RACHEL SEEDORF – CONTENT CREATOR
Content creator Rachel Seedorf’s account (as you can imagine being a historian) – is a place where not only photography is key, Rachel wants her audience to pick up the kind of quirky historical facts they would want to drop at a party, pointing users to quirky or fascinating historic tidbits based on their location! This lady understands the value of ‘the history’ and what it brings to a piece of content. Rachel also runs an Instagram account @dublin.explore that’s full of exquisite content on Dublin city.
PHOTOGRAPHY WASN’T A HOBBY I REALLY GOT INTO UNTIL I STUDIED AT AUSCHWITZ IN 2019
Please tell us a bit about yourself ?
Hi! I’m Rachel. I’m from Long Island, New York, but I spend quite a bit of time in Ireland during the year as I work between the two places. I work in education and as a historian, focusing mostly on Irish history and genocide/Holocaust, and in social media as well. I run and create content for the Dublin Explore Instagram account (@dublin.explore) and also manage social media for The Victoria hotel in Killarney (@thevictoriakillarney).
I have always been an explorer, seeking out places connected to the past. As an only child, I grew up on the stories my family members shared with me about the past, so it only makes sense that connecting history to my present has remained an aspect of my almost everyday life. Photography wasn’t a hobby I really got into until I studied at Auschwitz in 2019, and throughout the past 18 months it became more and more a way for me to explore and – more importantly – help myself to focus on what was in front of me so I could look back and appreciate the memories and experiences I was collecting.
What would you say is unique about your style ?
There are so many photographers out there today – both professional and amateur – particularly in Ireland, and I see many of them due to my work in social media. To be honest, I don’t consider my photography to be unique in the sense that I take photos of places or things I find beautiful without as much concern as others would have over editing, positioning, framing, perspective, etc. I do, however, find my style of posting a bit more unique as I try to present my Instagram feed posts as sort of “history lessons” on Ireland. My captions often include stories or lots of background on what is in the photo, because for me that is why I chose to capture the location in an image.
Where are your favourite spots in Ireland for getting those picture perfect shots ?
I don’t have conscious favourites regarding spots where I go to take photos, although being drawn to historic sites with a particular fascination towards monastic ruins and abandoned castles or dwellings, I would say perhaps outside of Dublin and more out in the countryside… recently, Dunbrody Abbey in Wexford I found to be a spectacular site to explore and photograph. There are monastic ruins and castles all over Ireland though, and Galway is a great spot for them as well, with Menlo Castle and Claregalway Friary. Lastly, there are a few abandoned homes along the Gap of Dunloe which I found hauntingly beautiful!
Please can you share the TOP 3 photographs (in your opinion) that you’ve taken and write one sentence about each ?
1. Dunbrody Abbey in County Wexford
There is something refreshingly overwhelming about being amongst the ruins of an old monastery, knowing that decades ago, life was lived so entirely differently than the time we’re living in now. It’s a gentle reminder to me always, that we need to simplify our lives and cherish what matters most instead of being swept up in things that aren’t necessary in this world.
2. Muckross House in County Kerry
I love this photo, it’s one of my favorites, and I didn’t even realize I took it until browsing my camera roll after leaving. It doesn’t look like Ireland to me yet it is, and that’s the beauty of this country… so many different places to explore and they all feel different too.
3. The Cliffs of Moher – County Clare
Formed 300 million years ago, the cliffs are just a sight to be seen and a feeling to be felt whilst there… that’s all I can say about this photo.
Are there any destinations in Ireland that are high on your list to visit ?
I’m looking forward to exploring more along the West coast, and there are a few places I’ve yet to go that I really want to try getting to in 2022… Cork, Tubrid Church in Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel, the Saltee Islands in Wexford, and Moore Hall in Mayo… however I find that when I cross something off my list, I add 3 more places that I spotted along the way!
Three people (living or dead) you’d invite to dinner ?
Irving Roth – He’s a Holocaust survivor that I once had the privilege of meeting rather briefly, but to have dinner with him and be able to have a real conversation with him would be incredible. Sadly, he passed away in 2021. Throughout his life he had done tremendous work in the cause for continuing education and awareness.
Aggie (@aggie) – travel blogger and creator. I adore her content but more so, she is a very strong woman who serves as a fantastic role model for both males and females all over. She has fantastic perspective on valuing life and how to use social media without it overtaking your life.
My grandfather Patsy – My mother’s father, he passed away just before I turned one year old. I don’t have any memories of him, and I would love to get to know him, as I believe what I discussed earlier – exploring our past allows us to understand our present.
*All images in the above article were captured by content creator Rachel Seedorf