ha haaaa fuck it, I no longer have to beg folk to buy tickets from that link above, ever everrrr again...l feel true freedom....

Below you will find a folder of the awards, single awards and those that were part of a portfolio. It was excellent to be part of the celebration, it was unreal to see it right up close. I have a thousands stories I could retell about that single day. Congratulations to these winners, I hope the photos here you can download and show the planet, I hope they serve you well in your journey ahead. To those that didn't make it onto the stage, thanks for your energy, thanks for not wrecking the gaff. I only hope you didn't fell as bad as I did the last time I entered a big award and was left seated the night long. I hope this offshoot project of Learning to Fly brings goodness into a fairly damaged world and is a help to good. I hope the printed photos on display in Dundalk inspire, or maybe the fact that I had to carry those plywood boards up the stairs two at a time and mount and print them in two hours might do so anyway ! I thank everyone that came along yesterday, you all lent your energy for the cause. Special thanks to our speakers, thanks to the Spirit Store, thanks to anyone that helped with the labour ; buttered scones, lit candles, tech support, cheered loud, delivered awards, To our sponsors at Tribe presets, Aga at Pic-Time, Steven at Dash print, City of Derry Crystal, Arco albums. Thanks to the mighty Collins MC, Ryan for the photos, you all, to those that shared their time with me and generally made this is a great event, not only for me but for the whole community. Ireland is a great place to be a wedding photographer right now, I see great friendships forged, help and reassurance dished out with a liberal hand. The world can be a lonely place and the self-employed are especially vulnerable to this, so remember to have time for each other, reach out, say hello, immerse yourself in good people...

2019 Learning to Fly awards

*********************LINK TO TICKETS******************

I was pinned to the floor with joy at the 2018 awards in Belfast. It was a success beyond anything I've ever dreamt - rivers of craic flowed through the place, we awarded some genius photography, met 100 wonderful new friends, sat inspired by the epicness of the photography exhibtion, ate, drank and were merry...more of the same this year I think. We have a midway location at The Spirit Store, in Dundalk this year, approx 1 hour form the main cities. I know it will be a venue and a place to rival last years. On the subject of it , have a wee juke at the 2018 video right HERE .

Speakers are integral to our event - this year we have some serious talent to inspire and motivate you to aim high and be driven

Ciara McCullough

Kevin Kheffache

Dasha Caffrey

Ronan Palliser

Elaine Barker

Tickets on sale via this link :

how to enter the Learning to Fly awards...


There's a wee video below so please click to hear my monotone narrative of this .

Basically the system is this...

ENTER 10 PHOTOS MAXIMUM PER CATEGORY and stick in a wee folder, e.g. DOCUMENTARY resized to about 2-4mb and renamed with your name and category i.e. JayDohertyDOCUMENTARY

2) The award will be judged on the best 6 of these photos in the overall and docu, the other categories will be judged on the single 'best' / judge's favorite

3) There are 3 judges, current active amazing wedding photographers....none of them are me 4) Closing date for entries is 5th October, my birthday, so instead of eating cakes and drinking Ritz I'll be gathering photos and returning messages to folk that are searching through folders in a whole kerfuffle

5) This is open to any wedding photographer working in this land north south east and west

6) The Pathfinder award is for a fairly recent newcomer to the industry, in your first or second year, it doesn't need to be your full time occupation

7) The photos have to be taken on a real wedding in 2019 8) You can enter the same photo in different categories 8b) Dropbox them using the 'share dropbox link' option or wetransfer or zip...oh aye, Jpegs too, sorry about that fancy TiffMaster McGinty !!

9) Will I ever do this again - I'll tell you on the 7th November !


This year we will have categories of










a handful of 'SINGLE IMAGE AWARDS' and of course the all new


as voted by you guys...


 Cheers for being down for the cause, I know many will agree last year was an excellent occasion and a unique gathering and I appreciate your support in this... Tickets on sale via :

Welcome to the awards...guidelines and info...

LEARNING TO FLY - 2019 Irish wedding photography awards... ( in association with Pic-Time, Tribe presets, Arco albums, City of Derry crystal, Barry's tay )

The opening date for submissions for this years awards, exhibition, celebration is TODAY - it would be so rad if you'd be a part of this movement.

The process is similar to last year, dropbox or wetransfer your entries to , approx 2mb each, renamed to suit the category you enter and your name...easy enough, free entry - actually that's beyond easy... e.g. JayDohertybrideportrait.jpeg

This year we will have categories of










a handful of 'SINGLE IMAGE AWARDS'

and of course the all new **** 'TAY HUT COMMUNITY AWARD' ***** as voted by you guys...

Please be part of this, it's a good thing, it's a great wee community's not expensive, it's more than good value, the speakers will blow your mind , the venue is so cool you'll not believe it, there is massive potential for everyone that decides to give it a go and step into this arena....Mr Tickle is our new official mascot, Dr Seuss is taking a bit of time off to repair his fragile mind...

* * ****NOTES, RULES, GUIDELINES on how to enter will follow via a link on the website and a wee video but I'll try to boke it all out in one sentence - "the documentary and overall categories are judged on your 'best' 6 photos send a folder of 10 total, same with Pathfinder, send 10 images too, Pathfinder is a part-timer or newcomer to the trade in first few years, send 6 each for bridal portrait, bridal couple, dramatic, granny, creative genius, and the 'best' will be voted on, single image will be taken from all your entries to other categories...again rename them MickFlavinphotographyPathfinderaward1,2, etc..***

* Message me for more info and keep an eye on here for a wee video as soon as I can find what field the Muff donkeys have been moved to and record it *

(do you need to buy a ticket to enter....well kinda, without that I can't really hold this event, as much as I'd love to do it voluntarily, if you can't make it, send a pal to ingest the goodness, take some notes and maybe lift your award...and in answer to your next question, is this a difficult event to pull off Jay - yes, it's melting me but I know it will be worth it)

Speakers at event :

Dasha Caffrey

Rónan Palliser

Elaine Barker

Ciara McCullough

Kevin Kheffache

Tickets for event :

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Video diary of the 2018 awards in Belfast last November - what an event - pure joy, pure craic and inspiration a plenty

2018 Learning to Fly Irish wedding photography awards

The very first independent Irish wedding photography awards, from the Black Box Venue in Belfast, on 20th November 2018. The event tied together a workshop, with 6 keynote speakers Dave McClelland, Eric Savo, Kat Mervyn, Bruno Rosa and Jay Doherty.

There was a print display of the fine work of the Irish wedding photographers that took part in the event, which supported the idea that it was a celebration of our local talent and community as much as traditional awards ceremony. The awards were voted on by 3 current professional wedding photographers, the awards given for several catergories. We are a small nation, or 2, here, and that lends itself to a close and very sharing community within. Ireland is simply bursting at the seams with great talent, creative, solid shooters from the 4 corners. It was an absolute pleasure to share a day with many of them.

Learning to Fly is heading into its 5th year in 2019, it has slowly evoluved into a popular education and developmental (is that a word?) community for our photographers - this awards program is the latest project. We brought together national great speakers to inspire and spread the good word of hope, ambition, exhibited our work, poured tea and stout to lubricate the already very social gathering. Netx year we will psuh this event even further. I'd like to thank you all for coming (and for reading this dull and long winded and zero-craic article), those that got involved in setting up, helping out in anyway or simply came over and said hello, it meant a lot.

This years winners were : Bridal portrait award - 1st Gareth Lima Conlon, Runner up - Chris Copeland Bridal couple award - Remain in Light photography Pathfinder award - 1st Rashida Keenan, runner up Lauren McGee Creative Genius award - 1st Aoife O'Sullivan, runner up Ronan Palliser LEGEND AWARD - LIAM KIDNEY Single image awards (as we had 4 extra trophies and there was just so much great work - Szymon Pietrik, Christin Martin, Ciara Cassidy DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR - 1ST PLACE TIE - ELAINE BARKER AND KEVIN KHEFFACHE, RUNNER UP - GARETH LIMA CONLON OVERALL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR - GAREHT LIMA CONLON, RUNNER UP LEIGH PARKE

( all photos by my man )

Learning to Fly - the first independent Irish wedding photography awards - by Irish wedding photographers for Irish wedding photographers

Learning to Fly - Irish wedding photography awards 2018

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The Learning to Fly Irish wedding photographer of the Year awards ceremony and workshop - 20th November 2018. We will be hosting the first ever Irish wedding photography awards, by wedding photographers for wedding photographers, at the Black Box Venue, in Belfast.

