Shetland: My Photos Have Been Included in a Beautiful Book!

Shetland Book by Ann Cleeves

Sunday Musings: Shetland, by Ann Cleeves

One of the fun things about blogging is the surprises it can bring your way.

When I was happily snapping my way around Shetland in the summer I had absolutely no idea that come Autumn I would be seeing some of those photographs on the pages of a beautiful book by renowned author Ann Cleeves!

**This post contains a few Amazon Affiliate links, at the bottom, to products. If you buy these products via the link I will get a teeny bit of a commission which helps to keep this blog and my nomadic life going! Thank you!**

Walking into a bookstore and seeing the book piled up on the new release table sent my heart skipping, knowing that I would find some of my images within: it was so exciting!

The book –’Shetland’ – follows a Shetland year, season by season and it’s jam-packed with photographs to beautifully illustrate these spectacular islands: twenty-three of which I took!

Come, have a look through it with me!

Shetland Book by Ann CleevesSo, imagine my excitement when I turned to the inside cover page to discover my photo had been used for it!

I would like to thank Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary who told us about this stunning location after we met up with her earlier in the day, we would never have found otherwise.

As I took a walk up from our parked up spot (Thundertruck is just out of the frame of this pic) in the sublime evening light I turned and took this picture, I can remember taking it, it was such a special evening.

Demountable Camper, Truck Camper, Shetland

While I have worked as a pro photographer doing stuff like charity calendars (hello naked Hotties Helping Heroes!) and a few weddings/events, this is the first time I’ve had my work published in a book, and I can tell you it is super exciting – have I said that before?

I’m so proud of it!

Look how gorgeous it is!

There’s something rather wonderful about having your travel memories in a proper published book too!

So, how did this all come about?

Well, it came from blogging!

Shetland Book by Ann CleevesAfter posting my first week’s diary post from Shetland, I was contacted – through my blog comments below the post – with a request to have a couple of my images from the post licensed for use in a book.


Yes, it was my obsession with experiencing Shetland’s famous Sunday Teas that got me the gig!

I’m not sure exactly what brought Dan (of Perfect Bound) to my blog but we entered into an email dialogue and eventually twenty-three images – including a few of the Sunday Teas – were chosen and a price was agreed.

This required me to go back over them: the quick edit for my blog needed a more thorough approach for sending as high-res images to be printed!

I’m obviously very proud of all of the photos, but I’m particularly pleased that a couple of my wildlife shots have been included, especially my favourite puffin picture!

As I spend a lot of time with wildlife photographers I often feel a little left out as it’s not really my forte: with my little Fuji mirrorless camera and short lenses I feel very inadequate at it alongside my fella and friends who have mahoosive wildlife lenses!

Shetland nature is so abundant and at such close range even I could have a go at being a wildlife photographer, and get those photos published in a book!

This was also reassuring: I switched from a full frame professional DSLR Camera (Canon 5d II) to my now much loved Fuji X-T1 mirrorless camera – because I’d become to hate the weight of the big camera – at the beginning of the year and I’m over the moon with the quality of the photos, proof of how versatile this little camera is!

The main reason we had gone to Shetland in the first place was because I wanted to experience midsummer at the most northern point I could reach.

Our loosely planned road trip to Scandinavia was postponed for a year and Shetland became the most northern destination within reach.

Waking up at sunrise on Midsummer morning, peeking out of the truck camper window to see the dramatic clouds rolling in off the North Sea from our wild pitch near the top of the island of Unst was a magical highlight of the trip: I wrapped up, grabbed my camera and took a few photos of the sunrise from just outside the van.

I’m so happy to have this moment recorded in this book, it was certainly worth getting up at 3.30 am!

I had the pleasure of meeting the Ann, the author, this week as she was doing a book signing in Waterstone’s Dundee.

Ann signed my copy, I’d love to say we had a lovely in-depth conversation about Shetland but I get a trifle tongue-tied in situations like this – I wish my conversational skills matched my writing skills! 

It’s a good job I can let my pictures do all the talking!

I’m so thrilled that my little blog led to having my photographs included in this book, it really is the icing on the cake from that incredible four-week summer trip to Shetland.

