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The Globe

A three Act play for one night only by *Arthur Wimperis from the French of *Alfred Savoir.

The Play was by for the Benefit of The Green Room Rag Society Fund, including the auction of the original drawing by Sir William Orpen of the backs of Adam and Eve which is reproduced on the cover (photo attached).

The auctioneer caused some laughter when he assured the audience that the man in the sketch was not Willy Clarkson (1861 – 1934) a well-known theatre costume designer and wigmaker.

The male nude does look like Orpen’s one time friend and fellow artist Augustus John but this is unlikely as they had fallen out some years earlier.

The sketch sold for £60 after a false bid for £70. The total raised from the night was £910, announced by Fred Terry (1863 – 1933) actor and theatrical manager, famous for his beautiful voice and his role in ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Sir William Orpen Sculpture Latest News by Dominic Lee

The eleven foot tall Bronze Sculpture of Sir William Orpen is almost complete. It will be unveiled in Stillorgan in 2016 by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones who is a big fan and collector of Orpen’s work.

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie created the bust using one of Orpen’s famous self-portraits along with photographs of one of his Grandsons – James Birkin and his Great Grandson – Danny Olivier.

The four smaller bronze sculptures are based on Orpen’s paintings which give an overview of the various aspects of his life’s work – Poilu & Tommy (French & British soldiers) represent his time as an Official War Artist in World War 1.

The self-portrait in mirrors represents his fondness for pictorial self-expression along with his fascination with mirrors.

The nude of Yvonne Aubicq represents his fondness for the female form and the final piece will be a Still-Life.

The location of the sculpture is under discussion with the Dun Laoghaire County Council who are currently working on new traffic management plans for Stillorgan and the unveiling date depends on your financial support.

While there is an option for sponsors to have their name, company name or the name of a loved one engraved on a plaque beside the sculpture for €1000 you can make a donation of any denomination to:-

The Stillorgan Chamber of Commerce, Priory House, 19 Priory Office Park, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, A94 H7A4

Or send an email to to request bank or paypal details.

You can also purchase a reproduction in print or canvas from  Orpen’s Shop



Rowan Gillespie at work on Sir William Orpens Bust and Sculpture


11ft William Orpen Sculpture

11ft William Orpen Sculpture

William Orpen War Paintings & Sketches Slideshow by Dominic Lee

William Orpen War Paintings & Sketches Slideshow by Dominic Lee

“Did you really believe this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sadness, the sorrow, the shame
The killing the dying it was all done in vain.
For Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again, and again, and again and again”

The Green Fields of France, a beautiful ballad by Eric Bogle sung here by Finbar Furey, helps one relate to the adverse effect that World War 1 had on Dublin born War Artist Major William Orpen who witnessed the slaughter of British, Allied and German soldiers who were often buried side by side with their arms and legs left sticking out of the soil.
He not only painted many of the top brass including Winston Churchill but also regular soldiers and war torn landscapes. Winston Churchill commented of his portrait “It is not the picture of a man. It is the picture of a mans soul”. This portrait was painted shortly after the disastrous battle of Gallipoli which Churchill took the blame for.
After the Armistice, Orpen served as Official Artist at the Versailles Peace Conference but he felt that the politicians had betrayed those who had fought and died on the battlefield. He completed two Peace paintings – A Conference at the Quai d’Orsay and The Signing of the Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles. But after spending several months on the third painting he blotted out “The Frocks” as he called them (Politicians & Generals) who “Won the War” and replaced them with a coffin draped in the Union Jack guarded by the ghosts of two comrades dressed in blankets and rags.
The Imperial War Museum refused to pay Orpen for his final painting but accepted it several years later when Orpen agreed to paint out the two ghosts and angels.
The original and the final paintings are part of this slideshow.

Follow Sir William Orpen on Facebook.

Sir William Orpen World War I Portraits. from Dominic Lee on Vimeo.

Karen D'Alton - December 1, 2013 - 7:12 pm

The slide show is great. I agree it’s like looking at their souls. I read recently that the song was banned by the BBC when it was released as they thought in was about the Irish Rising, You’d think the title might have given been a give away. Below is an article I read recently, nothing to do with Orpen, just something that caught my interest

Ann Egan - December 3, 2013 - 5:58 pm

Well done on a thoughtful and compelling combination of art and music.

The Auction of a Painting by Stillorgan born Sir William Orpen of Captain Colin David Brodie, By Dominic Lee

The Auction of a painting by Stillorgan born Sir William Orpen of Captain Colin David Brodie, By Dominic Lee.

