A year of adventurous weddings at The Redcastle photography, along Lough Foyle, in Co. Donegal. Fun-heavy, loved up photography sessions on the coastline at the hotel and locations in the east Inishowen area
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Reasons to be grateful…
The sight of the early morning sun through the bedroom curtain
The sound of my son whispering in your ear to come play cars
The feel of hot water on your back, and hotter water going down your neck
A fit of laughter with the wife that reminds you that this really is forever
Reading a poem that felt so right for this chapter in my life
The sound of the van door slide closed for the last time as we hit the road to freedom Floating in the air on a playpark swing in sync with my daughter
The smell of my son’s hair as I carry him crying down a country lane
The sight and sound of the Atlantic swell as it reaches its sandy destination
The creak of a rusty door that leads to a new escape Soft sand beneath your feet, warm sun on your back
A winter sun that reminds me that springtime will arrive, soon enough
A short conversation with a 3 year old that came over to say hello to us on a new beach
2 donkeys in a coastal field with 2 magpies on their backs
Hot coffee and a homemade Aero bun, made for one another Lego, Screwball Scramble, tomato soup to aid calm
Leaping onto a skateboard for the first time in a week
Warm, welcome swimming pool water to heal us all, body and mind
The sight of my girl completing a full length of the pool
The long journey home, quiet conversation, heater at the feet
The sight of an ambulance and the knowledge that I am not in it
A message of elation from a friend that just got engaged
A photo of my parents that shows they are healthy and happy
No more words as we dine together in darkness in the van
The sight of home, the tired souls, the cats assemble to greet us
A starry night at the hilltop castle, a pink moon rising over the fort
1 million stars to greet as my eyes adjust
The children are asleep safe and well, more memories made
The wife to greet me in the big bed, cold feet and all
…..many reasons to be grateful on Sunday 4th February 2018
FEEL THE FEAR...
I had a spontaneous conversation with a friend a few weeks back, as we tramped through wet heather out on the coast beyond Inch Island pier, in Donegal. He was telling me about change in his life, how he had tired of his career and was ‘hoping’ and striving for transformation. He wanted to reconnect with what he felt was always there in his heart, deep within, he want to open a new chapter, live the life of a professional creative. He also had big fears, big fears that turned into big monstrous fears in the wee hours of the morning, big fears that crept up when he was at his most vulnerable. It was a great conversation, I was happy to listen. Would he fail, he wondered, was he insane for leaving the bosom of a safe job, could he handle the turbulence. There were folk in his life supporting his new chapter, but also those warning him not to, to bank on the ‘known’, avoid risk, stay safe, protect his investments. I could only offer what I knew from my own experiences, from what I had read about and what I knew to be true in my heart.
I left my ‘safe’ 9-5…..9-6…9-7…8 sometimes, about 4 years back. I had known no real worries or pressure previous – I knew there would be money in the bank at the end of the month, I knew I’d be still employed a few years after, I knew I would not have to stretch myself too much in the long haul. All that, I knew. I also knew that, although it was a job I valued, in an environment of cool, friendly folk, I knew that there must more for me in this short life. I say I knew, but in reality I only ‘hoped’, or dreamed, as the world of self-employment in a small corner of the northern most county of Ireland was defiantly not a given, and was fraught with risk. The time came to make the leap though.
There is a great proverb, it sounds a bit far-fetched to the point of being fictitious. It is ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will appear’. I believe in this so much. When I was ready to make the leap, I found myself having a real spontaneous brainstormer of a conversation with a friend that was a professional creative, and a few weeks later I met a hero photographer of mine in Dublin, I heard his tale, then drove home with a head full of ideas and inspiration and a book that would become my bible. My time had come, the window of opportunity wasn’t so much open but slightly ajar, and a offered it further open with the ignorance of a big size 9 boot over following next year.
Change is not easy, we are often governed by our habits, but it is possible. It is possible for those that believe in gift of life, it is possible for those that are willing to take the jump, that are willing to trade safety and security for risk and opportunity. You will face hardship like you never thought possible, you will know what every hour of the clock feels like as you sit working, planning, creating, you will know hopelessness, pain and loss, loss of your freedom, loss of your very sanity. No one ever said it was going to be easy, and neither am I right here. It is not easy but it is possible. ‘Sow the seeds today for the future you want to live tomorrow’, another wise man once said.
My advice right now, during this short break from a late-night editing session is this….get on it, get on it tomorrow morning, take a step towards your goals and your dreams, for life is short, and we only really get the one run at it, from what I hear. Exercise self-discipline, self-belief, develop your skills and ability, use your mistakes as an education, not a burden, read the right books, listen to the preachers of positivity out there, sign up for the unknown, enhance your confidence by rising early, working late, creating and achieving, giving without expecting to receive and giving it an almighty lash. You might be surprised by how well things work out if you just give it a go.........starting tomorrow…