In the recent issue of the IPF Newsletter the featured photographer was one of our own members, Seamus Costelloe. Seamus is a founding member of Kilkenny Photographic Society and he is well known to many of us as a very distinguished, award-winning photographer but also as a member who shares his expertise with the club and encourages us in our love of photography. Following is the interview with Seamus. You can subscribe to the IPF Newsletter. Visit http://irishphoto.ie and enter your name and email under SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER.

 

Q: When did you take up photography?
A: In 1980 my interest started in Photography. I was 16 years a keen amateur, now I am a professional/full time photographer, for 16 years. Now my hobby is my profession, and my profession is my hobby.

Q: Which club are you a member of?
A: I am a founder member of Kilkenny Photographic Society, 32 years now in existence.

Q: Do you have any IPF/FIAP/RPS etc. distinctions?
A: I was the first person in the IPF to achieve a Fellowship in Digital Photography with my panel on wedding photography. I am an Associate of The Society for International Fashion and Glamour Photographers. Represented the IPF in two Celtic challenges in Cornwall & Ireland. Represented Ireland in the FIAP Biennials in World Cup Photography and achieved 3rd place in 2015 and 2nd place in 2016.
International Awards:
• International Digital Art Photographer 2005 S.W.P.P/B.P.P.A UK.
• International Sports Photographer 2007 S.W.P.P/B.P.P.A UK
• 43 Gold awards with SWPP/BPPA

As a member of the Society for Wedding & Portrait Photographers/British Professional Photographers’ Association in the UK my image was featured on the front cover of Image Maker Magazine 2008/2009 issue. This magazine is circulated to over 70 countries worldwide.
I have featured in the world’s largest selling Latex Magazine, Jane Doe Latex, with images of International model Anita De Bauch.
Front cover image of Irish Photographic Federation Annual 2013.
Achieved two Judge’s monthly awards, totalling £2,000.00 with SWPP/BPPA.

First camera? First DSLR?
A: Fuji S1.

Q: What was the background to your most successful image?
A: An image which was taken in Morocco and I knew when I had built a rapport with the subject that pressing the shutter on my camera was going to create a magic moment. I love Environmental Portraiture. I wanted to stamp my style, my vision, my interpretation of environmental portraiture on this image. This image was my challenge to achieve this. It’s a much more authentic way to capture your subjects. First of all, you’re going to be in an unfamiliar place. That means you’ll need to be prepared for all sorts of different lighting conditions. Lighting was my immediate challenge. You never really know until you go there. I was confronted with the challenge, lighting and coping with the language and an audience of curious on lookers etc. Above all, you need to relax and build rapport with your subject. The best asset that any photojournalist has is the ability to build a rapport, the ability to relate to somebody, the ability to talk to somebody and to make them feel comfortable. I needed an ice breaker to initiate the conversation, and then I got permission to take the photograph. Then the Magic happened ‘‘the image’’. It achieved 1st in Black & White at the National IPF Finals in Mullingar 2014, same image won Gold award with the Societies in the UK 2014. If memory serves me correctly it was part of the Celtic Challenge panel also.

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Q: Your own favourite image?
A: Photograph of Glenda Gilson on the Front Cover of Irish Wedding Planner Magazine.

Q: What genre of photography best describes your photography or are you a general interest photographer?

A: I love lighting challenges, creating the illusion of 3D from a 2D environment, whether it be fashion, landscape, still life or whatever genre. I love to paint with light. Using a combination of off camera flash and ambient, Maximising whatever situation presents itself. Painting highlight, shadow detail and working the transition lighting, creating form, shape, depth and dimension to my images. Having a “concept” and my light meter are key to whatever I create. Working on location, painting light with ambient and flash, any combination can be the order of the shoot. I have a varied interest in my work as a professional. Portraits, weddings, event photography, corporate and commercial, exhibition work, landscapes and above all I am a print advocate. Fashion, glamour, beauty and art nude studies, are my favourites, and I love the lighting challenges they bring.
• Fotospeed, a UK major photographic distributer has enrolled me as an ambassador for their products.
• DigiBook in Portugal have assigned me as their Irish Ambassador.

 

 

Q: Canon or Nikon or Fuji or Sony?
A: Member of Canon Professional Network.

Q: Would you recommend joining a camera club? Why? What have you got out of it?
A: I would highly recommend joining a camera club. It is a prerequisite if you want to advance your photography, as a hobbyist, as a keen enthusiast, whether you be amateur or professional, or whatever your status may be. It launched my career in photography. I made the transition from being a keen amateur to a full time photographer. It is now my profession and I love it with a passion. So joining a camera club launched my career. An integral part for me is meeting new friends and maintaining my friendships with members from my past. Going on memorable trips together and sharing new ideas and having fun.

Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: Photography is my life, my passion, and my profession. I love travel and through photography I have been extremely lucky to have had commissioned work abroad. Travel Photography is an integral part of my profession. Meeting like-minded people from all different backgrounds with a common interest. Photography has to be the most fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable options in life.

Q: What is your photographic dream?
A: To be successful in my career as a photographer. It was always my dream to represent my club and country at national and international level. A dream that became reality was to have an Image on any front cover of any magazine. I was very fortunate to have worked for five magazines and all my dreams came through when I got front cover of all issues of these magazines.

Dreams do become reality, through sheer determination and honesty in your work. You will get recognized and persevere in doing so. It has been my dream to make a break through particularly in the world of fashion photography. That became reality when I photographed some of Ireland’s leading models. In my portfolio of work I have photographed Miss World, Miss Universe, celebrity photo shoots and even the still photographer on the film set of “Vincent van Gogh – a character study”.

I am ambitious and competitive and these traits have helped me achieve my dreams. I have always been driven by having goals and dreams set down and being realistic about achieving them.  Always have a strong mind set on that journey to wanting to persevere in doing so. Very importantly have fun. I was an International athlete in Long & Triple Jump at schoolboy, junior & senior level for Ireland and fulfilled another dream by making an impression in sports photography when I was awarded International Sports Photographer for 2007 at the Society for Wedding & Portrait Photographers/British Professional Photographers Association in the UK. It will keep me further inspired & motivated to dream bigger for the future.

To read more about Seamus and see his imagery:

www.photographyatseamuscostelloe.ie  www.facebook.com/seamuscostelloe

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