Kate McDaid – Miss Irish Sun 2011


Kate McDaid is Miss Irish Sun 2011 and a model with Andrea Roche Agency. She seen my work and got in touch on FaceBook to organise a shoot. We exchange some ideas over email, met up for a coffee to finalise the details and the rest as they say is history. It was a great opportunity to work with Kate as she is the current Miss Irish Sun, there would have been a great chance to get some work published. The guys at the Sun loved the shots and they got published today (Aug 2nd 2011). This was first time getting work published, nor will it be the last. I have few bits and pieces coming out over the next week or so.

The shoot team was the same as the last few shoots. Gill Keogh was on the styling end. She knows the area around Howth and found this cool little location that we used. Tassia Fitzimons was on hair duties again. Lastly, the lovely Ann-Jean Fitzsimons was on make-up duties.

Photoshoot by Richie Buttle

With the human team members assembled, I have some new members to my camera team. These being my new Canon 1D mkIVand Pocket Wizzards. No longer will I be bloging about poverty wizards or Nikon gear, its it onwards and upwards from here on.

Testament to Canon and Pocket Wizards, I literally picked up the new camera and all the gear, drove to the shoot, put the card and batteries in and started shooting. Coming from using 1D mkIII’s from my weekend Sports & Events work with DE Photo, I was familiar with the Canon. I set it to RAW, Flash WB and set the exposure in manual mode and started shooting. For the pocket wizards (Mini TT1 & Flex5’s) I just put in the batteries, attached the appropriate PW’s and turned them on.  On the whole the PW’s worked great, but there is some little nags that I will sort out once I read the manual and master them.

Back to Kate though. Between the rain and the lack of light, we didn’t get to finish the shoot in the second location. Which was a pity because the last two looks were going to be even sexier. Keep it here though as we will be finishing off the shoot soon.

Photoshoot by Richie Buttle

Danilo Taveres


I had a shoot with Danilo Taveres at Laytown beach recently. It was a portfolio shoot for Danilo to build up his modelling book. He is a multi-talented guy, he is a a hair stylist, a makeup artist and hope to be model. The shoot was styled by Liam Power. This was the first shoot I worked on with Liam. The second shoot was for the Sunday World Magazine which will be published this week (Aug 7th)

This shoot was a pretty quick shoot as the weather turned nasty on us. It was all natural light except the last shot for which I brought out a single strobe as it was getting dark. I am shooting a lot more natural lately, when it is available. In stead of adding a strobe to fight the sun, I am now starting to control harsh sunlight, to give a soft light, rather than just blasting in fill light with a flash.

This was the last shoot I did with my Nikon Gear. From here on in, it will all be Canon 🙂

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Lydia Coleman Beach Shoot

June and July are turning out to be a pretty busy month with shoots. With the few days of fine weather that we get… in between all the rain, its the perfect chance to get out onto the beach and take some shots. Only days after my last shoot with Lydia, we were back at it again, striking while the iron was still hot so to speak. I was also shooting Alyson Boyle at the same time, but I will put her pics into a separate post.

The team was the same as the night shoot. We had Ann-Jean Fitzsimons on make-up and Gill Keogh on Styling.



I like the shot above of Lydia. The make up was kept very minimal and natural to bring out Lydia’s freckles. And yes, both of us were in the water for this shot. I was hand holding the Speedlight and the umbrella in my left hand while trying not to drop the camera from my right hand. A little bit of desaturation in post and that is this image done.

The shot below is another great one of Lydia. I spoke before of her great smile, and here it is.


The shot above is all with natural light and a reflector. Some times natural light is just better, this is one of those cases. The reflector created nice catch lights in her eyes also as bonus.

I will finish up with this image, again showing Lydia’s great smile.


Stay tuned for the shots of Alyson in a few days.

Here are some Behind the Scenes shots of the crew at work 🙂


Rachel Kenny – Beach & Street

Rachel is another one of the many DIT models I have shot. Rachel was involved in the DIT Fashion Show. Rachel is currently signed with Catwalk Models in Galway. Rachel has a really nice look and it was great to shoot with her on two occasions. She has catwalk experience and has done a good few fashion shows. Working with experience models always make things easier when it comes to posing and general atmosphere on set.

