NOTE: This is a repost of a recent entry to my blog that accompanies The Documentary Photographer podcast. It is here to help raise awareness of an initiative to raise money for Médecins sans Frontieres work in Syria.
Earlier this year, Christian Payne, a good and conscientious man, went to Syria to tell the stories of people like you and me – except they weren’t quite like you and me. Their lives had been destroyed by the civil war. Christian’s tale is a moving one. You can listen to it in episode 14 of The Documentary Photographer podcast, or experience it on his blog (the post titled Towards Syria is a good place to start).
Following our conversation, I approached a number of the photographers who had been interviewed on the podcast about contributing prints to a sale to raise money for some form of aid in Syria. Gina Glover and David Creedon readily agreed.
As storytellers (for ourselves, for our businesses) we face many challenges. Not least of which is that nobody is waiting for us to tell them just how smashing we are. “We’re dynamite, don’t you agree?” is a pretty thin storyline. Nevertheless, it’s one that many businesses peddle. After a while, the world merely shrugs its shoulders and moves on to more interesting things.
One way to overcome this is to shine the spotlight on someone else.
Take a look at the video here. Watch it all the way through because there is a relevant question coming up.
Note: This is a repeat of a post that originally appeared on the now defunct Cork Foodie blog. It seemed a shame to let it vanish, so I’ve given it a new home here. Some people were kind enough to comment on the post at the time, and I’ve added their thoughts at the end here.
Do you know what children want from their boiled sweets today?
The Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, is one of Ireland’s best fish smokers. Good enough to for its salmon to be served to the President of Ireland and the Queen of England any way.
I’d worked with Birgitta, who runs the smokehouse, before – producing a series of documentary photographs. At the time, I thought it was hard work. Getting up at 3AM to photograph master smoker Peadar Reilly working his magic on the fish: filletting, salting and prepping the smoker with oak shavings. I mean, 3AM. It’s ungodly. No wonder it’s known as the Devil’s Hour. Continue reading →
Chef Barry McLaughlin cooks some pretty special stuff. I once ate close to his entire Poacher’s Inn menu during a photo shoot. (Photography may be not be as well paid as it once was, but there are still perks – though I should stop wondering why my waistline won’t shift).
Barry speaks beautifully about his food and the thinking behind it. Watching him work is mesmerising. He moves fluidly and quickly, producing sumptuousness in minutes.
On Wednesday, we spent some time together and came up with this: