Today marks the first day that I stop doubting myself, my work, my art and every other little thing in my life. I know it sounds stupid but I’ve really been dealing with it recently and I cannot let it go on anymore. Doubt is such an awful word, yet we almost always have a point in our lives where we have to deal with it. Doubt is like a fire and one that will burn you until you are nothing but ash. But the way that doubt can be removed is by action, which means you have to stop being lazy, stop feeling like you aren’t good enough because you are perfect the way you are. So go out there and do you’re thing because there’s nothing else better for you to be than you.
There’s nothing like seeing something firsthand. We were in a coffee shop and I was watching out the window as the whole thing unfolded. There was a man who had just got off the bus and stepping onto the windy footpath, dropped their briefcase full of pages notes and whatever else people generally keep in their briefcase and it all spilled onto the street. Someone from inside the shop jumped up from their table and ran out to help them gather it all up. From where I was sitting, I’m pretty sure that they did between the two of them manage to pick it all up eventually before the guy came back into the shop to sit with his family and the briefcase man came in through the door after him and got a coffee to go. The guy who went out to help them turned around and started to go on about how ungrateful the man was after he helped him and went on and on about it and it just seemed extremely arrogant from where we were sitting. Then the guy got up and went to the counter to pay but the man behind the till turned and said “a man with a briefcase left me £30 for your order and told me to put any change towards charity”. Now how’s that for being humble... not a word was said, no announcement was made, the guy just paid a kind deed on without any extra appraisal or appreciation, he simply just wanted to pay it forward. So here goes out to the man with the briefcase, the stranger who holds the door open for you or the person who stops their car and holds up the traffic just to let you cross a busy junction in the rain. This post is dedicated to all the people out there who may feel like anything they do for others goes unnoticed. In saying that, by the end of this I’m not wishing for you to go out and brag about all that you did for someone else this week but it’s more of an appreciation for those who are humble in their doings. Thank you for being the knights of our society.
A guy was walking through an elephant camp, and he spotted that the elephants weren’t being kept in cages or held by the use of chains. All that was holding them back from running free the camp, was a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs. As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants didn’t just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. They could easily have done so, but instead they didn’t try to at all. Curious and wanting to know the answer, he asked a trainer nearby why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape. The trainer replied; “When they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are therefore conditioned to believe that they cannot break away; they believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was because over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible. This needs to be looked at as more than a story about elephants though because in our lives, we are so often just like them. No matter how much the world tries to hold you back, always continue with the belief that what you want to achieve is possible. Believing you can become successful is the most important step in actually achieving it because your life is in your hands; it’s entirely up to you what to do with it. So hold your ropes and cast them aside because they are what give you character and pushing on through them made you the person that you are today. Remember that the next time something feels like it’s weighing you down or holding you back.
Following on from what I mentioned the other day, we had a day out in which we took a lot of promotional photos for the company who is sponsoring me and used a lot of the exclusive stuff from their product line which they will be making available soon enough. Still don’t think that I’m really allowed to publicly disclose which it is yet but for now, enjoy what we decided to do. A lot of effort went in, trying to create different tones and adapt the shots in order to highlight specific parts and this took a lot of behind the scene planning and also prediction for weather, lights and stuff we would be able to come across while we were out places but that’s what made it fun because if this was easy and I was happy with every shot that I took, I honestly feel like I wouldn’t enjoy this anywhere near as much as I do. Every single person who has taken the time to read this can agree that a challenge makes the result so much more satisfying and worthwhile, nothing great ever comes from an easy task for those people who really want to work for something and that’s certainly not me saying that if you are really good at something that you’re not working for it, I’m just saying that for you to get where you are, you had to work hard and because of that, you are able to sit there with the satisfaction of working hard to get where you are. So for all those people with hobbies, jobs and professions in which they put their everything into to get where they are, my respect goes to you and I really hope that you are happy to be who and where you are now.
My favourite part about being a photographer is capturing moments and freezing them in time. Feeling warmth on your skin after hiking up a mountain just to catch the first glimpse of light over the edge of the ocean. It’s moments like these I never want to end. I always want to be on the road exploring new places and I always want to be chasing my dreams. Yes, I’m well aware that a photograph can be interpreted in a million different ways and also that no photograph ever compares to being in the actual moment but it doesn’t mean that I can’t try to depict it in the best sense that I can for all of you. So here’s another shot from our travels around. Bit of a different kind of travelling because instead of arranging a photoshoot, we arranged a holiday and then just hoped for the best so for the next while, I’ll be letting you see a lot from what happened on it and what all we got up to.
