Now here's a thing...

So I joined Pinterest today.  I'd been thinking about it for quite a while but hadn't taken much notice until a good friend of mine showed me the Pinterest site on her iPad.

I'm still new to the whole Pinterest thing and haven't got to grips with it properly but, over time, I'm sure I'll get a handle on it.  From what I can gather, it's a place where people go to get ideas about cooking, weddings, homes, cars, etc., so hopefully I can use it to my advantage over the coming months.

I'd love to read your comments about your thoughts on Pinterest, how you use it and what you gain from it.

Watch out for another blog post next week.

Now here's a thing...

So I decided to start a new feature on my business Facebook page called: 'Pic of the Day'.  It involves me choosing a photograph, whether it be freshly taken for the day's post, or from the archives, and posting it on Facebook with a few lines describing the image that's been posted.  There will be a new picture added daily, so keep an eye out on my business Facebook page for the regular updates.  If you want to be featured on 'Pic of the Day', give me a shout and we can make it happen!

To connect with me on Facebook, just click the icon at the bottom of this page and you'll be instantly connected!

For today's image, I took a picture of my good friend, Aaron Canty, of

Aaron's business is all about weight loss, empowerment and feeling and looking good about oneself.  He has some fantastic ideas about weight loss, ideas that I've not come across before.  Although Aaron's is a fledgling business, he's starting to build it up and if he carries on doing what he's doing, he can only be very successful!  Go on over to his website, give his Facebook page a like and support him in his venture - I know he will appreciate it.


Now here's a thing...

I was asked to photograph a Kickboxing grading event in Bantry, West Cork, just last weekend.  I'd never even seen kickboxing before, never mind photograph it, so I was very excited!

The grading involved the participants doing various moves - punches, kicks and movements, under the watchful eye of the black-belted graders; no half-measures here - it had to be perfect!

I was amazed at the flexibility and ability of the young people - they were utterly awesome! The discipline, the commitment and the sheer effort shown by these young people was very impressive. 

I took some action shots, group shots and single pictures of the students with their instructor, Bernard Brady, all taken with the Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70 f2.8 - a killer photographic combo not to be messed with!

If you've an event approaching that you need photographing, why not contact me to discuss your requirements? Details are at the foot of this website page.

Now here's a thing...

A while ago, an episode of Dragons Den showed a young Cork company, Starcamp, pitching for an investment from the Dragons.  Imagine my delight when I received a call asking me to do some promo shots!

The brief was to show what Starcamp does (dance, drama, fun for kids) in photographs.  I took numerous shots over the course of the session, using a simple one off-camera flash set-up, bounced into an umbrella.  I asked the kids to pose, jump off the stage and play various games until I had a good number of varied shots for web and social media use.

All the kids were really enthusiastic about the shoot and played their parts perfectly.  I found that once they knew what I wanted them to do, they didn't need telling twice and just got on with the task in hand, although it wasn't too difficult for them as the shoot was a whole load of fun!

Since the shoot, Starcamp has gone on to achieve huge success and my images are still used to advertise the various camps which are held around the country in many different locations.


Now here's a thing...

Being a commercial photographer in Cork, I was asked to photograph a house in West Cork that was being advertised on a holiday home website, I grabbed my gear and headed west.

The stunning sitting room.

On arrival, I was stunned by the house - a self-built 4 bedroom property; it was beautiful.  I went from room to room photographing the home showing it off to maximise its potential.  As well as whole room shots, I also included some detail images, which would show the thought that went into building the home.

The sun room lives up to its name.

The spectacular kitchen - the hub of the home.

I'm sure my readers will agree, this home is magnificent and a credit to its owner. 

If you have a home to rent or want to list it for sale, why not have it photographed professionally to show it off to its best?  You may be surprised how reasonable my rates are.

All images were shot using the Nikon D700, Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 lens and a 3LT tripod.

Now here's a thing...

As well as shooting weddings, commercial etc, I also teach people the skills needed to produce great photographic images.  The key to to this is getting out of Auto and into Manual mode.

A student directs a model during a tuition session.

When people get their first digital camera, they mainly shoot in Auto mode as they're possibly unsure what all the knobs and buttons do on their camera.  Auto mode means the camera chooses every setting - ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  Many a time one witnesses someone taking a picture of a huge cruise liner in Cobh when their little on-camera flash pops up, which is a tell tale sign they're shooting in Auto mode.  That pop-up flash has a reach of approximately 10 feet - not much use when a cruise liner can be anything up to 1,187 feet, as is the case with Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas!

The best way to take photographs is to use Manual mode, in which the photographer chooses all the settings.  In my lessons, I teach exactly that and can normally show the student how to get the right exposure in 3 shots. 

My teaching style is to get out and shoot in a very informal manner, no stuffy, boring classroom based lessons here!  The student dictates the speed of learning and what discipline of photography they want to learn - portraits, landscapes, architecture etc.  I answer any questions as the lesson progresses; that way, everything is clear in the student's mind.

Lessons are normally conducted on a one-to-one basis, although I can cater for small groups of up to five photographers, should that be required.

Why not contact me if you're looking to get some great photographs by getting out of Auto mode and into Manual?  You'll find my email address and phone number at the foot of this page.


Now here's a thing...

I thought in this weeks post it would be nice to showcase one of my landscape shots - a night shot of the famous 12 Arch Bridge in Ballydehob.  I'd waited for around two years to photograph this bridge, every time I'd tried to capture it, the sky was wrong, the weather was awful, the water level was too low, etc, etc.   Then in August 2013, at 22.04, I finally managed to get this shot 'in the can', as it were. 

