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How to fly with your camera

How to travel with camera equipment

In March 2017 the US and UK governments announced a ‘carry on’ ban on some electrical equipment on some travel routes. Depending on the source it looks like this ban does include cameras. Normally camera insurance doesn’t offer any cover for damage or theft to equipment stored in the hold of the aircraft, so this ban does offer photographers a bit of a headache.

I’ve travelled a lot with my cameras, and I know how frustrating it can be so I thought I would write a three step guide on how to sidestep these rules and still ensure you are able to create the images you want to.

1. Travel with your oldest gear.Old Camera

When you bought it, you thought it was the best thing ever and was going to do everything you needed it to. The chances are it probably still does. Worst case scenario, if it gets stolen or lost you’ll still have your best gear at home.

2. Take two bags to the boarding gate.

Peli 1510The main one should be a good solid camera flight case. I use the Peli 1510 which they say is bullet proof (we’ll call this the strong box for now). The second should be a cheap shoulder bag. Put everything in the strong box, with the lenses and cameras separated.

If the security team won’t allow you to board with the camera, don’t argue or complain. It’s their plane and you want to get on it.

Remove your lenses from the strong box and place in your cheap shoulder bag. Leaving your camera bodies in the strong box to be placed in the aircraft hold. I’d definitely recommend you have a couple of small TSA padlocks to place on it. If you are unlucky enough to be at the mercy of a bad baggage handler; a small padlock can be the difference between an opportunistic theft and them looking elsewhere.
Explain what you plan to do, ask them if they have a quiet corner you can repack. There’s no need to patronise and explain what the difference between a lens and a camera is because they’ll have this discussion 15 times a day.

3. Worst Case Scenario

If the worst has happened and you arrive to no strong box, either because of theft or loss. You’ll need a camera quick, most airports will have an electronics store and because you’ve got your lenses in your shoulder bag; all you need is a new body that will fit your lenses.

Finally
In my experience, being polite and happy to comply has surprising results.
Never argue with security or airline staff, they may understand and even agree with you; but if they have a policy it’s your job to live with it.

Looking back at 2016 in Kenmare

Twelve months ago we opened the studio in Kenmare, it was a big decision, but we’ve a lovely space and it’s been a fantastic time. As  we are about to enter our busiest part of the year, with lots of Christmas appointments and frame orders to fulfil, I thought I’d get in early and produce a little online slideshow of our work since we opened. 

It’s fair to say this year’s work has been varied, with one trip to Nigeria, three trips to Dublin and a few little hops over the county line to Bantry. It’s been a lot of fun working with everyone.

I’d just to say thank you to all of our clients, with big mentions to the staff at Parknasilla, Sheen Falls Lodge and the Park Hotel  who are always a big support. 

I hope to see many more of you in the coming twelve months, even if you’d like to pop in for a chat. Remember if you are looking for the perfect gift our Voucher Cards are always available!   Nick 

 

Christmas themed Children Portraits in Kenmare

If you have children, or if your children have children!  I am announcing our range of studio based children and family Portraits. With a different scene each year my hope is you will be able to build up a collection of very special fine art Christmas portraits.

The theme for 2016 is going to be “Christmas Morning” and we’re currently busy in the studio creating a set like you’ve never seen!

Christmas Portraits
Christmas Portraits

Where and When ?

The scene is set and we’ll be opening on the 25th November.  We will continue throughout the run up to Christmas, but the final day for the delivery of Christmas framing will be the 11th of December. 

As we will be celebrating Christmas morning, we would like to encourage you to dress as you might on Christmas day, whether that’s a smart outfit or  PJ’s & dressing gowns,  there might even be room for a Christmas jumper or two!  The picture we create will be warm and cosy, set around the tree and in front of the fire.  
Although beware there may be a hint of wintery cold coming in through the window.  

Our Christmas set has been created with flexibility in mind, and there is definitely enough space to create unique images for all.  You’ll be amazed by the detail level, we’d go as far to say that there really is nothing like this in the whole of the country!   

What do outdoor Christmas portrait sessions cost?

