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Celebrity photographer Barry reveals tricks of his trade in hands-on course

DO you think you could take a celebrity snap like these? Barry McCall has got up close and personal with some of the world's biggest names including Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan -- and now he wants to share his secrets.

The renowned Irish photographer is helping snap-happy amateurs develop their photographic skills.

The two-day courses start this weekend in Barry's Bond Street studio and promises to be very hands-on.

"The course is for anybody really," he told the Herald, "from the keen novice to the semi-professional. Anybody who has a real passion for photography.


"Everyone will choose a subject -- landscape, portraits, food or fashion.

"On the second day, I will bring in models and actors, people who will make interesting subjects and the students will photograph them.

"I'll be there offering them help and guidance. It should be a great weekend."

Barry has been taking pictures of some of the biggest names on the planet: basically, everybody who is anybody has posed for him.

But Barry says he's rarely fazed by their celebrity.

"It's a pleasure meeting movies stars and singers," he says.

"Most of the time, they're lovely people and they really have that X factor. I don't get fazed, I try not to. I want them to be as comfortable as possible."

"It's hard to pick a favourite subject but I loved taking Liam Neeson's photo -- he has a great face.

"Sienna Miller and Anna Friel were fantastic, too.

As a student, Barry spent hours pouring over glossy fashion magazines and now he is photographing models he idolised.


"I grew up looking at fashion magazines, so when I shot Claudia Schiffer and Erin O'Connor I was delighted."

Barry's job has taken him around the world. "I was taking a portrait of Richard Branson. It was amazing.

"We all flew to Necker island and spent a few days on the island hanging out with him -- getting to know him. It was an incredible experience."

McCall is known for his vintage-looking portraits. "I love that old Hollywood magic," he explains.

"I like getting the character. I try to figure out who they are and capture some of that character in the photograph. Some of the twinkle in their eye. I watch how they move and their expressions."

And after taking his course, amateurs may be able to capture some of the twinkle, too.

For more info, see www.barrymccall photographer.com

hnews@ herald.ie