Dublin, living local, Personal

Where I work: The Tara Building

I’m excited to share a tour of my new workspace, The Tara Building. If you follow me on Instagram Stories, you’ll have seen pics of this gorgeous, colourful space. 

Based on Tara Street, just across the road from The Irish Times offices, The Tara Building is completely covered in a multi-coloured mural created by Maser. It opened up a few months ago, and coincided nicely with my starting freelance life. I jumped on a hot desk membership spot, and I’m so glad I did. Even though I love my desk set up at home – which is where I still do the bulk of my photo processing and any interviews – it’s great having a base in town, somewhere to come and put the head down, to have meetings, and to get up and go to. 

Ready for a photo tour?

The ground floor houses reception, managed by the awesome Anna, above, a bright, airy meeting room and an open gallery space that’s just finished hosting Clear of People, a photo exhibition part of the Photo Ireland Festival and before that housed a great exhibition in collaboration with Iverna.

The second floor is the co-working floor, where I spend most of my days. There are different types of desks (including cool foldout ones), little booths at the end for calls, lockers (so handy – no need to drag laptop chargers, water bottles etc in and out), and a lovely meeting room. Those awesome tent illustrations are by Fiona.

I really enjoy the morning ritual of coming in and setting up my desk for the day.

The next floor up houses the kitchen area, with a great coffee machine (though I nip out to Shoe Lane at least once a day), and serviced office, studios, and Apollo Print. There’s also a roof garden in the works. 

It’s great to see something like this up and running in Dublin, and I’ve so much admiration for all the people running it, constantly working to tweak and improve what’s already a great space. 

One of the nicest bonuses of working at The Tara Building has been the great people I’ve gotten to meet. Seeing so many peeps, from so many different backgrounds, heads down, working away is infinitely motivating, and being able to have bants in the kitchen over a cup of coffee, chat in the Facebook group or on Slack, or hang out and do yoga after work has been really lovely.

Safe to say I’m very happy out here! (Thanks to Ben for taking the portrait.)

Dublin, living local

A tour of Dublin’s Eatyard food truck market

It took me far too long to check Eatyard out, but I’m glad I finally did. A few weeks ago, after a short Saturday shoot, Ben and I popped in for lunch and a look. 

Located next door to the Bernard Shaw, it’s also across the road from the ever lovely Picado, where we get most of our Mexican ingredients. It’s a lovely space, bringing together food trucks and chilled dining spots. 

We tucked into a delish bao from Pow Bao and extremely tasty chicken tikka naan roll from Kerala. We got a bubble waffle for the road and while it wasn’t really our bag, it was a busy stall so definitely has some fans. No Bones Chicken Cones is next on our list. 

Looking forward to popping in again – on a sunny evening I reckon it would be lovely to grab some grub there and head to the banks of the canal for an quick city picnic. 

cool stuff

Beautiful stills from Master of None Season 2

Hands up if you’ve fallen head over heels for the second season of Master of None? Aziz Ansari’s funny, charming and offbeat exploration of life and love is back, and it’s also beautifully cinematic. I could go on and on about the framing, the palette, that gorgeous Italian light and NYC bokeh, but I’ll let the shots speak for themselves. 

Master of None Season 2 | nathalie.ie

Master of None Season 2 | nathalie.ie

 

A couple of interesting reads, for fellow fangirls and boys:

And finally, a few gifs of the gorgeousness. 

If you haven’t binged on it yet, enjoy!

Personal

If you’re not all-in, you’re out

It’s hard to admit when things aren’t working out. When they don’t go the way you had planned and hoped. 

You set sail on your new adventure. Friends and family waved you off and wished you well. You were excited and full of optimism, heading off into the sunset. And then. 

After five months at Intercom, a company I have long admired and still do, I made the hard decision to leave. I wish I could put all my reasons in a box and present them tied with a bow, but life is infinitely messier than that. 

It’s been a humbling, exciting, draining experience. The truth is, things didn’t go how I had hoped they would; or perhaps my hopes changed along the way. So much of the tech and the startup scene relies on people being all in. On dedicating some of your best working years and talents to a company’s vision and mission. I realised I wasn’t ready to go all in on someone else’s dream, I had too many of my own. 

I considered writing an ‘exciting new adventure’ post. But, while I am excited for what’s coming next (more on that below), sometimes it’s important to cut through the rose tint we are tempted to put on things. I’m all for positive spins and a happy mental attitude. For celebrating joyful moments and proudly sharing hard-won accomplishments. But it’s also okay to peek above the parapet and say: this hurt. This was a tough decision. This was far, far from perfect. This wasn’t glossy and glamorous. It’s not as fun to hear, or as easy to celebrate, but anything that brings you closer to becoming who you are is worth celebrating, even if the road there was a bumpy one. 

Over the past few months I have made incredible friends, worked on funinteresting projects, and learned so much. It’s impossible to imagine doing what I’m about to do next without these lessons, so I will forever be grateful for them. 

