Photographers marking the missed milestones forced by lockdown

Lockdown forced many in Ireland to cancel or postpone significant occasions in their lives. Helen O’Callaghan talks to photographers about a project that aims to capture something of these special days — and to some of those photographed, who wanted to mark their missed milestone and at the same time raise funds for charity.
Lockdown hit — and, overnight, wedding photographer Deryck Tormey’s busy 2020 diary was empty.

Rather than wallowing in ‘what-might-have-been’, Tormey looked to see what good could come from this.

“Many people were cancelling wedding dates and other occasions. I thought it’d be nice to do something to mark the days that should have been,” says the Co Dublin-based photographer, who decided to offer people a free photo — in return, they’d donate to one of three charities: Saint Joseph’s Shankill (leader in dementia care in Ireland), Pieta House, and Bumbleance, the children’s national ambulance service.

‘Mark Your Day’ soon had requests from all over Ireland and Tormey — still restricted to 2km and eventually 5km — recruited a network of photographers. Very soon, he had 35 on board from 15 counties (“it was a bit tricky to find a photographer 2km from a house in Ballyhaunis, but we did it”) and the project was at 200 requests for photos.

Mark Your Day’s original fundraising target — €3,000 — was reached in six weeks at A new target of €5,000 was set and achieved within a fortnight — now the project hopes to raise €10,000. For Deryck, the endeavour has been a lot about bringing two seemingly opposite, but missing, things to people’s lives during lockdown: a sense of normalcy — and of excitement.
Click to support Mark Your Day fundraiser.

Irish Examiner  –  3 August 2020
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