By Shea Deighan

The PPANI is happy to announce that Tyrone based photographer, Erica Cathers of Erica Irvine Photography has been awarded her licentiateship with the PPANI in wedding photography.

Erica recently became a probationary member of the PPANI and has very quickly obtained her licentiateship qualification.

The route to licentiateship qualification within the PPANI is by submitting twenty digital images. In the case of Erica whose chosen subject was weddings, ten images were from one wedding and ten images were from various others. The PPANI assign a suitable mentor and between the candidate and the mentor, twenty images are decided and tweaked before being put forward for judging.

These images show that Erica is in full control of the medium of wedding photography. Her images show correct camera technique, full control of the lighting and the final production of the finished image.

We the PPANI, expect to see that all of our qualified photographers are in control of the subjects portrayed and in this category – weddings, that they are posed in an attractive manner and good expressions obtained.

As always, a big thanks to our judges, Ciaran & Mike who took the time to judge.

Congratulations Erica.

By Shea Deighan

The PPANI is happy to announce that Antrim based photographer, Jayne Harkness of Jayne Harkness Photography has been awarded her licentiateship with the PPANI in wedding photography.

Jayne had been an auxiliary member of the PPANI for a few years and has joined her husband, Ewan in obtaining the Licentiateship qualification.

 

The route to licentiateship qualification within the PPANI is by submitting twenty digital images. In the case of Jayne whose chosen subject was weddings, ten images were from one wedding and ten images were from various others. Probationary members can take up to one year to become fully qualified. The PPANI assign a suitable mentor and between the candidate and the mentor, twenty images are decided and tweaked before being put forward for judging.

 

These images show that Jayne is in full control of the medium of wedding photography. Her images show correct camera technique, full control of the lighting and the final production of the finished image.

We the PPANI, expect to see that all of our qualified photographers are in control of the subjects portrayed and in this category – weddings, that they are posed in an attractive manner and good expressions obtained.

 

As always, a big thanks to our judges, Ciaran & Mike who took the time to judge.

 

Congratulations Jayne.

Interviewed By Shea Deighan

Welcome To Let’s Talk With Ciaran O’Neill

Every month, the PPANI blog will bring you a little bit closer to Northern Ireland’s best and brightest photographers. This month, it’s the turn of master photographer, Ciaran O’Neill.

What inspires you take amazing images?

I don’t really think about creating ‘amazing images’. I just try to take better photos today than I did yesterday. Sometimes that means trying something new, sometimes it means tweaking an idea I’ve already tried.

How does today’s PPANI compare with the PPANI that you joined?

I think today’s PPANI is very similar to when I joined. We are still a group of ambitious photographers who see the advantage of getting together for support and continued learning. PPANI’s annual competition still helps to showcase our talented members and encourages us all to work even harder. When I joined the association I heard lots of stories about great social events PPANI used to run. This is something I have always tried to encourage, be it running a non-photography event or simply staying on for a coffee or a drink after our meetings. I have a lot of good friends in the PPANI.

You’ve won numerous awards. What is the most important award you have ever won?

The answer to this probably should be the gold ‘Oscar’ style trophy that I won for UK Photographer of the Year, but actually its something much closer to home. Of all the trophies I’ve picked up the only one that I an emotional attachment to is one for 3rd place in the PPANI album of the year competition back in about 1999. It was my first ever award and it made me realise i could compete against the very best photographers in the country. I’ll never forget that feeling!

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What do you prefer to shoot? Weddings or portraits?

I love shooting weddings. I love the mix of emotions, the nervousness, the joy, the romance, the love! Where else do you get that!

What is your favourite photograph that you have ever taken?

I took a great shot last week that I really liked but I think I might take a better one next week! I’m a bit of a kid that way, I take a shot and think its my best one ever – then take another and think that one is the best!!

Over the years, you’ve seen numerous styles of photography come and go. Which is the worst/cheesiest you’ve come across?

I don’t think any style is cheesy but the way some photographers execute it might leave a bit to be desired. New styles are usually created by one really talented photographer who does something no one else has thought of. Then other people get inspired by them, After a while people use this new ‘style’ because they aren’t creative enough to come up with their own ideas. That’s when things get cheesy!

How much fun is it to have Simon work with you? Does it bring an extra layer of competitiveness out in you, especially around award season?

