Resident Designer Maker based in Makers House - Laura McIlveen is a photographer based around the beautiful North Coast in Northern Ireland.
Laura has been a photographer for the last 7 years, finally going professional in 2019 when she established her own photography business. She specialises in landscape photography and commercial photography.
What do you do? Tell us about your craft
My interest in photography was first sparked whilst on a trip to The Whiterocks Beach; my happy place. It was a beautiful day in Northern Ireland, and I just wanted to capture all that beauty. For my next birthday, I asked for a camera and my photographic journey began.
I’m passionate about capturing high-quality visuals, unique moments in time, amazing light, and the beautiful landscape we have right on our doorstep here on the Causeway Coast.
I love to capture colour and the movement of water in my work, creating a bold piece of art that brightens up a space and becomes a real feature in someone’s home or workspace. I like my work to evoke an emotion – to make someone smile or to bring them back to their own happy place.
What did you do before?
Before starting my own business, my background was within retail and e-commerce business. My first ever job was working within a local supermarket at the age of 17. I learnt so many important skills in my role. Every job teaches you skills you can take forward into your next role and even into your own business. From retail I studied and qualified as a mental health support worker. I loved my work, indeed, I’m still passionate about mental health and well-being.
I always had an interest in business, even when I was at school. What initially started as a hobby, slowly grew into a business. I adore what I do, I love every single moment of it. I see my world in potential photographs, it’s a total joy to get to work creatively and run my own business. I love what I do and I think it shows in my art work.
How did you get the idea for this product? Or how did it come about?
For me, part of the joy of capturing an amazing landscape is sharing that work with others. I love to show the unique images I’ve captured and tell the individual story behind a new piece of work. Each photograph has a story to tell.
One of my favourite things in-store is when someone picks up a print of mine and tells me their story behind that location. Maybe it’s that they got engaged at Mussenden Temple or used to dance in The Arcadia when it was a ballroom – I love to hear other people’s memories of the beautiful locations I photograph. It’s always special when someone purchases a print that has an important meaning for them or a loved one.
What is the most challenging part of your craft?
There are a lot of challenges in photography, it’s not just point and shoot. Each of my images are carefully planned, it can take months or even years to achieve some of my imagery.
To capture one great photo there can be many trips back to the same location, waiting on the perfect light, the perfect composition. For some of my aurora prints, they were a very long time in the making. It was multiple trips chasing auroras around the north coast to finally capture my finished piece. Patience is incredibly important as a photographer.
What do you love about this craft?
Photography is my bit of well-being. Sitting out on the north coast watching and capturing beautiful sunsets is special. I love capturing a unique moment in time, documenting the landscape. I love when I click my camera shutter, that I capture a completely unique moment in time. No one else in the world has captured that moment like I have; that’s special.
How would you describe your style to someone who didn't know you?
Bold, dynamic, modern, unique imagery.
What is a product you want to spotlight?
The Timed Collection. The thing I love about photography is capturing a completely unique moment in time. Each piece in this collection is printed with the date and exact moment in time that each image was captured. Photography is our way of capturing the present before it disappears, and this collection celebrates each brilliant, unique moment.
How can people order/buy your product?
My products can be purchased in-store and online on my website. I can also do bespoke orders, including large framed made-to-order pieces.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in business so far?
It’s hard to choose just one lesson, I’ve learnt so much during my time in business. One of my big lessons I always tell anyone starting out is just keep going!
Success is not a steady upward trajectory, success is a journey - when hurdles arrive you just have to power on and have the faith to continue.
How long have you been featured in The Designerie?
I joined Makers House in August 2019 as a young start-up business.
What area of The Designerie are you featured in?
What do you love about The Designerie?
The people! Us Designer Makers have great fun in-store. If you’ve been in Makers House, I’m sure you’ve heard us laughing or planning our next project! We collaborate, we support each other, and we have a lot of fun along the way! I love chatting to customers and telling the unique story behind each piece of my art.
How would you describe The Designerie to someone who didn't know about it?
Beautiful, high-quality local products all under one roof.