The cost of your portrait session is €120.  This fee includes a mounted print in a complimentary desk frame.  The desk frame is made from the same materials and to the same high quality as our larger frames.  Feel free to drop into the studio if you would like to see samples.  

If you prefer an alternative product, you can exchange the complimentary desk frame for a €70 voucher to use against any of our frames, boxes or albums.

Purchase Extra Images.
Digital copies of your session images, (perfect for homemade christmas cards) are available to purchase individually. These are provided in both low and high print resolution files.
 
Who can I bring along? 
The set can accommodate a good number of people, so whether we create a single portrait of your child’s first christmas or a wider group image with grandma reading to the clan whilst grandad peels spuds in the background.  Anything is possible.  Please note it’s important to arrive at least 5 minutes before your booked session in order to keep things running smoothly. 

Please note.  Sessions are only by appointment.

If you’d like to know more please visit the studio in Kenmare  and everything will become very clear!

Please note all appointments are by advance booking only.  To book please contact the studio via email nick@nickcavanagh.ie or call the studio direct on  064 667 9010

Outdoor autumn portrait sessions – October 1st and October 15th

As we approach the end of summer it’s the perfect time for our outdoor autumn portrait sessions and I’ve set aside October 1st and 15th just for that.

outdoor autumn portrait sessions - childrenWhat are outdoor autumn portrait sessions?  Simply put, on 1st & 15th October, I am offering photography appointments at the beautiful Reenagross Country Park in Kenmare.

Sessions last around an hour and are structured for natural portraits of individuals, siblings and whole family groups.outdoor autumn portrait sessions - families  As they take place outdoors, they offer great flexibility for activity and play.  The natural light and perfect background colours bring a freshness to images that indoor portraits simply can’t match.

The two dates in October will help us make the most of the natural turning colours, so we will make the most of great oranges, yellows, greens and possibly even red.  Consequently, these days are one of my annual highlights and the results never disappoint.

How does it work?

There are a number of appointments throughout each of the days.  The earlier appointments  are especially suitable for families with younger children, whilst the evening sessions offer beautiful light and best of all, the occasional spectacular skies are a real bonus.

What do outdoor autumn portrait sessions cost?

The cost of the portrait session is €120.   This fee includes a mounted print in a complimentary desk frame.  The desk frame is made from the same materials and to the same high quality as our larger frames.  Feel free to drop into the studio if you would like to see samples.   If you prefer an alternative product, you can exchange the complimentary desk frame for a €70 voucher to use against any of our frames, boxes or albums.

What should we wear for our session?

Plain, neutral colours and clothes without prominent logos or large patterns work best to give portraits a timeless quality.

What happens if I can’t make it on the day?

If you find that you can’t make it on the day,  all we ask is that you let us know as soon as possible.  The weather rarely gets in the way, but occasionally torrents of rain or high winds can make a session inadvisable.   In the event of cancellation, we can rearrange the session to a mutually convenient time.  If this is not possible and we have to cancel the session, we will refund any payment that you have made.

What happens afterwards?

When you book a session for one of our 2016 outdoor autumn portraits, we also arrange a time for you to view your selection.   This is normally 3-4 days afterwards at a time to suit you.   We show around 50-60 images on our full size screen in the studio and all you have to do is choose your favourite print.  If you wish to view alternative frame options, album or portrait boxes we have samples to see, but there is no sales pressure.
outdoor autumn portrait sessions- families in action

To book a session or chat further please contact the studio directly on 064 667 9010 or my mobile on 0879 491 002.

Available appointments  for both dates
Saturday 1st October  8.30 am , 10.00am,  11.30am1pm , 2.30pm and 5pm
Saturday 15th October 8.30 am , 10.00am,  11.30am, 1pm , 2.30 pm and 5pm

 

Bridegroom, Big news, you can look great too !

The BridegroomLet’s be honest about this.. Despite wanting to look good, a bridegroom may shudder about the prospect of posing for a ‘guy alone’ wedding portrait.

