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Fuengirola

My 90 day journey through Spain continues. You remember I started in Mallorca and moved on via Ibiza and its super-luxury back to the Costa Blanca, through Murcia and Almería. Now, I am back “home” in Fuengirola where I shall stay for a few days with many of the friends I made during my six years there. I have only been away for 15 months so I am not expecting the massive changes that I saw in Torrevieja but, nevertheless, I am looking forward to my days here.

Who better to start with than the professional photographer Kris McGuirk who not only is famed throughout Europe for his wedding photography but has a magnificent portfolio of images of Fuengirola. He has donated many of the images in www.ThisIsFuengirola.info where visitors are always impressed. He has been kind enough to showcase a new gallery here but please note that all photographs are his copyright and may not be reprinted without his permission. Obviously, this page can be shared in its entirety.

I am not a professional interviewer so it made more sense to allow Samantha Lee to interview Kris. Many thanks to both of you.
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KRIS McGUIRK – PHOTOGRAPHER.

Some photographers are talented, others gifted, and then there are those with that certain indefinable something, which puts them in a class of their own. Kris McGuirk belongs in the latter category. With an eye for the kind of image that elevates the craft to the level of art form, this dynamic young Irishman, noted for his impeccable professionalism and attention to detail, also has a passion and enthusiasm for his work that is evident in everything he does.

Originally graduating with a degree in finance, Kris spent ten years as a successful broker in the City of London before returning to Dublin to pursue a long held dream to study photography. There followed two years as Assistant to Ireland’s leading fashion photographer, Barry McCall. This gave him the in-depth, practical experience of the industry, which led on to work with award winning portrait photographer Mark McCall before he finally took the plunge and formed his own hugely successful company.

Fast making an international reputation for himself in the field of destination wedding photography Kris’s highly individual style has variously been described as atmospheric, stylish, romantic, elegant, evocative and cosmopolitan.

His commissions have taken him to spectacular locations like the Alhambra in Granada or the historic Ashford Castle in County Mayo. But he is clearly happy to discover new venues, which, he says, stimulate his creativity, though the challenge in shooting any event at a new site, lies in the pre-planning involved.

“I always visit a new locale well ahead of the day,” he explains. “It’s essential in order to get an overview of the environment and the light. It allows me to work out potential shots and angles in advance so I’m well prepared. You can’t just roll up on the day and hope for the best.”

Kris shot his very first wedding in Dublin while he was still at college and fell in love with the art of wedding photography then and there, deciding that this, along with portraiture, would be his area of expertise.

“It is a privilege as well as a pleasure to be a part of such a special day,” he says, “when you realise that months and sometimes even years of planning may have gone into making the celebration an unforgettable one.”

Kris frequently combines traditional colour photography with the more atmospheric black and white, offering both options so that clients have optimum choice from the finished results. He also meets the couple in advance to agree on a time line for the day itself. This sets up a framework for the images to be captured. He insists this initial interview is vital, an opportunity to chat, discuss, reject, explore what’s on offer, what’s possible (and what isn’t). For him it’s a chance to take notes, to record the client’s preferences and make sure all the bases are covered as to who and what needs to be included.

“One of my key tips when it comes to formal photographs is to make sure the couple give me a list in advance. I can then liase with the best man or chief bridesmaid when the time comes to make sure no-one in the family is left out.”

For the client, it’s an opportunity to clarify how they want that all important day to be represented. If they’re undecided they can always call on Kris’s experience and expertise. Everyone has different expectations and it’s important that both parties know where they’re coming from at the outset.

“I ask the client to decide what they want the finished product to do,” says Kris. “Do they want the images to tell a story? To express their personality? Evoke an atmosphere? Are they keen to impress their friends? Capture an important family occasion? Or merely show their nearest and dearest having a jolly good time? The meeting is an opportunity for them to get clear.”

Such attention to detail is carried over into the post production stage, which is considerable. Kris begins by editing the images down to the best from the day, colour balancing and processing them and converting a selection into black and white. The client then has three formats from which to make their choice as to what will be included in the final, hand-crafted wedding album – a proof disc, contact sheets and via a gallery on Kris’s website.

Clearly there is more to wedding photography than pointing a camera and pressing a shutter. But Kris considers it all worthwhile. Making a living doing something he enjoys, with an end product that supplies people with unforgettable memories and operating out of a place where the sun shines three hundred days of the year. As a formula for success it certainly takes some beating.

Interviewed and written by Samantha Lee

To learn more about Kris and to see his work, visit his website here

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Part of the This Is Spain Network. Operated by Costa Insider SL.