Entries for the awards can be made from the start of September until 10th October 2018, to . Files between 3-5mb. The photos will have been taken in 2018 at a real wedding. The entries are free (as it is the first year) , maximum entries per person is 10 images

There will be Learning to Fly trophies for the winners, and some tasty hardware too, to be announced (as soon as I hustle a few sponsors)

You do not have to enter the awards event to attend the workshop

There will be fine food, coffee, treats the day long, education and demos, an exhibition of beautiful wedding photography prints, LIVE music, DJ, a fun photobooth, a giant raffle with proceeds going to charity . The Female Photographers Network will be in attendance to talk about their community and inspire with their words and their work

The awards will be judged by a panel of 3 current professional wedding photographers TBA. The event will host a massive print exhibtion too and albums featuring the work of Irish wedding photographers. Keep an eye here and instagram for news as it happens...Ticket link :


Irish Wedding Photography of the Year 2018 awards ceremony and workshop event by Learning to Fly - please click the link and dazzle yourself with our new promo video

Tickets simply flying out the front door for our Awards Workshop event in November - £99, 30 or so left til I hit the target, hopefully see you there

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The Learning to Fly wedding photographer of the Year awards and workshop - BIG FRAME TOUR begins. To spread the good word of our awards ceremony and workshop in November we are taking the mighty big frame on tour of the land. The plan is to hit up every county in the land, hopefully meet a few heads for tea and scones and take a wee photo album of Ireland and all it's wee gems. perhaps I'll see you somewhere down the road. There are tickets available via :

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The tour begins - malin Head, Co. Donegal...

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******** Tickets NOW on sale with a massive  saving via the EARLYBIRD rate, for the next 2 weeks then full price returns

£99 all day workshop ticket via link below :

There is soooooo much goodness in the pipeline for this photography experience, I pray I'll see you all there, yes you....and you....and you over there.....and him, naw not him, him with the beard, aye him....and you two over there, yes you, why not, get on it, see you at The Black Box, 'cos we're ride on tiiiiime...  ********

Failte / welcome/ fair fa' ye to the Learning to Fly 'Irish wedding photographer of the Year awards' hub.

The awards ceremony will take place in The Black Box venue in Belfast, 20th November 2018. This wil be the first independent Irish wedding photography awards, it will be run for wedding photographers, by wedding photographers. It will take place alongside a full day wedding photography workshop, and is open to anyone who wishes to come. Our aim is to celebrate the great and the good within our wee industry here in Ireland, to award fine, artistic and creative work, to seek creative genius and originality, to bring to the limelight some of the up and coming photographers, to gather together a tribe of like-souled photographers and immerse ourselves in the positivity and potential.

2018 will be the beginning of a great journey. My dream is to make this awards ceremony into the social and creative highlight of the Irish photography calender. Learning to Fly aims to educate and communicate the good news to creatives around the land, to help and heal, to undo some of the pain that life may have inflicted, to squeeze the potential out of anyone that volunteers themselves to the cause and to aid self-development. The awards project hopes to play a massive part of this in 2018.  

Entries for the 2018 Irish wedding photography awards will take place via this website, between mid-September and the end of October. There are 8 unique categories...

*Irish wedding photographer of the year - judged of a portfolio of 6 images from different weddings shot in 2018

*Irish documentary wedding photographer of the year - judged on a portfolio of 6 non-posed, documentary style images from weddings shot in 2018

*Creative genius award - to celebrate an image of complete creative originality

*Pathfinder award - for a newcomer to the industry, in the first 2 years of their photography career, part-time, full-time, vodka and lime

*Irish wedding photography legend award - to celebrate the inspirational and the legendary

This day event will also consist of 6 inspirational talks from some of the lands finest wedding photographers - on-stage, bearing their lives and their souls, willing to A your Qs, and to point you in the direction you seek. A massive portfolio of printed images will be displayed on the walls within the venue to stir the creative fuel within. There will be fine art albums to view and smell, leather covers and paper types to induce a pleasure-filled trance like state (!)

