Inside Out Blog

Smiling: 3 Exercises To Change Your Day



My hashtag#WednesdayWisdom post this week is about something that makes us feel great. Something I tell clients all the time is that when we see an old friend or win something, our arms go out and up. Our faces and bodies posture in the same way.

Thats why a smile goes out and up! Smiling causes a release of endorphins, happy hormones, so with that in mind.

I have some homework for you all.

1. Hold a pen in your teeth for 60 seconds. This creates the same facial posture and will cause that same endorphin release!

2. Smile at a stranger. Make brief eye contact with somebody you pass today and smile. Smiles are universal in language and give a little bit of kindness and warmth to you and the people you smile at!

3. Smile in the mirror. This one is vital and takes a little more time to feel benefit from long term. We spend our time in the mirror doing tasks and checking stuff. Brushing teeth, cursing or squeezing spots. So smile at yourself. Know what you look like smiling and walk away while still smiling. This will better your relationship with your own self image.

Did any of these work for you?


Friendly Business Awards 2018


I am absolutely delighted to be nominated for a Junior Chamber International (Ireland) Friendly Business Award. 

We have been nominated in the category for Digital Experience. 

Thank you to whoever did nominate us and thank you to JCI Dublin for the nod. 

The awards are in Dublin's Mansion House on September 5th. 

More news and photographs to follow. 

Where do you come from?

Where do you come from?

Where is it you come from?
Does geography have anything to do with that place within ourselves that creates what we put out to the world?

I have shot headshots with Eric Lalor a few times now and am always struck by his openness, his willingness to leave it all on the table and show who he is and that place within himself that he comes from.

Maybe, being a standup comic has given him the freedom to open those doors, desensitisation and an openness to self deprecation. 

Maybe as an actor he has learned skills to search within himself to find that place in order to portray the harsher side of Cathal Spillane in the RTE soap Fair City. 

We all need to take a leap of faith like Eric did over 7 years ago to follow his dream without regret. 

You can see Erics interview with Online Youth Mental Health Service ReachOut below. 

You can follow Eric on Social Media. On Twitter  his articles on

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision.
Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

Linkedin Local 31st July 2018

As many of you know, I co host Linkedin Local Dublin with Jannetje van Leeuwen 

Following the success of the first four events, we have organised the fifth #linkedinlocal Dublin with a twist!

To facilitate connection in a different way we thought we'd mix it up a little and do a sit-down - share good food and great conversation. 

Not your typical networking event! Please read below For some more information :)

LinkedIn Local meetups have been popping up all across the globe, and the purpose is to get to know your connections on a personal level, and genuinely connect with the humans behind the LinkedIn profiles. For more information check out

Meet your LinkedIn connections offline!
That is what LinkedIn Local is all about. No pitches, no speakers.

#LinkedInLocal was started by Anna McAfee, below you find the values she and the other early adopters set out for successful meetings. It is all about "connecting humans".

The concept is founded on authenticity, respect and collaboration.

You are empowered to meet people in an intimate setting to connect on a personal level.

No Agenda - No Labels

Leave the job titles and business cards at home. We believe authentic relationships are created unplanned.

Quality Over Quantity

Size really matters, the most interactive and personal meetups have 40 or fewer attendees. Due to the nature of this intimate event and seating restrictions in the venue, we have limited the number of tickets to 30 this event.

No Selling - No Audience
Speak with the people, not to the people, and master your sales and marketing pitches in other events.


To book your tickets

1% Better Podcast

My Interview with Rob of the Green


Hey guys, I was delighted to be interviewed by @Rob O'Donohue for his The 1% Better Podcast. 

We spoke about #SelfAcceptance #PositiveSelfImage #Wellness #Mindfulness and my work with PepTalk Wellbeing amongst lots of other things. 

So if you want to know how to look better in photographs, or understand what you look like to the rest of the world. Have a listen. 
#ApplePodcast -
#GooglePodcasts - #robofthegreen
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Your Body Language: It speaks so you don't have to!

Your Body Language: It speaks so you don't have to!

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How well do you know what you are saying to others?

Over 70% of our communication is non verbal and we communicate with our bodies and our faces faster than we can create the words to describe how we feel. 

We have three brains. The Walnut is the human thinking brain, the clever bit. The lemon hidden inside is the emotional centre of the brain, and the bit at the end that connects it to our body is the reptilian brain, providing us with danger responses and balance. 

So what are you really saying, as you sit there adjusting your posture because you are now aware of it. 

