Photo Essay: The Places and Faces That Have Shaped My Life in Ireland

Street in Ireland

When we start visualizing about a new life abroad, usually it is the landscape, the food and the cultural nuances that are at the foundation of our daydreams. The faces of those that will shape our lives in big and subtle ways during our travels are often secondary in how we might picture our adventures in a new country.

In this photo essay, practicing photographer and Greenheart Travel high school student, Sydney Wiswell, captures the everyday interactions of the people that have influenced her experience in Ireland, where she is calling home during her study abroad program.

A candid shot of my host dad and my host sister from my first time along the coastal road.


sophia host sister in ireland

This is one of my favorite shots of my host sister because of the imperfection of it. I had only been in Ireland a few days when I took this photo, and you can clearly see the nervousness in Sofia’s face.


A fellow exchange student from Germany who also lives in my area. We were on a hike through the Comeragh Mountains with the other exchange students from our program. Everyone had their cameras out for this trek, and our guide named us the Camera Crew.


I got this dramatic shot of my friend from school when we went into Waterford’s city center together. I love the blurring of her face from mid-movement.


This is my host sister when we went on a walk along the Fairy Trail. The Fairy Trail is an easy walk with hidden fairy doors for children to find along the way, all leading up to the ruins of an old castle. At this point she was fed up with me taking photos of her.


I love this photo of my host sister as she sat, staring off into the distance after a long walk. This was taken a few weeks ago. I have lived with her long enough (and taken enough photos of her) to know how to capture her wide range of facial expressions.


This is a self portrait that my host dad helped me take. I love the color of the landscape behind me as I sit on an elevated ruin, gazing across the landscape before me. As reluctant as I am to hand over my camera to anyone, I’m glad my host dad picked it up to get this shot.

About the photographer:

Sydney Wiswell is a Greenheart Travel high school student in Ireland and young photographer who focuses on candid portraits. Known for her ginormous camera bag that she lugs around everywhere, you will often find her wandering around taking photos of strangers, events, and new things. Photo website: www.sydspics.smugmug.com


Have you wanted to explore a new country like a local while studying abroad?

One thought on "Photo Essay: The Places and Faces That Have Shaped My Life in Ireland"

  1. Candice says:

    Love the pics Syd. You look marvelous.

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