Rachel Kenny -4

The two shoots were a fashion shoot on the streets of Dublin at night and some beach shots. For the Dublin shoots, we were aiming for a dark look. Ann-Marie Carey was on MUA duties with Danilo Tavares was on hair. Both did a fantastic job. I was assisted by Cameron ( Snapt.eu), who was a big help in the location scouting and the lighting on the night of the shoot.

Rachel Kenny -2

This shoot has its lighting problems in that the areas is lit by ugly, yellow sodium vapour street lights. This alone was not that big a deal from an ambient light point of view. A custom white balance on the Nikon D7000 worked a treat and produced a nice result…. almost cinematic feel, which is what I was hoping for. The problem then came in trying to use fill light. I do not have big reflectors to reflect back enough of the light. My initial reaction was that I wanted to used flash, but with this custom WB setting, normal white light was shifting to dark blue.

I knew that I needed to balance to my flash with the ambient. This is a trial and error process. You basically need a lot of CTO and 1/2 CTO gels with you and keep adding them to your flash until the light from your flash looks good on your subject. I think I ended up with an equivalent 3 1/2 CTO gel, which was made up of 5 or 6 individual gels. The main problem with this is that each gel added decreases the power of the flash…. power that is already scarce due to the distance from light to subject and I was wanting to keep the ISO low on the body to keep noise down. But it all worked out in the end.

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Rachel Kenny -5

The other set of shots are from a beach shoot with Ray Byrne. It was a great day on the beach and we got some great shots. Here are the best ones. I really like the portrait below of Rachel. I like the expression on here face and she has amazing eyes.

Rachel Kenny -8

I hope to shoot with Rachel again soon over the Summer to get a wider range of shots. If you’re reading this after 2011, then click to see more shots of Rachel and Ray.

Ray Byrne – Street & Beach

Ray Byrne is a new model with Andrea Roche Model Agency. Ray is another one of the many DIT models I have shot since I started out. Ray was involved in the DIT Fashion Show in 2011 on the night he won a contract with AR Agency. Here are a few images from a shoot we had recently to get his book started.

We shot around Dublin City for a while, before heading off to the beach with Rachel Kenny. We got some great shots during the day. Here are the best ones.

Ray Byrne-3

Ray Byrne-16

The lighting was kept fairly simple for these shots. They were either natural light or there was a single Nikon SB-600 and a shoot through umbrella used. The shot of Rachel and Ray above for example, there was a light used and placed camera left.

Laura Redac on the Beach


Here is Laura Redac. A Romanian born model, living over here in Ireland.  Laura is here a few years now with her fiancé and is currently signed with Assets Model Agency in Dublin. She is a tall girl, 5’11” in her feet and has a lovely natural skin colour.

Ann-Marie Carey was the MUA for the day and she done a great job. Styling on the day was done by the lovely Jennie Moore. The style for the day was beach ware, so plenty of bright colours were in use.

It was a good, fun day. The team worked well on the day and we have since shoot again recently. Those pics will be up soon. This is a quick post as I have loads of shots backing up that need to get edited and blogged. I haven’t got much to say except enjoy the pics



98FM’s Teena Gates


If you live in Dublin, then chances are you may have heard Teena Gates talking to you over the air waves at some point. Teena Gates is the head of news at top Dublin station, 98FM and is also an ambassador for the Hope Foundation. Teena and the rest of her team have raised nearly just shy under €60,000 through her many many fantastic achievements, both personal and charity driven.

One of her biggest achievements to date is in climbing to Mount Everest Base camp. This feat is one that not many people in the world can lay claim to….nor would many attempt it. It is truly inspirational stuff. Climbing Everest was not the only thing she done. She also assailed down the Dublin Wheel, which was also for the Hope Foundation. See the YouTube video below for more info on that.

One of Teena’s most impressive achievements however, is more a more personal nature. She has managed to lose 12 stone and counting in a very short time. This was the reason for our little shoot, to produce some nice ‘after’ photos to show off how good she looks after the amazing transformation. I asked Teena how she did it and basically said that it was all down to hard work. Eat well and exercise. It’s sounds a lot easier that it really is though I am sure.

