Begin Again with Brooke Shaden

There is a lot of (valid) negative talk about social media in the press, however, without social media (namely Instagram) I would not have started following US artist Brooke Shaden and heard about her ‘Promoting Passion‘ tour.

I happened to be in London for the European leg of her ‘Promoting Passion tour and immediately signed up for a place (thanks sonyalpha being such great sponsors and making it so affordable). It was meant to be!

There was a wonderful photography workshop (see below – thanks to our four wonderful models and Ceridwen Images as stylist extraordinaire/wardrobe/prop supplier) but that was not the main focus of the day.

Brooke is an inspirational speaker (and great hugger!) whose positive energy and thought provoking questions and exercises will be cogitated and digested for long after the event. Gillian Gamble was our second speaker and her story, beautiful art and enthusiasm for creativity provided another perspective on Brooke’s questions.

Questions like what is our legacy and why is it so difficult to create lasting legacy. Challenging us to change our narrative and move beyond expectation. Questioning what holds us back and allowing ourselves to begin again.

Like I said, so many thought provoking questions I have just begun to try to answer and begin again.

My photos from the photoshoot :

The Watchmaker Classical and Street Dance Theatre

Photoshoot fun (involving lots of sparkles with the time fairies and smoke machines with the shadow spirits (plus a smoke alarm to add to the excitement!) with The Watchmaker Classical and Street Dance theatre in advance of their 2019 EU tour starting in Switzerland on 11 May. Check out http://www.thewatchmakershow.com/ for more information.

Choreographed by the talented Veronika Sardiko (who is also the artistic director and owner of MyArt Dance and Art Studio in Dublin), The Watchmaker blends classical ballet and street dance in a modern metropolis. ‘The Watchmaker’ presents the reality of people living in a busy modern city. Lost amidst the hustle and bustle of routine, precious moments of life slip by unappreciated. A mysterious and magic fairy tale for kids and adults. Buy tickets here http://tinyurl.com/yydd4kb3.

Dancing in the forest……

Check out this amazing video for the Dublin Bellydance Project.

I was lucky enough to shoot some stills from the dream sequence in the forest for dancer Aleksandra Bilgic. The video was shot by the super talented Fruit Frame Films – my first time shooting stills during a videoshoot and hopefully not my last!

Such a great afternoon (though I was wrapped up well – not like Aleksandra dancing in her bare feet in the forest). We even used (or rather tried to use) smoke grenades – I definitely need these for my next shoot!

Some behind the scenes shots of the fun here:

And here is a few storyboard shots involving the dream sequence:

Such a joy to be involved in the pre-planning of this shoot too, from sourcing smoke grenades to location scouting. However, the real star is the creative director and dancer Aleksandra, her enthusiasm for the project was infectious, her attention to detail from start to finish second to none and as she danced in the freezing cold forest in her bare feet, her dedication to her art and her vision shone true. Well done Aleks, you should be very proud.

Dublin Culture Night

Dublin Culture Night  (21 September 2018) is always a highlight in the events calendar – such a great friendly crowd and so many more places get involved each year. This year I was lucky to have the opportunity to take some shots of 3 varied studio performances in Dance Ireland, what a treat!

Juan Jesus Guiraldi – Dance Ireland International Associate Artist

A mesmerising and hypnotic contemporary dance performance with Juan Jesus Guiraldi. I look forward to see how this piece develops in the future.

Ballet Ireland with Marguerite Donlon/Donlon Dance Collective

The packed studio audience had a fascinating insight into the rehearsal process with Ballet Ireland and internationally recognized choreographer Marguerite Donlon and Francesco Vecchione (Donlon Dance Collective).  An absolute pleasure to watch a performance of a newly created contemporary piece they had been working on for the last two weeks.

‘In Struggle We Hope’ with Tobi Omoteso & Leo Wolstenholme

The final performance ‘In Struggle We Hope’ was something entirely unexpected (to me anyway!) – a combination of abstract movements and B-Boy/Street Dance intertwined with improvisational and traditional violin music. So much energy – the audience gasped at one stage at a jump/somersault, it was hard for my camera to keep up!

A really unique evening and great to see such diverse audiences for all 3 performances. Well done Dance Ireland and all the performers – until next year!

Mother nature awakens

It’s nice get back to some outdoor floral photography. Mother nature has been slightly confused by the crazy changing weather and I only really got back out last weekend to see what #springflowers have #sprung. I seemed to have missed tulip season (maybe next year I will make it to the tulip fields in the Netherlands). Here is a selection of #bleedingheart #grannysbonnet #allium #bluebell #snowdrop (snowdrops are from a few weeks back) from my next door farm & gardens Airfield Estate #airfieldestate. I love the walled garden there. There is a little bit of texture added, but the images are pretty much straight from the camera!

Inspiration…

I attended a fantastic day of talks with photographers David Hobby (aka the Strobist) and Sara Lando. I signed up ages ago (I love when international photographers visit Dublin!) and quite honestly didn’t know what to expect as it wasn’t a practical workshop. Hearing both describe their photographic journeys (the good and bad) was fascinating and inspiring. Both were very generous with the information they shared – I tend to find that photographers at the top of the game are the most generous with their knowledge (it’s really refreshing!). I really loved the impromptu cling film and flour shoot with Sara – I’m going to try this out myself! David passed on lots of advice, his yearly ‘ecosystem’ life map is something we all should do and next on my agenda. A few lucky people are attending practical photography workshops with David and Sara this week………