Graded Unit Shots

My original plan was to include quite a few people from the various places I visited on my travels. But then after much thought (carried out mostly while travelling) I lapsed onto the theme of solitude and what it means to be on your own.  I am not talking about loneliness, but instead having the state of being alone forced upon you by your environment.    Enjoying being alone and distancing yourself from other people is pretty much the status of an introvert. Yet it can also be that being alone isn’t from choice, but because people simply are not around.  From a time not that long ago, we had to distance ourselves socially and physically from others.   We had to hide what was the most expressive and communicative part of our body from others and I think this is what a lot of people missed.  You had to work from home, you couldn’t travel, not even to be in someone else’s home.  My graded unit is not about that but what I now feel has certainly shown the connotations of the effect that has had on people.  They have found contentment in solitude that perhaps they’d never have forced upon themselves. They are finding that there is value in that moment. Of being there alone feeling the buzz of knowing this vista exists only for them – no one else is seeing what they are seeing. What the world is giving them to look upon is theirs.

This is the gift of Solitude.

 You could say I am showing the desolation more than the solitude, but I am still there, travelling and observing, capturing, and expressing both sides of Scotland…  just at a time of day that most people aren’t!

P.S.  I got an A for this Unit.


Wheelchair Curling in Dumfries


What a pleasure it was to be invited to Dumfries to capture the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Championships taking place at the Ice Bowl. 

 Although this was to fulfil a brief for photojournalism as a keen follower of sports this one intrigued me.  In Scotland, Curling is known as the ‘roaring game’ because the person delivering the stone shouts at those who brush the ice with special brushes  in order to create friction on the ice so that the stone gets to where it is intended even curling on its path by other stones.

Wheelchair curling is different in that there is no sweepers so there is no real need to shout. Instead it is a keen eye and a stick that delivers the push  on the curling stone.

Therefore there is a significant skill in wheelchair curling so much so it was included in the Paralympic Games in China.

As much as the word ‘ice’ gives you the feelings of cold I actually didn’t take the cold into account so it was me and a T-Shirt in amongst the sportsmen and ladies all wrapped up snuggly. 

I will know next time.  Hopefully there will be a next time.




Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

It’s not usual to have your picture taken by a legend, but this was taken by a larger than life legend who has been cruelly taken from his family, friends and students far, far too soon. An amazing individual that taught me so much in the little time I knew him, yet such a humble man who just loved what he did: taking photographs and helping others do the same. But he was so much more than a teacher. He was a gentleman with a keen sense of humour that was so appreciated by everyone whose life he touched. He will be sorely missed by so many because he was so much to so many. He so obviously thought the world of everyone he taught and now that world is in darkness.

Photography is all about light, and I hope my photography and that of those who you helped to be the best they can be fill that world with light again with the shining example you set us. R.I.P Robert. Bless you.


Frank and Bekkah Get Hitched

A pleasure to be invited to capture some photographs for Frank and Bekkah recently.  After their ceremony at Paisley they treated close friends and family to a meal and a night of laughs.  At just under 2 hours this wasn’t the normal wedding day photography assignment, but it it was full of smiles and fun all the same. Bekkah was fantastic in getting the obviously camera-shy Frank to open up a bit, and knew exactly what pictures she wanted from the day.  This makes my job so much easier – if under  a couple of hours could be any more easy!     A big thanks to them both for asking me along and I wish them every blessing and happiness. 

Ronnie Murphy Photography

You Need To Be 2nd Best

A shoot from 2016 - one of my first weddings. The couple were happy to take me on. It was a Boxing Day wedding and they were hoping for snow! What would you have done differently with this shot?

… before being the first.  

This would have been my advice to myself when starting out with wedding photography.  2nd best doesn’t mean not being good enough, but it means being the 2nd shooter at a wedding so that you learn the ropes while shadowing another more experienced photographer.   This means that you still get to take pictures of the happy couple but the pressure is not on you to get the shots bang on.  You will learn what you need to do through those mistakes you will most definitely make.  Most of all, you’ll be part of a day that is full of smiles and opportunities to see what you can do with your talent.What is not to like?

Yes, you can take the plunge on your own but when you do, you really need to know how to swim, particularly when the water starts to go over your head,  you feel a little wet behind the ears and there is no one else going to be there to help you out.  

Personally, I don’t think I did enough 2nd Shooting myself and this realisation has came to me by looking back at some wedding pictures that I have taken. I cringe at the mistakes and the poor lighting/camera settings I used. Even more I wonder if the couple were truly happy with my work.  Self-doubt creeps in – even now.