Our shoot was in the Gibbson Hotel, which is located in Dublin’s Docklands area, beside the O2 and Dublin Wheel. This spot was chooses for its fantastic look and also because it is beside the Dublin Wheel, which was a part of Teena’s charity work. It is a great hotel and the staff were very accommodating to us, which also helps on a shoot. There is nothing worse than feeling like your are in the way. We got a wide selection of shots at the hotel and then headed back to the 98FM studio for some quick environmental portraits.

Teena and I had great craic shooting away. Teena is a lovely, genuine woman and is  very easy to work with. Coming from a media background, she understood that is takes time to set up lights and to get a shot right. This is great from a photographer point of view as it can reduce the pressure a little bit as the subject is not huffing and puffing wondering what is taking so long. I wish her all the best in the future and look forward to hearing about her reading the Top of Everest some time 🙂


Here is a bio that written about her on the Hope Foundation site:

With more than twenty years’ experience as a journalist, presenter and media trainer, Teena Gates heads up the PPI award-winning newsroom at Dublin’s 98, where she presented breakfast news for two decades after being coaxed away from RTE.   Teena is a Board member of Learning Waves, a training network established for the Independent Radio Industry.  She has also lectured in Communications with FAS, and in Journalism and Media Studies with BCFE Ballyfermot College of Further Education.

Having recently regained fitness after a long illness, Teena’s lost  eight stone since last Summer.  After climbing her own personal mountain, she is determined to make it to base camp:  “Last year I could barely walk and now I can run; what better test than to try a  little stroll along the highest point on the planet.”   She loves to swim and snorkel, in particular at a little fishing village in the south of France nestled between Nice and Monaco, which she keeps going back to. That’s where her weight-loss began, when she went there for two weeks to eat olives, drink a little good red wine, and swim up and down the coast every day for hours.   In fact she spent so long in the sea that one day she got rescued by two local fishermen who fished her out of the water;  she thought she spoke reasonable French but her vocabulary didn’t extend to: “I’m not in need of rescuing, please leave me here in the surf!” Still, they were very nice!

She loves Twitter and Facebook and believes they are a vital part of the future of news and radio.  She’s passionate about radio, which she still thinks is one of the purest, honest and most instant forms of communication: “I still feel as excited about radio as when I listened to a crackly Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline under my duvet, when I should have been asleep….of course they were blankets rather than duvets back then“.

Teena is still coming to terms with losing her mum suddenly, but peacefully last March; but she’s focusing on the happy times and is dedicating her walk to Everest to her late mother.

If you are on twitter, you can follow Teena here Twitter.com/teenagates. You can follow me while your at too 🙂

[slickr-flickr tag=”teenag1″]

Orla Murphy – First Encounter

2011 got off to a great start in terms of shoots. With shooting Hannah recently, Orla here and with other shoots organised, it will be a busy year. The plan for this year is to up the game more and to really improve on the shots. Part of that plan included doing more shoots with a full team (Hair, Makeup, Stylist etc. ) and agency models. Orla is signed with Assets and have been doing quite well for her self. She is a beautiful girl and has a great personality to match. We were shooting pieces by award winning Fashion Designer Umit Kutluk.

Orla M -5-6s

I met Umit last year through the DIT fashion show and always kept him in the back of my mind for a shoot. When I confirmed the shoot date with Orla, I then got in touch with Umit to finally get around to shooting with his stuff. That is the great thing about networking and making contacts, if opens up opportunities for collaborations projects.

