Limerick photographer takes top award in London

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Kevin Murphy, centre, pictured with Societies' CEO Phil Jones, CEO and Juliet Jones, managing director, accepting his award as Societies' Photographer of the Year
LIMERICK photographer Kevin Murphy has scooped one of professional photography’s most coveted prizes when he was named as The Societies’ Photographer of the Year 2014 at an award ceremony in London in late January.

LIMERICK photographer Kevin Murphy has scooped one of professional photography’s most coveted prizes when he was named as The Societies’ Photographer of the Year 2014 at an award ceremony in London in late January.

Kevin, who is an Ardagh man now living in Cratloe, also took the award for Portrait Avant-Garde Photographer of the Year.

“I was thrilled just to be nominated for this award, especially in one of the most creative categories in the competition,” Kevin said this week. “I was absolutely delighted when I was announced as the winner of the category and I couldn’t believe it when my name was announced as the overall Photographer of the Year!”

He was also delighted to discover that he is the first Irish person to win in the 16 years of the competition.

“Photography is something I’m incredibly passionate about so I’m beyond thrilled. Sarah Hamilton and Sarah Hickey ,who looked after hair and makeup for the nominated image, are also from Limerick so it was amazing to bring the award back to the Treaty City,” he added.

The Societies is Europe’s largest association for photographers and Kevin’s photograph was competing against over 12,500 images entered for the competition across a number of categories. The finalists represent some of the finest images entered in to the competition and have competed against some of the world’s best photographers,” Phil Jones, The Societies’ CEO said the standard. And the judges said of Kevin’s photograph that it was “an excellent concept, which has been superbly executed, with great control of all the elements with the image paying homage to Salvador Dali”.

Kevin’s stellar achievement is all the more spectacular in that he only turned professional photographer four years ago.

But, as he admitted this week, he grew up surrounded by cameras at his parents’, Bridie and Stephen Murphy’s, home in Ardagh. “It was a hobby for about 15 years and then I went full time three or four years ago. It was a leap of faith.”

The bulk of Kevin’s work is wedding photography but he also does portraits and commercial work. “I love weddings. People look amazing, spirits are high and everybody is there to have a good time,” he explained. He also loves portrait photography. Part of Kevin’s prize involves a trip to Las Vegas to attend WPPI ,the world’s premier industry event for wedding and portrait photographers.