Hernandez Family // Huntington Beach, California

In October, I had the pleasure of going back to Huntington Beach to visit my good friend Jess [although she now goes by Jade] and get the meet her ever growing family.

I lived in Northern California for a year over 12 years ago and Jess was one of my housemates. 

Watching her being a mum and wife was a true joy. 

Needless to say I can't wait to bring my crew out to see them and enjoy this wonderful beach. 

Peter Rollins // Hollywood, California

Growing up in Belfast I remember the name Peter Rollins being referenced by a lot of people around me. 

Peter is a theologian, speaker, thinker and author from Belfast, who now plies his trade in Hollywood California. I contacted Peter through our mutual friend Phil Harrison to see if he was interested in hanging out when I was in California this October. 

I love doing portraiture work. It challenges me creatively and gives me the opportunity to spend time with some incredibly talented and inspiring individuals, and getting the chance to share a bit of time with Peter was no exception. 

Peter is hosting an online series called Atheism for Lent through March & April, followed by a lecture in Belfast on the 10th of April. Following that he hosts his boutique festival in Belfast called Wake which is in its 5th year. 

Two Door Cinema Club // My Two Door Two Day Tour and a bit more.

11 years ago, I had just started a new job as a youth worker. About 3 days into the job, one of the guys I was working with came up to me and invited me to come with him in Belfast as he was going to see his little brothers band play a gig. I asked their name, Life Without Rory.

I went along and was really impressed, the small crowd seemed impressed too. 

Not long after this gig, Life Without Rory, made up of 4 best friends, amicably split as a band but remained good friends. Patrick, the drummer, left and joined another local band. Sam, Kev and Alex decided to start a band from the ashes of Life Without Rory. The band? Two Door Cinema Club. Who started making a name for themselves as the band with no drummer, deciding early on to use a drum machine in place of a drummer. The boys from the band, I would see a couple times a week as they would help me run our local youth club. Listening to their conversations about how their new sound was forming, it was fun to watch. Any spare time they had, they would spend practice and jamming in Alex's mums house.

 Life Without Rory - Pavilion Bar, Belfast - 1st August 2006

Life Without Rory - Pavilion Bar, Belfast - 1st August 2006

As it got towards their sixth form year in school and people started asking what university they would be going to, the boys with a chilling calm would tell you, that whilst they had places at Uni, the band was going to be their next big step. I can remember being amazed by their certainty, and it was only when I asked them to play a gig at our youth club I started to be less amazed at their confidence, it started to make sense. I announced that they would be playing and 300 people turned up and I got to experience their live set for the first time. [Check out a video below taken that night on someones mobile]. It was electric. That night people got to get their hands on their first EP - Four Words To Stand On. Think I still have some copies of this lying around.

As it approached the summer of 2009, with the massive success of their EP, the boys told me they where moving to London to see if the band was going to go anywhere. First thing that came to my mind was milking them for all their worth before they go. I was leading a team to Uganda that summer, a team that the boys had shown an interest in going on but clearly had different plans. So as part of a our fundraising for that trip I asked the boys to play a gig in the local town. I had no money to pay them, so demanded they did it and only paid them in beer and pizza. The only date that would work was the weekend before the flew off to London which meant we had a small window to promote the gig. On the night only a few people showed up, but I can remember thinking in a years time if people heard they had the chance to see Two Door Cinema Club in Bangor up close and personal, and they didn't take that chance, they would be raging. Low and behold, a couple of summers after this [2011], the boys did return to bangor, but to play a sold out Tennent's Vital  in support of The Script, playing 400 yards from the small building our gig was in.

 Two Door Cinema Club - Hamilton House, Bangor - 9th June 2009

Two Door Cinema Club - Hamilton House, Bangor - 9th June 2009

Fast foward 8 years, and after announcing what would be their sold out UK tour for their third and latest album Gameshow, I had a text conversation with Kev and we thought it would be fun for me to come out on tour with them. So after syncing diaries, the gigs that made the most sense to be at was Liverpool and Glasgow. Over those two dates, amidst getting to see how normal touring life was for them, I also got to document life on the road and the faces of the fans that came along to both gigs. I stood in the pit or back stage and watched as they brought pure entertainment to the crowds that had come to see them. 

As I post this blog, the boys will be preparing to go on stage on the last two dates of this UK tour in Alexander Palace, playing to over 10,000 people each night. It was an honour to hang out and capture their tour and some of the people that make it happen.

Two Door Cinema Club // UK Tour 2017 // Liverpool Guild of Students // Thursday 2nd February 

Two Door Cinema Club // UK Tour 2017 // Glasgow Barralands // Friday 3rd February 

Two Door Two Day Tour - Faces In The Crowd - Liverpool & Glasgow

I can remember the excitement. The energy would build. From the moment that I would walk into Virgin Megastores in Belfast to purchase the ticket. The nervous wait whilst the cashier would look at the availability of the tickets. 

For about 2 years, I was addicted to this. My friends and I would be into all sorts of music and would be straight on the phone to each other when a band we loved would release their tour dates. From the moment of buying the ticket it was about all that we would talk about. We went to see so many bands, from Ash to Stereophonic, from Manic Street Preachers to Placebo and even a very young Coldplay just after the realise of their first album. 

When Two Door Cinema Club released their UK tour dates I arranged to join them for a day or two and see how the shows were going. 

One of the things that hit me when I stood in the pit or side of stage apart from how MENTAL the crowds were in Liverpool & Glasgow and how great the boys are, was the excitement in the faces of the crowd. The energy everyone brought to the room was insane and brought me right back to going crazy in the middle of the crowd and getting lost in my favourite songs when I was younger. 

If you were there, you might look through the photos and see yourself, if so and you would like a copy of the photo, just get in touch, or you might not have been there but recognise the energy of being at a concert. When the lights go up and all the faces turned towards the stage the only eyes on the faces in the crowd are the bands, these are the faces they saw. Having spoken to them at length about the fans after each gig and showed them these photos, they saw you and really deeply appreciate your support. 

Two Door Cinema Club // Liverpool Guild of Students // Thursday 1st February 2017

Two Door Cinema Club // Glasgow Barralands // Friday 3rd February 2017

Ric & Orla // Engagement // Greenisland

I have know Ric for a long time, he's one of the reasons I passed my A Level ICT, as he would invite me round to his house and force me to sit and revise. So you can imagine my excitement when he got engaged to the brilliant Orla. I had the please of spending some time with them both, and their two dogs, down at the beach out the back of  his mum and dads house.

Nathan Jess // Musician // Belfast

Last year, friend and talented musician Nathan Jess asked if I would hang out with him for an afternoon to get some shots to refresh his website, as he had a new album coming out. 

It wasn't planned but one of the shots got used for the new album artwork. The album comes out on the 10th February on Integrity Music and I can't wait to be there at the launch night in the Waterfront Studio Theatre. You can get your tickets HERE. You don't want to miss this! 

If being successful was solely based on talent and dedication, Nathan would be a superstar, lets just hope that everything lines up for as many people to hear his music as possible.

Looking forward to everyone getting to hear this. 

Jeff & Bridget // Gregan's Castle Wedding // Galway

A couple of years a go I had the fortune of traveling down to Gregan's Castle near Galway to shoot the wedding of Jeff & Bridget, who had both come over from America to get married. 

I had such a good time that I stayed way too late and drove through the night to get up north for a meeting in the morning. Was worth it though.