Did you know it was being controlled from a different part of the brain than the words you are thinking now?

Like in the image above, we posture. Based on our environment, we release hormones and send signals to the brain stem telling us how to stand, how to hold ourselves and what to do with the muscles. Automatic responses to the world and people around us. All while thinking about something completely different. 



Think about when you are scared. We become smaller, we close off our posture, roll our shoulders forward and try protect ourselves. Our facial posture changes too. We pull with ligaments and tendons to make the mouth smaller, bring the eyebrows down and to the centre. 

When we are happy, we become bigger, happy to be seen, when we meet an old friend. We throw our arms out and up. The same as the shape of our brightest smile. All this without ever assigning active thought or words to the sensation we feel. 

 Neuroscientist Guillaume Duchenne with a subject

Neuroscientist Guillaume Duchenne with a subject

Our bodies, and our minds work in tandem. Like a spiders web. When a fly gets stuck in the web, no matter where on the web the spider is, it feels the vibrations from the struggling fly and is alerted to it's presence. 

Our minds and bodies are the same. Once one is altered, by proxy so is the other. So maybe it is time you started to listen to what your body says. It doesn't have the facility to be wrong. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?

"That film is nothing like the book"

Have you ever seen a film and thought "That is nothing like the book" Is the issue the movie, or you?


Have you ever seen a film and thought "That is nothing like the book" Is the issue the movie, or you?

I constantly tell people, "When you see yourself in the mirror, you think you look like that, but you don't.
You are the only person who sees that image.

So when you see a photograph, your brain wants to know why it looks different. So you search for imperfections" So you read Harry Potter, or Fifty Shades of Grey.

When you read it, your mind creates a visualisation of the story, the characters and the scenes. You pre-visualise the story and gain senses. 
If your sister or brother read the same book. Their visualisations would be completely different, just like everyone else who has ever read the books. 

So when you see the movie, you are seeing it through the eyes of somebody else entirely. 

Is it just movies we do this with? 

Do we become judgemental of other peoples view of the world because we expect they see the same?

Have you ever been judgemental or had wildly inaccurate expectations?

How to stay young fit and beautiful

How to stay young fit and beautiful

We live in a culture of convenience, every person obsessed with staying young, thin and beautiful no matter the cost. 

Adverts screaming Get Fit Fast, Lost 10LBS in 24hrs and Lose weight feel great. 

Magic pills for everything, Aloe Vera and Vinegars. Sold with the promise we will look younger, be thinner and never have to exercise again. 

Meet Ernestine Shepherd. 80 Years of age, exercising daily, drinking water and looking after her body so that it can look after her. 

As humans we were born to work for food. To walk to a water source, to walk and run and climb to forage for fruits and vegetables. To burn thousands of calories per day just to eat, and now? We turn on a tap, open a fridge or set a microwave. We don't even have to go that far. Food is in abundance, exercise not so much. 

We have an obsession with being skinny or super thin over being fit an healthy. 

If you want to stay young, fit and healthy. Exercise, drink water, don't smoke and lay off the junk food and alcohol. 

Fillers, Botox and tummy tucks don't add to your life expectancy. They don't make you fit enough to play with your kids longer. Taking care of yourself does. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision.
Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

The Struggle


We all struggle from time to time with our self image. 

For some this struggle is daily, with tens of thousands searching the phrase "Am I Ugly". 

For one of these people I want to share some light in the darkness by opening the doors of the studio to them for free.

On February 3rd 2018. I will be offering a free session to someone struggling with their self image. 

Maybe they are considering cosmetic surgery, or won't leave the house. 

To nominate somebody special, get in touch. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

Own your inner space.

Owning Your Inner Space

As part of what I do, some of you will be aware I spend as much time talking as I do taking photographs

With PepTalk Wellbeing and for clients like Linkedin, I run workshops and talk about self acceptance, self image and owning who you are. Knowing it is good enough, but learning to take an extra step at a time outside your own comfort zone. 

In talks from time to time I reference this video. Jill Scott, so comfortable in who she is and the skin she walks in. 

The French film maker, makes a slip up. A tiny mistake, in asking Jill. "Are you nervous?"

We could all learn a little from what she says in this video.  

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision.
Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

Do you ever think why bother?

Do You Ever Think, Why Bother?

Sometimes we can get so disheartened trying to help others. Why bother? Fighting other peoples corners who are just so negative and shoot others down.

