Michael Croghan is a friend, and has helped me out with publicity in the past, by offering to take free publicity photos for me. He also took photographs of the hand-drawn illustrations done by Jason Silva aka Stephen Ribeiro, for my book ‘Hattie and Jacques Love London’. I will let him tell you about himself…
1. Tell me about your background and career up to date.
I grew up in Longford Town, Mac Eoin Park, where I had a blessed upbringing with great neighbours. I was schooled in St. Joseph’s, Melview Primary School and Newtownforbes Secondary School. I spent many summers on my late grandmother’s farm in lovely Leitrim, in Carrick-on-Shannon. I had many various jobs and restarted education in Templemichael College, Longford Town.
2. How did you get interested in photography?
It was literally a gift, a birthday gift of a small compact camera from my mother, Isabella Daly, that started it all off. I did a starter course with lecturer Luke Danniels in Templemichael College; and then a further course in the same place, which was a private evening course with lecturer, Brian Flanagan, organised by the local arts officer. I was hooked, and it was the only thing I wanted to do. So I did, and I do many things locally. I had a studio space in town for a couple of years, in two places I leased from two good landlords, Brian Kane and Kevin Smith, before I went back to further study.
3. You took photos of the illustrations for my book ‘Hattie and Jacques Love London’; tell us about your involvement in connecting me and the artist, Jason Silva/ Stephen Ribeiro.
I remember that fondly and how it came about. It was when I was doing my own stories on people; I did one with your good self and a fellow artist I found, Jason Silva, I got ye guys together for that book. I loved the story and the art work. I thought Jason and yourself mixed well to bring about such a good book. What I did was only at best complimentary, ye had the hard work done. It was a pleasure to see how the two of ye came together.
4. You were also involved with a poetry book with Audrey Healy Fay. How did that come about?
The lovely Audrey Healy Fay, approached me about an idea for a book. She liked my photography, and wanted to collaborate. I gave Audrey selected imagery and she responded to each photograph with her distinct and eloquent poetry. It was a very good experience of the ins and outs of book making, Audrey has many good works out there already; a prolific writer and a Longford artist.
5. What are your plans and ambitions for your photography and future?
I am currently studying in TU-Dublin; I am in the third year of a four year course in photography. It has expanded my visual language. Before it I had I hit a ceiling. It’s a very comprehensive and full time intensive course. I hope to keep studying further and possibly do a Masters. It is the only thing that I will do and that I am interested in. I am getting more and more involved in fine art and documentary. I am now part of Visual Arts Ireland . My ultimate aim is an association with Magnum photography, ( a membership made up of elite storytellers in the sphere where photographic art meets photojournalism). You will start to see a lot more work from me that would be described as fine art. I believe that people in general are respecting and are more knowledgeable of reading the language of photography. I have the pleasure of having the best lecturers in Ireland helping me with that future… Anthony Healy, Valerie Connors, Ann Curran, Martin McCabe, Timothy Kovar, (former lecturer) Ellen Thornton, Evin McCarthy, and many guest lecturers and former graduates. You can see some of that work on my website and in my Artist Statement at www.michaelcroghanphotography.com, Thank you allowing to take part in your blog and wish you all the best with it.
Some of Michael’s photos below –