Hair and Makeup was done by the fabulous Julie Caulfield. Julie really knows her stuff when it comes to makeup. She done a fantastic job with Orla as the shots shoe. Even the close up shots turned out great. Normally you can spot bad makeup in tight head shots because the shot is so close, you can see every little detail. The shoot was a fail in one sense, yet a success in others. The main goal of the shoot was to get some nice outdoor shots shots and some swimwear. However the epic fail came in the form of weather. It was lashing rain pretty much all day. Do it really did kick the plans in the nuts. I had some really nice ideas to. One idea for the brown feather dress was to shoot it in a wood that is located near the house. It would have been far easier to cancel the shoot, but you are never really guaranteed the weather.  And if there was a spell of good weather coming up, the chances of getting every one together again would be slim. Ah well. So instead of nice shots out side, the thinking cap had to start working and come up with a couple of different looks, indoors. The location was my house in Wexford, which I have used in the past for shoots. I don’t like using the same location for shots, so I was running out of fresh rooms to shoot in. Luckily, I saved some of the best locations till last. These include the garage and a room a hallway that has the deer heads. It is a great skill to be able to land on a location and to be able to come up with some shot ideas and make the most of it. I am slowly getting better at it. No matter how bad a location could be, there is always a shot to be had, you just have to picture it. Picturing it with different light, with the background out of focus, close ups etc. After a while you will see things with a different eye. The hallway was a great location, the stag heads are very unusual great. Some times, you have great locations, but you unless you have the cloths to match, then it might not look as good as it could be. In this case though, it worked out good. We managed to get two slightly different looks looks in. The pants stayed the same in both, but the tops were exchanged.All the cloths were made by Umit him self. He is very talented.

After an hour or so in the hall, we want to change look and location. As we were heading back to the room to change make-up and outfit, the thinking cap was back on. It was still raining, so i was thinking of ways in which I could protect the flashes…. still wanting to get some out door shots. I took another look out the window and eventually conceded that there would just be no outdoor shots today. So back to thinking about indoors. I liked the look of another hallway, upstairs this time. There was a nice lamp on a table along with some flowers that worked well. I thought that the red of the carpet and yellow of the walls would contrast nicely to the white of one of the outfits, so we got to work. While the lads were preping Orla, I was setting up the shot. I was looking at it from either side, trying to see which way I liked best. I was taking some times into consideration also, things that I had learned from previous shots. These included the background, a place to hide lights, ambient light features, furniture etc etc. I chose the angle that you see below mainly due to the options it game me for placing a light. Those with a keen eye will recognised that the black and white portrait above was shots at the same time as this series.

Orla M 14-15s

Next stop, it was to the garage to capture the bird dress. While we were out there, we shot the casual, jeans shots also. These turned out nice as there was a bit of blue spay paint on the garage doors that matched in well with the outfit.
I will finish up with the head shots. I am really happy with how these turned out. I tried out a new head shot lighting setup for the first time, and I really like the quality of the light from it. It is super soft and very flattering. I will be posting up some behind the scenes shots at a later date, which will include details on the lighting set up. If you have any comments or questions, you can hit the comments link below and can fire away there. Check back again soon for the behind the scenes shots and lighting setups.

Orla M -20s

A Day with Hannah

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You might remember this lady from a previous shoot. I originally shot Hannah on Portmarnock beach in June ’10 for some surf / beach shots. Since then, Hannah has been signed with Galway Catwalk Model Agency. Although the beach  shots went down very well with the agency and it was enough to get her signed, they need to see more range in her portfolio.  We managed to organise a full days shooting ( about 14 hours in total) to get as many looks as we could to widen the range on the portfolio.

The brief was to get a good mix of headshots, fashion, lingerie, casual and other shots. We done pretty well in covering the brief, as the images show. We had the assistance of a professional Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist, Rachel Cleary and Conor Clinch was assisting me for the day. It was a good team for the day, which was very cold and long. Styling advice was also provided by Jennie Moore, who could not be with us on the day.

The locations being used were around the Ballsbridge area. Shooting out doors is great, because every corner you turn there is a new location that you can use. The only problem is that you can not control the weather. We battled the cold, which was ok, we fought against the wind, which was awkward at times with hair and we went to war with rain… which was going to mess with the gear. Despite it all, the team did well, didn’t complain and the shots turned out good. We ended up taking 400ish frames through out the day and managed to pick out the top 40 or so images. These images were whittled down again even further until we were happy with them and the editing then began. I picked my favs, or what I thought were the best of the day and they are the ones that you are seeing here now.