Over the past 10 years my photographic career has had many twists and turns.  Over the past 4 years it had become more focused on what I love. The human face, and over the past 12 months has become laser focused on the psyche and how that reflects both internally and externally. 

One thing that happened over the past 12 months was, I got a pain in my arse chasing people who were of false or plastic disposition. People out for themselves and always on the take. 

I learned a valuable lesson in just giving them enough to empower them to make their own decisions.  Then things turned. I started to find time for my own psyche, being mindful and grateful for my own path. 

Thanks to people like Ann Smyth Olivia Hurley Michelle Fogarty Paul Daly and PepTalk Wellbeing. My thoughts and feelings in this area became validated. 

More often than not in our society, the efforts we make for others are under appreciated, go un-noticed or are swallowed by their negativity. 

Sometimes. Magic Happens. 

Who Helped you?

Your Profile Picture Is CRAP!

Your Profile Picture Is Crap!!


Once a month I run a thing on Linkedin where I offer free advice and free unbiased critiques on peoples profile photographs. It tends to be interesting. 

Each month I receive over 50,000 views on these posts with comments and InMails from all over the world. 

More often than not the images are either like the one above, poorly or moderately lit selfies, which look like giant heads with disingenuous smiles, or of people cropped from other photographs within groups or on stage speaking. 

So what does this say about you?

Your image is the first time prospective clients and employers meet you. It is the first time they see your face and interact with you. Just in the same way they would meeting for an interview, they look at your image to form the first impression. 

Why should you spend money on a headshot?

Just look at the picture above, now look at your own Linkedin photograph and consider the impression it gives to prospective clients or employers. 

Investing in your headshot means investing in your first impression. It shows you take yourself seriously and are willing to invest in your career. 

If you had a choice to buy electronic goods from two vendors, one from the back of a van and the other from a store. You are most likely to go to the store, where you get a receipt, a guarantee and the assurance that if anything goes wrong. You know they will still be there when you return. 

Embrace Your Face. 
Find a good headshot photographer in your area on HeadshotCrew 
Study their work and make sure you like what and how they do it. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision, Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

John Murray Headshot.png

I Make People Cry For A Living And I Love It!

I Make People Cry For A Living And I Love It!


As a headshot photographer, I stand 5 feet from my clients searching for genuine emotion. So when they cry with happiness or stress.
They are being true. Hiding behind nothing and showing fragility.

As humans we have three brains evolutionarily speaking. 
- The Neocortex (The Walnut part - Thinking brain)
- The Limbic Brain (Lemon shaped - Emotional centre)
- Cerebellum (Reptillian Brain - Runs breathing, balance & survival)

When we are under stress, the neocortex cannot see the cause, nor can it differentiate between a lion snarling at you or my camera. 

Stress is stress and the brain and body respond in the same way. 
We know this as the "Fight or Flight Reaction."

But, my camera and I don't cause a risk to life. So they have to stay, and barring slapping me, they can't fight either.  

Some cry, with the anxiety of facing something that is sure to show them the things they don't like about themselves. 

Some cancel before they get to the studio, One client cancelled 6 times and even walked away from the studio door in that time due to stress. 

In facing their fears, they overcome such a trivial yet so powerful task as having a photograph taken.

Have you ever backed away from doing something seemingly trivial because of fear?

Is there something you wish you could do?

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?

Natural Vs Perceived Perfection: Why I stopped shooting family sessions.

Natural Vs Perceived Perfection:
Why I stopped shooting family sessions. 


For years starting out, my bread and butter sessions were families. From new borns to grown, established families with grandchildren and great grandchildren I shot it all. 

I remember hearing someone say many years ago:

"Family is not what you see in photographs. It is what you do between them."

Something that stuck with me and was always in the back of my head as I worked with families. So eager to display the posed, perfect chocolate box life we often see in family portrait sessions. 

I for quite a while struggled with the concept of what I was doing. I always felt I wasn't delivering their personalities or the true nature of the families. Kids becoming agitated because they were restricted to one spot. Parents embarrassed then annoyed because the kids were running amok. 

The change came when I photographed a First Holy Communion in The National War Memorial Gardens, Dublin. The family were lovely and had Eight kids. They were great fun. The side of the minivan opened and they spilled out like clowns from a clown car. The parents said "Let them do what ever they want and just get photographs of it". 

I felt at first they had given up trying to control that many kids at the same time and had resigned themselves to the fact it was going to be like picking up a dozen broken eggs by hand. Just impossible. The more I watched the kids laugh, explore and play, the more I realised the parents were clever. 

