about firechild photography – and you.

firechild interviewed

I met with artist Amanda Grace, AKA Pilgrim Soul to chat about our processes and the philosophies behind our work. Most important for both of us? Truth and being your real self. Check out the conversation here. We’re talking about living your love and really being in it – and wait til you see where we ended up hiding out of the rain to record, beautiful!

You’ve worked hard for all your lovely things, (and I know you, you love your lovely things) but I also know that what’s most important to you is your people. Your relationships mean everything to you, and seeing yourself (and them) in your photos is so important. You might look at a portfolio and the one question in your mind is ‘Can I see us doing that?’

When it comes to photographs, you sometimes worry about how you’ll look or wonder if you really need to invest in them at all. But you also know that when you hire a professional that you can trust, you’ll get an experience you’ll enjoy and photographs that will bring you right back, every single time, to that fantastic day.

This is what I want for you, this is the goal of every single photograph I take – whether it’s a portrait shoot where I’ll be guiding you to share the most perfect little moments together, or the excitement of a full-on wedding day, I’ll be there to document you as you truly are. I’ll be looking for those perfect moments when no one else is looking, but right there – you see it, that look, the laugh, the ridiculous carry-on that makes hanging out with your people the best fun ever.

You’ve worked hard for all your lovely things, (and I know you, you love your lovely things) but I also know that what’s most important to you is your people. Your relationships mean everything to you, and seeing yourself (and them) in your photos is so important. You might look at a portfolio and the one question in your mind is ‘Can I see us doing that?’

When it comes to photographs, you sometimes worry about how you’ll look or wonder if you really need to invest in them at all. But you also know that when you hire a professional that you can trust, you’ll get an experience you’ll enjoy and photographs that will bring you right back, every single time, to that fantastic day.

This is what I want for you, this is the goal of every single photograph I take – whether it’s a portrait shoot where I’ll be guiding you to share the most perfect little moments together, or the excitement of a full-on wedding day, I’ll be there to document you as you truly are. I’ll be looking for those perfect moments when no one else is looking, but right there – you see it, that look, the laugh, the ridiculous carry-on that makes hanging out with your people the best fun ever.

my story

I photographed my first wedding at nine years old, a family do. I took a whole roll of film on my Dad’s camera. With the lens cap on… I was pretty gutted by that, and never consciously told myself I couldn’t take pictures, I just didn’t really try too hard again. But yet, I kept coming back to cameras over the years.

College took me to interior and furniture design – where, of course, I took every photography module I could, just for curiosity. Still, never believing I had any place taking photographs for other people to look at. But I bought my trusty little Pentax during college and learned how to shoot film properly – we went out shooting landscapes and trees and made some portraits of each other, nervous on both sides of the camera.

I think the first photo I ever took that really excited me was of a family friend, an elderly lady (be warned now, I have a thing for grannies!). We were at a family event and she was having a little moment to herself, just taking it all in. I took her portrait in that moment and when I got the film developed, I was in love. The realness in her face, it was a pure encapsulation of her personality. Of course I didn’t realise it at the time, but it sparked something in me.

That’s me over there, Éadaoin (pronounced EY-deen), I’m the one behind the camera. My name means ‘little fire’, so that’s pretty much where Firechild came from – I like it and it’s way easier to spell than my name.

I finished college and started working as a designer in some architectural practices. I enjoyed it, and I was pretty ok at it too. But I had a need to see the world, I was earning real money for the first time in my life and needed to see stuff.

So I went! May 2008 I headed away on a 4 month trip to South East Asia. June was spent volunteering with an NGO in Viet Nam and I was hooked, I didn’t want to leave. I stayed there another month. I travelled a little and went back. August came, the banks collapsed and I had no job to go home to. I chatted with my boyfriend back home, talked to my family and decided to stay. So I travelled around a little more for the NGO within Viet Nam and finally settled in a small town in the central provinces in October.

I helped manage the staff and programs, worked as a teacher and did all the usual volunteering stuff like hanging out with the kids in the orphanage and teaching classes there too.

