I was invited back in 2014 by my good friend Ross McKelvey to guest speak at one of the leading clubs in The UK, and top Northern Ireland club Catchlight. The club is extremely succesful in competition and exhibition work, and it was a real honour to be invited.
The trip involved a flight across the Irish Sea, and an overnight stay in Belfast. So with a suitcase full of prints, a laptop and a camera, off I went to see the friendly folks in Belfast.
Being the big hearted welcoming people they are at Catchlight, I was met at the airport and driven to Catchlight Photographic Studio for a group shoot with a model. Ross had arranged for Hugh to open the studio in the morning, and had arranged for a fabulous model Christine Rock to work with us for the day.
The Catchlight studio is extremely well equipped and located in an old mill, that benefits from a fabulous work space and beautiful window light as well. It was great to see the folks working the studio their way, and I picked up several ideas from them.
I presented to Catchlight members and members of other clubs that had travelled, in the evening. They were a terrific group of people, that made me feel welcome. I spoke with a lot of the members during break and at the end of the night, and it was clear to me just how focused each of them were on their craft, and why they were so successful individually and as a club. Catchlight is a forward thinking proactive club, and they have since their formation in 2012 become one of the top 10 clubs in The UK, which is a mighty achievement and testamount to the committee and the members dedication.
Prior to my flight back home the following day, I was treated to a tour around Belfast by my friends Anne, Bob and Hugh, that showed me the mural walls, and gave me a 'locals' insight to the different areas around the city, and of course we took some pictures along the way.
This was a really special trip made even better by the kind folk at Catchlight, I really cannot wait to return later this year to see more of Belfast and enjoy the craic again.