Introducing – Dearbhlá Harpúr

It all began when I was first allowed to my first outdoor live music concert when I was 15. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the unity, the buzz. Whilst all my friends were spending their pocket money on underage discos, I was travelling hours to Dublin and Belfast to go see my favourite artists and bands.

Living in England, stuck in the middle of an intense Nursing degree I knew I needed to somehow express myself, to find a creative platform. At this point I started going to gigs alone as I was getting fed up begging friends and family to come to shows with me. With that I began meeting people in the Irish music industry. I was once invited to a Music Festival by a friend who was performing. Last minute I asked “Could I come photograph you?” as I had a Canon M10 sitting about that I had bought to take travelling. No photography experience or knowledge in me whatsoever. That day, it clicked with me. This is my path. I never felt anything like it.

Over the next few months I started working as a Nurse, was shooting really cool gigs in Manchester, with my little mirrorless camera, such as The Amazons in Albert Hall and The Sherlocks in Victoria Warehouse. But I was still not satisfied, so I quit Nursing. In 2018, I moved back to Ireland.

An artist who will always be significant in my journey once said to me “If you dont wake up and say ‘Another day in paradise’ then you are in the wrong job”. These words resonaded in me. So in 2017 I quit my Nursing career. I can now honestly say every day that I am working at a show as a promoter or photographer, that I am truly in paradise.

With my move back home and new found freedom and independence, I was able to focus my mind on my passions. I invested in my lovely Canon 80D and my beautiful 50mm 1.8 and my 18-135mm 3.5 lenses. I developed strong relationships with artists and their teams. I began working for a music promoter ‘MRK Events’ based in North West Ireland. I have now travelled to many gorgeous places and venues around the island of Ireland and North West England to photograph some of my favourite artists. I am living my dream.

Sacrifices must be made. I have spent many nights alone sleeping on Dublin Airport floor after gigs waiting for the 6am bus home. I have had to sacrifice nights out, relationships, sleep and my wages for my passion. I have had times when I thought I wasn’t good enough, but reflected that into motivation to continue to improve. There is so much to learn at every single show. I have been knocked over in drunk mosh pits and at times I have had pints thrown over me. It is worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears.

My words to any young or aspiring photographer or to anyone who has any passion at all – Do what you love and you will love what you do.

Dream big. Challenged yourself. Surround yourself with those who will allow you to grow.

Credits: DearbhPhoto (Facebook & Instagram)

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