Friday, 28 October 2011


Last Friday I had a call from Jade O Callaghan, I was to photograph her on the following Sunday and had just been introduced to her by her good friend and fellow sitter Claire Weir.
Jade told me that she was going a little sooner than she though and she had just recieved her itinerary for travel and she was leaving on Saturday morning. Although Jade was having a farewell dinner with her boyfriend Aiden and her parents she arranged the photographic session for 10 that night before leaving for Kuwait the next day!

This was cutting things as fine as they could possibly be cut so I set out at 19.30 to scout the site with a view to returning there with Jade at ten that evening.
The location was Arbour hill just around the corner from where Jade lived for some time.
I was delighted to be sent to this location as it is home to the Lilliput Press and Lilliput Stores probably the location that inspired me to look towards Swift for a blog title.
So all went ahead, we made the shot, myself Ray, Jade and Aiden had a great chat and after we left the scene feeling a good nights work had been done and thanks to the will of my sitter a truly great shot of the series had been created.
During the course of our chat Jade filled us in on the adventure that lay ahead. She was going to Kuwait to teach  in an American school. She was not too sad to leave Dublin but she said she would miss her boyfriend.
On Tuesday I though to touch base with Jade to see how she was doing. It felt to me as if she was actually whisked away to another dimension, the place were George Bush snr gave chase to the forces of Saddam. Still feeling that this was a dangerous place I wanted to assure myself that all was well so I wrote :

Hi Jade, hope you are well and all is going smoothly for you.
The photo worked out really well and I will post it on friday I think!
I will let you know when its up.
Hope your trip went well and its all not to unsettling for you, and I really hope that you enjoy what you are doing in Kuwait. All the best for now
To which she replied:
I am so embarrassed, I am back already! So it turns out Kuwait is a lot more strict than I was led to believe, when I realised I basically couldn't leave my apartment after 6pm when it gets dark I felt I couldn't live that way! I just didn't feel at all safe there.
As regards the work the school was great so it's unfortunate!

I have to say I was shocked, but only inso far as the speed of her return.
Something inside of me breathed a sigh of relief as I too was feeling a little nervous at the thoughs of any young person living in a hostile environment. I continued to congratulate Jade for her strength of character and cool headedness. Some of us would try to muddle on through this kind of discomfort not realising the danger to ourselves but Jade had the insight and belief in herself to do a very quick back step! She will never have to ask herself,  I wonder what it would be like, because she has felt it 100%. I wonder will she be the first to have two historical parting shots made? Although I think the above  image would be hard to top!

There is no doubt about it, "The leaving Dublin" is all about people. The finest people I have met have lined up one at a time during a time of great adversity, to take their boarding passes and leave our country, for a new place, a new life. I admire them all for for their strength but most of all I admire Jade. She has over the course of one week made it to the top of a list I didn't previously keep.
                               People I admire most.

On the night Ray Hegarty singlehandedly held the lighting thing together, big thanks there!
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  1. Great stuff, getting to the personal stories as ever, Dave - look forward to taking your course here at the Gallery of Photography myself! xTanya

  2. thanks Tanya,its all about the people!!
    looking forward to welcoming you

  3. Well there ye go! No place like home!
    Her face says it all!

  4. thanks again anon,I am sure she will be off again but maybe not as far and such a hostile place!

  5. Love the new format Dave. !

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