Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Patrick's Day!!!!

St. Patrick's day. I'm amazed, every year, at how many people who don't have any tie to the Irish, pretend they're Irish for the day. Luckily, not many try to talk with the Irish accent. Jamesons is a pub that I've been frequenting for quite a few years now. Mainly their N.E. location just off 36st N.E. My day job is only a few minutes away from there so my friends and I sometimes go there after work for some drinks and chat. Over the years I've gotten to know the owners, the managers, many of the waitresses (some that aren't there anymore) and even some of the regular patrons. I always have great service either at the bar or sitting in a booth or wherever. The food is great, and they just got a new set of taps installed, with a few new beers. To my friend Ian's delight, they finally brought back Kilkenny back on draught!!! For me, I'm a Guinness man; Always have been, always will be. I change it up every now and then for something different, but mainly, Guinness for me. Being that I was born in the UK that makes sense, and for Canadians on St. Patrick's day - it's either that, or green dye in their Budweiser pints!!

Normally, I'd be drunk on St. Patrick's day, but this year, I'm proud to say that my first truly, paid photo job, was to do photos at both the Jamesons NE, and NW locations. I think I'm somewhat cursed on March 17th (won't mention some past issues over the last couple of years...), and it seemed to continue this year as on my way to the NW location, my 2004 CRV broke down. Luckily, my best mate Tim lent me his truck so that I could complete my shoot. Without my friends I wouldn't be where I am today and I just wanted to thank them for being there for me in the times I've really needed them. Back to the festivities....

I showed up to the NE location right after work and the crowd wasn't too bad. No tables available, just standing room only, but not as packed as last year. My mission - photos of the Blakey Irish Dancers (www.irishdancecalgary.com). These girls perform and practice faithfully, every year, and again, they're going to the nationals competition. Congratulations ladies!!!!

After that, my task was to get to the NW location in Brentwood and get some good crowd photos. A slightly smaller size than the NE location, when I arrived this place was absolutely packed!! I could hardly move which made my job even tougher, but I did find a couple of places to get some good crowd photos. A tabel wanted their photo taken so after letting them know they might be on the "internet" they were all game. What a fun crowd!! The band was really good ("King Beats") so I got some shots of them performing, some more crowd shots, then back off to the N.E. location.

Wow...6:30 and this place was absolutely jammed with people!! Again, making my job of finding good spots to take photos, quite difficult, but I love a challenge! I started getting some photos of "WILDCARD" who were a fantastic band and performed most of the rest of the night. The female Fiddler performing was absolutely amazing. I'm still working on getting her name. She performs on the bar, and wow....what a crowd pleaser! She really knows how to work the crowd and get them cheering!! Plus her skill is brilliant.

For me, my job was pretty much done with about 136 photos taken, a bit of troubles with my car breaking down, but a completed job. I'm very happy with the way the photos turned out, and I was very surprised with the results of my flash too, but would still like to get an arm and grip to take the flash off camera.

I hope you all had a fantastic St. Patrick's day as I did!

Neil