Painted by Orpen as a wedding present from the Orpen family to Daphne Harmsworth on the occasion of her marriage to Capt Colin Brodie in 1928.
The same painting was stolen by Martin Cahill AKA “The General” in 1988 from Alice Murnaghan, widow of the Supreme Court Judge, Mr Justice James Murnaghan who was an art collector. The painting was happily recovered in a Dublin garden shed and when Mrs Murnaghan died ten years later, the painting was auctioned.
Here is a video of the most recent auction of this masterpiece which took place in the RDS, Dublin on the 30th Sept 2013.

Thank you to Whyte’s Auctioneers for their kind permission to allow Priory Studios to video the auction.

#MartinCahill #RDS #Whyte’s #Harmsworth #JusticeJamesMurnaghan #Orpen #PrioryStudios #IrishArt #ArtAuction #CaptainBrodie #DaphneHarmsworth

William Orpen Slideshow by Dominic Lee, Priory Studios

There are a number of reasons why I chose the song “Roses of Picardy” to accompany this slide show of paintings by Sir William Orpen:
The song was written in 1916 (by Frederick Weatherly) and Orpen would have been familiar with it. In fact it was probably the most popular song from that era and closely associated with WW1. It was also recorded by the Irish Tenor John McCormack in 1919 and his portrait by Orpen features in this slideshow along with some of Orpens paintings from his time in Picardy.
Here the song is sung by my friend, Soprano Niamh Murray whom I’ve had the pleasure to photograph on a number of occasions

If you are interested in the life of Sir William Orpen, I suggest you follow his Facebook page where you will find lots of interesting photographs and information and keep up to date on the plans to erect a bronze statue of Orpen in his birth place Stillorgan:

Sir William Orpen from Dominic Lee on Vimeo.

Roses are shining in Picardy
In the hush of the silvery dew
Roses are flowering in Picardy
But there’s never a rose like you

And the roses will die with the summertime
And our roads may be far, far apart
But there’s one rose that dies not in Picardy
‘Tis the rose that I keep in my heart

But there’s never a rose like you
And the roses will die with the summertime
And our roads may be far, far apart
But there’s one rose that dies not in Picardy
‘Tis the rose that I keep in my heart


Sir William Orpen Art Exhibition Launch by Dominic Lee

Sir William Orpen Exhibition Launch by Dominic Lee

Sir William Orpen R.A., R.H.A. 1878-1931

As William Orpen was born in Stillorgan I always felt it would be nice to honour his genius with an exhibition of some of his paintings or to erect a statue of him in the village.
There was no problem finding a location for a statue but funding was the main obstacle.

While everyone thought an exhibition was a great idea, there were two main obstacles, where to house an exhibition that would remain open 7 days a week and again finance was naturally an issue.
In December 2012 Ray Corey, the Manager of Stillorgan Village Shopping Centre ran a competition to rename the Malls and he mentioned to me that my “pal” Orpen was one of the winning entries so I seised the opportunity and purchased some digital files of Orpens paintings from the National Gallery.

I printed Orpen’s works on 100% cotton rag paper to maintain authenticity, mounted and framed them and asked Ray to hang them on the columns between each window on the 1st floor of the newly named Orpen Mall. My plan worked (although a bit of arm twisting was required)  he agreed to fund a total of 25 framed reproductions of Sir William Orpen’s paintings.

I then asked Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. Minister for Art, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to perform the official opening. I have known Jimmy since he featured in my first photography book “Out of Your Tree”  and he immediately accepted my invitation.

The launch was a huge success and was attended by about 70 local business owners including the son of William Orpens chauffeur and two of Orpens relations. Priory Studios also had a loan of an original Orpen painting from a private collector just for the launch.
The exhibition is permanent, it’s open to all during the Shopping Centres business hours and it’s free.

My next project will be to erect a statue of Orpen in Stillorgan and the Stillorgan Chamber of Commerce have kindly agreed to start an Orpen Statue Fund and will accept all donations large or small until this goal is achieved. A raffle at the launch raised €300 and the winner from Donal McNally Opticians received a framed reproduction of an Orpen painting. However, I subsequently received a very generous pledge of €5000 towards the fund, so one minute it did seem like an impossible task and the next minute a piece of cake!


Opening from Dominic Lee on Vimeo.

Photographs taken by William Barr and Vladimir Polivanov. Video by Rob Lee


Please like our new Orpen Facebook Page:

Paula Fitzpatrick - March 5, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Hi Dominic, Mairead, Vladimir and Sonny,

Just a note to congratulate you all on the wonderful diverse work on display.
A culmination of each person’s own distinct talents compliments and
invigorates the work both old and new.

Yours sincerely

Paula Fitzpatrick.

