Irish photographer Dee Sweeney has been taking pictures all her life. Here, she tells us about her passion for capturing life’s special moments and why she feels half French.
1. Dee, can you talk a bit about your background as a photographer and how and when you took up photography?
Since I was a kid I always loved photography. I remember my parents having the old box camera and I used it many times guided by my dad. When my smaller brother was born I was obsessed with taking his photograph, and my mom had to hide the camera as it was costing her a fortune to develop the photographs! I always loved photography and was admired for my keen eye on catching special moments. Throughout my life in college, my work and travel all over the world I always would have some sort of a camera with me. I have thousands of photographs in my attic with so many precious moments and memories which are irreplaceable. My photography has always been about my love for it and this is portrayed in my work. I was born with this gift and I love to share it with people. The most rewarding part is to see the happiness I have brought and bring to people because of my photographs. There is simply no better feeling.
Seven years ago, I decided to take my Diploma in Photography with the Photography Institute in Ireland and enjoyed it very much. I am developing my photography business more, and I sell my prints online and directly.
2. How would you describe your style and interests as a photographer?
My style of photography is very organic. I love capturing people when they are unaware, that special eye catching moment – a sunset, a flower in bloom. My friends say I see things differently. Photography to me is art, and I am the artist. I use very little editing on my work as I feel I like to be honest in what I present. I have Photoshop but never use it.
3. What makes a good photo for you?
For me, what makes a good photo is my connection with the subject, should it be a person, a landscape, a pet, a building. I have to feel it works with me. All the other factors such as composition, angle, light, focus, colour, exposure etc fall into place. Always think about what you can do to make your work different and take your time to compose your picture.
4. You were one of the early users when Calvendo launched in the UK last year. Why did you decide to give our platform a try?
As one of the first Calvendo users I was delighted to be asked to give your platform a try as it is a wonderful way of showcasing my work and the whole procedure is user friendly, very professional and looks great.
5. All the calendars you’ve created so far feature France in some shape or form as a theme. May we assume that you’ve got a particularly soft spot for this part of the world? And may we ask why?
Oh yes, you have noticed my love of France, in particular Provence. I lived in France for seven years; my husband is French from Aix-en-Provence, and I love this country and its lifestyle so much. Every time I visit which is usually a few times a year I always find so much to photograph. The landscape is breathtaking, ever changing and so diverse. I am a lover of the Mediterranean. I feel half French, to tell the truth, and I need to visit a minimum once or twice a year.
6. Can you talk a bit about your experience when creating your calendars with Calvendo? Any tips for first timers?
My experience while creating my calendar with Calvendo was great once I figured how to assemble my pictures on each page correctly. The templates are very easy and straightforward to use. Everybody at Calvendo was so helpful and replied to my emails very promptly when I had a query so my advice to first timers: Take your time assembling your calendar and enjoy the experience.
7. Looking at your website, you’ve got quite a wide portfolio and lots of material. Any plans for more calendars this year and new themes?
Yes, I am contemplating a few new calendars this year, maybe one on Ireland for a change and I have a few other ideas in the pipeline.
8. Last but not least, what are your general comments on Calvendo as a self-publishing platform: Anything you particularly like? Or things that need improving?
I like Calvendo because it’s a wonderful self-publishing platform, easy to use and its all publicity to help get my work recognised even more. The calendars are of very high quality and it’s a beautiful professional product.
Many thanks, Dee, for talking to us, and we look forward to more of your work in our product gallery!
More about Dee and her work:
Calvendo product gallery