BY SIOBHÁN CRONIN
A DUBLIN photographer is currently in West Cork as part of his project to photograph portraits of the ‘People of Wild Atlantic Way’.
Shay Hunston, a fashion photographer whose ‘day job’ is capturing supermodels on runways in Paris, Milan and other fashion capitals, has decided to turn his attention to Ireland.
After spending several months photographing random people he meets on his travels along the coast, Shay is planning to publish the photos in a book and give the proceeds to the RNLI.
Currently photographing the people of Kinsale and its environs, Shay plans to make his way along the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) coastal route, taking black and white portraits of the people he meets. In each town, he will mount an exhibition of the portraits, by asking local businesses to display one in each of their shopfronts.
In this way he is engaging the people of the town with their own photographs, and giving them a great ‘face’ to present to the public.
Shay envisages the entire project could take him six months, but he has already undertaken a successful similar project in Dublin, with the shop owners of Temple Bar.
And he has already captured some of the faces of West Cork, during a recent ‘pilot project’ to see how his idea would be received.
‘People were very willing to be photographed,’ he said, ‘and I’ve met some amazing people along the way.’
On a recent trip to Kinsale, for example, Shay got to spend the evening with a group of fishermen at The Spaniard where they cooked up their own fresh prawns and shared them with customers. ‘It was one of those rare evenings that was a joy to be part of,’ he told The Southern Star, adding that it also made for some wonderful photographs.
Few people on his Wild Atlantic journey have denied him the permission to take their pictures, he noted. ‘People tend to be very agreeable, once you approach them and explain to them what you are doing. Some photos take just seconds, others a bit longer, but I am in no rush, so I spend as long as it takes.’
Shay will be back in Kinsale early next month, and his photographs of the people he met there will be on display in the town’s shopfronts from Sunday June 5th until Sunday June 121th. See www.shayhunstonphotography.com