Character of Cork: Photographer Dave talks finding his focus

Dave, who is married to Christina and has two children Casey and Finley, said running the pub alongside his father has helped him to feel comfortable while photographing on the streets and engaging with strangers.
Character of Cork: Photographer Dave talks finding his focus

Noel and Dave Cremin, owners, in The Gallows Bar, Bandon Road, Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

Street and documentary photographer Dave Cremin who runs The Gallows pub with his dad Noel speaks about his love for photographing people and capturing special moments.

Dave, who is married to Christina and has two children Casey and Finley, said running the pub alongside his father has helped him to feel comfortable while photographing on the streets and engaging with strangers.

He says that people are very open to being photographed and that it is all about how people are approached.

“A smile and positive, friendly body language goes a long way when you are taking candid photos in public. If you are getting a lot of negative reactions then you need to reassess how you are perceived,” he says.

Dave says he has always had a huge interest in film and cinematography but never felt he would be able to create his own scenes and thought maybe Cork wasn't ‘cinematic’ enough.

Now, he uses his Instagram account @dave_cremin to share his street photography, showcasing Cork in a unique light.

“The more time I spent walking around Cork the more I felt there were stories to tell and that's what cinema and photography are all about. I realised there is plenty of beauty right here in Cork and I don't need to go anywhere else,” he says.

He says the catalyst that kicked everything off for him was the birth of his eldest son Casey in September 2018.

“The photos at first weren't great but I persevered and kept practising and was even able to capture the moment my second son was born in 2021 and cherish those photos very much.

“My passion is about building a body of work I can be proud of, both on the street and at home. Family is everything to me so it's really important I document my children's lives growing up.

“Also, I'm very lucky to still have both my parents and they are amazing, so it's great to have lots of photos and videos of them with their grandkids.” He says that besides the birth of his children, one of his proudest achievements has been the ability to print and frame his own work which he can then gift to family members who give it a proud place on the wall.

I have also sold some work to people and businesses in Cork and it's great to know they're displayed in those places too.

“It was also very nice to have my photo of Frank and the pigeons on the front of The Echo last year, and also to be asked to do this feature,” he says.

He says his only regret is that he wasn’t photographing from a young age, having started properly at the age of 32.

“I'm 37 now so it's not been that long. Wish I had photos of my parents and siblings as we grew up, Christmases and so on. I've always been a very nostalgic person and I think that's another reason why photography resonates with me so much. It's the only way we can travel back in time, that and video.

“Santa got my eldest son his own camera this year so hopefully he will take to it and take after his dad.”

Dave says his main goals are to eventually exhibit a body of street work and long term to put together a book of Cork photos.

“I'm hoping to print and frame some of my images and hang them in my pub. I'll get them printed and framed locally at The Bigger Picture and Marcus Framing, two great businesses that have been very helpful to me.” Sharing some advice, he says the world is changing faster than we realise and to pick up a camera and start recording what's around you.

He advised others interested in photography to “ignore the influencers and Instagram photographers' and seek out authentic work”.

“Look at photo books and photos that mean something and will stand the test of time. Don McCullin's photos of conflicts around the world, Joel Meyerowitz's documentation of the aftermath of 9/11, Gordon Parks, Ernst Haas and Harold Feinstein's captures of a 50's/60's/70's New York City, the list goes on.” He also acknowledged those who he says have been a huge inspiration and help to him on his photography journey, including good friend Terry McAuliffe (@___hance___) who he regards as “an excellent street photographer”, and established and well-known photographer Brendan Ó Sé (@fotopunctuation) who he says has had his back from day one.

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