Yes, I do get a laugh working with Simon. Its good support for both of us though and we can bounce ideas around. If one of us finds a new place to take a shot or get a pic we are particularly pleased with we are always showing each other. At awards time there is a little competition but not as much as you might think.

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What’s your favourite time of the year to shoot weddings?

Christmas. The decorations, the atmosphere, the low winter sun, the candles, the open fires, the fur wraps.

And worst?

Christmas!! The cold, the wind, the rain, the short days, I guess you can’t have it all!!

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you at a wedding?

Ok its not a funny story but its my favourite wedding story. A couple got engaged but the girl’s parish priest asked her to move to Canada with him to be his housekeeper. She move to Canada. They both married other people but kept in touch by Christmas cards. After about 50 years she mentioned in her annual card that her husband had passed away. He asked her to come back to Ireland and marry him! She did and I had the great pleasure of photographing their wedding.

As a photographer who many other photographers look up to and aspire to become, who do you look up to or aspire to?

I’m going to cheat here and go for three answers for this one, Richard Alvedon, Richard Branson and Casey the Cocker Spaniel. I collect old fashion photography books and I absolutely love Richard Alvedon’s simple style. There is nothing in his images that doesn’t contribute to the image. You can see his influence in so much of today’s fashion photography. While Richard Branson is an outstanding businessman, he always puts two other things in front of making money, his family and having fun. He doesn’t seem to care if this annoys the establishment. You’ve got to love him for that! Lastly, Casey the Cocker Spaniel. Casey was our first dog and when you opened the back door to let him in, he would be so happy he would run around in circles for 5 minutes. Ten minutes later, if you opened the door to let him out he would get so excited he would run around in circles again. Casey lived in the moment and enjoyed life. I try to be like Casey.

As a photographer who learned how to shoot in film days, do you think todays photographers are better or worse for learning in digital?

I don’t think there’s any difference. Photographers are artists, it doesn’t matter what medium they use. Learning the basics on film was slow because you had to get the film processed and printed. This put a lot of people off. The basics are easier to pick up with digital which brings a lot more people into the industry. This is a good thing as out of those people talented, hard working individuals will emerge and produce outstanding work. The others will be glad to continue to produce the basics. This was the same when we shot film except now there might be more of them.

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What advice would you give to the next generation of photographers?

Run while you still can! Its too late for the rest of us! Only joking. Photography has been very good to me. It has taken me across Europe to give seminars and to take wedding photos. It has introduced me to amazing people and given me experiences I would never had otherwise. My advice is ‘go for it’. Its not an easy profession to make a living at but the rewards outweigh the downsides.

What’s your favourite piece of equipment?

My favourite piece of kit at the moment is my little Lumix camera. Its not the highest resolution or the best in low light etc, but its small and I bring it everywhere. As the saying goes ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’.

Last but not least, which PPANI member is next to be interviewed?

David Coote.

 

To see more of Ciaran’s work, visit his website at: CiaranONeillPhotography.com or visit his PPANI profile page.

The PPANI is delighted to be able to bring one of our coolest photographers, Sarah Fyffe to our blog for a special guest appearance. Sarah is a hugely talented photographer from Omagh, Northern Ireland. This is a great read. Thanks again to Sarah for allowing the PPANI to showcase this great blog which first appeared on Sarah’s own site.

 

Images & Written By Sarah Fyffe

Sarah-Fyffe-Blog-Picture

I’ve noticed more and more brides opting for winter weddings. While the increased trend for Winter Weddings can look atmospheric and romantic it is not without its challenges.  You’ll need a talented photographer with experience of working in winter light and cold conditions to make you look your best.

 

Sarah Fyffe Guest Blog 10

Here’s my Top Ten Winter Wedding Style Tips to ensure your Winter Wedding goes as smoothly as possible and you get beautiful photographs no matter what the weather.

 

1. Wrap up Warm

Dress appropriately. You will never look or feel your best if you are cold.  Your posture and body language will be affected. Consider a coat or cardigan to flatter your dress or get creative with a jumper or wrap. It is possible to look stylish AND keep warm!

 

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Your bridesmaids will also thank you for it! Consider long sleevs and a heavier material. Check out these gorgeous, luxurious, deep red velvet bridesmaids dresses by one of my fave local designers Una Rodden.

 

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Consider faux fur capes for yourself and your bridesmaids that they can keep on for the outside photos.

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Make a statement with gloves to keep your extremities warm!