That year spent there was the first of three trips so far, the last one (too long ago now) was a three month stint helping my friend set up her restaurant in her home village. Mrs Hanh is a force of nature, a big dreamer and an incredible business woman. Her huge restaurant in that tiny village provides employment, meals for some of the poorer children in the village and a base for many volunteers when they go back – because so many of us just can’t stay away.

I finished college and started working as a designer in some architectural practices. I enjoyed it, and I was pretty ok at it too. But I had a need to see the world, I was earning real money for the first time in my life and needed to see stuff.

So I went! May 2008 I headed away on a 4 month trip to South East Asia. June was spent volunteering with an NGO in Viet Nam and I was hooked, I didn’t want to leave. I stayed there another month. I travelled a little and went back. August came, the banks collapsed and I had no job to go home to. I chatted with my boyfriend back home, talked to my family and decided to stay. So I travelled around a little more for the NGO within Viet Nam and finally settled in a small town in the central provinces in October.

I helped manage the staff and programs, worked as a teacher and did all the usual volunteering stuff like hanging out with the kids in the orphanage and teaching classes there too.

That year spent there was the first of three trips so far, the last one (too long ago now) was a three month stint helping my friend set up her restaurant in her home village. Mrs Hanh is a force of nature, a big dreamer and an incredible business woman. Her huge restaurant in that tiny village provides employment, meals for some of the poorer children in the village and a base for many volunteers when they go back – because so many of us just can’t stay away.

Fast forward to 2011, I’m back working as a designer and have my proper teaching certificate under my belt. The design work is great, but I’m also the only administrator in the whole place and it’s killing me. So I figure I’ll teach English for the summer, I’ll call them in September…

So, yeah, that never happened!

The energy I got from teaching was infecting the whole rest of my life – I wanted to make and explore and create more than ever. All of a sudden I was in a camera shop where I bought my first ‘real’ digital camera. I started taking photos of my friends, bands I knew, holidays. I was hooked again. But this time, properly hooked. And there was the internet, and I could read about how to do stuff. And I could learn about photographers I’d never even heard of. And to be honest, I’ve been doing that ever since. Learning, reading, exploring, challenging.

And now?

That brilliant boyfriend who encouraged me to stay and do all the good work in Viet Nam is now my fantastic husband. Sometimes I think about it and my stomach flips – I think of how it could have all gone wrong. What if he’d found someone else while I was gone? What if I’d left behind the best relationship I’ve ever had? Well, the risk paid off I guess. And he’ll tell you, the girl that came back from that year of hard work, amazing adventures and a million lessons learned was a much better person – luckily for both of us I guess!

It’s 2017, I’m full-time photographer, with plans coming out of my ears and late nights working on the newest one. My big goal for 2017 is to start putting profits aside to help sponsor a child in one of the projects I’m still involved with in Viet Nam – a foster home called Mary’s House, a beautifully run, well staffed and happy home to 25 gorgeous children.

My other goals for this year are to keep learning, particularly about the history of photography and spend more time with my most favourite people.

What does your logo mean?

My logo was designed by the amazing Aisling of Tree Top Studio and is a slight adaptation of the ancient Celtic Awen symbol. Awen means “(poetic) inspiration” and is the inspirational muse of creative artists in general.

Various interpretations of the symbol indicate that the three lines relate to; earth, sea and air; body, mind and spirit; or love, wisdom and truth. It is also said that the Awen stands for not simply inspiration, but for inspiration of truth; without Awen one cannot proclaim truth. The three foundations of Awen are the understanding of truth, the love of truth, and the maintaining of truth. As someone who quite literally has had truth tattooed down her spine (in Ogham) since the age of 21, it’s pretty fitting, right?

My absolute favourite interpretation of the Awen symbol is that each outer line represents the male energy and the female energy, with the centre line representing the balance between the two. It makes complete sense to me, I’ve always thought of myself as a bit ‘male brained’, but I think it turns out I’m just pretty balanced in that respect. (I did an online quiz once, so it must be true!)

Get In Touch

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