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30 Nov 2021

SLIDESHOW: Limerick's PJ goes from pulling pints to clicking shutters

PJ CORBETT has a photography studio in Adare but you could just as easily find him taking pictures in Mumbai or Cuba. Well, before March of this year anyway.

PJ was born and raised in Pallaskenry. He went to the local primary and then onto Salesian Secondary College where he got his first insight into photography.

“Fr Martin McCormack had started a camera club. If I remember correctly I was around the age of 15 at that time. At 18. I left for London in the back of a transit van hoping to study photography, media and communications.”

PJ started doing part-time bar work in his cousin's bar to tide him over until he got settled. But instead he got settled in the pub business.

“After three years I was managing a bar and was the youngest licensee in the UK. I ran several different bars during my 13 years in London. The last bar I had was a Freehouse in Eltham, London where I stayed for four years.

“My son Aaron, who was nearly four then, was about to begin primary school. However, we didn't really fancy the idea of him growing up in the UK so we decided to return home to Ireland before the school year began.”They moved to Ballylongford and PJ got work with The Kerry's Eye as a photographer.

“This was 16 years ago. I stayed for a couple of years, after which I moved back to Pallaskenry. I was doing freelance photography for the Limerick Leader and some national newspapers. In 2009 I decided to open my own photography studio in Askeaton and then another, more well positioned premises became available in Adare in 2015 so I relocated my studio there.”

PJ says he would be known for family portraiture, weddings and newborn photography.

“A lot of my clients are now international which allows me to travel for corporate assignments and PR assignments. I travel a few times a year and see places in the world I guess I would not normally see and meet some wonderful people. Being Irish I don't cope with the heat too well and most of the countries I have assignments in are very hot and humid such as Phoenix in Arizona, Cuba, Mumbai, to name just a few. These were very challenging for me with the heat and humidity but last year was a welcome break to Whistler, Canada - what an amazing place. It is a picture postcard location, utterly stunning.”

The Leader asks every participant in this series, in their opinion, what makes a good photographer?

“In my humble opinion, I guess that there are a lot of skills, like any job, that are important. Some of the most important skills would be creativity, imagination, an eye for detail, along with a lot of patience and flexibility as well as being personable as one has to be able to communicate clearly and concisely. It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.

“A good photographer also has to have a passion for his work, a passion to create the most memorable, beautiful and personal image for each and every client. A good photographer also has to have a flair for marketing, networking and have a good head for business.

I have signed myself up to a course with SureSkills Ireland as I feel it is very important to continually further my skills and stay on top of my game, for want of a better term! I am very ambitious and always seeking out new opportunities, ideas to further my business and myself as a photographer.”

PJ said he picked the images with the help of his partner Jane as it was a difficult task to pick only six.
“I guess it was similar to asking me to pick my favourite child,” joked PJ before stressing, “I love both my son and daughter equally!”.

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