Scottish Islands Explorer
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I am a freelance wedding, portrait, commercial, events and landscape photographer and writer based on the Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland. I’m available for weddings, portrait shoots, commercial assignments, landscape photography workshops, writing and public speaking. I conduct myself professionally, am very reliable and am also fully covered by public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

Please do not hesitate to contact me to make an enquiry or booking. I would be delighted to hear from you.

I’ve enjoyed various successes over the years, including being featured on BBC Countryfile, in addition to photographing a front cover for Scottish Islands Explorer, and writing for Walkhighlands, Scottish Islands Explorer and the St Kilda Mail.

I’ve also worked for a number of commercial clients doing landscape, portrait, interior and animal photography, in addition to Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) photography. Further details of recent assignments are provided here.


I was born in Perth in 1985 and spent my childhood holidays caravanning throughout Scotland; walking, cycling and island hopping. I picked up my first camera when I was six years old and upgraded a number of times throughout my childhood. My love of writing has developed more recently but the foundations were there from a young age, as I always enjoyed writing short stories and have written journals for many years.

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My professional kit comprises three full-frame Nikon digital SLR cameras, speedlights and Three Legged Thing and Manfrotto carbon fibre tripods, in addition to a number of Nikon lenses and Lee and B+W polarising and neutral density filters. Shooting landscapes at dusk and dawn is my greatest passion but I also enjoy capturing small-scale details when the light is flat. I am also very passionate about wedding and portrait photography, which occupies most of my time! I aim to perfect my images in-camera and keep my photographs true to life, only using filters and post-production technology to do justice to what is already there, and capturing natural moments as they unfold before me.

I fulfilled a lifelong ambition in 2013 when I re-located from the Central Belt to the Black Isle near Inverness with my husband Mark. From the tiny hamlet of Cullicudden, I look out over barley fields to the Cromarty Firth beyond. The weather, seasons and light are constantly changing, providing me with endless inspiration for both photography and writing.

Filming with BBC Countryfile in Fife
Filming with BBC Countryfile in Fife

In my spare time, I love nothing more than exploring the Highlands and Islands, walking, cycling, camping, reading, learning Scottish Gaelic and having fun with my two guinea pigs, Zebedee and Angus! I am also a Director of the St Kilda Club charity and a member of Inverness Camera Club and Inverness Chamber of Commerce.

Karen Thorburn
Tel: +44 (0) 7761985752
Email: karen@karenthorburn.com

© Karen Thorburn

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