Sarah Fyffe Guest Blog 13

Sarah Fyffe Guest Blog 1

2. Get There If You Can

With our recent history of extreme winters it is very important that you book reliable transport that will get you through the ice and snow safely, if necessary.  Rule out vintage cars at this time of year especially if you have a long journey.

If possible keep travel to a minimum.  If you do have to travel arrange a bus for your bridal party and guests.

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3. It’s all about the Light

In my opinion, planning an early ceremony is the one most important elements to ensure you make enough time for some natural light portraits.

Those intimate moments you spend together during your couple shots are incredibly special so make sure you allow time to have these shots in natural light.  In Winter we lose the light at around 3’o’clock in the afternoon so it’s important to take this into consideration when planning your winter wedding.

This might mean planning an earlier ceremony time or perhaps considering a First Look, to catch your couple shots ahead of the ceremony.

Sarah Fyffe Guest Blog 11

4. Fake it

At this time of year the flowers you want may be out of season or may be delayed due to bad weather.  Consider a brooch bouquet instead of fresh flowers- you’ll have them as a keepsake after the wedding!

Sarah Fyffe Guest Blog 7

5. Baby it’s cold outside

To save time and avoid you and your guests freezing, forget about greeting your guests outside the ceremony.  If you really want a line up this can be organised just before dinner in the warmth of your venue.

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6. Shoot the Group

Plan group shots before hand with your photographer and keep them to a minimum to avoid freezing your relations and friends! They’ll thank you for it.

 

7. Warm Feet

During your outdoor shoot avoid getting your heels stuck in the grass by changing into a pair of boots or Uggs. This will be far more practical and no one will notice them underneath your dress.  Think of the comfort and warmth!

 

8. Venue

Consider having your ceremony and reception at the one venue incase of bad weather.  It’s also sensible to choose a venue with an amazing well-lit space inside for photos, in case snow, rain or ice forces you indoors.

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9. Makeup

Winter lighting is cooler than warm Summer light. Create a glow by using a little under-eye highlighter and some blusher. Try warm, glowing hues and remember to moisturize to keep skin from drying out in the cold.  Bring lip stick with you to refresh your makeup during the photo shoot.

 

10. Smile on the Inside

Don’t look cold, smile on the inside, you just got married!! If it helps carry a flask of hot chocolate or something stronger for the photo shoot.  Pocket warmers are great to avoid ‘blue’ hands and don’t forget the best source of heat will be to cuddle your groom!!

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Sarah Fyffe Guest Blog 3

I hope this helps if you are planning your winter wedding.

 

Thanks again to Sarah for this guest post on the PPANI blog. For further information, give Sarah a call at her studio or visit her website at SarahFyffe.ie

Keep an eye on the PPANI blog for more great blogs. If you are interested in producing a guest blog for the PPANI, please get in touch via info@ppani.co.uk

Interviewed By Steven Neeson

Welcome To Let’s Talk With Shea Deighan

Every month, the PPANI blog will bring you a little bit closer to Northern Ireland’s best and brightest photographers. This month, it’s the turn of Derry wedding photographer, Shea Deighan.

Hi Shea, welcome to the monthly PPANI interview.

That’s right. Thanks very much to Audrey Kelly for nominating me.

What made you decide that you wanted to be a photographer?

For my 30th birthday, I was given a camera as a gift. Even though I have a degree in Media Production which focused in photography, I hadn’t picked up a camera in years.

My sister owns a Montessori School in Cavan and she asked me to do the annual school photographs when someone else let her down.

I rented some equipment and loved doing the photos. The children were 2 & 3 and were so funny. Driving home, I thought this is something I should have been doing for years. A little while after that, I quit my job and built my website. Soon after, I began taking bookings.

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What’s a normal day like for you?

When I’m not at a wedding or doing studio sessions, I usually find myself in front of my computer at my office. The glamorous side of photography! I really wish I could spend more time behind the camera but I love working on my images too even though it feels like my eyes might fall out from staring at a screen all day. Since I’ve become a council member of the Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland, I’m finding myself doing lots of work for the PPANI too.

What’s it like being a member of council?

It has it’s up and downs. The PPANI is a fantastic organisation. I really do love being a part of it. Since I’ve been on council, we’ve had to deal with one or two issues but mostly the experience has been a positive one. Our president, Marie Allen is doing a great job and we have a good group of council members. I highly recommend that any other member who hasn’t been on council before make themselves available next year or the year after. It might give them a little more perspective.

