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Meet the Team: Richie Hatch

Born in Drogheda, County Louth, I now reside in the sticks in Monasterboice. With the dry-stone walls and windswept fields, it’s about as close to being in the West of Ireland without actually being there. You can’t beat the silence on a calm day or the darkness on a clear night. I love it here, apart from the mucky roads! A great wife, 2 class kids, 2 annoying dogs, 3 crazy cats (one old sweetheart and 2 young lunatics) home life can be busy but massively enjoyable.

Speaking of being busy… I work in Mahers Photographic selling camera equipment, printing and handling their website amongst many other things. I also work a day a week here in McKevitt King Architects helping with their website, photography, social platforms and other general marketing duties. Recently I also started to handle the social platforms for McAuley Kitchens in Drogheda. As well as the above and as if I was not busy enough, In the last couple of weeks I have started teaching an evening course in photography in Drogheda Institute Of Further Education. On top of all those things I am also a professional architectural photographer spending a lot of my scarce free weekends photographing buildings up and down the country for various other architects and the odd builder here and there. So yes... being busy is certainly something that keeps me ticking. So let me begin with a little history.

My background in architecture comes from an 18-year spell in McGarry Ni Eanaigh Architects. From the late 1990's to 2013 I worked on some significant projects including The Liffey boardwalk in Dublin, Smithfield Public Space, Ratoath Community College to name a few. I started there as a late teenager cutting my teeth on the CAD road working with Microstation on really old Apple Mac machines. One had 2 monitors.... one being huge at 17 inches and colour whilst the other was standard 15 inch and black and white! I type this on a 4k 32inch screen probably costing less than half of what one of those monitors cost more than 25 years ago. I got to make some very good friends in McGarry Ni Eanaigh and will never forget the opportunities that were given to me as pretty much the only non-architect to ever work there (I think). Michael and Siobhan where almost like a second mother and father with the atmosphere in the office always being easy going and fun. Office trips where a welcome break from the office with fond memories of walking for miles in residential Berlin, cycling the streets of Amsterdam whilst a wee bit merry and laughing loudly at one of the lads snoring during a modern piano recital in Madrid! My role in the office was always varied from originally being purely a draughtsman to being office/marketing/IT Manager/photographer/desktop publisher/jack of all trades! Having worked there on Apple systems for those 18 years I fell in love with the simplicity of the Operating System and to this day hate using any other computer systems. From ancient Apple IIci machines to PowerMacs G3's, to the original iMacs and on to Xserve’s there wasn’t many Apple products we didn’t give a run for their money. Pretty much all of our IT was handled in-house with only emergencies requiring external help. This figure it out attitude has really served me well in all jobs since. Originally based in Drogheda, then opening a second office in Dublin to closing the office in Drogheda and only having the office in Dublin I followed the office wherever it went (if sometimes reluctantly!!!). Working in Dublin for the last 4 or 5 years definitely twisted my mind about staying in the office forever. I had young kids at the time and the commute was awkward, especially in winter, often only seeing my kids for a few minutes a day! Leaving McGarry Ni Eanaigh was like leaving the family. I loved Dublin but I'm a Drogheda man true and true and the opportunity to not have the commute and to work in a different industry was too hard to turn a blind eye to. When the opportunity came to work in Mahers Photographic I decided to give it a go. Yes, I went from working in an office to working in a shop.... a route that normally heads in the opposite direction, but I like a challenge. Working in McGarry Ni Eanaigh I was given many opportunities to hone my photography skills and with that in mind a photography related job was appealing. So, I cleaned my desk and left the architecture part of my life behind. Or so I thought.....

My days in Mahers started in March 2013. Dealing with the public was a challenge I didn’t expect BUT I have a thick skin and know how to talk so I was grand. Haha. When starting a new job, it can be difficult to adapt to the new environment but this was completely different than anything that I had done before. The cameras where the easy thing for me to deal with but being the control freak that I am, having to understand exactly how every piece of equipment works, the first few months where hard! Once I had my head around the basics everything else fell into place. Nearly 9 years later I'm still there at the front-line selling equipment, printing pictures and giving advice to customers. Again, it’s a very enjoyable environment to work in with my days being very varied... a thing my brain needs to keep it ticking! God knows how anyone works on a production line. Each to their own I suppose. During my time in Mahers I continued to photograph buildings which included lots of really interesting local buildings for McKevitt King Architects. After an initial baptism of fire trying to photograph 9 buildings in one day over the next couple of years, we would schedule 2 or 3 shoots a year. I really enjoyed the shoots and the banter with James, Adrian and Eoin sometimes joining me. Eventually It made sense that I join the team on a part time basis to help with their marketing and digital presence!

So that’s where I am at today. I'm here in McKevitt King one day a week. Duties are largely based around social media marketing, website upkeep and maintenance and I also help out with various reports, surveying and IT bits and bobs. Oh and of course I still look after the photography end of things too. The office environment is a very friendly and inviting one with everyone’s abilities carefully catered for. A diverse lot with literally decades of experience which is evident in the buildings produced. It’s a VERY busy office which many interesting projects on the books that I can’t wait to point my camera at!

My professional photography business continues to move along also. On top of photographing buildings for the architects that I work for I photograph for others too. The variety of buildings I have photographed for the last 15 years or so is amazing... from tiny single room house extensions in Donegal to huge office developments in Dublin to MRI scanning clinics in Kilkenny. Lots of schools and a few infrastructural projects too. My clients are mostly architects, but I have photographed for builders, developers, kitchen manufacturers and estate agents too. Over the years I have had my work in various publications and journals from national and local newspapers to International Architectural and Construction Journals and magazines including Architecture Ireland, Perspective Magazine, The Architects Journal, A10 Magazine, Plan Magazine and many others. Have a look at my website here if you want. Or my personal Instagram here for the cool kids !

Rhpweb

I won’t waffle on any longer. If you have read this far you are either nosey or know me so I'll probably bump into you sometime and we can have the chats. Masked of course! Have a great 2022!

 

by Richard Hatch

Meet the Team: Richie Hatch

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