These kids weren't uncontrollable. They were kids. As kids are. Genuine and funny. The parents didn't want the posed, plastic portraits of their family. They wanted to see the kids personalities in every shot. Something I always felt lacked in kiddie portraits I had shot before. 

Life is not flat and poised. Posed to show moments of controlled stress trying to portray a form of happiness that doesn't exist. Even the Brady Bunch and The Waltons had their moments. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

Mandy Harvey: Showing Impossible Is Nothing!

Mandy Harvey: Showing Impossible Is Nothing!

So yet again Monday rolls around. The weather could be better on the back of hurricane Gerty, Dublin has a new traffic system causing chaos on the quays and it is very easy to get caught up in the misery and wish you had just stayed in bed. 

We all have those days. The days where you don't feel you can be an adult human for the day. Days where it is just too dull both outside and on the inside. If ever we needed inspiration to carry on and find a way, Mandy's story is that inspiration. 

Mandy a young singer lost her hearing at the age of only 18. Losing her love of music and her joy. 

In an age where we can quite literally overcome almost anything Mandy learned to use technology and her other senses to compensate for her hearing loss. To regain her voice and learn to sing without ever hearing a sound. 

So it's Monday and Grey. The weather is poor and you have mountains to climb for the week. Remember the view from the end point is worth it and by Friday you will have achieved so much that you probably won't give yourself credit for. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?

Summer Ending Sale

Summer Ending Sale

To Finish off the Summer in style. We are having an end of summer headshot Sale. 

While the Tan is still topped up and before the Autumn comes in. We are having a Headshot Session Sale on all Individual Packs. 

Headshot One Pack: 
A One Hour, One Look Session designed to bring the best in you for any marketing purpose. Be it Linkedin, Company Website or even your online dating profile. 

Headshot Two Pack:
A Ninety Minute, Three to Four Look Session designed to give you a variety of looks that communicate best who, and how you are. This session is the most common session for anyone marketing themselves in a business capacity as it gives a range of final images for public speaking, news articles, website and social profiles. 

Headshot Three, The Portfolio Pack:
A Three Hour, Six to Nine Look Session designed to primarily for Actors and anyone with a need for many different looks and range of images. This session brings in more of the coaching element with focus on mood, expression and projection. 

For Details or to book your session get in touch here.

Success is the Journey. Not The End Result.

Success is the Journey. Not The End Result.

Talking with a client today it struck me. We all have this preconceived notion of what success looks like. Sold the idea success is somewhat of an end product or goal. Somewhere to rest on our laurels after the hard work is finished. 
There are many who only see the end without seeing the hard labour and suffering of the trip there. 
Being successful means being successful as a person. As a mother or father, facing failures and set backs and carrying on regardless only to arrive at the end goal. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it?
What other choice do you have?

Do You Exercise With Your Staff? Why you should have a Corporate Wellness Plan

Do You Exercise With Your Staff?
Why you should have a Corporate Wellness Plan

Gone are the days of companies offering staff free healthcare, dentists and paying to open parks in the community. The money, and time just aren't there. We are busier than ever, both in our professional lives and even more so with our home lives. Dealing with kids, pets, relatives and that's just when things are going well. Factor in an illness or injury and everything is thrown out of sync. 

Finding a Work/Life balance can be difficult. Considering for example an average person commutes over two hours per day to and from work, is on site for work eight hours per day and engaged in other work related or stress activities for two hours. We spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about, preparing for and at work. 

Take Mary: Mary is a married working mother of two kids. She wakes at 5:45am every morning, in North Dublin city. Spending the next hour readying herself for her corporate banking job before the kids wake, the next 45 minutes arguing with them over breakfast, uniforms and homework before saying good bye at 7:30am to commute to work. 

Now Mary, squashed onto the bus is in the "Grey Mass" as she joins the ranks of thousands of nameless suits isolated within crowds with no eye contact or conversation travelling in droves to the city centre for work. Each with their own hurried, head down shuffle. Already answering emails, checking Facebook and reading about the bad news others around the world have had since she last checked her social media before bed. 

Great start to the day? Sound Familiar?
Now she is to work for the eight next hours, before doing it all in reverse finally ending in her finally sitting down after cooking dinner and some house work at maybe 7pm almost 13 hours after she started. 

Where is the time for health and wellness in this and what can her employers do to help her and her colleagues while in turn helping themselves?

