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Capturing A Community

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There may only be around 2000 people living in the Isle of Harris, but it’s safe to say we’re a diverse bunch and no two people are ever completely alike.

There are those whose families have lived here for generations and those who have only just begun to set down roots on the island for the first time.

Together we create an ever-changing community, as long-familiar names and faces sadly pass on, and new bouncing babies are born to help continue the story.

No matter what age, colour, or creed, we all now call Harris home and a shared love for this special place keeps us bound together whatever our individual differences may be.

Our friend and photographer Laurence has helped us tell our shared story since 2015, bringing an outside eye to the work we do at the distillery, and turning his lens on the local landscape and people who live here.

Earlier this week he returned to spend another week meeting many of these men and women, old and young, journeying from village to village with storyteller Mairi Mackenzie in her bright green car.

In Leverburgh they met a family of fishermen dressed in oilskins under the pier, as father, son, and grandson took five minutes out of their day to pose for a picture or two.

At a roadside 'fank', they met young crofter Iain Angus Macleod busy shearing and drenching his flock of sheep at the tail end of an island summer. Minutes later his face was captured on ‘film’ and he was free to get back to work.

Onwards, to meet the bright-as-a-button Angus Morrison who was born in the village of Cluer on the 20th of August 1922. After celebrating his 100th birthday earlier this week he regaled us with tales of his Harris motorbiking days from times gone by.

In the village of Rodel, we gathered with three generations of women from South Harris, as Laurence snapped some wonderful shots on the front step of their family home.

Returning to Leverburgh, it was the turn of Catriona Maclennan and her children to have their photograph taken as the island winds tussled their hair and big smiles were made for the camera.

For the next two days, Laurence has set up his equipment by the distillery fireside with an open invite to the community to come along and have their portraits taken too.

Laurence Winram,

There is no charge for the wee photo session and everyone is welcome if they’re in Harris and choose to call the island their home. He’ll even send a copy of the final photos to download and keep afterwards.

We've some nice plans for all these images once his time with us here is at and end, but more on that soon.

Meantime, huge thank you to Laurence as always for his time and efforts as he brings his skills to bear, capturing a small snapshot of our community to help our storytelling along.


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