What I’ve decided to do is start up my own thing. A true circus girl, I have many interests and passions and I’ve realised that no one job can tick all those boxes, no matter how awesome it is; a beautiful suit is no good if it doesn’t fit you right. 

So, I’m designing my own. Hopefully it will blend meeting and photographing creative people and new places, exploring technology and where it’s taking us, and working with makers, be they in the worlds of startups, design, food, craft or interiors.

I’m excited about crafting a career filled with quirks and odd corners that fit my personality, strengths and values. I hope to be able to document what I learn about freelance life here – the nerdy apps I’m using, interesting reads and links I come across, and a surprise project or two ;).

Navigating the challenging waters of owning my own business won’t be easy. Lack of security, mad hours, having seven or eight bosses instead of just one, and no mentor to learn from or colleagues to banter with are just some of the hurdles to overcome. 

So yes, it won’t be the fanciest suit out there. But it will be custom-made.

cool stuff

Historic Gifs

How fun are these? Adam Koszary, who worked at Bodleian Libraries, the University of Oxford’s research libraries, spent a year turning beautiful images painstakingly made by monks and illustrators hundreds of years ago into fun, tongue-in-cheek GIFs to brighten up our feeds. Explore more and read about his process in this Medium post.


Discovering these also led me to the #MusGif, which brought up all kinds of gems (check some out here).

P.S. If you’re into these, hit up @MedievalReacts which regularly brings several LOLs. 

These messers | nathalie.ie
Aunty Life, Ethan, Isabel, Noah

These messers

Three little faces that never fail to make me happy: Ethan, Noah and Isabel. 

These messers | nathalie.ie

Ethan and Noah are currently obsessed with Pokemon, dabbing and Minecraft.

Isabel meanwhile has a passing interest in Pokemon but is far more obsessed with a Russian nesting doll I had in my study. We came across a Russian craft shop in Amsterdam and brought her one back, and she’s been eating and sleeping with it ever since. 

These messers | nathalie.ie

 

PS I’ve just gotten Ethan Wonder by RJ Palacio, a book about kindness and compassion, aimed at 8-12 year olds. There’s also We’re All Wonders, a younger-kid version that’s beautifully illustrated, which I picked up for Noah and Isabel.

Photography, Recent Work

Brookfield Farm for Image Interiors & Living

Late in November, Ben and I packed up the Mini and drove to Tipperary to spend a day photographing and filming Brookfield Farm for the January-February issue of Image Interiors & Living.

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie Run by Ailbhe Gerrard, Brookfield consists of 72 acres of meadows, crops and native trees. 

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

It produces delicious wild flower honey and beautiful beeswax candles.

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

We started shooting on a cold and misty morning. Ailbhe has acres of wildflower fields, and though they had long since withered, you could still glimpse a whisper of them, and imagine the colour explosion that will arrive in spring and summer.

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

We went out on Lough Derg, wandered among sheep, photographed the lovely artisan produce and walked through beautiful ancient forestry, filled with elegant oak, beech and sycamore trees. Ailbhe let us meet some of her bees – native Irish black bees – and try some wonderful beeswax lip balm.

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie

Brookfield Farm - lifestyle photography | nathalie.ie  It’s always a total treat to work with Ben, who shot a gorgeous video of the day that you can watch below. 

It was a dream gig really – shooting flower fields at dawn, a lake at dusk, and an inspiring, entrepreneurial powerhouse of a woman at the heart of it all. 

Killiney beach | nathalie.ie
Dublin, living local

Brighter Days

It was a weekend of small, memorable pleasures. Home-made tacos and a Colin the Caterpillar cake for my sister’s birthday. A trip to the park with my niece. A walk on Killiney beach, where these pics (and gif) were taken. 

It was bright and beautiful and you could almost taste spring in the air. It made me want to go out and buy bunches and bunches of daffodils.  Killiney beach | nathalie.ie

Killiney beach | nathalie.ie

Killiney beach | nathalie.ie

Killiney beach | nathalie.ie

Killiney beach | nathalie.ie

And then Monday’s grey driving rain happened 😂, reminding us that winter’s cold grasp isn’t quite done with us yet.

Still, I have these pictures…

Personal

Heart before hustle

My first post of the year is about slowing down, and comes 13 days into January. The irony isn’t lost on me 😉 Hustle before heart | nathalie.ie
I’d love to say I’m refreshed, that my intentions are set, that my word is ready. But it wouldn’t be true. 2016 knocked the wind out of my sails and it feels like it took the earth finishing its trip around the sun for me to take a breath and absorb it all. 

2016 was tough for so many, and I had it luckier than most.

I got to spend it learning and transforming and exploring a whole new industry and career. And at every turn, I felt all I could say was that things were busy. I’m the first to admit that I bought into the hustle.

