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Cork Lives
Dermot Sullivan
Dermot Sullivan
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

I love taking wedding photos and capturing memories forever

Tell us about yourself;

I was born and brought up in Dublin, my dad ran a bar just off O’Connell Street, in the shadow of the Spire, where I worked as a lounge boy during my teenage years.

A few days after I’d finished my Leaving Cert, myself and a couple of pals went to London to stay with my brother for a short holiday.

They came back, but I decided to stay on for a bit and eventually lived there for just over 20 years.

I started my photography training by assisting on fashion and product shoots.

I moved on to doing street photography in the East End of London and in New York and printing the photographs in my darkroom at night.

At the same time, I had a restaurant and catering business going and I used the walls of the restaurant to show off and sell my photographs.

While here on holiday, my wife and I fell in love with the West Cork landscape and the lifestyle, and after a few more visits, we sold up in London and moved to Clonakilty, where we opened a café and photography gallery on the main street.

Around 2007, photography moved from film to digital, and that allowed me to move away from portraits and landscapes and start to shoot weddings in a more relaxed, free- flowing way.

By 2011, my wedding photography business had really taken off, so we sold the cafe business and I finally became a full time photographer.

I expect to shoot my 500th wedding sometime in the next couple of months.

Where were you born

Dublin.

Where do you live?

Clonakilty.

Family

My wife Mari and two daughters Maya and Ruby.

Best friend?

I’ve got a great bunch of pals and I couldn’t narrow it down to one person!

Earliest childhood memory?

Getting lost at the horse show in Dublin.

Person you most admire?

Sebastiao Salgado Photographer and environmentalist.

Person who most irritates you?

A certain recent ex-president of the USA.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Jordan Belfort from Wolf Of Wall Street, for the craic!

Where was your most memorable holiday?

We had some great holidays on Crete when our daughters were young that blend into one great memory.

Favourite TV programme?

Big Bang Theory or Grand Designs.

Favourite radio show?

Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ at the weekends.

Your signature dish if cooking?

After my years in the restaurant kitchen I keep it simple now with something like Vegetarian Burritos or a nice spinach and mushroom omlette and salad.

Favourite restaurant?

Monks Lane in Timoleague.

Last book you read?

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell.

Best book you read?

That’s a very hard one to pick, but I’d recommend Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain to anyone.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Merrie Land by The Good, The Bad and The Queen.

Favourite song?

Baby, Baby, Baby by Aretha Franklin gets me every time.

One person you would like to see in concert?

I would love it if I could see Prince again.

Do you have a pet?

A cat called Benson (we found him as a lost kitten in some hedges).

Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person.

Your proudest moment?

After spending years planning to move the family from London to West Cork and start a business from scratch, opening the doors on our newly renovated café and gallery has to be the highlight.

Spendthrift or saver?

A cautious saver, unless there is a camera lens I have to have.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Fewer hills, it’s a killer when I’m on my bike.

What makes you happy?

Peace, harmony and knowing I have captured some fantastic moments and memories for my wedding couples.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a good friend and an accomplished photographer.

What else are you up to at the moment?

I’m shooting landscapes again for the first time in years while things are quiet, and I have a couple of personal photography projects in mind for when things open up again. One is a portrait series, and I would love to spend a season with the road bowlers in West Cork to document the people and the sport.

My web address is dermotsullivan.com

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