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What’s the best or favourite photograph you have ever taken?

There is an image of a little boy I photographed at my studio a couple of years ago and I keep saying I’ll never take another better. The little man was about two years old and wasn’t being very cooperative during the shoot, in fact he was doing a great job of ignoring me. I shouted, hi Mr! He immediately spun around and I clicked and ended up with a great shot which is on display at my studio.

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My own favourite image is a shot of The Band Perry who are a big country music group in America which I took at a concert in Dublin last year. I love it. It was shot with a Fuji X100s which is a cool little camera.

The Band Perry Shea Deighan Wedding Photographer Northern Ireland

Do you photograph concerts too?

Not really. I’ve taken a little point and shoot camera to a couple of small shows and once managed to sneak my proper camera into a big concert. I don’t recommend doing that as depending on the venue, they may confiscate your camera.

I sneaked my wedding camera into a Taylor Swift concert earlier in the year. After shooting, for about a minute I got a tap on the shoulder by arena staff who warned me if I was caught using it once more, I’d be asked to leave.

I put the camera away until the last few songs and tried again. I was miles away from the stage but managed to get a few nice shots. My local paper saw one on my Twitter feed and asked if could they publish it. Think they were more interested in Taylor Swift than me.

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What gear to you use?

I’m a Canon shooter. I currently shoot of a 5D mk iii. It’s funny because I often get asked if I’m a Canon or Nikon guy. I’ve never owned a Nikon. Think you tend to stick with what you start with as you spend so much on glass. For lighting, I use Elinchrom. Love the quality of the light and it’s so reliable. I use Elinchrom strobes in the studio and have a smaller battery set for location and weddings.

What is your favourite part of being a photographer?

Handing over a finished product to my customer is the highlight for me. Whether it is something that will be hung on their walls for generations or a wedding album which will be treasured forever, the moment of joy and excitement that is shown is fantastic.

And least favourite?

Airbrushing. I know some photographers who love doing it, it’s like colouring in for them but I hate it.

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What’s the least best thing that has ever happened at a wedding?

I photographed a wedding in Belfast a couple of years ago. The couple wanted to go around the touristy spots for their bridal photos. At the time, I didn’t know Belfast that well so I grabbed my cameras and got a lift with the bride and groom in the front seat of their classic car that was hired for the day. The journey lasted about thirty seconds before there was a loud noise from the car. The steering wheel had broken. The car could drive forwards and backwards but couldn’t make a turn. The driver was a bit shocked as were the bride and groom.

We all jumped out of the car and left the driver with his broken car as he called for help in the busy rush hour traffic. We ended up doing the photos at City Hall, which turned out to be really pretty. On the walk back to the venue, I spotted a bus stopped in traffic and asked if I could get the bride and groom in for a quick snap. The bus lady obliged and in the end, it turned out well and we got some great shots. I still have the bus shot on display at my studio.

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What made you join the PPANI?

Being brutally honest, I joined to try to become a better photographer. I didn’t know a lot about the organisation and thought that the training and seminars which are included would be good value.

After being in the organisation for a couple of years or so, I feel the benefits of membership are huge. There are loads of great reasons to be a part of the PPANI but I’d say that networking is probably the best thing about being a member. I’ve met lots of other photographers within the organisation who really inspire me and to be able to chat to them off and on is a great help and really keeps you on your toes. The best photographers in Northern Ireland are members of the PPANI and some of the greatest are Derry photographers.

Finally, who’s next?

Ciaran O’Neill. Really looking forward to his interview. I can’t wait, as I know that he’s one of the best photographers in Northern Ireland and of course, one of the coolest!

 

To see more of Shea’s work, visit his site at www.SheaDeighanPhotography.com or visit his PPANI profile page.

Behind The Scenes Images & Written By Shea Deighan

Slideshow Images By Glenn Norwood

 

The November PPANI seminar was hosted at the Armagh City Hotel with a fashion shoot at Armagh Jail.

The PPANI members were joined by an amazing fourteen non members for the day and everyone was treated to a brilliant seminar by Northern Ireland’s top photographer, Glenn Norwood. Glenn’s model for the day was the beautiful, Melissa.

 

Glenn’s work is amazing. When I learned he was doing a seminar with the PPANI, I immediately booked my place. – Peter

 

Glenn showcased his impressive range of skills to everyone and spent much of his time demonstrating his many off camera flash skills using a range of impressive lighting gear and setups. Glenn turned the Armagh Jail into an impressive photography studio and demonstrated to everyone what it takes to be a master of light.