Karen D'Alton - March 6, 2013 - 5:01 pm

Hi Dominic

Really enjoyable evening, thank you for inviting us and hope you are relaxing this evening. Hope you got some money to start the Orpen Statue fund and I think it is a great idea.

I only had a quick look at the photographs this evening, but they are just fantastic, I’ve admired this guy for so long, so for me personally it was just fantastic to see them, I was in the imperial war museum early last year and it was very clinical and was nearly put off him, so thank you for allowing me to appreciate him again.


Peter Plant - March 6, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Thanks for the invitation. Really enjoyable evening and it was obvious that you had put a lot of work into the exhibition.
Peter Plant.

Margaret - March 8, 2013 - 9:47 am

You may have already come across this black and white newsreel footage of Sir William Orpen at work – but just in case you haven’t I enclose the link. The (very) short piece of footage shows him painting delegates at the Versailles treaty negotiations. Watch from about 4 minutes and 5 seconds into the film. If the Versaille piece can be extracted from the longer film perhaps you might find a role for it in your exhibition – if not on a wall, it could look great repeated-over on an ipad. It is pretty amazing to see the speed at which he worked and on multiple portraits simultaneously…. faster than many modern photographers.

Great idea to showcase him in his home place by the way. Congrats.

There’s A Place for You….. by Dominic Lee

There’s a place for you….. by Dominic Lee

The beginners photography course has been a great success, I must admit, I did wing it for the first couple of classes – but I quickly constructed a programme for class’s 1 to 6 based on the questions I was being asked.

Some students expected me to sit on their knee and show them how to change the ISO or turn the flash on and off but with an average of 10 students this was impossible, however, there are always other students who are happy to assist them during the coffee break and this unites the group in a way that I hadn’t expected.

Giving them a weekly exercise of taking two specific types of photos also proved to be a brilliant teaching aid. As I critique their images the following week I was surprised to find that every one of their photographs were taken at the wrong end of the scale, wrong shutter speed, wrong aperture, wrong ISO but by the end of the course 90% were making the necessary changes to get the best result.

The purpose of the class is not to turn the students into professionals, I hope they continue to snap away and have fun with their camera but every now and then they will see an image that requires special attention to make it a special photograph, worthy of enlarging, framing & placing it on the wall for all to admire and they leave the course with the knowledge & understanding to achieve that. We also offer a one day location course for students who have completed our Beginners Photography Course or  those who already have a basic understanding of camera control and settings. We have taken students to Russborough House in Blessington, Glenmalure and Marlay House in Rathfarnham. Here’s a blog containing video footage of a Marley House course we did recently.

The youngest student was 14 and the oldest was in his 80’s, some have basic pocket cameras while others are more elaborate.

So there is a place for you, Join us on our next course, you will love it!

And one lucky person will be in with the chance of winning a place on this course! All you have to do is go to our facebook page  and “Like” Priory Studios and “Like and Share” our Competition Graphic!




Sandra Yau - June 12, 2013 - 10:59 pm

Just wondering when the next beginners course is starting?

admin - June 13, 2013 - 8:32 am

Hi Sandra,
Next one will begin on Sept 17th – 6x Tuesdays evenings 7-9 pm. €150, I hope you can join us.

Photography Course at Marley House by Dominic Lee

Photography Course at Marley House by Dominic Lee

Earlier last month Dominic held a photography field trip at Marley House, Marley Park in Rathfarnham, Co.Dublin. This particular course is suitable for people who have completed our beginners course or for people that are familiar with the manual settings on their camera. All ages are welcome, to date our students have ranged in age from 14 to 80 years!

We thought we would share this short video clip, featuring some of the highlights of the day to give you a better idea of what to expect from a course like this. It shows some of the camera, lighting and posing skills that we will teach you

After the photo shoot, students were able to view their images on the iPad and were given a critique by the tutor.

To find out more about our courses click here: Courses

Some upcoming dates:

Our next beginners class will start on Tuesday 18th September and will run for 6 weeks, 1 evening a week at Priory Studios in Stillorgan.

Our next one day photography field trip will be held in Glenmalure on Sunday 28th October. To register your interest please email:

fergal megannety - August 17, 2012 - 9:26 am

hey that’s a cool bit of video, can i join you for your next course?

admin - August 27, 2012 - 10:01 am

Thanks Fergal. You are of course welcome to join us. Dominic.

Red Bull gives you wings by Dominic Lee

Petrol may be expensive @ over €1.60 per litre

Red Bull/Bottled Water is over €5 per litre

Perfume/Face Cream is over €350 per litre

But Ink for your inkjet printer tops the chart at over €600 per litre.

