For my last full day in Ireland my friend Lisa {Lisa O’Dywer Photography – who graciously had me along to second shoot a beautiful Irish for Claire & Michael’s wedding} we had NO agenda. Imagine…just driving around the Irish countryside, stopping when we wanted some hot tea & found something to photograph {which, happens quite a lot!}. Lisa, who is some kind of magical tour guide, didn’t mind driving aimlessly following random hand-painted signs for a DONKEY museum…. if you really know me, you know I’m obsessed with donkeys… and after shooting rolls & rolls of Irish cows, I HAD TO HAVE a donkey documented…. Well, about an hour later, we roll up to Willie Daly’s Donkey & Matchmaking Museum? No one was home, so we got out to see the donkeys {turns out, we only saw 2, and a handful of ponies}….and then Willie Daly arrived….and we met him, and chatted about his family, watched his video….and we got to hold the Matchmaker BOOK…which, if you are married, you place both hands on it and make a wish for you marriage to be blessed. If you are single, he will match you in 6 months as legend has it.


After our comical & charming visit, we went back down into the village of Lisdoonvarna to grab a bite to eat…and there was WILLIE on the side of the Matchmaker Bar.

Seriously, one of the most memorable days of my life—and a reminder, to just take the untravelled back road– you just never know what will happen!

TIME video on the festival & Willie Daly.

p.s. Now I have to find a magical couple that has been paired by Willie & go back to Ireland to photograph their wedding. Wouldn’t that be a full, random, circle? xoxo


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