It was a red letter day for local photographer, Claire Durkin, when she literally took the annual Irish Professional Photographers Association (IPPA) awards by storm.
She won two categories outright and was also shortlisted as one of the three ‘Photographers of the Year’. The annual National Photographic Awards is the flagship event of the IPPA calendar. All IPPA members are Qualified, Registered and Insured Professional Photographers.
Fast emerging as one of the best known and most creative portrait and wedding photographers in the country, Claire opened a studio in her native Longford town approximately two years ago.
The Durkin family are well known for Joe’s landmark clothing and sportswear store on Ballymahon Street, which has traded successfully for close to 80 years.
The Claire Durkin photography studio is located in the car park at the rear of the Ballymahon St premises and can be accessed on foot either from Bog Lane. Indeed, some of her work - the winning portraits and coveted awards - are presently on display in the empty shop unit at the corner of Bog Lane and Ballymahon St (with the Aubergine Gallery Café restaurant upstairs).
For the awards the Longford photographer submitted a portfolio of work that in the main feature people from the community.
These included a captivating portrait of a 12-year-old Philip Walsh from Newtownforbes and still in Newtownforbes, a delightful shot that shows young couple, Shaunagh O’Regan and Jamie Hickey embracing. Another shot in the award winning portfolio was that of the Burke sisters from Mohill.
Claire was also delighted to win the award for the Best Single Image Portrait, and this was in respect of a delightful shot of baby Joe Shannon.
The little boy in the photo is the youngest in Damian and Vivienne Shannon’s family with Damian well known as one of the proprietors of Shannon Bros Joinery whilst Vivienne previously ran a successful shoe store in town.
The National Photographic Awards were held in the Wood Quay Venue in Dublin last week. The IPPA presented Awards in 13 separate categories, promoting the very best in Irish professional photography.
From these 13 finalists the IPPA judges selected Claire Durkin as one of the top three in Ireland and it represents a major breakthrough for her business.
Claire opened her photography studio, in Longford Town almost two years ago.