Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Edinburgh by Instagram: @Ailsa.gram

So, Instagram. It's quite popular, I hear. We're on there, doing what we do best (an intoxicating combo of all the best stuff: brunch + cake + cats). And rather a lot of Edinburgers and Edinburgh lovers are on there too, taking some rather marvellous shots of our fair city. Whether you're lucky enough to live here or just visiting, I think we'd probably all agree that Edinburgh manages to somehow look stunning come rain or shine - the buildings pop against a bright blue sky, the rain and mist evoke a haunting beauty from the winding alleys, and we've got castle sitting on a f**k off rock in the middle of the town, a jaw-dropping photo opp I all too often take for granted. So, we decided to start a wee series featuring some (but by no means all) great snappers capturing life in and around the city with their iPhone - whether it be a classic Scott Momument shot, a day trip out to the Pentlands or simple pootling along the cobbles with a pooch and a cup of coffee.

I had no doubt in my mind when it came to deciding on who we'd like to feature for our first Edinburgh shutterbug: the lovely Ailsa Leonard, aka @Ailsa.gram. I came across her beautiful account about 6 months ago and have been enjoying her gorgeous pictures of Edinburgh and Scotland's countryside ever since. A passion that's now happily becoming a living, you can see more of Ailsa's work over at her website and of course her Instagram account - for now I've picked, with great difficulty, some of my many favourites below, along with a few words about what inspires her.

 A wee bit about Ailsa: "I'm Edinburgh born and bred. I've always loved photography and all things creative, but I hadn't quite realised how much until I downloaded Instagram 3 years ago. My passion grew from there. It's what made me realise I wanted to become a photographer.

On photographing Edinburgh: My favourite thing to photograph is the beautiful city that we live in. There are so many hidden nooks and crannies that create amazing light and offer many photo opportunities. One of my favourite things to do is walk the length of The Royal Mile, just exploring all of the closes. Each one is completely different.

Favourite spots: "I love to walk through Princes Street Gardens too - I can't pass by without taking a quick shot of the castle! It's quite interesting to look back at them in my camera roll and see the colour changes through the seasons! Another spot that I love is the lane at the back of my office, Thistle St South West Lane. It looks like something out of a fashion editorial."

Beyond the city: I've always been an outdoorsy person, so I do try to escape the city as often as I can. I spend any free weekends that I have exploring the Scottish Highlands and west coast, whether it's "munro bagging', camping trips, or going on walks in the woods with my 7 year old son, these adventures are what make up a lot of the content on my Instagram feed. Theres definitely something magical about these unspoilt areas of the country, and they have a special place in my heart. I love that I can share Scotland's beauty with people all around the world."

A photo posted by A I L S A (@ailsa_edinburgh) on

A HUGE thank you to you Ailsa for letting us share your photos! If you're an enthusiastic Edinburgh instagrammer, whether you've 5 or 5000 followers, drop us a comment including your username below - we'd love to see your photos!


  1. Stunning photographs, Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, my iPhone snaps are appalling!

    1. I'm sure that's not true! But yes, Edinburgh is very easy to make look pretty in photos!

  2. I'm a Instagram addict addict too! Ailsa's account is one of my favourites. I was born and bred in Edinburgh, but at the moment working in Oxford. I try and get back as much as I can, so Edinburgh always makes up a lot of my instagram feed! Frances (instagram username- franneey)

    1. There are so many instagram-able parts of Edinburgh for sure!