This month we were delighted to catch up with well-known Kerry Photographer John Cleary. John has been a household name for over 50 years snapping happy and sometimes not so happy occasions, recently John along with his son Martin have launched a new website with thousands of images and memories captured down the years throughout Kerry. It’s an amazing website and well worth a look.
John you have been a household name in Kerry and beyond for many years as a photographer, when did you take your first photograph?
I started developing and printing at the age of 10 years so I guess it’s been a lifetime really, it all began in my mother’s kitchenette with her screaming over all the pans and chemicals spread over her table. It wasn’t a photographic image but it was worth persisting the love for it.
Your love of photography has taken you to meet many famous people and attended lots of events, any special memories stand out?
Photography has taken me all over Munster for Communion and Confirmation portraits and covering 2,150 weddings over the years with my next in February. It’s nice to get to share these special moments with people and to be able to capture them and pass them on to them for their own memories makes the job very enjoyable and satisfying.
You have just launched clearysphotoarchive.com which is just amazing, the thousands of photos from over the years, why did you decide now was the right time to do this?
Yes we have just launched www.clearyphotoarchive.com my son Martin is downloading the images onto this site with about 20,000 images to date, and with more than a half million negatives to follow in family portraits, Holy Communion and Confirmation portraits and Press Pictures. We are delighted with the reaction to our images to date, the response has been amazing, I suppose as we are now in the age of digital it’s important to remember that the memories we build for our families and friends can made more memorable by having these images printed, it’s so easy to take pictures on our phones and technical gadgets but always remember a picture on paper is worth so much more.
Can the general public purchase pictures from the archive as I am sure
there are many out there that would love to?
Oh of course they can, all details are on the website, the public can view or purchase any image from the site. There are many more images to be added daily but they can be viewed online or on our Facebook page too.
Finally John a lot of us would write ‘Photography’ as a hobby on our CV, what does John the Professional photographer do as a hobby?
My hobby is Photography and the different business established by this media, so I guess I live out the saying each day, it’s not a good day at work unless you enjoy what you do, and I enjoy taking photographs and all that is linked to it. I have always said ‘1 Photo is worth over 1000 words’