So you might remember a while back I was lucky enough to get a roll of Kodachrome from Glen E. Friedman, actually whilst sitting on the train to Belfast, and for a long time I had his words ringing around my head that I better come up with something good for that roll or it would be a waste – Hell would freeze over, taking into consideration that it was one of his last and that he’d especially kept them for the Irish trip last year these rolls of slide never to be produced again, out of date and nearly out of time for processing in Dwaynes. The pressure was well and truly on, but something came to me in the morning of a sunny day in November, why not stick to portraits, why not try to shoot one shot per person and thats it – no second chances – do or die. Why not shoot the people I meet everyday and who in their own way make my days go by just that little bit easier. So it takes a few days to round up the people, sometimes i go to their workplace, sometimes I just happen upon them in the street and after a while it slowly but surely comes together, the roll is done and I send it to Kansas, Fingers crossed it gets there on time.
It gets there, I’m sure of it! then I get this message through Paypal “We’re very sorry but the roll was overexposed by our machine – There are some Images, sorry for the Inconvenience we have re funded the total price” SHIT! ahhh well it was an old roll maybe it happens – what can I do – hopefully theres something to look at when they get back I might be lucky. Today as I write I pick up the package from the post office on James Street [anPost don’t like to deliver anything bigger than a letter or collection slip – yeah – pay us to collect your own post – we’re busy checking our 1990 computer system] and as I walk back home I can’t believe it, there are a lot of slides that look okay to me – It does look like some of the slides are bleached out but I like this – It’s almost like a Lomo effect with like aging and some colour dips – I think, considering, I did very well and the shots turned out with a great deal of character and colour something like this re-instates my faith in trying to replicate mistakes.
Elena and Colin work up in Green19 on Camden street, sometimes on the way to the printers for picking up a job – I’d drop by and get a coffee and a Bran Muffin, maybe their club sandwich which is fairly awesome on the list of sandwiches – both these guys are avid photographers themselves. Always welcoming.
On the left is the legendary Gerry who runs Gerrys on Montague street, a classic old school cafe for workers and locals he always asks me “How’s the Mother?” He used to run a Disco in Germany back in the 70’s met them all he said ABBA, Boney M, Odyssey, Donna Summer – “she was lovely” and John Gunn trying to get around in the snow, he runs the best camera shop in Dublin on Wexford Street, go in early and you’ll catch him reading the old Testament.
Just down the street is Simon Phelans Djinn an etheral jewellery shop where you’ll find him working away on new designs and always has time to come out to the door and talk about how the day is going – the man on the right is a bit of a mystery to me but he never fails to say hello, runs a very unusual clothing store called Go West – straight out of the 80’s Dublin catalogue of hand painted sale signs.
Damian of Evergreen which is an amazingly small but very busy Fruit and Veg shop on the other side of the street is a hard working family man running his shop with the wife and does so with a calm and simplicity that inspires me on bad days, don’t be surprised that the kids will be asleep in the buggy in the middle of the shop which is just insane for variety – Steve works at the Kebab shop at Liberty lane – he always has a smile on his face – “And how are you?”
Paul Hand works in the Drury Court Hotel next to Bia Bar, He worked with my Uncle Tony back in the early days down in Wynnes Hotel and I do the odd design job for him when he’s stuck, classic hotel manager with a sharp sense of humour – Will from Wildchild has a serious record and furniture collection spends his time now selling clothes and scandinavian classics, chairs, lamps and loves old record players, he has a great big smile. You just can’t see it here.
Mark Kelly is one of my adopted brothers, we’ve been friends and co-workers since 1995-96 when we first met up in the Globe on Georges street and then shared a flat in Temple bar for years, amazing knowledge of music and great with people, a real Mod, a hero of mine. – Duncan Maguire owns and runs Ukiyo on Exchequer street in SoCo, he’s the quintessential business man but insists on flair and a sense of humour or else it just won’t do. Known to get very drunk and dance on his own counter top in the restaurant.
Joe Hennessy is THE management down at Georges street arcade, always seeing the funny side of the situation full of tales, stories of getting in and out of sticky situations, again he has a great wit and never lets you go without having a laugh – Ali McCarthy has looked after me for 12+ years now and she’s the best friend anyone could ever have, I think I’d be completely lost without her complete kindness and unconditional love.
Morgan is a good friend hardworking street artist and lunatic, always buzzing about ideas and I was lucky to catch him having this quiet smoke downtown – Andy O Donoghue runs Urban Outfitters in Temple bar and I cannot remember the first time I met this guy, it’s been so long now – he’s one of those people who make Dublin tick.
I lived with Rob Fox for a good while when I was in my moving days – he really looked after me then when I needed that help – we always have in-depth conversations about all-sorts, he can be very quiet and let you ramble on too much but he’s super smart and seems to know everything about everything. we just finished a website together recently and I want to work with him in the future. Stef Hoffman was a legendary name to me for a long time before i met him, sleek deep house was the name of his game and he still dj’s around town, now working a bit as a photographer and still gets to play his own blend of music the odd time.
Speaking of Stef he took this photo of me on exchequer street!! Nice Fred! – JP Keating here in the doorway of the camera exchange is another photographer but one I spend a great deal of time talking to about every aspect and all the protagonists in the game, another adopted brother who is great for pints and honesty, I’d be lost without his advice and straight-talking.
The only shot I’m sad about in this series – Poor Mark Healy from the Joesphs and now Elevens standing in St Stephens green bleached out by the heavy snowfall, he knows absolutely EVERYONE – I thought I knew heads – forget it – amazing guitar player too. The Doorman at Brown Thomas dept store always says hello, I think it’s because i wear hats too.
Ed Moore is as cool as they come, surfing bartending Aussie with a sharp intellect, always reading always looking to talk about anything, he just told me over the weekend that he’s taking up Woodwork!! – Sally Foran is a serious legend in Dublin well known for her mix of music and turn of phrase, I’ve done some radio shows with her and always learnt something new in the process, class lady, Best friend material.
Dominic Campbell is great at organising people, great at coming up with ideas that bring people together and is responsible for Bealtaine who comissioned me to do INK – I also think he’s dying to be a singer and dancer combination act down the local pub – I could be wrong – Angel Luis Gonzalez is the guy behind PhotoIreland and in his own right a gifted designer turned blogger and catalyst.
Seren Deeb is my best friend printer who works at the family business with her other sisters Nyssan and Kyma, they work at GP Digital a well known one stop shop for anything in the printing field, they always have time to talk to you and I think thats sometimes missing in the city these days. Bernard Molloy owns and runs Solas Bar on Wexford street, he has stuck by my choice of music on saturday nights for years now and he reminds me of my dads brother Brendan, hard working no -nonsense approach to everything that can annoy those who like sitting around all day talking shit.
Siobhan Kane is an excellent writer of note, with a myriad of stories written and a knowledge of music I haven’t met before she is Mna Na Eireann! a classic lady straight out of the Abbey theatre on on her bike down the street like some fantasy woman in an 1870’s novel, with her on her right is Pip who has always been her best friend [I believe] probably sent from above as a guardian angel, both ladies knee deep in the music scene in Dublin, like what they like and get on with the job.
My Dad passed away from Cancer in 1995 and still a day doesn’t go by without me thinking of what could have been – so in his honour and my Mams too I shot this of Myself at 6 months, Mam & Dad in some photo-booth in town, they look delirious and I look surprised but I thought why not shoot this old photo copy on the wall of my apartment, something my dad never seen but maybe the photo makes up for that in a way.