Genuinely feel like well over half of my time goes into preparation, whether that’s preparing a talk for youth events, preparing an Instagram caption or preparing a sandwich, it’s all about behind the scenes preparation. To further that point, I want to make the point that a lot of the time when we go out to take photos, it takes a fair bit to plan and get a photo perfect before I’m actually happy enough with it to share with you guys, as many people who have headed out with me know. But I can’t deny that my favourite shots are the ones that were completely unplanned, like this one for example. While out exploring, we came across a building full of what could be called decorating supplies and as there was still a functioning tap, we didn’t mind getting our hands a little messy... literally, not figuratively. As many of you know, I’ve always had an appreciation for painter hands and general body art, even though I’ve never actually tried it myself. Also as many of you know, there’s a reason I never ended up going on to study art at a further level in school and for all those who don’t know, here is an example of my style of art; I just like patterns and abstract looking things. But besides that, we had fun painting and creating our own art and even attempting a mural on the wall which we may go back and finish some day soon. Thankfully at the moment, I’ve had a chance to do some professional work but also go out and do more unscripted creative work and I always want to keep that balance because I feel like I’m learning and developing my skills while at the same time being free to express myself. So thank you all for helping me from both sides and I hope you guys enjoy seeing the strange creative side of my art.
That many people messaged about the water vapour shot, I just felt like I owed it to all of you to let you see it so here it is. Understandably, it was hard for me to choose which one to put up first because I just love them both and even now, still not sure which is my favourite but now you can all see them both. Speaking of, I’ve recently been contacted by an agency regarding a few of my photos who a friend of mine sent them, completely outside of my awareness and they have now arranged for me to take a few promotional photos for their company. I’m not sure quite yet if I’m allowed to disclose my partnership with them, forgot to ask that but can I say to that friend who apparently wanted to remain anonymous a humongous thank you, whether you’re just a fan of my photos and thought I deserved some more recognition or you’re a long term friend who always has been looking out for me and decided to do something nice for me, and also a thank you for anything else that you’ve done for me which hasn’t been mentioned before or brought up. I can honestly say that you guys are the best and I know I’m sounding like a broken record here but I really mean it; you’re the reason that I love what I do because you are all beyond supportive and encouraging and for some people who know who I’m talking about, that one conversation you have with me a week about photography in which I talk and talk and talk about the most seemingly pointless stuff but you listen anyway because it’s something that I’m passionate about, it means an awful lot more to me than I’ll ever mention or admit. So here’s a last thank you for now, this is just a big over-glorified appreciation post once again for the sheer amount of support and love that I get from you all because it means the world to me. If whoever it is wants to tell me now or if anyone wants to find out more about it, message me because I’m really looking forward to this
Do you ever keep bumping into a stranger and you eventually get to know them just because it seems like you’re meant to meet them? This happened to my friend Voss and I. Voss is an artist who often has his work up on display in St George’s Market and I can honestly say that this guy is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. From the stories he’s told me from being around the world to the inspirations behind his favourite art pieces, he definitely goes down as one of the coolest people that I have ever met. He was talking to me about perspectives after seeing my last post and it was a good laugh as we pointed out things that most people don’t even give a second thought to, even though it happens in front of their eyes every day. Voss is a humble guy, never really going about bigging himself up, even though his art is of a ridiculously professional standard and if you ever meet him, you’ll have to ask him if he wished that he could feature in museums or have his art on display on a wider scale because he will always turn around and tell you that “I am thankful for every opportunity that has been presented to me and even though you don’t always get what you wish for, that certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t get what you worked for.” So what I take from him is that if you work hard and put your heart into what you do, people will recognise that more than anything else but I’m open to anyone else’s interpretation too so fire away Just figured a deep thought would be a nice fit for everyone to go along with a pensive photo. Yes, here’s another photo of me , this one taken by @jackriceinsta but don’t worry, you won’t see belfast’s own invisible man, as I’ve now been nicknamed, for a while now, I’ll stay behind the camera. Thanks for listening!
