At the encouragement of some fellow members of TheWildGeese.com, I'd like to introduce myself to everyone here with whom I have not had the privilege of interacting (yet). I've recently made the decision to combine two of my most ardent passions -- Irishness and photography -- into a new business venture. That business is called Irish Homeland Photography. I'm thrilled to be one of the very first official Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partners, and I hope some of my work can help promote this new site to great heights. Part of what drives me to capture powerful photos with great meaning for my clients is my own passion for absorbing every bit -- no matter how seemingly minor -- of the "old country" as possible. As you learn more about your own ancestry and your own Irish homeland, I hope you will consider commissioning me to assemble a package of heirloom photographs for you and your descendants to enjoy for generations to come. Here's a bit about me and why I do what I do:
Born and raised in America to parents with Irish lineage, I have always been aware of my Irishness. My mother would often play Irish traditional music records as my sister and I did our best steps ... a skill which almost seemed passed down through DNA. My name, along with the red hair and fair skin, was a dead giveaway of the Irish blood that pumped through my veins.
Growing up, mom and dad always made sure I had a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” badge affixed to my shirt as I’d head off to school on Paddy’s Day. I realize now how "Plastic Paddy" that was, but most Irish-Americans have embraced that sort of thing en masse. Family and friends would rub my red hair (especially on Paddy’s Day) for good luck. Looking back on it, I have always felt equally Irish and American ... And this is, of course, not something unique to me ... far from it. Millions throughout the worldwide Irish diaspora feel the same way. There is something about our Irish heritage that draws us back to the homeland -- if not in the shape of a visit to Ireland in-person, then certainly on an emotional level from a distance.
I finally paid my first visit to Ireland in 2008. It was a genuinely moving experience to finally look upon the places where my ancestors lived and worked. Truly, the emotions which accompany one standing upon the foundations and fields of one’s forefathers are powerful. Speaking personally, it is likely that my family would never have left the lovely lakes and hills of Leitrim had extreme hardships not befallen them. This is a story shared by millions of us who make up the Irish diaspora.
I was privileged to move back “home” to the west of Ireland in early 2011. I still wake up every day and think about the poetic impact of returning to my roots. There is something special about the land; the salty air blowing in from the sea; the same places that were a part of the landscape when my ancestors walked these paths.
I am passionate about being Irish; I’m very much interested in seeing what my ancestors saw, and knowing as much as possible about them and their surroundings. I offer my services as a way to work with and help people like you and me -- people who want to feel connected to their heritage. It would be my privilege to help you bring to life your own IRISH HOMELAND.
Go raibh míle maith agat ... slán agus beannacht.
~ ryan -- www.IrishHomelandPhotography.com