The Irish Times is the premier daily broadsheet newspaper in Ireland and I’ve been Picture Editor since 2018 after a career there as a staff photographer. It is a paper with a strong commitment to photo journalism. The page one photograph is still important, whether it comes from one of our staff photographers, our group of talented freelancers or from elsewhere. We are known for our award-winning quality photo journalism. On every page there is a strong editorial understanding and respect for the power of pictures. The Irish Times’ digital footprint has grown to serve our readers – in 1994 we were the first newspaper in Britain and Ireland to establish an online presence – and we’ve learned how photographs work best and hardest in the crowded digital sphere. Working at a broadsheet, my job requires me to commission, research and license a vast range of photography, from news to fashion, science to food, politics to celebrity, in Ireland and elsewhere – a daily newspaper and a constantly updated website leads to a fast-paced, image hungry environment.
Before becoming the first female staff photographer and picture editor in the Irish Times I worked across several newspapers - I understand the power of mentoring and developing talent and so regularly judge student competitions and assess portfolios, internationally and in Ireland.
My career as a staff photographer has taken me across the globe covering conflicts and their aftermath in Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya, Laos, South Sudan and Myanmar. I’ve documented the lives of pregnant women in Sierra Leon to women living in the slums of Bangalore collecting human hair for European salons. I have never once doubted the power of photo journalism to explore and reflect our shared humanity. Even more so when those images bring home deeply uncomfortable truths; photographs with the power to jolt us out of complacency – it’s that that excites me every day. My role constantly reminds me that we are documenting history and it is my job to see that it is done with a visual creativity that informs, reveals and narrates.
Sports photography like any epic news picture captures the mind and brings you on a journey of many emotions. It must capture the personal cost, the blood, sweat and tears of the experience, the endurance and the exhilaration. Trust your instincts, know your sport and visualize your goal.