Wasn’t overly sure what to start talking about this time and had considered just posting a photo without a caption because the more I thought about it, the harder it was but then I remembered what we were always taught in school; take a step back and look at your problem from another perspective. We had an experimental photography day and ended up coming up with some interesting perspectives on a few things. For this, we tried to make the same shot out of water vapour and brick dust we found in the corner. The resulting shots were surprisingly similar but this was my favourite. Despite both bleeding by the end of the day, having one of us fall through a damp and unstable floor into the room below and the other leaning on a banister which had given up on its responsibilities many years before and tumbling down a full flight of stairs, it was a very productive day... in my opinion at least... But again, that’s all down to perspective. I was told recently to put less narrative into these captions and have more emphasis behind them so I hope you know who I mean when I say that because I’m trying. This has all been a bit waffley so far but the main point that I have been trying to make is depicted by a story about a creative arts museum; a man was walking around the museum and littered and soon enough, people were crouching down, taking photos and coming up with all these different analogies about what this “art” was symbolising, even though it was an act of deviancy, others saw it as art. Same goes for a lot of things in our society, doesn’t it? Someone could work for days on a masterpiece of graffiti and it could be disregarded by other people as a mess because their perspective of it is nothing more than seeing it for what it is, instead of doing what the people in the museum did and tried to appreciate it for what it could mean. Not saying that the next time you see a coffee cup by the side of the road or a chocolate wrapper beside a bin that it stands for something profound, I’m just saying that you should take a step back sometimes, look at something which you don’t like and appreciate it for what it might mean to someone else. Thanks for listening
Seems my focus is being pulled towards portrait shots but I promise I’ll always throw in a random shot every once in a while. Someone gave me a book recently which had a whole bunch of facts about the human body. At first I wasn’t too interested but I flicked through a few pages anyway and something in it really caught my attention about the heart. On average, the heart pumps blood around your body as far as up to 12,000 miles a day. Wasn’t really sure how to gauge that distance-wise so we went for a little walk for what didn’t seem too long and took some photos along the way before we found somewhere to take some nice photos. The photos we took were a bit different than normal but I’m loving taking portraits at the moment, especially with different people because along with having different perspectives on photos and bouncing ideas off each other, it’s also a nice opportunity to find out more about the model you’re with because it’s just you and them and each photo you take seems like a more personal reflection of them, seeing their character more and more in each shot and it makes everything a lot easier to do because you have a better and closer understanding with each other and makes everything a bit more fluent, instead of one of us dictating what they want to happen and the other having no input and I’ve noticed this wasn’t a one off thing but happens every time I’m out with someone new and it makes everything that much more enjoyable for being out too. After deciding we were both happy with the shots, we headed on back and went for some food in a near by coffee shop before heading back on home. We worked out that we had walked over 12 miles, through the forests, along paths, into and around a ruined warehouse and over rocks and the beach at the seafront. Made things much more impressive to put into perspective with regards to the 12,000 miles my heart was doing a day. I’ll have some other photos up from our wander soon enough, trying to get into the habit of putting a bit more time into my shots and it also gives me time to relax, meaning that what you guys are seeing has been given my 100% effort. As always, thank you if you made it this far.
I'll give you a second to try and understand the perspective on this one. Taking another leaf from the book of @agallonofcaffeine , reflection shots off of water is now a work in progress project of mine, something that I want to get better at so I'm sorry if anyone isn't a huge fan of them but sure, it'll be every now and again. Had the pleasure of going out with a few different friends over the past few weeks who simply just wanted some photos taken and I can honestly say that I don't mind at all if you just want some photos taken, I'm more than happy to do so because I really taking them and usually end up having a fun day out, wherever it takes us. So as of now, I have a little email button on my profile because my friend told me that I need to have "photographer" in my bio but please, don't actually email me, if you want to head out then fire a text my way if you have my number or message me on Instagram if you either want to have photos taken or collaborate because doing both is fun. Sorry that this wasn't really a story as of such, more just an explanation for a few changes around the profile and also an invitation for any who wish to use me for all intents and purposes. If you're looking a portfolio of shots, I don't really have any already arranged but I have just finished working on photos from my most recent shoot. And as per usual, I just wanted to say thank you for the support recently on my photos, through comments and also from people messaging me about my photos, it really means the world to me to know that what I'm posting is appreciated. Thanks if you made it this far once again.