These prices are based on buying small bottles/cartridges like the ones the tax payer was buying for Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh who spent over €50, 000 of tax payer’s money on ink cartridges over the past two years!

I’d be happy to buy him some Red Bull, the ad says it gives you wings!!!





Vladimir – 10 Years at Priory Studios by Dominic Lee

Vladimir – 10 years at Priory Studios

I get many emails from people seeking a job at Priory Studios but one I received about 11 years ago was to prove a life changing experience for the sender and for Priory Studios. Vladimir Polivanov is from Omsk, Russia (Two & half days from Moscow by train). He studied Photography & Cinematography at the Institute of Culture in Moscow and served his statutory two years in the Army where he was based in Vladivostok (Nine days by express train from Moscow).

His email caught my attention because he mentioned he used “Photoshop” and I had only read about it at that point. But I was in no position to offer him a job. However I did make a cheeky offer to correct the English in his CV which might improve his prospects elsewhere.
He was delighted with the offer and in the course of a few more email exchanges I sent him two images which I had failed to merge as desired in the darkroom. He returned the file and the result was better that I expected. That project went on to be one of two books depicting people in their hobby mode, titled Out of Your Tree and Out of Your Tree 2. Both of which have been very successful thanks to Vladimir’s Photoshop skills.

He spent his first eight months in Ireland living with my family and experimenting with Photoshop projects. It was still film back then which he would scan and retouch to a level which I saw as acceptable and desirable to the Irish market.

Ten years on, Vladimir is an integral part of Priory Studios and Priory Weddings; he is probably one of the most skilled Photoshop editors in Ireland and is also a master of Cinematography, conferences, bands and company profiles.

I’m very happy that I did make that investment in Vladimir all those years ago, he was subsequently joined here by his wife Inna who now runs a very busy dress design & alterations business and his son Vitaly who along with his wife Anna have been the All Ireland Dance Champions for three years in a row.

Here’s to another 10 Years!



Keith Nolan - February 26, 2012 - 11:52 am

It was nice to read of Vladamir and his talents being acknowledged this way and of his family too. It also reflects well on his employer and friend. Well done to you all and many continued successes!

Calling all Brides & Grooms to be! by Laura Leonard

If you are getting married this December, January or February here’s a chance to win a luxury honeymoon. Four weddings return’s to our screens and they are looking for contestants to take part! Contact for further information. Meanwhile don’t forget to check out Priory Weddings for your Photography, Video and Red Carpet Hire!


Life at Priory Studios by French Work Experience Student Cassandre Lidvan.

This account is written in both French & English

Je suis arrivée début Mai a Dublin pour mon stage de fin de première année de BTS Commerce International. Pendant deux mois j’ai travaillé au sein de Priory Studios. Ce fut une très bonne expérience. Je me suis très bien et très vite intégrée dans cette petite famille. Je fus très surprise en voyant les prix que propose le studio, mais j’ai réalisé qu’une photo passe dans les mains de 4 ou 5 personnes avant de la remettre au client, donc en fin de compte, les prix sont relativement raisonnables, surtout lors de promotion.
J’ai découvert beaucoup de choses, aussi bien le coté administratif que les séances photos. J’ai pu assister a un mariage a l’Ouest de l’Irlande, ou Priory Studios était photographe et caméraman, des séances photos de familles, de communion, commerciale, une conférence sur la photographie… et pleins d’autres choses !
J’ai également beaucoup appris de chacun : Vladimir et la retouche de photos vraiment très impressionnante; Laura et les photos de mariages ainsi que l’actualisation constante d’un site internet et la realization d’album de mariage; Sonny et son beau travail de cadres et de tableaux. Linda et Mairead avec leur grande polyvalence et leur implication dans les différents domaines (confectionner un cadre, faire les comptes, accueillir les clients…) de l’agence. Ainsi que les 23 ans d’expérience en photographie et en management de Dominic.
Tout le monde m’a beaucoup donné chaque jour de mon stage. Je remercie cette belle équipe pour m’avoir fait gagner en expérience (aussi bien dans le travail qu’en anglais) et en maturité.

J’éspère que vous allez apprécier ce petit power point que j’ai réalisé sur Priory Studios.


I arrived in Dublin on 1st May for my end of first year work experience which I completed over two months in Priory Studios. It was a wonderful experience as I quickly incorporated into this friendly family. My first impression was that the price of the portraits was very expensive but I soon realised that most of the work passes through the hands of 4 or 5 staff members before it is received by the customer and that each stage uses the highest standard possible so I then changed my mind and now feel the price is very reasonable, especially when there is a promotion.

