An Irish breakfast is something to behold; and something to photograph. A lovely array of oatmeal, toast, eggs, black pudding, white pudding (not the sweet treat it sounds), Irish bacon (really more like a slab of ham), grilled tomatoes and tea—lots of tea.
I stayed in a B&B during a recent trip to Ireland, and I was finding things to photograph before I had even set foot outside the door.
It might seem like a strange thing to take a picture of, but you would be surprised at the type of images magazines, advertising companies, websites and other publications need. I upload my photos to stock websites—and that’s where these people go to find what they’re looking for. When one of my images is selected, I get paid.
When it came time to plan where to go, my helpful and friendly hosts were happy to help out with suggestions. In fact, in all the times I’ve stayed in a B&B in Ireland, I’ve never had hosts that were anything but fantastic. Some have become permanent friends.
One of the places I visited was Powerscourt Gardens, a former stately home famous for its manicured grounds, located just outside Dublin.
It was such a beautiful place to visit. I took some pictures, including the one above, and they sold well through a stock website.
You have to keep your eyes peeled for stock photo opportunities. Take the doors of Dublin—famous for their color. I heard an interesting story about where this tradition might have come from. Upon the death of Queen Victoria, which came at a time when Dublin was the second city of the British Empire, an edict went out ordering the Irish to paint their doors black in mourning. The rebellious Irish instead painted them brilliant colors.
The legend of Dublin’s colorful doors may or may not be true but either way, they are a thing of beauty and make great stock photos.
When Johnny Cash sang of the “Forty Shades of Green,” I think he under counted. There are so many shades that when you see a brown plowed field it’s a little startling. There are, however, lots of dramatic skies, craggy rocks and livestock to break things up.
In spring, sheep and new-born lambs provide entertainment—and photographic opportunities. Sheep in breeding season are unique and colorful. Each ram is equipped with a colored chalk bag that marks the lady he has been with which allows farmers to keep track of lineage. You’ll find sheep decorated blue, orange, purple, red…they’re like big fluffy Easter eggs wandering green fields.
Ireland has hundreds of fishing villages dotted along its coast. Visit with your camera ready—I snapped cheerful, colored boats, bright pubs and carefully poured pints. Once you’ve ordered one to photograph, it would be a waste not to drink it!
Many of my best images came from taking the time to hang out with the locals in the evening in the pubs. Cameras are a great ice-breaker—when you start taking photos of beer in that perfect pub light, people will talk to you.
This then presents you with an opportunity to ask about the places in the area the locals love. Then I get better images than regular tourist shots, make friends and have a better time.
Short of falling over the Cliffs of Moher camera in hand, it’s hard to take bad photos in Ireland. The richness of the colors and the nature of the land are both inspiring and magical.
The cheerful nature of the Irish, the bustle of the larger cities and the quaintness of the small towns make Ireland a lovely location to do international stock shooting.
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