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IPPA Happy Faces Day in Aid of Cystic Fibrosis

We have photographed a few families over the years with a child suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. Sadly one of them died in her 20’s and another two are awaiting lung and other organ transplants. One young lady also in her 20’s has received the transplant call twice in the past year but on one occasion the lung was the wrong size and next time she herself was too sick to undergo a transplant.

The Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland can take much of the credit for the fact that CF sufferers can now survive well into adulthood, as opposed to dying in their teens which was the case until recently.

How can you help?

Turn up with your Happy Face at Stillorgan Shopping Centre on Sat 12th March between 10 am & 6 pm at the unit next door to Arnotts and make a donation of €25 to Cystic Fibrosis and we will give you a mini studio session and an airbrushed 5×7 inch portrait.



Lost in cyberspace by Dominic Lee

Lost in cyberspace by Dominic Lee

What’s a fountain pen Dad? That was the response from my son Rob to a comment I made while watching one of the Dragons on Dragons Den writing with a fountain pen.

I did feel a sense of pride that I had kept all my old hand written letters from my parents, my pals and I’m sure there’s one or maybe two love letters from old girlfriends in that cardboard box in the attic, all written in the 70’s when I lived in London for 10 years. My wife Mairead has just quipped “Actually that box is FULL of old love letters”.
Anyway the point is – where are all the letters we have e-mailed over the last 10 years?

 I found a few old poems my Dad wrote to my Mum when they were courting in 1948 and they reveal so much about their relationship and their lives, (see poem below). Clearly the next generation will never experience such precious moments as all such correspondence will have been lost in cyberspace.


If a picture speaks a thousand words how many words does a digital file speak? Yes the same fate applies to photographs, with more & more married couples opting for the disc only; pulling out the wedding album in 50 years time will be a very rare experience. Most of their wedding images will be lost on some antique version of their computer with the disc thrown onto the skip along with their music CD’s. And their children will be cursing those cowboy photographers who were more interested in making a quick buck than making a print which would stand the test of time!
The same can be said of voice communication, and I’m guilty on this point, with friends I have not seen or spoken to in 5 years except by email – 5 years of emails and we will probably be notified of each other’s funerals on facebook or twitter or by text.

Here is one of the poems my Dad wrote to my Mum in the 40’s,
I suspect she turned down his 1st marriage proposal which broke his heart:

To Nancy

Don’t take my dreams away what err you do
They’re all that’s left to me since I met you.
You have my heart; I gave it of my will
Just sweet memories of you I keep still.

But if through time this wound you left should heal
And love for you I can no longer feel
I’ll pray the Angels take me up above
And there restore my unrequited love

And when the years roll by as they must do
And you grow old and pass like others too
I shall wait to greet you in a nicer world
where dreams come true and loves flags run unfurled

And there I shall ask you if you’ll be my bride
To live and love forever by my side
Like sparkling sapphire in the midday sun
Your eyes shall answer, saying
Our hearts are one.

Bob Lee (1948)

What a beautiful poem your father wrote.
Great post!
Made me regret destroying boxes of pen pal letters I received when I was younger.

Small World by Dominic Lee

Small World

Facebook just proved what a small world we live in.  Our Priory Studios facebook page recently received a question “Does Dominic still do the photography at Priory Studios?” I replied that I do and the lady- Ger informed me that I had photographed her wedding 25 years ago. I was so chuffed that she had found me; I sent her an invitation to a complimentary portrait session at Priory Studios on the exact day of their 25th Wedding anniversary 17th July 2010. She replied that she couldn’t attend as they were having a party that evening but I was invited.
I climbed into the attic and retrieved their original file which contained 3 packets of 6×6 negatives.

wedding cake

Then & Now 1985 & 2010, Cutting the Wedding Cake!

Wedding Photograph Mounted

Wedding Day Photograph taken 17th July 1985 mounted for their guests to sign at 25th Wedding Anniversary party.

So I had taken 36 photos at their wedding and they had 30 in their album for the pricely sum of £199.  Today we would take a few hundred photos, the album would contain about 100 images, costing an average of 2500 Euro.
Family Portrait

Alan & Ger with Gers Mum Mary

Family Wedding Photograph

Alan & Ger with their Parents on their wedding day 17th July 1985

Of all the adults in the original group photo, 15 have sadly passed away.

Group Wedding Photo

Wedding Day Group Photograph 17th July 1985

Wedding Day & 25th Anniversary Photo

Alan & Ger with Gers brother Thomas then & now.