Had a lot of trouble building up the courage to post this one so please be nice Once again, I found myself on the other side of a camera... realised that if I’m going to start hanging out with people who are as into photography as I am, I’m going to have to suck it up and be the model for a shot every once in a while. This was taken on an especially adventurous photo day, making our way through the mountain range, across small waterfalls and around a lake to start to climb up to the top of quite a steep mountain, surrounded by other mountains, just to take some photos at sunset and despite ruining three different pairs of shoes, massacring a few pairs of jeans and losing a drone, it was a fun day out. Not really a big milestone person but in the same day, I’ve managed to hit 4000 followers and 100 posts so I figured this should be a little thank you. Didn’t honestly think that I would ever reach this kind of support on my account, purely based on the fact that I am only doing this as a hobby and, as I’m sure most of you have noticed, I’m not overly consistent and tend to be quite lazy sometimes when it comes to posting photos but for all of you who remain loyal and leave your support on each and every photo that I post, I can honestly say that it means so much to me. Between people messaging to get to know me, all you who comment on all of my photos and especially those who ask to meet up and shoot, it brings a smile to my face and inspires me to keep snapping away. As I was discussing with a few friends, I never want to feel like taking photos and posting them is a duty, rather than a hobby and thanks to all of you, you are keeping the hobby alive. But once again, I just want to say thank you for everything and for all those friends who put up with my inability to leave the house without a camera and for those who ask me to take some photos just for a little day out, an especially big thank you to you because you a key reason that I feel the most support. Don’t really have an epilogue for this because I’ve said thank you far too many times already so far... but one more time won’t hurt, right? Thanks for listening!
Trust us to get lost on the way back to the hotel because following google maps was just far too easy. Ended up finding a micro scooter in the bins out the back of a house and being the now maturing adults that we are, couldn't resist taking it out for a spin. Literally. Scooters were always the one mode of transport that went unnoticed, even though they were just the coolest things ever at the time. Granted, you couldn't go anywhere quickly on them because the energy required it's the equivalent of trying to run into the floor while trying to jump as high as you could at the same time. Regardless of that, I saw a few kids the other day going down Main Street on them while I was driving up and it really hit me hard how much we have grown up and also made me think about the times that you used to ride bikes with around the estate or spend all day out in the front garden kicking a football about and it's sad that those simple, fun days are so far in the mirror and now, we have tonnes more responsibilities and also standards to uphold by society. I know many of you will just have rolled your eyes at that but here's a thought; how many adults do you think will happily sit in on the weekends and watch a football or a rugby match on TV, even though when they were younger, they would have been outside every second they weren't at school, playing and having fun outdoors. Now if you were to suggest to those guys going out for a kick about, you would be laughed at, even though at that moment, each person in the room would be thinking back to the days when those were some of the happiest times of their lives, without being able to remember many clear details or even come up with reasons why; they just knew that they were happy. Think about it. So next time you walk by a scooter in a bin, pick it up, and take it for a spin. Thanks for listening.
I've considered taking up a completely different musical instrument now that I've been gifted with a bit extra free time throughout the week and after talking to my friend @knockknockwhosthereitssammy, who can play the guitar seriously well, I kind of want to start learning the guitar myself again? We got chatting because we are basically swapping hobbies as he's moving into the photography scene so go check him out. Just figured a little musical story would be fun for this one. Not sure how many of you have listened to Ed Sheeran's hidden gem of a cover of The Parting Glass but it's a traditional Irish and Scottish song, supposedly sang at the end of a night out or whenever a bar shuts its serving counter for the night. Never really put much thought into it other than being a nice little song until the other night when we had the honour of hearing it sung by an older group of guys at an Irish pub in Dublin. Don't know if these guys sing it every time they are out together but from the first line; "Of all the money that ever I had, I spent it in good company", you could see the passion and the clear joy that these guys had from being together, looking at each other and fully embracing one another while they sang. Now for anyone who thinks this is a jolly upbeat song, go have a listen to it. It's a powerful, moving lyrical blessing and when these guys finished singing, no one clapped, no one whistled or cheered but the silence was deafening. Everyone in the room had been moved by the power of their friendship and bond. And they just upped and left, leaving behind an empty bar. What a beautiful moment that was. As always, thank you for listening if you made it this far, I hope one day you have the blessing of hearing something like this of your own. And if you already have or ever do, let me know because I'd love to hear.
Doesn't look like I'll ever be able to get a photo of an animal who doesn't give you the look of a friend during one of those games of monopoly when you do have to question whether charging them for rent is worth the emotional heartache it will bring them. That was a big pointless explanation but it's a look I think that everyone can picture. Aside from that, this was a photo taken at the zoo and it was such a difference from the last time I was here, mainly because I didn't need to be on someone's shoulders to see over the top of the signs. But anyway, this little guy's name was Julian, he can't fly because he's got an injured wing but he's on the mend as we were told by the zookeeper and should be back to full health in a few months. He was good fun though, absolutely screeched his head off, ate cuttlefish because apparently that's nice and had a full stare down any time I raised the camera in his direction and looked away as soon as it wasn't on him, kind of like some people when you're out together and someone has a camera... you know exactly who you are when I say that... but honestly, this was the most photogenic animal I've ever taken a photo of. Even the peacocks at the butterfly farm walked around looking all candid and I don't think the lamb or cows from a while back cared much about the camera, all they wanted was some company which sadly involved getting licked for about five minutes straight while I was trying to keep them entertained enough to stay until I got the photo I wanted. Also found out the other day that there's a limit to how long captions are on your photos?! Instagram just weren't happy with the daily / not so daily blogs so I'll have to keep them short and sweet as well as straying from anything that could be considered worthwhile to read but sure, wouldn't be fun if I was told what to write. So as always, thanks for listening if you made it this far, your support means a lot to me. Also, someone told me I should either put a question or a response sentence at the end of each of these so this can technically be the trial run so please tell me what you think of that idea!