Corporate Wellness Programmes are designed to bring some sense of equilibrium to this Work/Life balance.  

So you have for the most part Three main components. Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset

We have all done the manual handling course companies mandate we do. Red tape to cover the company incase of work place injury. Lift a box, put the box down. Walk with a trolly or move a chair. Sit ergonomically at your desk. Okay, it has it's uses, but for the most part it is crap and here is why. 

If you are a 40 year old man, who sits at a desk for 8 hours plus a day and the only form of exercise you undertake is running for the bus. You just don't have the flexibility or mobility to get down to the floor in order to lift the box. We are running before we walk and it is wrong, all just to cover the companies ass in the case of an accident. 

By implementing a corporate wellness programme on the other hand, you go the other way. You encourage a healthy lifestyle to better educate and equip the staff to perform at their peak in order to prevent injury rather than just cover for when it happens. So here are the benefits.


Fitness & Nutrition:

  • Increased physical fitness and a better diet means more stamina. Staff can sustain higher standards for longer without peaks and dips in performance and mood. 
  • Less mood swings mean morale in the office is better as are interactions with customers.
  • Less work related injury. Staff are fit for the job and less likely to be hurt doing it.
  • Less short term or uncertified sick days. Fit, healthy people are less likely to become ill or injured. Elevated mood means less social depression and the It's cold and wet out, I can't be arsed going to work syndrome.
  • Less long term or certified sick leave. 

    One US Company, Coors Brewery reported an 18% reduction in Absenteeism after implimenting a corporate wellness programme. 
  • Happy and healthy employees have a higher work volume than Unhappy, Unhealthy staff members. 
  • Staff retention is higher, meaning less valuable time and cost wasted on recruitment and training.
  • Team work and Community. By staff working together for a fun reason, we precondition the brain to associate the other people with fun and positive feelings. 



  • Increased Esteem. Increased Self Esteem in staff members lead to many benefits including less time focused or recovering from negatives. Increased interaction and engagement, less sick leave and absenteeism and less fear of failure or preconditioned negative attitudes. 
  • Increased self awareness. Emotional intelligence is one of the biggest things lacking in society today. If you had a broken arm, you would check it. Your mental and emotional health is just as, if not more important. Increased awareness means staff are more likely to take care of their mental health resulting in better overall health. 
  • Increased Self Acceptance and sense of Social Entitlement. Again supporting staff and helping them understand, who they are is good enough. Encouraging them to learn more about who they are as opposed to what they believe the world expects. Leading to less negative mindsets, more self belief and increased acceptance of challenges and responsibilities. 

Each and every one of these benefits, not only bring back some sense of normality to the lives of staff, giving them more control and appreciation for what they do have, it also means increased revenue for the company. Returns in increased work rates, less smoke breaks, higher workload turnover with less stress. Less spent on absenteeism and recruitment. Higher rates of customer satisfaction and better interactions with happier staff which means more returning business which in turn means business growth and more jobs. 

No matter how big or small your team is. Everyone benefits. What are you waiting for?


How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?

For more information on Corporate Wellness Projects. See

Success, It's harder than it looks

Success, It's harder than it looks

                  Karl Bowe Aug 2016                                                                          Karl Bowe Aug 2017

I suppose this kind of touches on my previous post. "Free is for me. Exposure Vs. Paying Bills" in that we place as a society very little value on non conventional jobs. Anything outside of the 9-5 slot. Creatives, Models and Actors being undervalued or their years of building their business and learning their craft dismissed or even just forgotten about. 

In late 2013 while shooting a piece for the Sunday World Magazine. I got to meet Karl Bowe for the first time. A model and full time private security guard/ Body Guard who wanted to break into the acting and TV game. 

 Jacamo Feature, Sunday World Magazine. Christmas 2013

Jacamo Feature, Sunday World Magazine. Christmas 2013

An unassuming yet hard working model. Karl had a vision of where he wanted to be and was willing to work at it. Taking direction and trying to learn where he could. 

Jump on almost Four years later to where Karl is now and his list of achievements, Winning Mr. Ireland and competing for Mr. World. Acting on stage and screen in hit shows like Redrock, Mamma Mia, Pantos in the Gaiety Theatre and even featuring, almost breaking twitter on Take Me Out UK.

Not bad for a boy from Crumlin who was bullied for being overweight. 

Success doesn't come from sitting on your backside. Dreaming. It comes from having a goal, taking knocks and rejection and carrying on regardless. 

Well done Karl. Onwards and upwards.