Our speakers are

David McClelland

Kat Mervyn

Eric Savoie

Bruno Rosa

Jay Doherty

and Steven Neeson

This is the first event of it's type in Ireland, we are therefore wiling and able to listen to your feedback, make modifications and hear your voice.

To join the non-spammy, occasional news mailing list, or fire some ideas our way or just to offer a  high-5 please email


Tickets NOW on sale with a massive 40 euro saving via the EARLYBIRD rate, for the next 2 weeks then full price returns

I welcome the most wonderful Kat Mervyn to our keynote speaker lineup for the 2018 awards day and wedding photography workshop. Kat is a delight, she is even more amazing in real life than we could ever fathom. This is indeed a beautiful day...

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Any good film needs a storyboard. The plan for this 'Wedding Photographer of the Year awards' promo shoot went a little like - 2 gorgeous people atop Mount Errigal at sunset, filmed mostly in slow-mo, I see her long viel surfing in the wind, our very handsome and rugged groom takes her small hand to his chest, they embrace, we see short clips of a female photographer shooting the action, close-ups of her camera, we see her ambition, we note her confidence as she documents these moments, in black and white film stock I think, the music score was secured from Sigor Ros, I think somehow I even got to know Paula's brother from Story of Eve, and helicoptered him up to film it. That was the plan............this is the reality. Sorry if it disapoints, we really didn't have much time, any weather, a bride and groom, zero budget and other such excuses....

Also : a full boxset of Learning to Fly video can be watched 'on demand' at



The national tour begins. We made it as far as a stormy Malin Head at our countries most northerly peak today. The mission - to spread the good word on this 'Irish wedding photography awards' project surely but also to meet some photography friends new and old for tea and craic and visit some fine parts of the land. The Learning to Fly wedding photography awards tour will attempt to visit each of the 32 counties of the greater Ireland/ Northern Ireland/ land of green, over the next few months. Get your kettles boiling, see you soon...

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Date for the diary - an open event for Irish wedding photographers to enter their photography work in 2018. We are working on the finer details and will soon announce some wonderful photographers to speak at the event too. I just needed to get this out there now before I began to second guess myself and find 100 reasons not to do this. So this is it, an Irish wedding photography awards ceremony and full day workshop run by Irish wedding photographers for Irish wedding photographers. Keep an eye out for updates on entering awards, guest speakers and bagsie your seat here or our Instagram or Facebook channels. Ok I am now dunging myself...

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Learning to Fly - Irish wedding photographer of the Year 2017 - Ashling @

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Learning to Fly awards those attendees outstanding work, that manifests some extra creative energy, originality, personality and genius. Catergories for 2017 awards may go something along the lines of ‘documentary collection’, ‘single image’, ‘originality’, ‘overall portfolio’. City of Derry crystal are sponsoring some beautiful trophies to fill your cabinet.

The 2016 winners were David Frain – overall portfolio and Michelle Prunty – single image Photography awards are a great way to show appreciation for the hard work and the creativity. They are a great tool for business and promotion. Our awards are voted on by Ireland’s most loved and honoured wedding photographers, Paula O’hara, David McClelland and Eric Savo in 2016.

The 2017 awards, sponsored by City of Derry crystal went to gentle Ashling Geraghty and the almighty Sir Gareth of the Lima-Conlon empire

Irish wedding photographer of the Year awards at Learning to Fly 2017, Culdaff, Donegal. Crystal glory went to the gentle Aisling Geraghty and the almighty Sir Gareth of the Lima-Conlon empire. A lengend award was given to our beloved Paula O'Hara, which was then filled to the top with good Donegal stout and passed from friend to friend... (most of these wee photos by David McClelland - possesor of a wee Fuji camera that missed neither moment nor heartbeat....while my massive Nikon and 8 lenses sat in the hall...)


Congratumalations, high 5s, big squeezy hugs, maximum respect to our 2016 Learning to Fly Irish wedding photography awards winnrer - David Frain and Michelle Prunty. Michelle took our single portrait award and David our portfolio award. Awards vited by Dave McClelland, Savo and Paula O'Hara. Lovely, just lovely...     (0044) 7736004203