I also now have experience in the extensive administration required to run such a large studio and I was fortunate to attend a wedding in the West of Ireland where Priory Studios covered both the Photography and the Video.  I went to a conference on photography, photo shoots for several 1st Holy Communions, family portraits, executive portraits, commercial and PR photos.
I also learned a lot from each of the staff: Vladimir is an expert on photo retouching and airbrushing, Laura on wedding photography & album design, Sonny and his fine work with making frames and canvas portraits; Linda and Mairead with their versatility and their big involvement in every aspect of Priory Studios, one day cutting mounts & framing, next day doing accounts, and equally important displaying great patience with customers during a sale. As well as the extensive experience in photography and management which Dominic has.

Everyone gave me a lot and learned every day of my work experience.
I thank this wonderful team for making me gain experience (in work and in English) and maturity!

I hope you enjoy watching this short slide show which I made about the work of Priory Studios.


One for everyone in the Audience – 3 Generations Portrait Gift Voucher by Dominic Lee

For the fourth year running Priory Studios are offering our very popular Generations Portrait Promotion to celebrate Grandparents Day 2011.

Grandparents Day

Terms & Conditions:

Book a pre-studio planning session to discuss what to wear, portrait sizes, prices for extra copies etc;

Offer includes Studio session (normally €75)

Framed Portrait (normally €175) of The Grandparents.

Offer does not include the Family Group photograph. (Please request a price list)

Not applicable with any other special offer

Offer expires October 31st 2011

Session to include at least 3 generations

Portraits to be chosen within 10 days of your session.


“You never actually own a portrait from Priory Studios you just mind it for the next generation” Print off your voucher and book us today!!

01 288 07 55


Craft Master As seen on RTE1 by Laura Leonard

Craft Master As seen on RTE1 by Laura Leonard

Our shoot took us to Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda where we were asked to photograph participants and judges for a new TV series called “Craft Master”. Craft master is presented by Sonya Lennon and starts Tuesday 6th Sept at 7pm and runs for 6 weeks on RTE1.

“Over the course of the six part series presenter Sonya Lennon will meet a total of fifteen apprentices all hoping to represent their chosen craft in the final of Craft Master to be in with a chance of winning the prize, a stand in Showcase – Ireland’s International Trade Show for Irish producers and with the Irish Craft Industry being worth almost half a billion Euro annually it’s all to play for.” []

Similar to the other Big Mountain productions, we worked on a live set. During our shoot we had the pleasure of meeting Fashion designers Paul Costello and Louise Kennedy. We can’t reveal the winner of the show at this stage but can give you a sneek peek at some of the photo’s we took at the gallery. More photographs to follow as the Craft Master show progresses! Photography by Dominic Lee & Laura Leonard (Priory Studios)



For further information about the show visit:

Richard Branson’s Necker Island home in flames by Laura Leonard

“Richard Branson’s Necker Island home in flames” by Laura Leonard

So sorry to hear that Richard Branson’s Necker Island home has been destroyed by fire. News reports from the BBC have said twenty people escaped unhurt. The fire was caused by a lightning storm and Sir Richard was quoted saying “My office was based in the house and I have lost thousands of photographs and my note books which is very sad. But all family and friends are well – which in the end is all that really matters.” Actress Kate Winslet reportedly helped Richard Branson’s 90 year old mother to safety.

Dominic spent a week on the Carribean Island  shooting Richard Branson in his hobby mode of  Kite Surfing for his second charity book. Dominic’s books entitled Out of Your Tree 1 & 2  depict the private pursuits, passions and inspirations of notable personalities. Priory Studios has raised over 56K for The Central remedial Clinic and The Irish Cancer Society from the sale of the books.

We have some beautiful photographs of Richard Branson’s Necker Island home to share with you, in particuar the lovely panoramic view from the crows nest. We hope the Branson family will be able to rebuild their home as quickly as possible.



Mark - August 23, 2011 - 2:56 pm

Just seen that on the news. Must have been a fantastic experience Dominic!
The nicest house in the world – his Cribs episode is fantastic!! I’m sure it’ll get built back just as cool! If only we all had the foresight to buy a Caribbean island for next to nothing back in the 70’s!!

The Genealogy Roadshow as seen on RTE1 by Dominic Lee

The Genealogy Roadshow as seen on RTE1 by Dominic Lee

Our photography shoot took us to the fabulous setting of  Slane Castle, where filming took place for the final series of The Genealogy Roadshow.

