23, Calbro Court, Tuam Rd, Galway

I’ve been fortunate enough to be nominated in 3 categories for the Irish Professional Photographers Association end of year awards: Commercial, Fine Art and Portrait. Even if I don’t win, it’s a privilege to even have my work considered for the awards.



As a new member of the IPPA (Irish Professional Photographers Association) Heat 2 happened about a week after I joined, so I missed the opportunity to enter-I simply wasn’t prepared. I was ready for Heat 3 though and I did enter. I came away with 1 Merit, and 3 Highly Commended’s and an Award of Excellence. I’m delighted with that.

One of my favourite images (and the top marked) was one of actor John O’Dowd from a commissioned shoot. Our aim was a more editorial look rather than straightforward headshots. We were both delighted with the outcome of the shoot.


The full set is on the IPPA Awards Site.

Update: Based on the points from the top 4 images in a category, I’ve been announced as a finalist in the Photographer of the year for Portrait.

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I’ve mentioned my nomination in this category (my 2nd time too) before, so I went to the The Societies Awards dinners at the Convention. This year the made placings, and while I didn’t win, I’m delighted to say that I placed. I was 3rd to 2 rather beautiful portraits. The winner went on to place as 3rd overall photographer of the year-so not a bad thing to lose to really. I’m delighted that the judges think that my work is good enough to get placed in competition, and of course it makes me want to strive for more, rather than run away disappointed.

Special thanks to the actor Sean T. O’Meallaigh, who was the subject of my nominated image.

Sean T. O Meallaigh
Sean T. O Meallaigh

I’ve just gotten news that I’ve been nominated by The Societies (The SWPP) for Photographer of the Year in the Portrait Studio category for a shot from my Hirsute project. I’m over the moon about this. Like I’ve said on the About page, it puts me in the top 4 of the SWPP’s worldwide membership for this subject and is an honour in itself.

Got some good news in the post yesterday evening. Ian Blair from the NAIP mailed to inform me I was the winner for their June competition with a shot of Ivory Flame. I’m delighted of course.


I’m delighted to have gotten another Gold in the Contemporary Portraiture section of the May SWPP Competition. While judging sometimes can seem hit and miss, this month the standard is high and I feel very lucky to get Gold. That said, personally, I would not like to be judging the sheer quantity of images that go into this competition.

Click here to see the announcement.

The shot is of Jaime O’Connell, a contestant in ‘The Model Agent’ and the shoot was for local designer Sarah O’Neil. Jaime is off to London shortly for agency interviews. I wish her good luck.

Processed mostly in Lightroom with a mix of cooling White Balance and my normal Cross Process settings, I finished the skin on this in Photoshop. Yes, it is a very deliberately stylised image.


This was a very windy day, so the 80X120 softbox got packed away and I brought out my 70cm Maxisoft Beautydish. It was on a Dlite 4 at half power (5.0), which was powered by a Tronix Explorer. The sun is lighting the back and shoulder.

This actually gives me great confidence that the Ranger Quadra system I have on order will do well outdoors against the sun.


There’s a bit of a tizzy over people proclaiming their Competition results from the SWPP Monthly competitions. So to clarify to those reading, each month the SWPP has a monthly competition. There are basically 4 scores in the competition U: Unclassified (not good enough standard for competition), B: Bronze (acceptable Quality), S: Silver (Good Quality image, but lacking in some way) and G: Gold (Merit standard, the best). Receiving a Gold puts you forward for the yearly awards and gets you a nice certificate.

Some of the SWPP members have been blogging about their great Bronze and Silver awards, but in truth, these are meaningless as awards. They are competition scores and only the Gold is worth its weight. So if someone is calling themselves ‘Award winning’ with silvers and bronzes from the SWPP, they are not telling the whole story. Ultimately only the Gold has meaning, but even then it’s only the end of year awards that are truly the SWPP Awards.

Anyhow, it was nice to get the Gold for what is one of my favourite Travel images. It was even nicer to have good news in the midst of my recent sadness. I did get silvers and bronzes too, but I won’t be talking about them.


While I did get an inkling last night on the SWPP forum, I got a call from Jon Jenkins this morning informing me that I had won the SWPP Family Portraiture and Groups award. Jon had volunteered to collect for me if I won anything (just in case-I’ve had a few golds during the year after all!). He’d forgotten about it until he heard my name called, and then his for collecting it! I’d love to have been there, but weekends are very busy at the moment. I’ll make time to go next year though, just for the networking!

Now that I know what the award is for, let me talk about the shot. This is a shot of local band Disconnect 4 (you can check them out on MySpace). Martin from Bar No. 8 kindly allowed us to shoot around the bar one evening. We did a number of different setups, but I really like this one because of the expressions. Bands against a wall are a bit cliched and I usually avoid it, but this just worked for me. This is a Strobist style shot, with a single shoot thru umbrella, from over my head to give some ‘butterfly light’. Nikon SB28, probably at 1/2 power, triggered with Skyports. Processing was done in Lightroom.

I’m delighted to announce my Muscle and Fitness image won Gold in the SWPP Oct monthly competition.