I'm so excited for the future. I have just opened my studio in 2020 and can't wait to invite more families in to have their photos taken, as well as seeing so many more couples tie the knot on their big day!
In the meantime my freelance work was taking off, getting busier and busier and it soon became apparent that I couldn't keep up with the school photography and weddings. I loved working in the schools, my job was simply to sit down and make children smile, which does wonders for reducing stress! But I knew in my heart I wanted to photograph weddings and families. I love being a part of such an important and exciting day in a couples' life, as well as spending time with families and seeing what makes everyone tick!
Finally, in 2018 I made the jump to go out on my and gave up the regular paycheck, the company car and the boss! In some ways it has been exactly as I had expected, in other ways it has been so different but in every way I have loved it! Every day is different and I have met so many amazing people and been a small part of their story.
Motivated by the success of my cancer treatment I helped to form the Legenderry Committee in the city for Cancer Research UK. We immediately kicked off with the huge success of turning Shipquay Street in the city centre into a huge waterslide! With a modest target of £20,000 we raised an incredible £130,000 in our first year alone!
Our next challenge was creating the 24 hour Relay for Life in St Columb's Park and after setting another moderate target of £30,000 we smashed through it to £142,000 for our first year and it has increased each year to around a quarter of a million pounds in 2019! The generosity from this city has been astounding but the sad truth is that part of our success is because so many people have been affected by cancer and everyone wants to unite to beat it.
I was introduced to Vanessa by a close friend in 2014. As soon as she walked in I knew she was someone special! Instantly it was clear that we were perfect for each other and just over a year later I popped the question in the Black Forest in Germany. True to form I managed to photograph my proposal in front of a gorgeous fountain in Baden-Baden.
Two years later we tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in Rome. It was the perfect day from start to finish and really was a dream come true. Surrounded by our closest friends and family, it was more than I could ever have dreamed of.
Unfortunately after returning home from Oz I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and over the next five months I went through two operations and three rounds of chemo before thankfully receiving the all-clear. During this I realised I wanted to follow my passion in photography and turn it into my career. I started work with Tempest Photography taking school portraits across Northern Ireland, all while building up my own freelance career in my spare time.
As I boarded the plane to London I wondered how I would look back on what I was starting, flying off to spend the next three months working at a gymnastics camp in Pennsylvania. A year earlier I had no plans to travel at all, figuring I would just find a job after uni and settle down, hopefully earn a decent wage and buy a fast car, so this was a complete reversal. But after a holiday in America with two of my closest friends I realised I wanted something more for my future. Thankfully, it was one of the best decisions I've made, starting an entirely different route in my life and career that I would never have imagined as a teenager. One summer working on the climbing course in America became three, followed by two years living and travelling in Australia, meeting so many amazing people and countless fantastic experiences.
Married to Vanessa | Love Mussenden Temple | Been to six F1 grand prixs | Member of CRUK Legenderry committee | Two tropical fish tanks at home | Love dogs | Love cats | Love all animals | Hate mushrooms | Doctor Who fan | Have a cat called Storm | Never grew out of Lego | Own about 120 pairs of colourful socks | Terrible singer | AGL Best Dressed Male 2009 | Coffee -lover | Passable cook | Three summers working at Camp America | Lived for two years in Australia