces our list again, this time sans the tutu in place of... jeans! This is a top favorite image of mine because THE CONFIDENCE. Gah, I just love it when my subjects kill it! Kelsey's simple, yet trendy attire, bold lip and the stunning Mount Rainier bridge backdrop paired with a capital "C" Chin up Confidence just couldn't let you down. I'm seeing a ton of Mount Rainier photos on this list and I'm loooving it. I know where I'll be heading again soon! 

See the blog post here: Kelsey's Mount Rainier Senior Photos

Image Taken: April 9th, 2017
Subject: Kelsey Summers, Emerald Ridge High School Senior

Brittingham Photography Kelsey Mount Rainier Senior Photos.jpg

8. Mara's Olympia, Washington Britt Beauty Model Photos

Mara was probably one of my first models ever when I started out, so I loved getting to work with her again. The fact that we actually made it through this shoot with all of our fingers and toes AND a top photo is a miracle. These photos were taken during a winter wind storm and OMG IT WAS SO COLD. Like, top most cold moments I've ever been in my life. The wind rattled overhead so intense, even yelling to hear one another was almost impossible and it shot off of the waves by the water like frigid knives. And yet, look at Mara. Nothing less than a fairy princess. 

See the blog post here: Mara's Olympia Britt Beauty Session

Image Taken: January 2nd, 2017
Subject: Mara McKain-Pitts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Modelling a Britt Beauty Session


9. Lucy's Orting, Washington Senior Photos

We end with the gorgeous Lucy and her adorable husky puppy, Priya! This girl will leave you with serious hair envy, but when you combine her beauty and a cuddly puppy actually looking towards the camera, there's no wonder this was a favorite! Lucy's shoot was hot, and we stumbled around on so many river rocks, but came away with some beautiful images. Lucy was crowned the Governor John Rogers High School Daffodil Princess for Class of 2018 and I'm honored to have taken Her Majesty's photos! 

See the blog post here: Lucy's Orting Washington Senior Photos

Image Taken: August 12th, 2017
Subject: Lucy Malone, Governor John Rogers High School Senior & Daffodil Princess


Thank you again to everyone for all of your support through 2017! I can't wait to see what growth 2018 has in store for me and hope to photograph your beautiful faces in all of the amazing places! 

Brittingham Photography specializes in natural High School Senior portraits, but also offers Britt Beauty Sessions (individual women's shoots), Lifestyle Newborn, Love Birds and Intimate Family Photos. Thank you for stopping by to read my little blog!

-Andrea Brittingham

Owner, Photographer
Orting, Washington Photographer