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St Patrick's Day with the Taoiseach

St Patrick's Day with the Taoiseach

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One of the best things about my job is the variety of work. In my 25+ years of freelancing, I’ve shot almost everything you can think of, from presidents to worms (look for both in future posts!). I’ve been shooting for the British Consulate in Chicago since 2007. And they in turn have passed my name in to the Irish Consulate, who I’ve had the pleasure of working for since 2012. St Patrick’s Day is absolutely huge in Chicago every year– almost a million people crowd into the downtown to watch them dye the Chicago River green and see the parade.

My assignment for the consulate was to shoot the parade which would see the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenney, walking at the head of the parade with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emannuel. I was to walk backwards at the head of the parade, photographing the dignitaries all the way down Columbus Drive. It was a surreal job, surrounded by dozens of Secret Service men, Chicago cops and assorted news media. I’ve never been in a parade before, but to “lead” the St Patrick’s Day parade in front of a million onlookers was something I’ll never forget.

At the end of the parade, I had to bail out (not an easy task with the crowd along the route 10-20 people deep) and make my way to a restaurant who would let me onto their wi-fi, so I could upload pictures to the Irish Times, who then ran the pictures on the front page of the Sunday papers the next morning.


Gear | Canon 1D Mark4, Canon 5D Mark2, 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, 24-105mm f/4L USM, 70-200mm f/2.8L II USM, fill flash