DESPITE the gloomy economic climate, one Castlegregory woman is beating the recession by taking inspiration from the beauty of her surroundings and turning her love of photography into a business.
Stradbally native Caroline Flynn completed a degree in Information Systems Management in the Institute of Technology Tralee, where she specialised in Multimedia and achieved first class honours in 2011. However, like many graduates she found the state of the jobs market to be less than ideal. Rather than letting this deter her, she set about finding another way to carve out a career for herself in her native West Kerry.
"The jobs front for graduates was far from ideal and graphic design jobs seemed few and far between," said Caroline. "I decided not to let it get me down and to instead focus on the skills I had acquired in college and to combine them with my passion for photography and so began my journey to making a career for myself."
Caroline's love of photography evolved over time, in part as a result of growing up in an area as picturesque as the Dingle Peninsula. "It is such a wonderful place; how could one not spend every minute wanting to photograph it - even with the weather!" she said.
Her landscapes began to gain recognition locally and soon she started selling her work in Dingle at An Gailearai Beag. Building on that, she set up a studio in Castlegregory offering family photography portrait sessions as well as covering family and social events.
"I am lucky that being from a small rural area people are very supportive and word of mouth spreads quickly here so I already have quite a few bookings for the next few months," said Caroline. "I also have been fortunate in gaining the help and support of North and East Kerry Development."
"I equally enjoy portrait photography as much as landscape – in fact the differences between the two keep everything exciting and there is always something new to learn and try," she says. "I believe that if you work hard at something and treat people as you would like to be treated yourself you will succeed, so even in times like these I have a positive outlook for my business and hope that with the continued support of my friends and family 2013 will be a great year!"