James Murphy


This is James Murphy. James is a Personal Trainer and model with Andrea Roche Agency. He came down for a quick shoot the other day looking for some new shots for his book. Here is one of the looks that we tried out.

I wanted to try out some images that were inspired by the work of Kurt Anthierens. This involved getting a more fashion feel to a shot, achieved by lighting and styling. Check out Kurts Folio 1, he has some great images there. This is what we came up with first time around.

The styling was done by James and his girlfriend Teo, Teo herself if a full-time model with 1st Option. The guys went on a shopping spree in Dublin and picked up a few bits and pieces.


Nicola Hughes – Miss Irish Sun 2012


September 2013 – CLick for Nicola’s NEW Shoot: https://www.richie.ie/shoots/nicola-hughes-press-shoot/


* April 2012 Edit *

April 2012, Nicola has just won the title of Miss Irish Sun 2012. Congrats Nicola on the new title! Nicola will head onto Miss Universe Ireland later in the year now – See HERE


Nicola Hughes is busy model with Assets Model Agency, Andrea Roche Agency,  whom I have the pleasure of shooting with recently. She has been modeling for a while now and is doing great for her self. She is great to work with and has fantastic skin, which makes the MUA’s & my job easier…… which we like.

I organised a test shoot just before Christmas with Nicola & Alyson. We wanted to get some Christmas themes shots as well as trying out some new looks for our portfolios.  It was a short day, but we managed to squeeze in some varied look in the two hours shooting with the two girls. Here are are some of the best shots of Nicola from the day. I look forward to working with her again.

The style team on the day were Danilo Taveres on Hair, Ann-Jean Fitzsimons on Make-up and Gill Keogh on styling. Check those talented guys out.

Follow the Tweeps



Olivia Tracy-Hogan on the Beach


Prepare for a slight bombardment of updates over the next day or so. I am  just back from Glasgow where were were shooting the World Pipe Band Games with DE Photo. It was a busy week over there so I am only now finally getting some time to do some updates and clear up the workflow backlog.

First on the list is putting the pictures from a shoot that I had with Olivia & Carol in July. We had a week of great weather in July and I was in full swing with plenty of  beach shoots. The two girls hopped in the car for the short drive down to Wexford for some fun in the sun. Olivia is a Dancer / Radio DJ / Model amongst other things. She is currently signed to Bscene. She is fun, bubbley and great to work with. She also has the most fantastic eyes ever. Here are the best of Olivia’s shots.

The first two Diptych‘s of Olivia made it into Flickr explore one day after the other, which was cool. It is amazing the amount of views and comments that an image can get if it is in explore. The shot above attained the same amount of views in 1 week that my current most viewed reached in 3 months. But that is a mute point as currently people seem to be weaning off Flickr as their photo sharing platform. I use flickr for two main reasons:

  1. Additional image back up
  2. Imaging hosting


Meaning that, with a Flickr Pro account, you can download the full res versions of any image that you put up, so you can upload 100’s of “finished” images and have them hidden from the public, ready to be downloaded if you ever need them. Also, all the images on my blog here are hosted on Flickr. I do this purely because all the images are on Flickr anyway, so there is no point uploading them to my blog also. Also, it means that I keep my wordpress database and server file management relatively simple.
All these shots were done with natural light with the help of some reflectors and diffusers.  As the weather gets worse from now on and the days get darker as we move back in to winter, expect to see the strobes coming back out and used a lot more.




* Edit… I no longer use flicker 🙂

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).

Hannah -114s

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.

Hannah -112s
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 🙂

Hannah -130-31s

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/


Jessica McMurry

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Back on the streets of Dublin, yet again for another action packed, fun filled, rain soaked Street Pic session. This time, I caught up with Jessica McMurray and her friend and model/photographer Anouska. It was a great little session that involved literally 15mins of shooting and a load of great shots that could be used. Here are the final ones  I picked.

We had to retire some shelter as the rain started to lash down as we started. I spotted a ‘plan B’ location on the way to the main location, so we resorted to that.

Jessica McMurray -3-4s

Anouska came along also. I have been following her work both as a model and Photographer and its great. ( Anouska’s Blog ). She helped out by holding Jessica’s white jacket to use as a reflector.

Again, as usual with the Street Pics, there was no more than 15min spent on photoshop. The 15mins starts after the final image to be edited have been picked that is. So in total for the few pics here you are talking about 60mins behind the computer.

Thats all for now. If you want to take part in a Street Pic session, hit me up here by leaving a comment, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Jessica and Anouska -1s

Hannah Healy on the Beach

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Here are the final images from a shoot with Hannah Healy out at Portmarnock beach recently. Hannah was also in DIT and we meet through the Fashion show. Hannah is a surf chick so it was a great theme for a shoot. She came all the way over from Galway with her board to shoot with me for a few hours.

