After leaving school in 1983, I secured my first job as a Trainee Civil Engineer at prominent Belfast engineering design firm, McGladdery and Partners. I loved architecture and building design and was certain this was the direction I wanted to go. However, my interest in photography started about 10 years earlier, when my mum gave me a Kodak Instamatic (the one with the 4 sided cube for a flash), and my love of photography deepened over the years. In 1986 I bought a Canon EOS 650 and began taking photographs more seriously. I built my own darkroom in the corner of my bedroom and spent many hours every night printing from negatives I had developed that day. Around the same time, I began working as a freelance photographer for Cliftonville FC and later the IFA. Architecture could wait. It wasn't until 1989, when I began using Apple Macintosh computers and started learning graphic design, that I saw the potential in this newly affordable computer as a way to combine both things I loved and make it into a business.
After a few years learning my trade in various Belfast design studios, I decided to jump into the proverbial deep end and set up my first graphic design company D'stinct Graphics, in 1995. One of my clients was a dance music magazine run by Eddie Wray, called Bassline, which I first designed in August of that year. The magazine merged with another Belfast magazine called Blank (run by former BBC Radio 1 DJ and Match of the Day presenter, Colin Murray) to relaunch as BBM (Bassline and Blank Magazine) and in 1999, became the first local magazine to win the prestigious IPR/BT Magazine of the Year Award. During this time, I also had a moderately successful career as a club DJ, playing in Belfast clubs such as Shine, Network and Thompsons Garage and in Ibiza, alongside world renowned DJ's Mr. C and Pete Tong.
In 2006, I co-founded design and advertising studio Manila Guerilla with business partner Mark Smith, and the company went on to become the first Northern Ireland based design studio to win the acclaimed McNaughton Design Award in 2007. My love of photography was reignited over the following few years and in late 2009, I left Manila Guerilla to set up Push FotoGrafik.
Sometimes working alone and sometimes with other creative minds, I shot photography and carried out design work for clients such as Ardmore Advertising, BBC, Bank of Ireland, Belfast City Council, Belsonic, Chamber of Commerce NI, Cliftonville FC, Concern Worldwide, Citybeat 96.7FM, Down Royal Racecourse, Grub, Mexx UK, Menarys Retail, MTV, Navigator Blue, PowerNI, Sean Graham Bookmakers, Tennents NI, Ulster Business Magazine, Ulster Tatler Magazines, Ulster Weavers and prolific UK artist Wolfgang Buttress.
In 2013 I started producing short films (as Cat Monkey Films) and had one of my first productions - Ann & Harry 'The Holiday' - shown at the Belfast Film Festival the following year. By this stage, my career was fragmented and in early 2015, I decided to close Push FotoGrafik and Cat Monkey Films and bring my three creative passions together under one umbrella, Walsh Visuals.
This is what I do, and the site contains a mixture of my commercial and personal work, all of which I am very proud.
I'm always interested in strengthening existing client relationships and establishing new ones, so if you think there's something I can do for you, please get in touch.
All photography, film and graphics on this site belong to Michael Walsh and are protected under copyright law.
All photos are available for licencing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.