“What shall I do with my hands? ” is a common enough question.
“Which side does the buttonhole go on?” another.
Brides are much better at this kind of stuff, but lads ye do not have to fear…

The ‘How to look good for Grooms session’ is here to help.

Today we’re announcing two Sunday morning sessions  (September  11th and 25th).
We will start at 9.30 in our Kenmare studio. We look at some good habits and simple approaches to natural looking poses.  We discuss some ideas and then to a location nearby  to take some portraits.
Practical and totally relaxed, you’ll feel pretty good taking these tips into your wedding day.

I’m promising that it will not be awkward, at all, ever!

There are 5 spaces available on each morning. Places need to be booked and are offered on a first come first served basis.

After we’ve taken some time portraits, we will finish up with a breakfast in Kenmare town which is included your session fee.
We will have the opportunity to look at the images we’ve captured (which you can keep).

Do you know a bridegroom that could use a little help ? This is an ideal gift!

The session is priced at €65 or €85 (combined if two book together).

What to wear?

Smart Jeans & Shirt is always a good look. Jackets are always handy either to wear or hang over a shoulder.

As an added no cost benefit, we will be available on both afternoons for Pre-Wedding (Engagement) shoots.
These last around 40 minutes and are offered at no cost but appointments need to be agreed .

Book Now – Please contact Nick on 0879 491 002 or nick@nickcavanagh.ie

 

Nick Cavanagh is a full time wedding and professional portrait photographer based in Kenmare, County Kerry.

Confirmation Portraits 2016, Friday 2nd March

I’m pleased to announce details of our 2016 Confirmation Portraits in Kenmare!

Bookings are now being taken for family, sibling and solo confirmation portraits on the day of the confirmation service. 15 minute appointments are available between 10am – 2.30pm and again after the confirmation service from 5.30pm – 8pm.

Kenmare Photo Studio

There is no cost for our appointments but sessions do need to be booked. This will be done on a first come first served basis.  Please note, we will not be able to offer a walk in photography service on the day.

To enquire, look at print samples and make your preferred booking appointment, please call in to the studio.  We are open throughout the day, Monday-Saturday.

All captured images will be available to view in our studio the following day.

Print Costs (with Mount)

Strut Mounted Print 8” x 6”                   €15

Strut Mounted Print 10” x 8”                   €20

(Mounted Prints will be available within 4 working days).

Frame Options

Single Aperture Printed Frame prices from  €120

Multiple Aperture Framed Print prices from    €220

(Frame packages usually take around 10 days from the point of ordering).

Please note details of our Communion portraiture on the 14th & 15th May will be announced shortly.  You can always ask us anything on our enquiry form.

 

Baby portrait session up for grabs with Supervalu Kenmare

Baby portrait session up for grabs!

Did you know Supervalu in Kenmare are having an exciting ‘Baby and Toddler event’ this coming Friday (5th Feb)? There’s a free to enter raffle in the store with plenty of great prizes on offer.
Baby Portrait KenmareIncluded in the great range of raffle prizes is one from us.  If you enter, you’re in with a chance of winning a baby portrait session and luxury desk sized frame of your preferred image.   Baby Portrait Float Mount

All you have to do is leave your details in the box at the front of Supervalu in Kenmare.  How easy could it be?

If you’d like to ask us about Baby and Toddler portrait sessions, or other products we have available why not use our ‘ask us anything’ contact form?  You can always call into our studio at the Kenmare Shopping Centre or call on 0879 491 002.

Best of luck.
Nick : )

Baby Portrait Prize Terms and Conditions.

The winning portrait session is to be held in the studio between 10-2pm on an agreed date with the winner before 30th June 2016.
No additional purchase is necessary.
No cash alternative is available.

Vogue is right, you don’t need a wedding photographer!

Last week Vogue published an article 'top 10 rules to break at your wedding'. One of which said "you really don't need a wedding photographer".
You can view it here.

I have  two things to say here.