Alan & Ger with the two bridesmaids Mary Coone and Anne Coone Fox, then & now.

I surprised them with a framed wedding photo & mount for all the guests to sign and by chance it was the same photo they had chosen for the cake. The original wedding album was on display at the party and much admired by all.


25th Wedding Anniversary Cake

Wedding Album

Wedding Album 25 years ago

Alan paid a lovely tribute to Priory Studios in his speech, probably hoping I would forget about the ten quid he still owes me! But the funny thing was that I recognised him as the guy who recently took my blood sample in St. Vincent’s hospital so he finally got his revenge and bled me dry!

Does anyone know a good photographer? Priory Studios wallpapers the Restaurant of The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in Bahrain with images of Stephens Green, Dublin.

The Royal College of Surgeons, Bahrain. Photo by Priory Studios.

This lucrative job came from a baby portrait in the studio. A week later, the child’s dad, an Engineer with Mercury Overseas was attending a Dublin meeting with Architects, Designers, Builders and the Financial Controller discussing how to decorate the restaurant in the one of their Middle East building projects – The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in Bahrain. They had just decided to name the restaurant “Stephens Green” and wanted to bring a little Green flavor to this oasis in the new college to promote Ireland and to remind the many Irish Lecturers & staff of their leisurely strolls in the park which is opposite the RCSI in Dublin.

Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. (RCSI) Photo by Priory Studios

The question was put to the table, “does anyone know a good photographer?” My client spoke up and offered to ask me if I would attend the next meeting to discuss the feasibility of wallpapering the walls of the restaurant with images of St Stephens Green.

I agreed to attend the meeting but had to make some frantic enquiries about turning photos into wallpaper, I also requested some email photos of the walls in question in spite of the fact that it was still a building site.

RCSI Bahrain, restaurant under construction with a superimposed image of Stephens Green.

I then took a photo stroll around Stephens Green capturing people enjoying the park, the lake and the fountains and a few shots of the surrounding Georgian buildings. Vladimir (my digital expert) squeezed and stretched these images till they fitted onto the photos of the walls.

At the meeting when I was asked “can this be done” I not only said yes, I handed out prints of the job as it might look. I guess they were impressed because they just stared at the prints for a few minutes, did a bit of nodding and then the big chief looked at me and said “You’ve got the job, can you fly to Bahrain on Monday?”

Business Class on Etihad Airways is very nice way to travel to work, Limo from home to the airport, VIP lounges, Champagne or Orange juice? (I just said yes please) upon boarding the flight and the food is not only sumptuous, it is served on China plates, none of that plastic rubbish that the plebs down the back get!

Then you push a button and your seat slowly converts to a bed, what more could a man ask for? Well there obviously is more because they also have a First Class section, the mind boggles!

Anyway the next task was to photograph and measure the walls and make sure the images I supplied complimented the image on the wall or column next to each other. What would people see when they first walked in to the restaurant and that important parts of the image were not lost to a door and so on.

I spent a few days there and took lots of pictures, some just for the fun of it, including some aerial type shots from the 45th floor of the Bahrain World Trade Centre – Twin Towers.

Back home I set about matching images to the walls, I toyed with the idea of having one of the columns with a collage of images but it was just way too busy.

Some of the images had to be manipulated to fit a desired space, for example I didn’t want a window bending around both sides of a corner so Vladimir digitally moved the windows closer together and as a grumpy old sod in this building wouldn’t close the door for 10 seconds, I had to shoot another door and add it in later.

Oddly enough when the wallpaper went up someone cried “that building doesn’t have a red door”!

And on another wall the same guy also picked out an RCSI staff member having a picnic in Stephens Green while watching the band play and promptly asked me what time of the day I took that photo!!!!

The images were all taken on a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 24-120mm lens and then put through Genuine Fractals software to increase the file size. I had the wallpaper printed in the UK as it was considerably cheaper than the Irish supplier. The UK company also flew out an experienced wallpaper hanger at my request as I felt it was imperative that each image was joined precisely and as the buildings grand opening date was getting close, there was no room for error.

I was then engaged to return to Bahrain to photography our President Mary McAleese perform the official opening and during her tour she commented that my wallpaper images were a delightful addition to the entire project.






naoise - July 15, 2010 - 5:54 pm

Congratulations, this is really fantastic! Love the home away from home aspect – connecting the two campuses.