I was using my Nikon D40 as usual with the 35mm 1.8 AF-S Lens. In front of the lense was a Hoya circular polarizing filter. It’s pretty much my standard setup these days when shooting out doors. Other bits of kit used on the shoot were basic reflectors, gold side used and my trusty strobes. The strobes has 1/2 cto gels on them to balance for ambient light and they were triggered by either the radio trigger or optical slave.

The above two images were from the later end of the shoot. They veered from the surf theme a bit and we tried a bit of a more of a fashion look. We only spent 10-15mins on this look as the light was fading very fast behind her. The lighting set up is fairly basic, just two strobes at either end of her, ask described in the diagram below:
The power of the left one would have been in the 1/2 range. The wide angle adaptor was used, so that and the gel took a bit of light power. The right strobe was any where from 1/2  in the top frame I think and 1/8 in the second. Although the right light in the top frame is a little hot, I kinda like the effect and the resultant lens flare.

I like this shot. I adjusted the various colour channels in light room to get the right black and white conversion. The lighting on this shot is coming from camera right, the sun and camera left, gold reflector.  It was just the two of us on the shoot so no assistances to help out. I some how managed to eye up a shot in the camera with the right hand and then lean over and use a small reflector in my left and to put some light on her face, took a few attempts but we got it eventually 🙂

hannah-surf -2s

We were playing around with various angles for this one. Hannah moved the board to the middle of her face and it caught my eye, so I thought there was a shot in it. The sun is coming in from the rear left, so the face is underexposed. I set up the flash just behind my left shoulder on a stand to provide some fill on her face. You can make it out in the catch light on her eye on the bigger version.

I like the shot above, the light turned out great. Just one strobe camera left and the sunlight camera / rear left. This shot is very neat straight out of camera. Could nearly be confused with something from a magazine 🙂

Brendan O’Loughlin

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Here are some of the shots from shoot two of three I had on that busy day a while ago. This time with Brendan was was up for a bit of craic and helping my get some shots for my portfolio. The other two shoots being the skateboarders and Gill. The shoot was a quick 30 minutes all in during lunch. It was a great day for it, the sun was shining and every one was in good form.

There was not much of a brief for the shots so we went with the flow. I decided utilise the weather and timed of year and the trees in full green foliage in a Dublin city park. There were a few various shots that ranged from the serious…ish headshots , some casual ones and fun shots etc.

We only had about 30 minutes from start to finish, including set up. So we didnt hang about. I had to head to Portmarnock beach later to shoot Gill.

For the Strobist out there, the set up was basic enough and pretty much my standard:

1x Nikon SB600 speedlight, shoot through umbrella on a light stand. The light had a 1/4 CTO gel to balance it for the sunlight.WB was set to sunlight also.  Shutter was 1/125 @ F3.5 and ISO 200.

I shoot in manual most of the time, so I set the aperture first to my desired value. This being determined by the required depth of field  and the sharpness of the  lens. The sharpness of my lens varies a bit across the various aperture values at various focus distances. Anyways… so what ever the camera was telling me to set the shutter to get a correct exposure on the background, I under exposed it by a stop or 1 1/3 stops. I then used the flash to bring up the light on the subject to a suitable level. Once I had the power on the flash right then I adjusted the position of the light a bit to get it just right.

Bearing in mind that this was all going on within a few minutes so it was a bit rushed. The sunlight on the screen also makes it a bit harder to see what you are really getting.  A bit more time and some more lights would mean more power to over come the sunlight and underexpose the background even more… That is for next time. This was a nice quick exercise in strobist work though.


Max Fedorov

Max is a friend from college. He is into long boarding which is similar to skateboarding. I thought that it could make some some interesting photos so I asked if I could come along some time the next time he was meeting up with his boys to practice in Dublin. Max was also a model in the DIT Fashion show that I was at. I took some portrait snaps of him for his portfolio and also some pictures of lads doing their thing.

This post is about Max’s shots. The next post will be about the action shots, some of which came out great. For Max’s shots, I was using two Nikon SB600 flashes for the hour or two I was out shooting. I gelled one flash with a 1/4 cto gel to balance the flash for the ambient sun light which I was using as a back light / rim light for some shots. I was using another SB600 usually for a accent / kicker / side light etc etc. Both flashes were set off remotely via radio triggers.

The White Balance setting was set to sunny as far as I can remember. WB on the camera is not as important now for two reasons.

1. I am shooting in RAW which means it can be adjusted in post processing
2. I am experimenting with different processing techniques anyway. WB shift and tinting and split toning.

I was also using a shoot through umbrella to soften up the light. The umbrella was the key light (cto gelled) and generally less than a meter away from Max. All this combined with underexposing the background by about a stop gave the effect that you see. There was no skin retouching with these photos. There was 10 minutes spent in Lightroom setting up the first image and then the settings were copied over to the others with some adjustments for each.

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