 

It really was kinda cool! – Catherine

 

After the fashion shoot and a fantastic lunch together, the delegates spent the afternoon being amazed by Glenn’s fantastic photoshop skills as he made some of the images taken at the jail come to life. Glenn has kindly made some of these images available to the PPANI in the above slideshow.

 

Great day. Big thanks to Glenn. – Sam

 

The PPANI would like to thank Magdalena HG [hair and styling] ; Melissa Elliot [model and makeup artist] ; Jessica Brandt [designer] ; Mariam Koczarian [styling] ; Ian Pedlow [Assistant] and of course would like to express our deepest gratitude to Glenn for his amazing contribution to the seminar and look forward to working with him again.

 

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Armagh Jail Fashion Seminar Glenn Norwood-1014

By Shea Deighan

The latest PPANI meeting was hosted by RA Calvert processing lab in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

 

Ronnie and his team covered many aspects of their business, workflow and explained in depth the processes and lengths they go to, to make our images beautiful.

As qualified professional photographers, we go to great lengths to ensure that our customers receive an amazing final product. Labs like Ronnie’s is the final step in the long process it takes to create an amazing image which our customers can hang on their wall or display in their wedding album.

 

Ronnie showed off some of his amazing print products and albums to the PPANI members in attendance. The quality was fantastic and got everyone who wasn’t currently using Ronnie’s services to think again about their lab provider.

 

The most interesting aspect of the visit was the workflow Ronnie’s team goes through when they receive an order from their clients. Every image is meticulously checked for quality, colour, consistency and when necessary, an adjustment is made. Ronnie’s labs boasts the finest equipment available and any image he produces is sure to be perfectly produced.

 

Many PPANI photographers trust Ronnie and his team to produce their fantastic images and after this visit, I’m sure many more will too.

 

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | RA Calvert processing lab Lurgan

Written By Shea Deighan

Images By Shea Deighan & Ewan Harkness

 

The Ulster Wedding Show is one of Northern Ireland’s top wedding shows and has some of the finest wedding exhibitors Northern Ireland has to offer. Hosted by Ulster Weddings at the SSE Arena over two days, it’s one of the biggest and busiest shows of the year.

The PPANI was well represented as members, Ciaran O’Neill, Graham Crichton, Ewan Harkness, Shea Deighan, Sam McDermott & Annette Burke exhibited some of their amazing images and albums to the excited visitors who travelled from all over Ireland.

Brides and grooms to be were out in force and photography was one of the main areas of attraction. The quality of the work showcased by these members was outstanding and is fitting of the title: Northern Ireland’s best and brightest.

 

We loved visiting the Ulster Wedding Show. We came here to book our photographer and were so glad that the photographer we wanted was available. We booked Annette Burke of 4Ever Photos at the show and to learn that Annette is a member of the PPANI is such a big bonus. We can’t wait! – Sarah & Rob

 

We booked Graham Crichton. We were so impressed with his stand and the quality of his work. – Elaine & Peter

 

We booked Ewan Harkness who was recommended by another PPANI member at the show. It was great learning about the PPANI. – Rebecca & John

 

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Ulster Wedding Show 2015

Interviewed By Shea Deighan

 

Welcome To Let’s Talk

Every month, the PPANI blog will bring you a little bit closer to Northern Ireland’s best and brightest photographers.

First up is the multi award winning Audrey Kelly. Audrey has been with the PPANI for over four years and currently serves as Vice President of the PPANI.

Audrey is ridiculously talented and is one of the brightest lights within the PPANI. On with the interview.

Hi Audrey, what inspires you to take amazing images?

Ha ha. Amazing? Thank you Shea. A few things inspire my style. The most inspiration though, would be from my love for art and the need to bring this across in my work.

I aim to create individual, unique pieces of art as apposed to seeing my work as simply just a photograph. My clients can hang my work on their wall like a painting and proudly say that it is them.

I often say, it’s like something you could buy in a shop but instead of just some random scene or subject – the subject is you or someone more meaningful.  Whether that be a wedding couple, a newborn shoot or a portrait.

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What made you get involved in the PPANI?

Being a photographer can be a little lonely. I had always heard about the PPANI but never felt I was good enough to join. I had thought initially that it would be a great way to network with other photographers in Northern Ireland and the competitions would be something to aim towards and make me grow as a photographer.