I changed jobs three times in one year, which included going for a dream gig, and getting it. Deputy edited a magazine that got circulated with our national paper. Won a blog award. Photographed the cover of CARA. Traveled to Gaza on a photo project. Did food shoots, interiors shoots, people shoots, commercial shoots, editorial shoots. 
I’m immensely proud of this work and grateful to the people who gave me the opportunities to do it. But it blinded me to the things I didn’t do while chasing it.
I didn’t sleep enough, move enough, take in fresh air enough.
I didn’t spend enough time with my friends or my family.
I didn’t spend enough time blogging, something that keeps me anchored and makes me happy.
I didn’t laugh enough, spend enough time just being, creating for the sake of it. Reading for the fun of it.

I chased and chased and ended the year dizzy.

Hustle before heart | nathalie.ie

_MG_1114

_MG_1199

So for 2017 there are, as yet, no goals or resolutions. It’s silly to pretend it’ll all simply change – as a natural dreamer, planner and schemer, I can’t help it. But I want to sit with things a little longer, let the last few months soak in and take a deep breath before diving back in (perhaps after reading Erin’s new book). 

So if you too are feeling more frazzled than fresh, you’re not alone. 

Pics above from a New Year’s Day stomp through some beautiful Wicklow woods with friends. Start as you mean to continue, eh?

Arran Street East | nathalie.ie
cool stuff, living local

Cool and contemporary Irish craft gifts (plus my favourite independent Dublin shops)

I’m the worst for going into present overdrive. I love buying people gifts, and this year I’m trying hard to be more mindful about what I buy. A big part of that is making an effort to support Irish makers and buy less, but better.

There is something so wonderful about giving someone something made by hand, often just a few miles away, or buying from an independent store owner, who puts so much love and care into curating their favourite finds.

 I had the pleasure of photographing some of the below at some point this year, so I am completely biased 🙂

And if you’re hitting the shops this weekend, scroll down for a round up of my favourite independent retailers in Dublin. 

Handmade candles and soaps from Clean Slate

Handmade candles and soaps by Clean Slate | nathalie.ie

Nicole Connolly couldn’t find a scented candle that she loved, so she started making her own. She uses soy wax and natural, high-quality ingredients as well as gorgeous reusable packaging. I adore both the Espresso + Coconut and Sweet Tobacco + Black Pepper. She’s stocked all over the country too, including, in Dublin, Article, Appassionata and Scout.

Ceramics from Arran Street East

Arran Street East | nathalie.ie

Photographing the Arran Street East studio and products was one of my favourite projects of the year. I’ve popped back a few times since and am rarely able to leave empty handed. The simple, functional pieces work in so many different types of spaces and and are beautifully glazed in colours inspired by the nearby fruit and veg market – these adorable succulent pots have a special place in my heart. Pop in to the Dublin studio or order online by the 19th for Christmas delivery. 

Blankets and totes from The Tweed Project
The Tweed Project | nathalie.ie

Oh to be as fierce and as creative as Aoibheann McNamara, proprietor of Galway’s Ard Bia restaurant and co-founder of The Tweed Project. Wonderfully fusing contemporary designs with traditional methods and fabrics, the pieces are hand made using premuim Donegal Tweed and Irish linen. Available online, in Coffeewerk and Press in Galway and Dublin’s Indigo & Cloth as well as at Makers & Brothers

If you’re in and around Dublin city over the next couple of days, I can’t recommend the below independent stores enough. They’re filled with expertly curated finds, and, as Jette says:

 

A photo posted by Jette (@jettevirdi) on

On Dawson Street:

On Drury Street

  • Irish Design Shop: Some of the very best contemporary Irish craft and design. The new 2017 calendar – an annual project – is a thing of beauty. 
  • Industry: As well stocking some of coolest industrial pieces and great Nordic design brands, you can also find Irish ceramics, woollens and cards (by Dusty Boy!)
  • Appassionata: So much more than just a (beautiful) flower shop, Ruth stocks great plant gifts and sweet homewares too.  

In Powerscourt Shopping Centre

  • Article: You’ll find things here that you won’t get anywhere else. I could possibly do all my Christmas shopping at Article – from homewares to notebooks to candles, store owner John’s taste is second to none. 
  • The Garden: Another spot that’s so much more than a flower shop, you’ll find possibly the best collection of succulents in the entire city here, as well as gorgeous pots, seasonal wreaths (or the ingredients to make your own), candles and more. 
  • Chupi: Special, delicate things inspired by the Irish landscape. I receive a compliment almost every time I wear my raspberry leaf necklace. Each piece has a story, and the packaging is beautifully luxe too. 

In Temple Bar

  • Scout: Irish and international clothing labels curated by Wendy, one of the most effortlessly cool people I’ve ever met. The perfect place for chunky knitted socks, great totes and timeless, stylish pieces that are made to last. 

Happy shopping!