The wedding day isn’t a dress rehearsal. It is the one and only night and you need to be sure of your lines.  Worse still is that you have an audience of 2 people who have paid a decent sum of money and want a good showing. 

 Experience comes from mistakes, but these mistakes shouldn’t cost a lot – for either party.  Yes, there will be the couple who are happy to let you take pictures just because you are either cheap or they like some of your non-wedding portfolio – or you have even been recommended by a friend or they just want to help someone starting out. But it is a massive ask if you don’t have the experience or the skills you really can only learn on the actual wedding day. 

If anything this is what puts many a photographer off from offering their services for weddings.  There is the self-doubt and then there is the self-worth – they’ve seen the prices other photographers charge and think they are nowhere near that good enough to ask that.  So why risk it? 

This is why a 2nd shooter at a wedding is the ideal time to test all that out, what is more it is a time to watch other photographers and how they work, by how they use the light, by how they get couples to pose, by how they speak and how they direct people. Doing this you will also learn not what to do or what you think could be done differently.  The main photography will not always be 100% right. If anything, no photographer is anywhere near that.

 So my thoughts are if you want to get into wedding photography then contact an experienced wedding photographer and ask them if they  take on 2nd shooters and of course ask what you will get in return – you should at least be given something if your images make it to the final cut.  Be prepared to show some portrait work and show you know the photography basics.

It is a big step to take, but it’s better than falling on your bum when you try running up those steps too fast and bring an unhappy couple down with you.

Ronnie Murphy Photography

Neta’s Bike Wish Comes True.

Well, what a brilliant time was had by all as my friend Yvonne’s Gran, celebrated her belated 90th Birthday in style with a wish to ride on a motorbike becoming a reality courtesy of Paul Crossan and the famous Motorbike Milly.

Neta turned 90 last week but because of the current restrictions  couldn’t celebrate with her family until today. 

On hand to bring her a day she will remember for a long time to come was Paul who was more than happy to get on his bike to help and of course the wonderful Milly tagged along too. 

Then it was time for a family tea afterwards to finish off a grand day with which even the good weather was also happy to contribute towards. 

On a personal note, I loved this shoot.  Neta is a lovely lady and Paul is a complete gentleman and well, Milly is as cute as can be.  It was a real feel -good day and especially one that was much needed  in the current climate.  I am so glad that Neta enjoyed her day and that her family were on hand to make it even more special for her.

What for the 91st then?  A parachute jump?  Watch this space! 🙂

Have a look at Paul and Milly’s Facebook page.

Ronnie Murphy Photography

Social Media Pitfalls

I was on Twitter for quite a while, 4 years plus.  But most of the time on that platform was taken up by things that had nothing to do with photography and that is why I started the account, to promote my work.  Twitter can be a political, social and sporting minefield that can drag you in to non-stop arguments with probably the most closed minded of people you will probably never ever meet.  Either they disagree with you, or more often it is you that disagrees with them and there is a tendency for you to let them know that!

So, working my way through those years it began to look less photographic and more opinions, debates and general annoyance, but I had over 1,250 followers which in Twitter terms is not bad. However not all (if any!) were following me for my work, instead it was my political leanings or location. To me that felt empty and wasteful.  Social media can be a timewaster though, but so often it masquerades as a time passer.  It takes a long while to realise it is the latter that is the case, and you are just bored looking for something to talk – or argue about.

Last month, I took the decision to restart my account and move away from that side.  I would concentrate more on following Photography and other Photographers and certainly not those photographers who have more opinions than pictures.  Do not get me wrong, what they do with their own account is their business.  But I need serenity in my life right now.   As Don McCullin put it, “I am sentencing myself to peace.”  


My Twitter feed is now full of pictures of landscapes, birds and flowers and last check, I was just short of 95 followers, mostly photographers.  The only “triggers” I see now are the ones they have used to take a picture and that is how I like it.  There is a whole load of photographers on there that have extraordinarily little following, but their pictures are stunning.  I guess they are there for the reasons I was, and I am now.

So here is a tip, have two accounts on social media if you are a photographer. One account where you post nothing but pictures and another where you can let your other expressiveness flourish.  For me, the two cannot mix.  Sometimes it is not what you are saying, but who is reading what you are saying.  A potential client who is looking for your services can be put off if they find you overly aggressive or tubthumping about issues they have a different view of – even if it comes down to a football team.  I am not saying do not be who you are but be who you are in a place where you are among friends and colleagues who know you, know your humour and your ideals.  In the end most people are looking for a photographer who will tell them how to pose, not how they should think.