Scientist by day, photographer by night — or at least whenever she can find time. That’s how Avril Kennan makes it work. Her routine isn’t exactly conventional, but with two kids and a career, she does what she can.
“My career is completely different from my photography,” Avril says. “I’m very passionate about my work, but it’s demanding. Photography is how I renew my batteries and maintain perspective.”
For the last five years, Avril has attempted to elude the stresses of her role as CEO of a medical research charity. She realized that she needed an outlet, somewhere to funnel her passion for art and her need to create.
Photography, Avril discovered, was both a perfect stress remedy and an opportunity to indulge in the everyday nuances that surrounded her. And so the Dublin native picked up a camera and hasn’t looked back.
On her journey to improve her skills as a visual storyteller, Avril has run into the unpredictable. While out shooting, there is a lot she can’t plan for, and when an unpredictable moment strikes, she often makes mistakes. But it’s these moments she finds most appealing.
In these unplanned moments, she’s able to catch a glimpse into the ‘here’ and ‘now’ of a place or person. “The joy of that moment is probably similar to what a fisherman feels when they get a bite on the line after a very long wait,” she says.
Picking up a camera has also allowed Avril to dig deeper into her roots, reconnecting with the places she grew up exploring as she raises a family of her own. But no matter where she travels, she always looks forward to returning home to Ireland.
“I love that I know all my neighbors, that I can cycle to work, that nowhere in the country is too far away.”
Dublin — and Ireland as a whole — is a place full of captivating subtleties, all within arm’s reach. There are the cobbled alleys, the neighboring hillsides, and the charismatic pubs on every corner. This is a country where beauty can be found everywhere, as long as you’re willing to look.
And Avril is always willing to look. Within an hour she can be walking along a beach or strolling through the countryside. And in much less time, she can be at a neighborhood pub, chatting with anyone who happens to sit next to her.
It’s here, among these people and places, that Avril loves to submerge herself, describing the process of photographing her homeland’s surroundings as a thrill. To her, there’s magic in these moments, even if they’re something she’s seen a hundred times.
As these moments come and go, she tries to hold onto them, capturing the stories of Irish life, and telling her own story, as well.