If you can imagine the Antiques Roadshow meets Who do you think you are? – The Genealogy Roadshow comes to our TV screens, on Sunday 21st August  at 6:30 pm on RTE1 and is presented by well known TV and Radio personalty Derek Mooney. It will be aired over four weeks and will take viewers to Carton House (Co. Kildare), Adare Manor (Co. Limerick), Glenlo Abbey (Co. Galway) and Slane Castle (Co. Meath).


The show will feature ordinary people trying to trace their family tree and irish ancestry, some having connections to famous or infamous relatives!  The Genealogy team embark on searching for ancestors of the explorer Ernest Shackleton and trace links to Arthur Guinness. They will also be seeking connections to Dublin-born rebel Wolfe Tone.

Complete with its own ancestry and history, the majestic Slane Castle was the perfect setting for the final series of the Genealogy Roadshow. Owned by Lord Henry Mount Charles, Slane Castle has been his family’ s ancestral home since 1701.

The Big Mountain Production company had just one day to shoot the final series of the show and we were given the task of taking publicity shots and documenting the day’s events.

We photographed the genealogy swat experts Turtle Bunbury, (Historian and Author of Vanishing Ireland), Nicola Morris, (director of Timeline Research) and John Grenham (Professional Genealogist)

We were asked to come up with a shot that would portray their investigative roles in the programme. The use of a wide angle lens and the addition of shades added to the fun element of their shoot.

But, what was most interesting about this particular shoot was that we were part of a live audience. Members of the public were invited along to participate in the show. In the Slane Castle series, over 200 people arrived with all manner of stories and evidence of their past. Some had the opportunity to be selected to talk about their story with Derek Mooney.

As you can see from our accompanying photo gallery some of the shots were taken in the grand ballroom. Notice all of the technology used for the show, in particular the iPad! We are not the only fans of using the Apple device for the purpose of displaying media. We use them to give Wedding couples their photo’s! Priory Weddings

The four-part series of The Genealogy Roadshow starts on 21 August 2011 and ends on 11 September 2011.

Des Duggan - August 21, 2011 - 8:23 pm

Great Show … from all at Senior Times Magazine … Well done Guys !

Bags and Bling in Aid of The Somalia Famine Relief Fund Part 2 by Laura Leonard

People turned out in their droves on Saturday August 20th 2011 to support The Somalia Famine Relief Fund.

Bags and Bling went on sale at Lost Society in Powerscourt Centre, Dublin where Sharon Crosbie and volunteers raised a massive €24,000. Support from Xpose, Deborah Veale, Jedward and Louis Walsh to name a few, in addition to the many members of the public who donated their designer bags made this worthy fundraising event a huge success. Congratulations Sharon! and well done Dominic for doing all the photography. #charity #bagsandbling #somalia

Xpose TV3 Coverage:



The Tenements as seen on TV3 by Dominic Lee

The Tenements, as seen on TV3 by Dominic Lee

Our photo shoot took us to one of the Tenement buildings in Dublin’s Henrietta Street last month to photograph the Winston family. The shoot was commissioned by TV production company; Big Mountain for a new series called “The Tenements”. The series is presented by Bryan Murray and starts tonight on TV3 at 9:30pm. The four part documentary takes families back in time to discover their ancestors living conditions. Bryan uses the 1911 census of No 7 Henrietta St to depict the history of the overcrowded, harsh living conditions in the Dublin slums. The research advisers behind the program are lead by Catriona Crowe, Senior Archivist at the National Archives of Ireland and Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish history at the University College Dublin.

When we arrived at the Tenements we were a little overwhemled by the massive rooms and high ceilings. One couldn’t help but wonder how they were able to heat such a vast area. As a photographer, you sometimes arrive at a venue and have difficultly figuring out what to do with your subjects due to various limitations. Not on this occasion! You immediately sense the grandeur of this building, the rooms are adorned with oil paintings, statues, artefacts, mirrors and ornate furnishings. It was of course at one time the dwelling of the elite, taken over by the local authority to house the working class during Irelands independence.  The high ceilings and beautiful natural light flowing through the rooms with all its faded glory was the perfect setting for our photography.

The Tenements starts tonight 3rd August 2011 at 9:30pm.



