Us in Scotland

Scotland Couples Photography

by Ryan Rowell on January 6, 2014

Scotland had been on our radar for a long time. Ryan’s family and extended family all hail from the land of haggis, plaid, whiskey and some of the worlds most unforgettable vistas. Actually both of our families come from Scotland, my mother was a MacDonald with her roots only 2 generations back  and Ryan’s Rowell family are descendants of the Smiths who belong to the MacPherson Clan. In the months leading up to the trip I thought that it would be fun for Ryan to have a custom kilt made of the MacPherson hunting tartan to wear for a few photos while we traveled around Scotland. We had Ryan’s kilt hand made in Barrie, Ontario, Canada by the amazing team at Burnetts & Struth. They have made kilts for kings, the Rowell Family and have been great clients and friends of our family for years. Ryan even requested a pocket to be made for his iphone which clearly goes against the rules of a traditional kilt. It was so fun to watch Ryan trekking through the highlands of Glencoe, and Isle of Skye looking so handsomely Rob Roy-ish and having tourists along the way ask for a portrait of him.

We spent a lot of time researching Ryan’s lineage in Scotland and we were able to trace back his great grandmothers hometown called Alva, Scotland. Just outside of Edinburgh, it is a small village consisting of just a few streets, a main drag and a golf course on the side of a mountain. It was very quiet when we drove into the town on a Tuesday. We planned to stop for lunch. We found a bar with 3 old guys and a dog sitting around drinking at noon and they directed us to the castle restaurant up the street. Broomhall Castle sits high above the town, up a road that swerves through a small wooded area. When you arrive, you are immediately impressed by this elegant building. When we arrived there were cars and limos outside so we figured that there must be an event happening. When we walked inside there was no one to be found. It was dead quiet. All the doors were wide open. People had been there because there was hot tea still on the table, and half eaten scones out. The kitchen area had fresh fruits and vegetables half chopped. Like somehting out of one of those apocolypse movies where towns are deserted half way through lunch. We called out numerous times and to our surprise no one answered. With a parking lot full of cars and almost no where to go but up the mountain or down the main drive way, we were left puzzled. Where did all the people go? It all seemed a little too strange,  so we left and were on our way. Broomhall Castle will always be a mystery but we hope to have the chance to visit it again as it hosts weddings and special events and is also a hotel. We would love to photograph a wedding there.

Scotland will definitely be one of those places we will visit again.  We felt truly connected to this landscape. I like to think that maybe our connection goes deeper than just what we saw and how magical it feels to see something beautiful for the first time. I like to think that this place is connected to us not only emotionally through our ancestors but physically too. I love this quote below, each time I think about the lands we have visted, where our ancestors are from I think of this quote.

“Walking I am listening to a deeper way, suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be STILL they say WATCH and LISTEN. You are the result of the love of thousands.” -L . Hogan.


Erika & Ryan

macpherson scottish tartan

Calton hill edinburgh scotland
Dugald Stewart Monument – Edinburgh, Scotland.

beautiful scotland edinburgh photos

Merchant street from Greyfriars edinburgh

edinburgh castle from the park at princes street edinburgh scotland

ramsay lane edinburgh scotland

portraits in edinburgh scotland

grey friars bobby pub edinburgh scotland

grey friars bobby pub
This is me posing with Bobby. He was a dog who lived at the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland. Legend has it that Bobby was such a loyal dog that he stayed by his master John Gray’s graveside until his own death 15 years later. We also had lunch at the Greyfriars Bobby Freehouse.
peaceful protest edinburgh scotland
Venetian flags wave during a peaceful protest in the city streets of Edinburgh, Scotland.

view from calton hill edinburgh scotland

handsome Canadian in a kilt
Left: Broomhall Castle in Alva, Scotland. Right: Ryan in the Highlands of Glencoe.
Alva Scotland Parklands
The Parklands in Alva, Scotland.

Alva Scotland

Lade Erika Rowell of Glencoe

highlands of glencoe bridge

Lord Ryan Rowell of Glencoe, Scotland
Lord Ryan Rowell of Glencoe, Scotland

us shooting in scotland

skyfall location in scotland

skyfall james bond photo location
Ryan stops for a portrait in Glencoe Highlands. This very spot is where a few scenes from the James Bond movie “Skyfall” was filmed.

drinking from the flask in a kilt scotland

Eilean donan castle scotland UK
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland UK.

funny candid couples photos scotland

Glengarry castle ruins scotland
Glengarry Castle ruins Scotland.

glengarry castle

hiking through the highlands of scotland
Ryan acting out scenes from Rob Roy haha! Actually he was trekking through a bog to get a better view for a photo.

isle of skye pool scotland

rowell photography scotland
Ryan captures a few portraits at the Fairy Pools in Isle of Skye, Scotland.

scottish highlands and eilean donan castle

isle of skye scotland

traveling scotland in a kilt

Glengarry castle lake in scotland