Capturing Our Spirit Pt. 2

Last week we caught up with photographer Laurence Winram, a talented man with a camera and a keen eye for capturing the spirit and character of our work here in the island. In part two of the interview we share a few more of his superlative pictures and ask a few more questions about his life and art.

What are your thoughts on the island, the people and the wider distillery project as whole ?

"I spent a fair part of my life in Strathdon, a close knit country community in Aberdeenshire and Harris strongly reminded me of that, not so much the landscape but the people definitely. So I felt like Harris was a home from home to me. The whirlwind photography tour of meeting so many folk was an amazing initiation too. The highlight of my time there has to be the grand opening where I got to meet many of those folk again. The evening ending with the finest Ceilidh I’ve ever been to and left my face aching from smiling so much. It’s not often you can say your job is so rewarding."

Did you get a chance to try the Harris Gin?

"Of course I’ve tried the Harris gin! It’s lovely and a beautiful looking product. I watched a never ending queue of locals line up to buy it on the night of the opening. Poor Peter and Kate could barely keep up unpacking the boxes of extra stock."

Can you tell us about your art, creativity and output?

"We live in a digital age and I’m no different. I used a Canon 5Ds III on this shoot, working mostly on 50mm and 85mm prime lenses. I gave the images a slightly gritty higher contrast feel that I think suited the subjects. I’m not overly interested in equipment though. For me it’s all in the moment captured, even if that a very quiet one. The best camera is the one thats in your hand. I’m an intuitive person and I believe our lives are guided in some ways. To me it felt like, how could I ever have done anything else? From the age of about 16 I just knew I was a photographer and that was that. I’ve felt very blessed to have that knowledge and certainty from a young age."

What are you plans for future exploration of the Harris Distillery story?

"I’d really love to capture more portraits and maybe some of the landscapes. As a photographer the place is about as good as it gets. If the light isn’t right, five minutes later it’s totally different. I love the open moors, the clear water bays and the fact that its mood is in a constant state of flux. I love my personal photography projects. My mind is always racing with new ideas and plans for future shoots. I just want to keep going with those and the more interesting commercial projects like the one on Harris. Basically I just want to keep exploring and keep changing. Bring on the adventure!"

We'd like to thank Laurence for his work and support so far and for taking time to share his thoughts with us here on the website.

If you'd like to enjoy Laurence's work in physcial form we have produced a beautiful limited edition book as part of the 1,916 endeavour which you can learn about here.

Or please visit his website at


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