Darina Ni Chuinneagain-Donnelly - August 3, 2011 - 9:32 pm

Outstanding work Dominic.Definitely one of the best in the industry. Continued success & keep up the fantastic top-class work

Rory O'Flaherty - September 11, 2012 - 9:11 pm

My father lived at number seven Henrietta Street along with his two brothers with his Granny from 1935 to 1945.Was then sent to live in england after his Granny died along with his brothers. My Fathers name is John Desmond O’Flaherty but has always been known as Des since childhood.Has always had good memories of his childhood here everyone was poor so he knew nothing else no shoes no presents at christmas food was scarce to say the least.My dad is still going strong at 79 years of age and have been back this weekend to visit where he used to live with his grandchildren Shannon AND Conor Very proud of my Father and his roots. Rory O’Flaherty

Bags and Bling in Aid of The Somalia Famine Relief Fund by Laura Leonard

Bags and Bling in Aid of The Somalia Famine Relief Fund by Laura Leonard

Priory Studios had the wonderful opportunity to get involved in the ‘Bags and Bling’ project organised by singer and fund raiser Sharon Crosbie. The idea is people can donate their designer handbags and bling to be sold in aid of the Somalia Famine Relief appeal on the 20th August.

The shoot took us to ‘Lost Society’ a real trendy and chic, if somewhat eclectic bar  in Powerscourt Town centre, Dublin yesterday. We only had a short space of time to get some publicity shots and then had to race back to the studio to get the images retouched and sent off to the national media. Lost society is a fabulous setting for photography.  The tall windows adorn the rooms from floor to ceiling allowing  us to work with beautiful and perfect ‘North’ light with which to photograph our models.


The main bar area is really chic with funky mood lighting, all adding to the ambience and cool atmosphere of the place. One of our models Amie, posed wearing a gorgeous Fran & Jane dress, with handbags and bling to match. She is surrounded by some of the handbags going on sale including lables such as Prada, Chanel, Hermes, Deborah Veale and Knuttal. We wish Sharon & Co huge success with this project. The official press release is here with further information on how you can help.

‘Bags and Bling’

Fundraising sale of bags and jewellery for Somalia

Saturday 20th August

10am – 5pm

The Lost Society, Powerscourt Townhouse, South William St, Dublin 2

It started with a conversation between neighbours on a sunny Sunday morning about the tragedy unfolding in Somalia.  As women, the need to do something to help the mothers of Somalia and their children was compelling and so an idea for a bag and jewellery swop among friends has now spiralled into a fantastic designer ‘Bags and Bling’ event.

Sharon Crosbie, Chairperson of the charity First Step Georgia, immediately contacted her good friend Caroline Desmond of MCD who has been wonderfully supportive of the idea. Caroline in turn has rallied her friends to donate their bags. These friends include Jedward who are donating a bag that they have customised especially for the event.

’The generosity of people in offering their bags, jewellery and time has been overwhelming’ said Sharon. ‘TV3 were in touch offering to help as soon as they heard about the idea, and the artist Graham Knuttel has donated 10 signed bags. The ladies behind ‘Fran and Jane’ have donated jewellery from their stylish boutiques. Aidan Fitzgerald, the well-known hairdresser has donated 200 goodie bags and Irish designer, Deborah Veale has donated a beautiful bag from her collection.’

The owners of the ‘The Lost Society’, the fantastic venue in Powerscourt Townhouse have generously given the use of their premises for the day.

The phones are hopping with enquiries and pledges of support.  Depots have been set up in Cork city, Kinsale and Carrigaline and the good ladies of Cork are clearing out their wardrobes for this excellent cause. Keelin Egan in Castleknock has mobilised the Castleknock set and some glamorous donations from these ladies are on their way!

‘This is going to be such a fun ‘girlie event’’ said Sharon, ‘There will be bags and bling for every age group and every pocket, and plenty of genuine designer bags including Gucci, Prada, and Fendi so come along and bring your friends, your sisters, your daughters, and your mother too!’

Can I go? Entry to ‘Bags and Bling’ is open to everyone. Admission is free and all proceeds will go to the Somalian Famine Relief Fund administered through the office of Mary Robinson.

How can I donate a bag? Contact Sharon Crosbie on 086 835 6665




Copyright Act Review by Dominic Lee

© Copyright Act Review by Dominic Lee

Copyright law under review.

I attended the Copyright Review Committee public meeting in Trinity College today #CRC11

While this was a “Review”, it quickly became clear to me that the committee’s agenda is to attempt to introduce “Fair Use” to the Copyright Act 2000.  However, the term “Don’t Want to Pay” is more appropriate in each and every aspect of those in favour of this change.

One speaker, a website owner, actually believes he should be exonerated from Copyright Law because he is not responsible for any Copyrighted material posted on His website by Joe Public.  He is just like my local Copy-Shop owner who thinks likewise because he allows the customer to operate the copy machine while he stands at the cash register and therefore never sees the copyright sticker!

Media publications would never dream of publishing a painting by Graham Knuttel or an extract from a Maeve Binchy book without asking their permission first but many of them have no problem riding rough-shot over Photographers work because they know there is a very slim chance that we could afford to sue for breach of Copyright.

