SLIDESHOW: Going the extra mile brought photographer Brian Arthur to national attention

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan


“THE harder I work, the luckier I get.”

The old saying sums up Brian Arthur back in February, 2005. Only a few weeks into his first job with Press 22 he got a front page photo in national newspapers because he went the extra mile.

He was on his way home from the office on Nicholas Street one Sunday evening. He had been busy all weekend taking and editing images of flooding.

“I was soaked to the bone. All I wanted was to get home, shower and go to my local for a pint but as I was passing Clancy Strand I noticed the banks had burst. Fighting with myself to stop or keep going I parked up, put on the wet gear and went looking for a shot,” said Brian. He saw the dog on the wall (pictured below) and clicked, clicked, clicked. It was all over the front of national newspapers the next day.

Brian grew up in Newmarket-on-Fergus. He always had a passing interest in photography.

“It started to itch me more so when I reached about 18/19. I had two years done in LIT studying engineering when I decided that photography was for me and went to Cork to study it in St John’s College. During my first year there I did a few work placements during mid-terms and breaks, and one place I worked in was Press 22 in Limerick.

“I was asked to come in to work there over the summer, and then near the end, was offered a job. I rang my head of department at the time in Cork to discuss it with him. He advised me that I should really consider taking the job - even though it meant not seeing out my studies - as these jobs don’t come up too often. It proved to be a great move for me.”

He went on countless interesting assignments, along with earning his dues taking photos of Limerick socialites enjoying their drinks on Saturday nights.

After over 10 years with Press22, he decided it was time to start a business for himself and set up Brian Arthur Photography.

“Some five years have passed now and it’s been a great adventure. I have shot sports events like the Irish Open, soccer matches including players like Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Robbie Keane. Some of the great Munster matches and homecomings after being crowned European Champions.

“Photographed famous and interesting people - Martin Sheen, Russell Crowe, Pierce Brosnan, Boris Yeltsin, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Padraig Harrington, Tiger Woods, JP McManus. I do a lot of commercial work and event launches, have done some wedding photography, portraiture, studio and product shots. And a lot of documentary style and assignments for national press”.

One highlight was getting the front pages of one of the most renowned papers in the world - The Times in England - with a photo of hot air balloons in Birr two years ago.

Brian says it’s a very interesting job, albeit there are some jobs that will fail to excite.

“In general, my day is different every day and most jobs pose a new challenge, which can be very exciting and rewarding when you get something you are proud of.”

In this series, we have asked each participant what made a good photographer?

“God only knows! I sometimes think of myself as a good photographer, then I see someone else’s work and am in total admiration. Take for instance the Clare Champion’s John Kelly, who never fails to produce something interesting from sometimes mundane events and shoots. If you haven't seen his work, I suggest you give him a follow.

“We all have a different eye and the old saying, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is as true in photography as it is anywhere. But this is one of the things that draws me to photography - it’s always a challenge. I constantly feel I’m improving and I think it’s the same for anyone with an interest in it - it’s the intrigue of it that you keep chasing.”

Brian says you can learn so much about a person through a lens.

“It teaches you to look at people and things in a different way, and then you try and show this, through your camera. You can see some amazing things and go to spectacular shows. I love going to an event launch that is something different and allows me to get creative with ideas for a pic that will land my client’s photo in the local and national newspapers. I think approaching any assignment or photographing anything, if you give time to it you can find something different or something of beauty to show.”

See for more.