Glen Bollard, Database Administrator on Photography

My name is Glen Bollard and I work as a Database Administrator in Mastercard, Dublin. I always had a passion for Computing – I was playing on MS-DOS machines since as long as I can remember. Following a few twists and turns, I inevitably ended up in Computing.

I have a keen interest in music and the local live music scene. Following various roles since I was a teen, I ended up photographing the events I was attending. I initially bought a camera as I have always had an interest. My first camera was actually a GoPro I purchased as part of another hobby of mine, Snowboarding. In the summer of 2017, I had a number of family events (weddings, christenings, etc.) and I felt like a proper camera would be a worthwhile investment. Currently in my collection in terms of cameras are a Canon 6D MK2, a Canon 800D, and a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. I also use a variety of lenses, microphones, tripods, and GoPro mounts.

With music photography, I get to combine my two favourite pastimes. I love experiencing live music and creating visuals to complement the music. Through this, I have gotten the chance to work with some legends and personal favourites of mine, such as U2, the Prodigy, and Biffy Clyro. I shot my first concert in March 2018. My work was quickly noticed by local publications and I have been working at least 2/3 gigs a week ever since, with the acts getting bigger and bigger each week.

I am currently working with 2 Irish publications: HotPress Magazine and Golden Plec. These publications would look after a lot of my requests. I am in a lucky position that I can pick and choose the concerts I shoot through these publications, who will also call me to cover certain gigs. I also get a lot of gigs through friends in bands that ask me to take photos for them. I will always touch my photos up in Lightroom then. Especially since most of my work is done with low light, it will require touching up.

In the near future, I have a list of my favourite bands that I am aiming to cover in some capacity, including Green Day, Metallica, and Foo Fighters. The skills I picked up in my tech job have given me great file and time management skills. Using these, I have an efficient workflow down to a tee and can cover and edit a gig and still be in bed before midnight each night.

Photography allows me to tap into the more creative side of myself, a part of me that I never fully explored. My advice to aspiring freelance photographers is to work hard, as there is no easy path. A lot of success comes down to a combination of hard work and sheer dumb luck. Chase this because you enjoy it. Don’t stress about the monetary side of it. There is always more than tech, and I believe having the creative outlet can enhance and assist the tech job. It also can unlock more doors in terms of career growth and enjoyment. The key thing is the work-life balance must be respected and the creative outlet, while needed, cannot overshadow the tech aspect – they need to work in tandem.

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