YouTube  can detect a copyrighted track of music when you submit a video to their site and they offer two choices, switch to one of their copyright free music tracks or they offer the copyright owner a share of advertising relative to that video.

A new feature on Google Images will allow you to drop in an image and Google will tell you where it is being used on the www. So the technology exists which means this notion of “Fair Use” is nothing more than an attempt to deprive the creator of his or her rightful reproduction fee. Photographers make a living by selling photographs and deserve to be treated with the same respect as musicians, artists, and writers. There is great advertising value to be gained by using our images on the www but the Copyright Law must protect us from those who wish to make a living at our expense. Fair Use is not Fair Play.


Details of this review can be found at the following link:



Corin Bishop - July 5, 2011 - 11:07 am

well said!

p.s. also love the images on the blog header!

Conall - July 5, 2011 - 3:29 pm

Blaming the operators of public forums for copyright infringements that their users commit is ridiculous. He operates a site where people can talk and share viewpoints, and this includes the posting of images. He made it clear multiple times that if any infringements are found or reported, they are removed as quickly as possible

admin - July 6, 2011 - 8:48 am

Thanks Conall but that’s like saying he is not actually breaking the speed limit unless he gets caught!
Can you offer any suggestions as to how to address the issues of those concerned?

John - July 6, 2011 - 4:24 pm

I was at that meeting as well and I didn’t feel the CRC was pushing a particular agenda. Copyright is a complex issue and they have to consider it from every angle – not just from that of the content creator. I think the chair was very even-handed in his moderation of the event. Still, though, I thought David Cochrane was being a bit unrealistic when he said he expected the photographer to inform him of instances of copyright infringement – as if she has time to sit around all day and trawl the internet!

Diamond Award for Laura Leonard (LIPPA) of Priory Studios by Dominic Lee

Judges at the Irish Professional Photographers Association were stunned by the high standard of submissions during Round 1 of the awards programme on Monday 9th May but the highest accolade ever received by Priory Studios went to photographer Laura Leonard LIPPA in the open art and creativity category.

While Priory Studios have received many Gold Awards in the past this is the first time they have been awarded a Diamond and in photographic terms that’s not just a Rolls Royce, that is a Lear Jet.


The award winning photograph depicts model Kathleen Augusto (originally from Peru) and is reminiscent of a romantic 1940’s Casablanca scene. This modern take illustrates a scantily clad young lady in hotpants and fur stole draped across her shoulders, seated on an elegant chesterfield leather court chair. The focus is clearly on the model, who confidently wears her fringe across the eyes. One could be forgiven for suggesting the hair style is of a 1960’s Beatle esque era. However, the addition of the vintage background, cigar and smoke adds to the ambience and Hollywood feel of the photograph. You would almost expect her to be listening to “As Time Goes By”  being played on the grand piano.

The hair was styled by Stephen McCarron creative director at Aidan Fitzgerald Hair Salon in Blackrock, Co. Dublin who will represent Ireland at the World Hairdressing Championships later this year. Stephen previously won a silver medal for Ireland at the Mondial de la Coiffure in Paris. The Irish Hairdressers Federation will host the OMC European Cup 2011 at the RDS, Dublin on 29th and 30th May 2011. We wish all of the team at Aidan Fitzgerald Hair Salon continued success with their award winning hair creations.

Laura also received two Gold Awards in the Open Art & Creativity and Fashion Categories.

Neil McShane (aka Mononeil) - May 11, 2011 - 7:09 pm

Well done Laura. A wonderful image and a true Diamond. The first of many to come.

Jackson Hutchinson - May 11, 2011 - 7:26 pm

Well done Laura, Some fabulous images. A true talent !!

Darren Purcell - May 11, 2011 - 8:38 pm

It’s a beauty Laura, well deserved, well done!

Alison - May 12, 2011 - 11:39 am

Congrats Laura. I love the images they are gorgeous. My favourites have to be the ‘diamond’ winner above and the portrait/head shot. Would you consider doing some fashion/editorial work in the future?

Pierre - December 31, 2011 - 8:55 am

a very great portrait work. Congratulation

Photography Course starting up in Feb 2014

Photography Course commencing February 2014.

We will once again be running a Saturday workshop starting in February. This is an ideal Christmas gift for  family or friends especially if they are thinking of getting a new camera from Santa! For further information, call in to Priory Studios in Stillorgan or give us a call on 01 288 0755.

I wrote a blog a little while ago about my photography courses, here it is again, hopefully it will give you an insight as to what to expect…


Learn New Camera Skills

Learn New Camera Skills