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Phlogger aka Andrew Walmsley

A website dedicated to photography showcasing articles, interviews, reviews and Photography Insights podcast.

Interviewing a celebrity photographer – Eddie from Grainhappy

Interviewing a wedding photographer + online tutor

(Eddie Irvin)

interviewing celebrity photographer

This interview has been under wraps for some time now.  Like all good things in life, patience is rewarded.  Trying to get hold of a photographer for interview purposes is hard enough, work deadlines and time and effort. But to try and arrange with someone who actively teaches through social media and online courses has been tough.  Eddie is a sound person and not only does he have his own photography business, but helps you all with tips and tricks through his alter ego – Grainhappy.

Having the chance to collaborate with a celebrity like this has opened my eyes and realise they are just like you and me. So let us hope there are more endearing people like Eddie out there.  Because of the logistics of working with Eddie, this interview would not follow the normal pattern (we were corresponding near midnight in the UK).  It would be very hard for us to find time to chat together in a friendly arena at a mutually convenient time.  As such the interview has been conducted in a very different matter.  But hopefully you will glimpse into the world of Eddie, his work and teaching side too.  Plus Eddie has arranged a genuine offer for you all – a FREE course.

So without further ado…


Where did your journey start as a photographer?

“I taught my wife photography when we were just friends and dating, and it’s always been a fun thing to take a photograph. When we moved down to Nashville, TN from Buffalo, NY, we decided that working together to build our photo company bigger would be the best bet instead of us doing separate businesses or jobs. So we jumped in full-time! With no clients. Learned a ton of business stuff and realised that really makes a difference when you’re trying to get clients!

The second journey I started was after I knew the main exposure stuff, rules to break, etc, when I was starting to get bored. Trying freelensing changed that all for me: taking the lens off the camera, holding it to the camera and then slightly bending it off the camera. It’s so much fun and adds such a unique layer to any photo. Here’s a link to learn how to freelens! Get this $20 course for free click now.”


What makes a good photographer?

“It’s all about what you see because you’ll carve the same path differently than someone else. You’ll crop it or colour it or use a totally different lens. You’ll stand higher or lower, you’ll shoot faster or slower than everyone else.

You’re the only one with your eye, so work on your craft and let your eye catch on to more and more details. Allow yourself to see things the way YOU see them instead of feeling pressure to do what others do. Try learning rules from everyone and taking the best of it all… and then, of course, break all the rules you’ve learned.

Also, if you want to do photography better, you’ve got to be good with people. Personable, able to find common ground, friendly. I’m finding that 90% of my job now is helping people get to a great place even with two cameras right in their face. There’s a posing tutorial question where I explain more about our style here.”

How do you think about light?

interviewing celebrity photographer
Shaylee & Ryan Wedding by High Five for Love Photography


“The size of the light dramatically changes the type of shadow you get, and so this is one of the most important things to really understand at first. Getting my light source really big was a really big a-ha moment for me!

And then getting that light source off camera and putting it halfway across the room was another a-ha. It was a whole new world of photography that I had never understood until I saw how it was created before my eyes. And then watching as the light was moved around the room and how drastically different the shadows the ere! Amazing.

Light is the most important thing to know about photography. If you haven’t studied light, get on it! Start on Youtube and search for any terms you already know, and find new terms to search for by paying attention to the videos.”


What is your earliest memory of photography?


“My earliest memory of photography is having a small film camera, a thin horizontal box-looking thing that used 110 films ( i/110_film ). I LOVED taking photos with this camera it was so so much fun. Got the prints back from the one-hour photo after we would go on vacation or with family/friends and I still have those photos today! And the longer it’s been since the photo was taken, the more precious it is… so I’m so happy and glad that I captured some moments from my childhood that I would have no other way.”

interviewing celebrity photographer
Photo by High Five for Love Photography


Tell us about the people who have influenced you in life and your career

“My buddy Tom Schaefer was super influential to me. I was over at his house because I was working with his brother producing an album, and every time I went over there I saw Tom with his equipment and I’d ask him questions. Piece by piece I started understanding the basics of photography and bought my first real DSLR!

Also, my friend Stephen Neff was super encouraging to me and gave me a camera bag that I have to this day! He also let me play with his lenses which taught me a ton and gave me confidence moving forward.

So the moral of this story is, MAKE FRIENDS with photographers! There’s a lot of info on Youtube and elsewhere but if there’s someone in your life that already knows photography, start gently asking questions and see if they would be willing to help guide you:)”


What was one of the most rewarding shoots you remember and why?


“This is a hard one. I can’t pick just one, it wasn’t like that for me. All of our engagement shoots are great because I get to help coach the couple to loosen up in front of the camera, and that’s really gratifying to see. Almost every time, the beginning of the shoot is a little slower, a little more awkward, a little harder to get going… but by the end, the couple understands that they can just flirt and have fun while we shoot! It’s always so much fun to see that change in just an hour or so… and once we get to that new place where they feel more free in front of the camera, we know that the wedding day will be smooth! They will be able to just enjoy themselves and flirt and we can capture all those natural-emotion-filled images.”

interviewing celebrity photographer
Photo by High Five for Love Photography

Interviewing a celebrity photographer – Conclusion

Without further ado, we have to thank Eddie for his participation in this interview.  I can understand his schedule must be hectic, especially trying to run tutorials and courses too!

Eddie has been the one person who answers emails and this really set him above the rest.  Someone in the field who wants to help others by responding personally is simply fantastic.  During January 2016 I first came across his flash photography (see this article) course, which drew me in.  He was superb and professional, after exchanging emails for advice and what I achieved from following his course.

This led me on to this “freelensing”, as it seemed so fresh and unusual.  This idea appealed as I had just started shooting so was using budget equipment.  His approach was not about simply following instructions, it was more about you and trying for yourself.  So I did go out and shot a Harley Davidson, freelens style, it wasn’t brilliant but it was something.

Many captains of the industry use the buzz word “mentor” so often, but how many of them will read emails from their followers or subscribers?  Not many I suspect, so having this ability to respond to someone with talent and experience really added to the experience. Eddie carried on answering emails after months and years, always with honesty and integrity.

Please go check out his work and his tutorials, details follow.

Interviewing a celebrity photographer – links

Here are links to check out there work, from their business website to social media.  Do not forget to check out their paid tutorials and courses too.


High Five For Love

Website link –

Facebook link –

Instagram link –


Grainhappy tutorials

Website link –

Instagram link –


DO NOT FORGET – remember Eddie is offering you his “free-lensing” course for FREE if you follow my link.

Freelensing course – udemy link


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