Thank you for my now new friend allowing what was a stranger point a camera right at their face and get this photo. Also a shoutout to @josephwalshe for, without knowing it, convincing me to attempt to edit photos and put a bit more effort into them before posting. You always hear the stories of stuff going on near where you live and you see the photos of the most beautiful places and you know generally where they are so you can always imagine what it must have been like to be there. So I'll give you a little insight; Just imagine sitting with a group of people you've recently been introduced to and then someone looking at their watch and saying "we need to go, the sun sets soon and the gates are shutting in five minutes". Not exactly an awful lot of time to process any information or ask questions but within seconds, as all of the information that you now know about what is happening is all that I also knew then, everyone was on their feet and running down the streets. After four minutes of the fastest and most chaotic sprinting I've ever had to do, we made it to the gates of this estate and kept running up until we reached a big abandoned looking building and made our way up to the roof by climbing the fire escape. I can only imagine the different perspectives that anyone reading this have come up with but none of the last four minutes mattered when we reached the roof. It was without a doubt, the most incredible sunset that I had ever seen. It made sense why we had to be there at that moment and why they made sure that we made it there and as the seven of us sat there on the roof with our feet over the edge of the building, it was simply beautiful. No one spoke but no one needed to, everything about that moment was defined by the view. There isn't really a big conclusion to this story, we just went up to see the sunset and then headed on for the rest of the night but I wanted to type out a story to explain the struggle I want through that day. There's more stories about our trip hopefully coming soon because it was surprisingly eventful. Hope you stay tuned for those when they're posted but for now, thank you for reading this if you made it this far.
Last night my friend was showing off his electronic cigarette skills. One of the things that was most noticeable was the ridiculous amount of water vapour and residue that the little thing produces. After close to twenty attempts at this one photo, this was the one that we were happiest with. It looks awesome in this single frame, right? What you can only imagine is how this scene looked two seconds afterwards because doing this particular "skill" has a lot of force behind it. Just for the record, I am not an advocate for smoking or using e-cigarettes, I'm just a fan of experimenting with lights and that is all. I'm really enjoying this mini "blogs" with my posts and as pointless as they are and as much as some of them go on and on, I urge you to try it because it's very satisfying at the end and I also wanted to make the photos seem a little more personal and let you have a window into what's going on day to day. So let me know what you think of them and once again, thank you if you managed to make it this far.
Moving into a happier point with all of my photos seen as I've had people tell me that they are slowly turning very moody. Even though that was meant as a compliment by all who told me, who were only commenting on the aesthetic theme, I wanted to make a change and attempt to post happier and brighter photos, with the same impact and hopefully the same response rate from all of you. So this was a photo taken just underneath the Albert Clock in Belfast, a day that my friend and I walked for about half an hour, only to be told that the place we wanted to go in and take photos was out of bounds so we turned around and walked all the way back towards the main city but not before we found a smashed mirror that had somehow come off the door of a lorry sitting at he side of a road. Most people would have lifted it and threw it into the bin but the two of us, being the opportunistic photographers that we are, kited the mirror around the city and used it to take photos of typical landmarks, just with our own perspective on it. Half the photos turned out as a complete disaster, spending more time trying to get the focus right and finding the least comfortable position to put ourselves in, simply in order to get the camera pointed at the mirror with the reflection of the target for the photo adjacent the way that we needed it to be. This isn't a big emotional rant about how some things look broken but you can find beauty in them, it's quite literally just a story about a broken mirror... nothing else... sorry if you were expecting a moral to that story. So as always, thank you if you made it this far, the response rate I've got from putting this random stories as my caption honestly makes my day and I genuinely look forward to posting now just to talk to all the people who see my photos and respond to them, whether that's in the comments, through private messages and also for the occasional person who brings them up in person. Thanks for listening.