  1. It's a bit rich for Vogue to say you can cut corners on wedding photography by not hiring a wedding photographer. They spend $3million a year on ensuring they get the images to keep them at the top of the international style rankings!
  2. But.. actually they are right. You don't need to hire a wedding photographer.  If  printed photographs are not that important to you don't worry about it. Some may say you will regret it if you don't, but if you only hire a photographer because others tell you, then are you really going to be at ease on the day? My tip-> Don't make any sacrifices as to how you think you'll best enjoy your celebration.

But before you think I'm telling you to not to consider a professional photographer, I thought I'd set myself a test to find images from a real wedding that couldn't have been captured by friends and family.

Let me introduce you to Suzi and Andrew who were married last May.  As you'll see they had both put a huge amount of work into their day and I can tell you it was breathtaking.  From the first time we spoke they told me they wanted to share their day with family and friends and they thought of everyone.   My brief was to capture the day. Easy huh?!

The Marquee

Taken on the morning of the wedding, four hours before the guests were due to arrive. When the festivities begin, all eyes are on the couple. As soon as your first guests enter the reception room all your effort involved in beautifying the venue is gone!

IThe receptiont's a little sad that you put so much effort into the detail of the day and so few can enjoy it.    Of course once it's printed it's there, recorded for ever. Detail is everything! Your photographer will be looking for the detail. It's the cement of your day.
Table detailsIn 30 years, Suzi and Andrew will be able to share this with future generations.. Andrew will say. "We handmade that bunting" and Suzi will say.. "actually Andrew 'no.. you didn't do the bunting - you did the woodwork for each table". And they'll chortle.... and thank themselves that they can still remember the bunting and woodwork.  : )

bride walking down the aisleThe 'working' photographer has an invisible authority in a wedding day, but that authority comes from preparation and professional courtesy.  Whilst discretion in a church service is a priority, by spending time with the priest beforehand we know what is going to work and where they want us to be.  Planning every little segment to ensure we get the images is a big part of the service. It's only through planning we are able to ensure we capture the candid moments that tell your story.  Nobody else got to see the moment below and I was folded into a corner of the church so no-one could see.

Smiling at the altar

As the couple leave the church as Husband and Wife, guests  follow them out. If you relied on guests to capture the image below they'd be leaving during the last hymn. Chaos!

Couple outside church door

Stopping cars?   Seriously folks, this isn't one to leave to chance.  Chances are your guests have had a little liquid warmer before hand, do you really want them walking backwards on a road with a camera. It's just daft. Leading guests to the reception on footAfter the meal, I like to invite the couple to spend 10 minutes or so taking a portrait.  No-one else is allowed to come along at this time. I count it as a serious privilege to be with the couple as they share their first moments where they can take a breath by themselves.  This quiet interlude is never pressured and for me is the best part of the day.   Classic wedding photography isn't reactive, it's planned and we all (myself and the couple) knew exactly what we were hoping to achieve here.
bride and groom looking out over fieldsAnd finally.. 8pm
By this time EVERYBODY (apart from those working) is likely to be a little relaxed. Holding a camera in low light is hard enough, but when your guests have enjoyed two(?) glasses of champagne you might be advised to let the photographer be the person to capture your first dance.

bride and groom's first danceSo you see... whilst you don't NEED a wedding photographer at your wedding, what you will get is a professional who knows what has to be done.  Your photographer is the only wedding service that you talk to before, during and after your day.  Choose them well, because photography isn't easy. And the next time someone advises you against them, remember the bunting.

If you'd like to chat about wedding photography in a relaxed environment and without obligation, why not arrange an appointment to visit our studio in Kenmare?  We are inside the shopping centre and adjacent to Supervalu.    Appointments are available 7 days a week but do need to be booked. My promise is that you will be welcome and you'll be glad you came.   Congratulations by the way!

You can call 0879 491 002 or email via this contact form.

