The year of the workshops!

Where do i start? This is my first blog post in about 2 years! It feels so weird to be taking time to write about a photography experience rather than a wedding video !
Coming up to the end of 2016 I decided i wanted to do a few workshops to “turn the dial” with my work a bit. Most of this involved looking for workshops across Europe as there is not much happening in Ireland for video. A chance conversation with Tomasz Kronas while working together for the first time led me to find out about a wedding photography workshop in Ireland .


Don’t follow the crowd

It takes a long time to find your own voice, in fact i wonder do we ever? We are surrounded by so many influences these days you need to be careful what your brain is ingesting as it all influences your work. At different stages we look for guidance, others for inspiration……..I found myself looking for the later  as last year was coming to an end.
In review the year had been great, but I know i’m capable of more and also capable of making my own job easier whilst improving.

My minimalist lust

I had become weary of all the gadgets and gear i was bringing to weddings, and the first thing that hit me was how “free” some of the great photographers that i worked with seemed to be. And this is where i circle back to the workshop. The workshop was a tipping point or pivot point for me. In SO many ways. Oh boy. First I nearly didn’t go as the planets tried to conspire against me on the first day a I nearly had a false start!
But mostly because i took a leap of faith from the usual, the safety of my own environment of videographers and cinematographers . I decided to get into the middle of the photography community and learn from the inside out. What first appeared to be just for photographers, when i checked out the website Tomasz told me about I realised that in the worst case the workshop had lots of talks that were crossovers for video and photo so it would not be a lost cause either way.

I was still a bit worried I’d be “left behind” or feel “left out” ! God, sometimes we just need to get a grip of our insecurities! The only growth that happens is when your way past your comfort zone.

My wedding workshop experience, through my slideshow…..


The first night we had a great talk and then hands on lesson on off camera flash from WOJTEK CHRAPEK , which was amazing as i had ZERO experience with flash and i left with a few shots in the bag and the knowledge to teach myself more with the basics i could now build on.


The second day started with a chat about SEO from Tom Robak . I have some knowledge in this area from my own learning but the extra stuff i picked up off Tom will definitely help and I also learned of a few new plugins for my website that will help keep it optimised and up to speed. In fact i used Blogtomp to arrange some of my photos! And he gave us a discount code for wp-rocket too to bring out sites up to supersonic speed .


For me the gold, the pièce de résistance happend on the third day.
Paula O’Hara began her talk about work/life balance and as i write about the talk i still get emotional and goosebumps. Paula really gave us every piece of herself in that talk. In today’s world of showcasing the “perfect life” on FaceBook we rarely take time to realise that we all have the same struggles, worries and aspirations.
It so easy to assume it’s all rosy on the other side of the fence, that “when we get there” we will make time for the family, have no backlog, employ more people, be happier. That all the sacrifices will be worth it. . . .

But will they? Is life not about now, the people we are with and the experiences they provide us with. Mostly family, sometimes friends. Oft times it’s our pastimes that we cast aside as we chase success.Forgetting it was those pastimes that gave us the space to “just be” and those relationships that let us be ourselves and switch off . These are the important things in our growth personally but also professionally.

It’s hard to put into words the effect Paula had on us all but something changed in the room in each and everyone of us that afternoon in Athy. You really owe yourslef time to try and experience something like it yourself.


In the afternoon of the second day we had our first guest speaker. It was Rob from Epic Love . I didn’t know much about Rob, apart from the fact he was based up north and had a seriously good reputation as a photographer. The first really important lesson i learned……………..the camera and all the other shite means fuck all if you cannot connect with your couples. This was “eureka” for me as i often wondered how some of the photos i was drawn too felt more “connected” than others!
yep, there’s good reason for that and it’s a skill you won’t learn on YouTube so i definitely suggest signing up for the next workshop to see how the best of the best operate without holding anything back.
Rob is a funny guy, warm and welcoming. He sat in an listened to the other speakers with the rest of us. #alwayslearning
I learned a great deal from Rob over the few days at the workshop, and none of them had much to do about camera settings. It’s more about the process, your own demeanor and the way you talk to your couples. We that’s what I took out of it anyway.


The main man, the believer . Tomasz Kronas

Aside from being one of the main organisers, along with Tom and Wojtek; Tomasz had his talk about workflow and business. He gave us an insight into his productivity workflow and how he builds his own presets. Most of the seasoned photographers had their jaw on the floor when Tomasz explained how easily he edits a full wedding in 1 day. Start.To.Finish.
Worth the price of entry alone.
By the way he is running an online webinar all about the same subject.



For anyone who feels like they missed out they can catch 2 of our awesome speakers ( Rob and Paula ) along with other amazing photographers Sam Hurd, Ross Tanner and Benj Haisch on May 9th and 10th 2017 at the burn workshop in Belfast.


 List of sponsors:

Tribe Red Leaf  |  Rebel East  |  Folio Albums  |  Shootproof  |  Fundy Designer  |  Flothemes  |  Wooden Banana  |  Alien Skin

Two the main sponsors were on hand to give a little talk and demo of their products. Luke from Rebel East and Kayla from Shootproof.
Like all workshops, it would not have been possible without the awesome suppliers who came down to enable us have a real shoot and our real couple who gave up their spare time and even took a day off work.

List of Suppliers :