The original concept behind this image was beauty; which, along with my daughter in a gúna deasa (nice dress), had to include flowers to fit my idea of beauty.
After researching the symbolism of flowers, I found my humble Fuchsia plant represented confiding love. It was this discovery that brought the image together for me, guiding me through the post-processing.
I developed the image on further for inclusion in my 'A' panel last year but this was one of the first versions, which I still love.
As anyone who has spoken to me knows, I've filled my photography skills tool box with a lot of trial, error and Youtube tutorials.
But I felt it important to attend at least a couple of workshops, to experience learning in the company of others.
I've been on two workshops now (my first one in the top class Catchlight Studios in Belfast under the tutelage of Ross McKelvey MPAGB FIPF EFIAP/G FBPE) and I discovered that workshops have their place in the learning process, providing tools and experience and an opportunity to connect with other photographers.
I usually plan, shoot and process all my own images which is brilliant, but at times exhausting. This summer I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a shoot on the Moors in Devon which had already been planned by the immensely talented Vicki-Lea Boulter. It was pure heaven to be let loose with my camera and develop the resulting images on my return home (I hope to share them with you soon).
Although me being me, I did contact Vicki before the shoot and ask for some suggested resources as a background to the shoot (actors would refer to this as motivation) and she pointed me in the direction of the Diane Arbus biography by Patricia Bosworth.
Chatting to other attendees I found out that workshops are commonplace with many photographers often attending multiple workshops in the course of a year - something that is only beginning to take off here in Ireland.
In terms of planning shoots, landscape could be described as a more accessible genre. Conceptual work and a lot of portrait work depends on building up a team of models either paid or otherwise. That is something I'm focused on developing for the future.