And the studio space is almost there…

And the studio space is almost there…

Day Nine.. the studio space is really starting to take shape.  The fact that we might actually be open by Christmas is nothing short of a miracle, given that the decision to go for it happened less than four weeks ago!  When we took hold of the keys the studio was a shell, now it looks like a studio!

painting2
The main wall being painted white

Ironic that our recent terrible storms should take some credit for this quick turnaround, as it has allowed the friendly builders to work indoors.  I can quite easily see how this phase of the development could have taken months rather than weeks otherwise.  As someone that doesn't know a paintbrush from a toilet brush, I've learned a lot and I have to say it's been invaluable having people around that I can trust to tell me what's what.  There's just the final painting and the flooring to be completed now. (Note to self: don't ever complain about stormy weather again.)

how-it-looked
How it all looked 9 days ago

The building is still empty and the space looks vast; a lot bigger than it appeared initially.   I've been comparing studio set ups and for a while I toyed with the idea of fixed seperate areas to create distinct working spaces for viewing, shooting and so on.  However, for now I've decided to keep things flexible by using a large cabinet to create our main single partition.   The big advantage with this is that I will be able to move this around from time to time to increase each working space, depending on what I'm actually involved in. The open plan will avoid any feeling of claustrophobia. Of course I could just be sitting on the fence.  I'm terrible for that.

Trying to plan the picture gallery areas has been a job and a half!  Who would have thought that deciding on a few images and selecting a handful of frames could be so difficult?  I must confess, I was so exhausted by the process that I've still only completed half the task, but since the finished frames won't make it back to us before Christmas, I've let myself off.

I've actually not taken a single 'proper' portrait in 3 weeks and amongst all the painting and peeling I've been mulling over some new creative ideas. The studio is going to give me the chance to push that creative side.  For starters, I'm going along to the annual senior citizens Christmas bash on Thursday with my camera and I'm genuinely chomping at the bit to do some camera side work.
There's still a lot to do here but at last my 'things to do before the studio opens' list is only growing at a slightly faster rate than my 'cool photography projects to do once the studio opens' list.

The next few months looks like it might be a whole lot of fun.  Do pop in and say hello if you are walking past.  But be warned I might just pass you a toilet brush...  sorry paint brush.

Chat soon  : ) Nick

Top 10 Songs about Photography

Songs About Photography
Crash Bang Wallop

If there is one thing I really REALLY love to do, its making lists of music. Sad to say my kids will never know the joy of making compilation tapes to hand over to girls they want to impress.

(I’m not sure I ever did this, because my tapes were far too cool to give away).

Anyway I thought I’d do a top ten songs about photography list.  The downside is I could only think of 7.   So for you ..  here you are “The definitive top 7 songs about photography” blog.
Feel free to leave suggestions of any more in the comments below.

Nick

7. America – Simon & Garfunkel.
Not actually a song ‘about photography’ but there is a great line “Be careful his bow tie is really a camera” which deserves recognition.

 

6. Kevin Carter – Manic Street Preachers
Kevin Carter was a fine photographer, he is famous for a photograph that brought the horrors of famine to millions. Sadly the stress of his job, caused him to take his own life.  Pretty Grim.


5.  The Model – Kraftwerk

The most exciting band to ever come from Dusseldorf, this is a song about a model who is looking good.

 

4. Girls on Film  Duran Duran

One of only two Duran Duran songs I ever liked, the other one was Planet Earth.  I think this was considered rude when it was first released, but the video is safe enough for work.

3. Pearls Eye View  Nanci Griffith
I don’t think I’ve ever done a music list that hasn’t featured Nanci Griffith on it. This song is about Dickey Chapelle who was a freelance war photographer. I think she was the first woman conflict photographer to be killed in action (in Vietnam).  Great song… Really amazing war pictures.  You can find out more about Dickey Chapelle and her work here

2.  Kodachrome  Paul Simon

When I look back at all the crap I  learned in high school..   Indeed.. my art teacher told me  I should forget taking pictures.  He was a bit boring and he didn’t like me at all.

1  This is a killer tune, from a great musical.  Deserving to be number one!

You’ve probably heard the song but maybe not seen it in context.   From  Half a Sixpence.. I give you the brilliant Tommy ‘Friend of Elvis Presley’ Steele

 

Right so there you have it.. Feel free to leave other suggestions that I could shoehorn to make it a legitimate top ten  below!   Nick