Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013: Done & Dusted

Well, another year has sneaked past me and 2014 is one sleep away. Unsurprisingly, it flew by, so there's a need to slow down and look at the year that passed. Here's what was on my agenda in 2013:

Taking photos: While I only completed 55 days of the 365 project, I took a lot of photos regardless. I also ventured from taking glorified selfies to photographing actual models. Here are a few of my favourite photos that I took this year:

What I'll take from 2013: Taking selfies is a fun way to practice photography, but taking photos of a models can come as a relief when I'm sick of seeing my own face. Here's to more collaborations with models in 2014.
What I'll leave in 2013: The 365 day project. Taking a good photo everyday is just impractical. It's different if you're taking photos to simply document your life but if you want to do proper artistic shoots then I think it is a tad unrealistic if you've got other commitments.

Travelling: I was lucky enough to be able to visit a few places this year... Kicking the year off was my trip to Prague with Fotosoc in January. We had a mental time and even managed to get some pretty pictures out of it!

As soon as I recovered, I felt I needed my fix of the Czech capital once again. So I returned, but not before making a few pit stops around The Netherlands and Germany. On my interrailling stint I discovered Amsterdam, and I fell in love with the friendly people and chilled out atmosphere. One day, I'll live there. We were also unashamed tourists in Berlin and Melissa and I got photos by the wall:

What I'll take from 2013: Travelling for consecutive weeks is more manageable than I first thought. Yes, I came home shattered after my two week gallivant around Europe, but I was okay. I could have managed a full month and still come back an unbroken woman. I think 2014 calls for a longer stint travelling.
What I'll leave in 2013: Spending way too much money when I'm supposed to be on a budget trip. Unfortunately, I didn't realise until after the interrailling that eating every meal in a cafe was costing a bomb (even though it seemed quite cheap at the time).

Celebrating: 2013 was a big year for birthday celebrations. My best friend Sorcha turned 21 in spectacular style, hosting a party complete with glitter, teacups and adorable bunting. Oh and the cake was cut with a machete - pretty standard. My not-so-little-anymore brother turned 18. And I walked into my 21st with a Bohemian bang.

What I'll take from 2013: The macaroons. They look so gorgeous and are pretty tasty too (though I must admit I like them more for their aesthetics).
What I'll leave in 2013: I wish I could leave my birthday in 2013, can't I just be 21 forever? I fear that I'll be feeling less Taylor Swift when I'm 22 and more Greg James.

So, that was my 2013. It's been fun. Now, to see what 2014 has lined up for me. Happy New Year everyone! :D

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Oasis Photoshoot: Christmas, Stephen's Day & New Year's Eve

In the lead up to MPS's 24 Hour Broadcast, Style Soc chair, Freya Drohan, produced a fashion show which flaunted the key looks for the season. Christmas day (tomorrow - eek!), Stephen's Day and New Year's are all covered, so have a little gander at the video below. All the outfits are from Oasis.

I was asked to come along and take some photographs of the outfits, so here they are! The tree in the background is the one at the top of Grafton Street. Looking back at these photos is making me feel all festive! Scroll down to the bottom for the credits.

Photographer: Claire Petersen
Presenter: Freya Drohan
Models (from top): Suzanne O'Connor, Eve Butler, Aishling Croughan.
Videographers: Sam Pearson, Brian Graham.
All looks available from Oasis.

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a lovely Christmas break! x

Winter Wedding: Fur Coats, Family and Food

I love any excuse to get dressed up, and a big Irish wedding is the perfect occasion to pin up my frizzy hair and don unreasonably high heels. My first full day back in my home county and I was treated to a huge family party - because, let's be honest, that's what a wedding amounts to! The wedding of Henry and my darling cousin, Caroline, was undoubtedly the family event of 2013.

Somehow we were the first to arrive at the wedding - surprising since I'm inexplicably late-for-everything, usually. They had yet to even roll out the red carpet... Which you can see rolled up next to us, slightly spoiling our photo, above.

Letterkenny Cathedral was as chilly as you'd expect for an Irish winter wedding. To be honest, it didn't bother us ladies because it gave us a reason to continue to show off our fabulous (our word of the day!) coats. The photo below shows my mum, my cousin, Katie, and I in our seats in the church. My mum was wearing an undeniably fab faux-fur coat from Pippa Boutique. She has given me permission to borrow it, so yay to that! She better keep an eye on it if she doesn't want it to disappear with me to Dublin after the Christmas break. My coat was from Dorothy Perkins and, while I'm not sure where Katie's is from, I can safely say that she was not a step behind in the fashion stakes.

Anyway, enough about us insignificant guests, let's chat about the gorgeous bride. Or, the 'princess', as Katie so sweetly put it. Caroline looked absolutely stunning, walking down the aisle in her white dress, with her dad. Aww!

After the ceremony we all hopped into our cars and drove to Harvey's Point for the reception. I'd never realised what an amazing venue this was until last week. A group of us sneaked into my cousin's hotel room. It was the deluxe room (she was lucky enough to nab a free upgrade!) and it was complete with a huge bathtub, a mini bar section and a bed which could fit 8 people (we tried and succeeded).

I really do love weddings... Family reunite, we drink and dance together, and we eat. And boy, did we eat. The sheer amount of food provided was incredible. After the soup, we were presented with a buffet starter selection, and we could pile as much as we wanted onto our plates. Now, as anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes will know, I enjoy food. A lot. And the starter just so happens to be my favourite part of a meal. So you can imagine my delight when presented with an excess of 20 different dishes to pick and choose from. Noodles, rice, prawns, ham, fruit, were all piled on and balanced on my plate. There was a similar layout for the dessert including fresh crepes and a chocolate fountain. Divine.

Anyway, once the plates were cleared and there was plenty of time for dancing... And lots and lots of photos. The iPhone is not the device to get if you want to control your narcissism - every shiny surface passed was another photo opportunity!

So congrats to Henry and Caroline! Oh, by the way, follow me on Instagram for even more narcissistic posts!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Trend Report

As promised, here are some extra photos which didn't make it into the magazine (click here to see the photos that did) from the Trend Report photoshoot. It was such a fun shoot, and the first I've ever done in a proper studio with models! It was fun, and I'm getting a bit better at directing models, so that's good! Anyway, here's the photos, scroll to the bottom to see the credits and a behind the scenes video too.

Photographer: Claire Petersen
Assistant Photographer: Nicola Forde
Stylist: Jessica Gaffney
Model: Aishling Croughan
Videographer: Lisa O'Donohue

Look! I'm Back

Hello! I'm finally able to curl up with my laptop to update my blog! I have been gone for too long but unfortunately, it was pretty much unavoidable - it's been nonstop with college and the likes for at least a month. But, now that the assignments are submitted and I'm back at the family home I finally have time to blog! Hooray!

So what's been keeping me super busy this past month? Well, luckily it hasn't just been coursework... I've been doing plenty of society stuff. One major project that I'm super proud of is my work with The Look magazine - I designed the whole layout from scratch! Have a read of it by clicking here.

Photo taken from @suzioco

I'm really proud of it, especially seeing as I taught myself InDesign over the summer! Feedback is greatly appreciated, so if you have any suggestions on how to make the next edition amazing - let me know in the comments!

As well as doing the layout for the magazine I also took some photographs for it... So I'll update the blog with some extra shots from the Trend Report photoshoot soon!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Behind the Scenes: Mad Hatter Tea Party Photoshoot

The Look magazine team took over The Vintage Cocktail Club for our fashion feature in this semester's edition. The location was just incredible! Alan Toye and Jessica Gaffney were the fabulous stylists and the photographer was Emily Greene. As for me, I was just there to have a gander to be honest!
More behind the scenes photos are on The Look's Facebook page.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Late Late Show and Gok O'Clock

Well this weekend was a strange one... Not only did I have the experience of being in a live studio audience, I also impulsively said 'hiya' to Gok Wan.

The audience that I was a part of, along with Alan, Fiona and Eileen, was The Late Late Show audience. For everyone outside of the emerald isle, The Late Late Show is a three hour TV show / visual marathon of guests and performers, hosted by Ryan Tubridy. Often the guests are, to put it lightly, dull. However, we were lucky enough to be treated to some proper A-Listers, including Gok Wan, Steve Coogan and Colin Farrell!

