A few thought on why.


I love this place…

Having being interviewed lots and lots of times now I have been asked lots of questions like what type of photographer are you?  Answer: a curious one…The question I have very rarely been asked is why I do what I do, I mean not take pictures – I have no choice in that – but why do I run photography workshops and tours in Ireland?  I mean there are probably easier ways to earn my living right? – In fact I left a very well-paying job a few years ago now to do this…It obviously goes without saying that I am passionate about Ireland and the Irish Landscape.


Winter time in Ireland…

I have felt this way since I got my first car, a white Daihatsu charade it was, and I spent all my spare time driving into the Wicklow mountains  to go hiking in the mountains and later to kayak down the small mountain creeks.  I remember leaving Dublin on a Friday night with a kayak strapped onto the roof heading for Kerry where I first learnt to surf.  Later I travelled to Lahinch and Spanish point.  Stopping off if there was rain to paddle down the waterfalls of the Clare Glens.  I remember going rock climbing in the Burren with a friend and almost crashing the car because I fell asleep behind the wheel.  Sometime later with that same friend and a few more we took advantage of the becalmed ocean and took our sea kayaks from Liscannor along the cliffs of Moher – they look even more incredible from underneath with the people scrabbling about on top like tiny ants – and having traveled north beneath their majesty we turned west and straight out to sea to Inis Maan on the Aran Islands where we pitched tent and took ourselves off to the pub for the night.  The next day we paddled across to Inis Mor and stayed the night there before circumnavigating the Island, passing beneath Dun Aengus before heading back to the mainland.  If I am passionate about anything I am passionate about Ireland, its landscape, its culture and its people.  I am passionate about sharing it with my clients and to make sure they have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully in all of it.


This was so amazing I had to share…

One of the highest compliments I was ever paid was this one:

“It’s hard to pick one single thing but I really enjoyed the company of our group, the fabulous meals and the accommodation was great too. I came home with some really nice images, my favourite location was Kylemore Abbey. I also enjoyed getting a first-hand description of Irish history (from an Irishman) while I was riding shotgun on our travels around the West Coast.”
David Vogt. Boston.

I remember David wanted to know all about the history of Ireland, he has Irish ancestry, and I am also passionately interested in Irish history.  It was my pleasure to try to explain its complexities to him as we drove along the west coast.


This makes me angry…

The other reason I am passionate about what I do is that I am passionate to help other photographers discover their own voice, to trust and have confidence in their own creative intuition.  What does that mean exactly?  Well in my own case I remember being advised, early on, to specialise in a certain style of photography so that people would recognise my work.  The idea was that this would somehow make my work more sellable.  I was being asked to copy a style in order to sell.  I couldn’t do that because it didn’t feel like me, when I tried it the pictures didn’t look like mine.   I have since discovered that I can work in a variety of styles from classic fine art black and white to snapshot street photography to contemporary fine art.  To me the style is dictated by the subject, by what I am trying to say.  This could be look at this place its beautiful or this is how I feel today or even this makes me angry.  Photography is not just for making nice images.  Photography is your self-expression and you can only make your images – the images you were meant to make – if you are truly yourself behind the camera.

If you would like to know more then check out this Wild Ireland Workshop in March 2014.

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About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
This entry was posted in client testimonials, Ireland, The West of Ireland, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A few thought on why.

  1. Brian, fully agree on the photography style people want to put you in. I like to photograph what catches my eye and the style is dictated by that. I do not want to be pigeon-holed as the experts or salesman will encourage. Like your bit at the end “Photography is not just for making nice images. Photography is your self-expression and you can only make your images – the images you were meant to make”. Thanks for sharing and have a good week. MM 🍀

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