The PPANI has given me so much more than what I originally expected . Not only has my confidence grown as a photographer but I have also gained some great friends who I know I can rely upon if needed.

What is your favourite photograph that you have ever taken?

Haha. I think everyone will know this. My favourite photograph to date is the one I created for myself. It’s the one of Chloe, my daughter.

As photographers we are always creating everyone else’s story. This one is my story and was and still is something that is very close to me at this moment as I’m feeling the emotions of my little girl growing up and moving on.

My proudest moment in my career for not just myself but also Chloe was when this image won at the 2015 PPANI Awards. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional – this image has also inspired me to create more pieces for myself which I would encourage all photographers to do.

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Some photographers say that they see the world differently, and that they have a different perspective on life. What is your perspective on the world and on life?

In my photography world, I have a few rules and things I visualize. With every wedding or portrait I like to pretend that I’m skipping forward thirty years and what I want to create is something that will stand that test of time. I’ll imagine their grandchildren picking up the wedding album and hope that they can feel exactly what it felt like. I like images to be true to the day and how it was, with also a little push at times to add taste of art, but you know what I mean.

Can you describe that moment when you knew that photography was something you just had to do?

Photography was never something I had to do. I actually went down the route of film and video first and I’ve always had an eye for something different.  My trade as a graphic designer brought in an art element. I think I could say that the moment came when I got a few very amateur photographs framed, finished and given as presents to some family members. Seeing their reactions and how it made me feel at that time, I thrive on that humbled feeling yet to this day.

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What advice would you give to the next generation of Northern Ireland’s professional photographers?

My advice would be to research what others are doing but only so you know to do something different. Use this as a reference to try to be your own individual self and also to keep your images timeless. Ha ha.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you on while on a shoot?

The funniest thing that I can think of and probably because its most recent was when I continuously kept calling to my groom, Enda, by the name of Glenda, all day and just couldn’t get it right. It got a few laughs that day for sure and probably also the ongoing being peed on by all the little newborn men.

What’s your favourite piece of equipment and why?

I’ve quickly fallen in love with my 105mm macro lens since purchasing it last year.

What are some of your favourite things about being a photographer?

I think we are all in photography for the same reasons, but I would say the best thing for me is back to that feeling again, and being able to do something I love every day.

It never feels like work, well except for culling, ha ha. There is not many can say they are in a job they love to get up to do in the morning and that to me is one of the most important things in life.

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Last but not least, which PPANI member do you nominate for the next interview?

I nominate Shea Deighan. Ha ha.

Thanks to Audrey for doing the interview.

To see some more of Audrey’s amazing work, visit her PPANI portfolio page.

You can visit her website here, follow her on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter here.

Written By Shea Deighan

Four award winning photographers.

30 minutes to shoot. 30 minutes to edit. No pressure.

Welcome to the first blog post of the PPANI. This blog is aimed at you, the public to give you a little insight into the lives of our PPANI members and what it’s like to be one of Northern Ireland’s best and brightest professional photographers.

2015 PPANI Champagne Shoot Out

Todays subject is the annual PPANI Champagne Shoot Out. This year, the Antrim Castle Gardens & Clotworthy House hosted the event. Four award winning photographers from the 2015 PPANI awards battled it out for a bottle of bubbly. This is a popular day for members and it was a chance to let our hair down near the end of a very busy wedding season.

Award Winning Photographers

The photographers who took part this year were were Jay Doherty, Chris Semple, Audrey Kelly (who won last years event)  and current PPANI Photographer of the Year Catherine MacKenzie.

The Format

The format of the competition is as follows:

Each participating photographer has 30 minutes to shoot with the same model bride and groom in the presence of the PPANI members in attendance. The other three photographers are kept in another location so they don’t know what is going on. After the shoot, the participating photographer has another 30 minutes to prepare three edited images for display at the end of the day to all of the other members in attendance.

When each shoot is over and after seeing all of the edited images from each participating photographer in a slide show, the other PPANI members in attendance are asked to choose their favourite in a secret vote.

And The Winner Is

Jay Doherty! Jay won the shootout with the most votes. Congratulations Jay and to Chris, Audrey and Catherine for taking part. Here are some highlights of the day and of course the presentation images from each participating photographer.Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out

Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland | PPANI | Champagne Shoot Out