Little Conor arrived before Christmas and here’s his first shoot with his big brothers Oisin and Daragh and big sister Alanah. For such a newborn he did some great smiling for the camera!
Last weekend I got the chance to work with an amazing bunch of people based in Carndonagh, Co Donegal. I had been invited by Jay Doherty Photography to give him a hand to put together a portfolio for the Donegal hair and beauty salon, Vixen.
I was blown away by the organisational skills of this team of multi-taskers, all playing their part in doing the hair, make-up, nails, clothes, modelling, furniture removal, research, tea-making and helper-outers. Amazing team-work!
The models were a dream to work with and can’t believe that they were just volunteers, most of them making their modelling debut! We were also blessed with the most beautiful of days with sunshine and blue skies and the wonderful setting at Culdaff in Co Donegal. Thanks for letting me be part of it!!
Mia’s shoot was a present for extra proud mummy and daddy, Jill and Barry. We got her into the studio just before Christmas so we got some cute seasonal ones for her to treasure as well.She was a pure pleasure to work with and she took very well to the camera! She also had some beautiful outfit changes!
A lot of people ask me whether they should have their shoot done in the studio or on location. I have to say it is a personal choice and each have their advantages, the advantages of the studio being that the shoot will get done a lot quicker as the lights are already set up and ready. It is also important to think which background you like, the studio will give a nice clean background, to give an image which you can display in any room.
If you are interested in a family or child studio session or want to know more about them you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07872538806.
I have been so excited about this blog! I had previously asked Ann-Louise if she would like to help style a fashion shoot for me as it is something I have been dying to do, so was delighted when she came to me to shoot some promo for her new Vintage Clothing Website, Rustic Runway. This is a new unique online store for all her exclusive hand-picked Vintage items and she has put together a really special collection.
It started with scouting for models on Facebook, making sure Emma-Kate Murphy was free to do the make-up and Hi-Tech hair salon also kindly offered their services on the day. So following the replies from the models we arranged to meet up at the studio and have a trial run and we were totally blown away by the talented models we had found! Local girls, Colleen Kerlin, Alanna Conway, Molly McCay, Megan Maybin and Paula Bowes made top the gorgeous team of Vintage models for us to work with. Big thank you also to Clara Lyltte and Lisa McClaren who did all the hard graft on the day and keeping the outfits in order!
We chose the gorgeous surrounding at the An Creagan Centre with its wild bogland and rustic scenery giving the perfect backdrop for the fashion shoot. Emma-Kate totally transformed the girls (who were gorgeous to start with!) and made them totally stunning. Hi-Tech hairdresser gave them all unique vintage hairstyles in style with the shoot.
I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.xx
This is a blog I have been meaning to do since the start of December and am only getting round to my review of last year as we are getting close to the end of January.
2012 was a major transition year for me, and was an extremely tough yet rewarding one. I started the year not in a good place, in a stressful job which was taking a little bit of my soul away everyday. It had got to the stage that I had become physically sick over it as I knew there must be more out there than a job which was causing me stress yet had no rewards. I felt that I was not achieving my best or didn’t feel I was free to be as creative as I wanted to be. I had a feeling that I had so much more to give.
I finally quit my day job in February as my health was suffering. This was not an easy choice as I was giving up the security of a monthly wage and I had no promise that I would find work but I had to believe in myself and that it would all work. I have always loved photography and have been practicing me technique since I got my first SLR in the first year at Uni. I now had nine years of working as a press photographer under my belt, which taught me many things.I had to believe that I could make a living out of my passion, in the middle of a recession of all times! Photography to me has always been my calling and I can’t imagine ever not doing it. Anyone who is interested in photography will understand this, it is something that you simply get hooked on.
So I spent the first few months of the year reading every business book I could get my hands on, contacting people for advice, spending hours in the library doing research and I was getting very excited about becoming my own boss. The business side of photography was something that was totally new to me but something that I really enjoyed as I learnt more about it.
I found that people came to me at just the right time. I saw an advert for the Prince’s Trust Business Training course and successfully made my business plan with their help and was delighted to be approved a business loan, which was such a great help. The Prince’s Trust also appointed me a business mentor, Niamh Taylor , whose advice has been invaluable to me this year. Niamh also had a great year as she was awarded CIM Ireland Senior Marketing Professional 2012!
I also received continuous support and advice from the Omagh Enterprise Centre, who have some amazing staff who are always there to help. I couldn’t have done it without them,
At the start of Easter I got a call from South West College who had an opening for a photography teacher which I jumped at. I took a lovely group of students for their NCFE qualification in photography, which was such a great experience and I was very proud that they produced such amazing work which they then exhibited and sold in aid of CHARIS Cancer Charity.
My dream was slowly becoming reality as my business plan was also approved a grant by ARC (Assisting Rural Communities) and they agreed to offer me a grant to get my studio open at Clanabogan. I had my planning permission approved and we got the work started on transforming dad’s garage into a nice space for my studio and once I got building control passed I was able to start taking my first studio bookings in my own first studio!
I had been following the work of Derry/Donegal photographer Jay Doherty (if you hadn’t heard of him, check his work now) and really liked his style of work (if you hadn’t heard of him, check his work now) . He agreed to let me help assist him at weddings which was a great experience for me. I have done many weddings on my own but I do think that as a photographer it is great experience to assist other photographers and share ideas. It also helped that most of his weddings were in totally breath-taking locations on the coast, which he totally utilises in his work.
I had started the year with a totally empty diary and a massive empty wall calendar on the wall in my spare room and it made me smile as I took it down at the end of the year that surprisingly my diary and calendar had been filled to the brim. It was definitely a year of hard graft, building self-confidence and believing that it would all be ok!
As I went through my portfolio from 2012 I was surprised to find so much work, when you have your head in your work you don’t actually realise how much you are actually producing. I have met such beautiful people this year, been part of so many special moments at weddings, on family and newborn shoots and much more. I am so grateful for all of it.
I now have a year ahead of me where I know that it is now time to step it up a gear and keep working on my dream.
I hope my year can inspire others to not be afraid to follow your dream. For me, it wasn’t an option but a must. If I can do it, anyone can.
I have had a favourite saying for years which I keep it on my fridge door, ‘Reach for the stars and the only place you can fall is the sky!’
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has helped me on this journey that was 2012.xx