The night began with a few glasses of free wine before we were trotted off into the studio. Once we were in the studio we took in our surroundings. There was a scattering of studio lights hanging from the ceiling and a rather dazzling pink neon sign reading 'The Late Late Show'.

Throughout the show I was on a complete high and judging by the general atmosphere the same can be said for the rest of the audience. To top it all off, it was announced that the audience prize was a night's stay in a hotel in Kinsale, where we would also receive a food hamper. Unbelievable!

After hearing that Gok Wan would be doing a book signing the next day, Eileen and I knew we had to go and see him. We're not mega-fans, but the fear of missing out was naturally upon us so we bought a book to get it signed by the man himself. Check out Gok and I being spectacle-buddies:

So that was my bizarre weekend. I'm chilling out now, spending some calm-time before my hectic week gets going. I plan update this blog next weekend when I can catch a breath, so I'll see you then!

Monday, 14 October 2013

My First Date

Last week I celebrated my 21st birthday and a few surprises came along with it. My good friend Nicole, from New Zealand, had dug up the time capsule we'd buried years ago and she sent me the contents! Inside was a mortifying poem I wrote when I was around 10. On seeing this, Sorcha decided to get in on the action and created her own dramatic rendition of the piece. It's hilarious and makes for a perfect birthday surprise, after all, embarrassing moments are compulsory when you turn 21.

It does the poem justice, I think!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Open Dublin

So I'm finally back in Dublin and now that I've survived freshers' fortnight at DCU I am ready to spend some time wandering around Dublin. First thing on the list of Dublin to-dos: Make the most of Open Dublin, the city-wide event which sees 100 iconic buildings opened to the public. My friend Andy and I had a gander around City Hall and The Tailor's Hall. Below are some of the photos I took.

By the way, if you were lucky enough to pop into some open buildings over the weekend then make sure you send an entry into the this photography competition.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Suitcase Packed, Out the Door

One last day was spent with Sorcha before her Parisian adventure begins! Alan completed the trio and we spent the day gossiping over tea and cake before taking photos along a country road by my house. It was so much fun and the perfect way to say goodbye to Sorcha. It's exciting times because now I have an excuse to take a weekend break in Paris!

The photos below are of both Sorcha and Alan, looking like a loved-up couple... Cute! Although Alan was wearing his hangover jumper he still fits right in! Oh, and those are Sorcha's glasses, by the way, that Alan took a fancy to. They make him look even more hipster than usual. As you can tell from the photos, it was an overcast day and pretty chilly too so good on Sorcha for whipping off her coat and embracing the crisp air!

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Monday, 16 September 2013

Bohemian Paradise

After planning for a month it was finally time to hang bunting, scatter faux-petals and, in the process, transform my family home into an undisputed bohemian paradise. Eileen came up from Dublin early and ended up spending the whole day decorating for my 21st birthday party. Poor Eileen, my Mum and I really did not give her a break, her trip up was more like a working holiday than a relaxing escape to the country! But I'm glad we bossed her around, because with the help from Eilo and my parents the house was made to look perfect, just check out the photos:

My Mum says the only thing that looks out of place in this image is the jar of glowsticks... But you can't have a party, even a Bohemian themed party, without a bit of neon!

Unfortuntely, I forgot to take a picture of the landing which we turned into a chill-out area with pillows, a floral duvet cover used as a mat, fairy lights, all topped off with a cute mosquito net. That was particularly magical, along with the fire hazard that was my living room (see the photo below). At god-knows-what hour four of my best friends and I squeezed next to each other in the chill-out area and did exactly that - relaxed and chatted about nothing in particular.

Although the party was way more chill than my 17th and 18th, both of which were also hosted at my house, it was fun in its own way. I had the opportunity to catch up with my roomies, who I must say personified the bo-ho theme. Also, I reunited with Raychel, who I've known since I moved over to Ireland with no friends... I first met her when desperately trying to be less of a loner at Letterkenny's Youth Drama Club. Plus, it gave me a chance to have fun with some Donegal friends that I may not see much of when I trek back to the city, including my bestie Sorcha who will be off to Paris to study next week! So, all-in-all I had a great night!

The face paint came out and was used to great effect!

Just before I sign-off, here's two images which show my bohemian outfit. When compared to my bo-ho themed friends it is subtle, but I still love it, any excuse to wear a flower crown...