Talented Limerick teen turns photographic hobby into life changing project for Trocaire

Finn Coleman has turned his  hobby into a charitable endeavour called Educating Through Portraits, writes Donal O’Regan

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan

Finn Coleman and below, Caherconlish butcher Matt Barry and Pastor Doris Korte

Finn Coleman and below, Caherconlish butcher Matt Barry and Pastor Doris Korte

A TALENTED teenage photographer wants to capture men and women in their work clothes to help give African children the same shot in life.

Finn Coleman, aged just 17, has teamed up with Trocaire for his novel project entitled Educating Through Portraits. He is photographing 20 to 25 different individuals in their distinctive uniforms and areas of profession which they have achieved through opportunity, education and training.

Finn, from Caherline, who has set up a Go Fund Me page, plans to publish a book of portraits and host an exhibition of his work. All funds will go to Trocaire.

The idea for Educating Through Portraits began in Kinsale. The son of Liam and Claudia was taking photos of the town’s streets.

“I saw a butcher on his phone and he was wearing a red apron. I thought how cool it would be to make a series of portraits of people in distinctive uniforms,” said Finn.

The fifth year student in John the Baptist Community School in Hospital already does volunteer work for Limerick Animal Welfare so wanted to do it for charity.

“I thought about my own career path and educational advancement. I thought of tying in with Trocaire because all of the people I’m photographing are all successful through education and training. Trocaire are helping children in Africa to have those opportunities,” said Finn, who proceeded to do his homework.

He found that almost 60% of African teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 do not attend school.

“Africa has some of the most alarming rates of educational exclusion in the world and one third between the ages of 12 and 14 are not being educated.

“Parents just cannot afford the costs of education - books, uniforms, tuition fees - and rely on aid and support from charitable organisations like Trocaire. That is what inspired me to do this and raise money,” said Finn, who contacted Trocaire who thought it was a brilliant idea.

He only started taking portraits in July and already has up to 10.

“I have a chef, pastor, vet, butcher. Then in NUIG I got the vice-president in his robes, a surgeon, a nurse, and a biomedical professor in his lab coat,” said Finn.

He hopes people reading this, who would like to get their portrait taken and be involved, will get in touch with him.

“They don’t have to be in a uniform like a garda. It just has to be something to identify their career. Take a mechanic, he doesn’t have a uniform but you can guess from the photo what they do,” said Finn, who would love to have a pilot in his collection. And a dream would to be to photograph an astronaut.

If you are interested in taking part please email Finn at educatingthroughprojects @gmail.com You can follow his progress on his Facebook and Instagram pages. To donate log onto https://uk.gofundme.com/ educatingthroughportraits