The stream of photos above are the best of the day and are actually in reverse order of when they were taken. So if yo wanted to imagine the days photos start in the bedroom, then Hannah gets up out of bed and beginning her day.  The day started off with nice sunny spells (along the canal) but it only lasted a few hours as by the time we got back to the hotel then cloud cover was patchy and rain was on the way ( jump suit shots).

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Having a Hair & MUA on set during a shoot make a huge difference to the outcome of the final images, like wise with the calibre of the model, which should be evident on this shoot. Both model and MUA worked very well. Having the model and MUA been good friends was an added bonus and it made the day go by that bit quicker.


My work is getting to the stage now where its the model who can influence the image more than I can. In terms of pose, attitude and general look etc. A photographers vision and direction giving are one thing, its the model’s interpretation and execution of those directions that makes the difference. Some models can get what you are trying to go and go with it. Some even put their own little twist on it and make it their own. When that happens, its great.

The same goes for the MUA and Hair. As I get better at the technicalities that goes along with taking the pictures, it would be fair to assume the same level of skill from MUA’s and Hair Stylist.  The really needs to be perfect as there is no sense in having to spend a lot of time afterwards fixing it in photoshop.

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As you can see from the shot on the left, the make up is pretty spot on. Generally I am not a fan of photoshop, or to be more specific – retouching. Retouching being the editing of skin, spots and patchy makeup etc. Stuff like making legs and arms and legs smaller is time consuming. It is time spent sitting at a computer when I would much rather be out taking more photos or indeed doing other stuff.

I don’t mind processing images as much. Processing the colour corrections, contrast and brightness etc of images. Converting images to B&W is also something that I don’t mind doing, once the image lends it’s self to be converted to mono. Some images looks good in black and white, some don’t.

The lighting setups for this shoot by the way, will be going into another post over the next few weeks. I have a bit of a back log of photos to edit ( see 2 paragraphs up… last line) and once I have all that cleared, I will then compile setup info for all the shoots from as far back as Caroline.

All in all, I was very happy with this shoot. We managed to cover a lot over a short space of time and all the team got plenty from it for their portfolios and experience. I got a chance to try out some new lighting setup, one of which is similar to the inspiration post from a few weeks ago. I look forward to working with Hannah again when she is a famous top model 🙂

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Just a another shout out to Rachel who done the Hair and Makeup, check her out. She is available for hire for commercial and domestic work. Also, cheers to Conor for helping out. I hope that he learned a thing or two. Even at 15, he has got skills, more than I did at 25, so keep it up Conor.

I am going to end this post on a nice quote I seen on twitter to describe photography. I thought it was a great description, at least for me:

“Photography is for people without manual artistic talent”

Thats all for now, hit the comments link below if you want to leave or view the comments.

Hair & Mua: Rachel Cleary – Facebook: FaceBook or her Blog
Photography Assist: Conor Clinch – http://conorclinch.com/
Style Advisor: Jennie Moore – http://fadingintofashion.blogspot.com/


Jesse du Toit – Rock Chick

Jesse Du Toit -1s

Here are the results from a recent Shoot with Jesse, and we are very happy with them. Jesse is signed with Assets and we worked before back in March 2010. We have a good rapport together and she is a great girl. She asked me if I was interested in shooting some stuff with a guitar for her portfolio and I said yes as she helped me be out before. Here are the results.

I was very happy with the results and the lighting in particular. We spent about an hour alone just setting up the props and details and getting the look right before we started to shoot. I have a good few decent set up shots that I will put up in another post later in the week.

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I really like this shot as it looks great and turned out as planned. Like with the shots above, every thing that you see was put there for the shot. The Jack D, lighter, cigarettes, guitar, the cry baby etc.

I have a fairly detailed setup shot showing how this particular shot was done. It covers most of the other images here too as the lights were not moved around that much. You can find it here.


Jesse Du Toit -9s
I really like this portrait. It is all natural light and a reflector. Jesse has pretty intense eyes normally, combine those with a large 42 inche reflector in front of her to add catch lights really enhances them. The styling is keeping in line with the whole 80’s theme, the hair and jacket etc.