I'd had a good walk around the bridge on my previous trips, so knew whereabouts I wanted to set up my tripod and take the shot.  So I set up the gear, pressed the shutter, and here's the result. 

I'm really happy with the image, all the waiting was worth it.  I've sold a number of copies of this picture, so I'm not the only person that likes it! 

For the photographers amongst you, the camera settings were as follows

30 seconds
ISO 200

Gear used:
Nikon D700
Nikon 24mm f2.8
Manfrotto tripod

Now here's a thing...

So you're getting married and you're looking to book a wedding photographer.  What kind of things do you consider when booking a photographer for what is, undoubtedly, the most important day of your life? 

First of all, does your potential photographer have insurance, both liability and indemnity?  Liability insurance protects both you and the photographer in the unlikely event that one of your guests trips over a light stand or a camera bag.  Additionally, many local authorities require the photographer to be insured before they're allowed to photograph in local parks, etc.

Indemnity insurance gives peace of mind to the bride and groom - if the photographers equipment suffers a catastrophic failure, or a memory card full of images is corrupted and the pictures can't be salvaged, you, the bride and groom, are covered.

All professional photographers should be insured as a matter of course, most amateurs aren't.  If you're thinking of asking Uncle Bob to photograph your wedding with his nice, new, shiny DSLR, think of the repercussions if something were to go wrong and he has no insurance.  If a piece of my equipment fails, breaks or gets corrupted, I simply reach for one of my back-ups.  Uncle Bob, with his one camera and one lens, has a big problem if a piece of his equipment fails!

Do you like the photographers previous work?  Has the photographer shot weddings before?  There's no point booking a photographer if you don't like his style or his previous weddings.  When you meet a photographer before you book him, make sure he shows you images from a few weddings, not just a handful of shots of the same couple. 

Do you like the photographer?  What is their personality like?  You'll be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so it's important that there's a connection with him/her.  If you find the photographers demeanour and attitude to be undesirable, your images WILL suffer, so think carefully before booking them.  Your photographer needs to be friendly and be able to make you laugh without being over-bearing, but also assertive, as organising 150 guests for a group shot requires a certain degree of assertiveness.

And then there's the most discussed part of finding a wedding photographer.  The budget!  With prices ranging from €100 (I kid you not!) to €10,000, it can be very confusing.  Make a list of all the services/bits you expect to pay for on your wedding day in order of importance to you and if photography comes high on your list, then budget accordingly.  As we've all heard before, once the drink has been drunk, the cake eaten and the dress is in the attic, all that's left are the photographs, so it may be important to invest a decent amount of your budget into your photographer.  Want an album?  Most photographers will keep your pictures so you should be able to order an album at any time.  Again, quality comes at a price, so expect to pay well for a nice album that will last for generations.

I hope that helps any bride and grooms to be in your search for a photographer.  If you haven't booked a wedding photographer yet, why not send me an email or give me a call to discuss your requirements?  My email is: and my phone number is: 086 738 8863.

Now here's a thing...

Many peple think professional photographers shoot for 8 hours a day, 5 days per week.  I can assure you, that is certainly not the case.  So what do I do on non-shooting days?

As I work from home, I always go for a walk first thing in the morning, every morning so I arrive back home, as if I'm arriving at the office.  After making myself a coffee, I settle down and answer any emails that have come in.  Business development is crucial, and I search for new business every day, whether that be for commercial or private clients.  I always tinker with this website, renewing photographs, adding content or writing a blog post (like this one). 

Accounts is a dreary, yet important task, that needs addressing on a weekly basis.  I'm also constantly learning, by reading trade magazines, watching photography videos and talking to my fellow professionals.  I might research new photography gear, but only purchase if it's beneficial to the business. 

As a member of Cork Chamber I attend many networking events, as well as other business oriented occasions.

Of course, after I'm back from a shoot, I have to process the images, and either send them to the client via the internet or on disc.  Then there's an invoice to generate, banking to be done, and so it goes on...

I hope you've enjoyed this snapshot of how I fill my days when I'm not photographing, it certainly isn't a glamorous job, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

Now here's a thing...

As a professional photographer, I own quite a lot of gear, all of which is professional grade.  The photographers amongst you will know that gear lust is a huge thing in the photographic community and everyone wants to know who shoots what system and what cameras, lenses, flashguns, bags, etc, one owns.  To that end, I thought I'd list all my gear and post a picture to go with the list. 

Nikon D3
Nikon D700

Nikon 14-24 f2.8
Nikon 24-70 f2.8
Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR
Nikon 50 f1.4G
Voigtlander 58 f1.4
Tamron 90 f2.8 Macro

Nikon SB910
Nikon SB900
Nikon SB800

Think Tank Airport Accelerator Backpack
Think Tank Airport Navigator Rolling Case
Think Tank Retrospective 30 Shoulder Bag
Lowepro Pro Roller Attache X50 Rolling Case

Black Rapid RS-7
Black Rapid Double Strap

Eneloop and Maha batteries
Various light stands, light modifiers, umbrellas and triggers
Other bits and pieces

What photographic gear do you own? I'd love to read your comments and lust after your gear!



Now here's a thing...

So a new website, a new beginning, of sorts! 

This is the first Blog post of many on my new website.  I thought I'd change it around a little to freshen it up and, what's more scary, I did the whole thing myself!  

I used Squarespace as the template for the site, as it's geared towards photographers and claims to be user-friendly, which I would argue with as I've pulled out a lot of hair and turned the air blue during my attempts at building it!  However, it's pretty much finished now, apart from a couple of minor tweaks, which will be sorted on an on-going basis.

I'd love to read your thoughts about the new site - don't be afraid to leave a comment!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by for a look, I really do appreciate it.