Pin it for later:

How My Blog Photos Were Included in a Beautiful Book About Shetland

Try these posts:

12 Ways Shetland Will Amaze You Glorious photos and animated puffin gifs aplenty!

Midsummer in Shetland, Diary for week 2 Wild on Unst!

Hufsie Cake A Shetland specialty, a delicious fruit loaf cake.

Sunday Musings: Snow Vanlife! Living in a camper van over Scottish winters.

Sunday Musings: Speaking French Realising my high school French lessons had not been in vain, in Grenoble.

or check out this guest post I contributed on Heart My Backpack blog about why you should visit Shetland!

You can find out more about the book, and Ann Cleeves the author here:

*NB* If you buy the book, or products, via the affiliate links I will get a teeny bit of a commission which helps to keep this blog and my nomadic life going! Thank you!

Have you seen this book in stores? Have you had anything surprising come from blogging?
By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

28 Responses

  1. Congratulations and what fabulous shots. How exciting to see your photography in a proper book! Going to check out your Shetland post now 🙂

  2. Miriam says:

    I’m so impressed and excited for you also of course!! Well deserved Rachel, this is such a great story to read, I can’t begin to imagine how excited you must be to have your work included in what looks like a wonderful book on Shetland.

  3. It is really beautiful and congrats!

  4. Well done again Rachel! So well deserved and seeing them like that in the book must give such a huge sense of achievement! Totally worth a 3am alarm! ☺

  5. Wow! Wow! Wow! How awesome is that. I only found your blog last week and now I know I’m with some really great talent and the photographs are marvellous! Congratulations Rachel. This is fantastic and i’m so happy for you. I think, it’s the dream of any blogger or writer to get and see their words into print media. And as for a book. Well, it’s immortality!
    You deserve every acclaim!

    And yes, my blog brought me a feature in a documentary about British expats in Berlin, a couple of newspaper interviews including The Telegraph (still to be published lol) and a wonderful position on a prime-time evening show as a TV moderator and “local expert on the monarchy” when the Queen came to Germany this summer!! They all found me ‘cos of my blog!

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Thank you so much Victoria!

      Wow, a tv moderator, that’s super exciting: amazing that blogging got you that gig! Local expert on the monarchy, impressive! That must have been fun!
      I shall look out for that Telegraph piece!

  6. Lucy says:

    The pictures are just gorgeous – very well deserved. There’s always something special about seeing things in print.
    p.s. After having a look at your mirrorless camera at Traverse I’ve been converted and am saving for an upgrade!

  7. Dave Rowley says:

    Congrats Rachel, so exciting!

  8. Richa Gupta says:

    congratulations Rachel! the photos look lovely! 🙂

  9. Richa Gupta says:

    congratulations! Pictures are looking awesome! 🙂

  10. Emily Luxton says:

    Amazing news – congratulations 🙂 The photos look beautiful, very well deserved!

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Thank you so much for the congrats Emily! It’s a fabulous book, I’ve got a copy on my Kindle now so I can read it and show it off, and treasure the unread paper book! (by putting it into storage – argh possessions!)

  11. Saana says:

    This is so great news Rachel, congratulations!!! Blogging can surely give you candies, right? 😉 This kind of success stories are super important, especially when many bloggers easily feel they want to give up as they’re not getting or going anywhere. Keep up the good work girl! 😉

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Kiitti Saana! Blogging certainly can give you candies and treats every now and again, so wonderful. Have you been given any?

      • Saana says:

        Well, I’ve got some writing work through it, but nothing this huge! 😀 Actually, now I remember I was once asked for a permission to use my photos, which are actually not that great, in a book, but they wouldn’t have paid anything and I heard so bad things about the company that I never replied…

        • Rachel Davis says:

          Oh thats a shame, you should definitely be paid for your photos, if they won’t pay then that’s certainly a bad company policy. Don’t knock your photos either, they look great to me!

          • Saana says:

            Haha, thanks Rachel. I’d really need to practice more, I’m still a bit confused with my camera. I took one course last spring that cost a lot of money but was, to be honest, really crappy. That was 150 euros and many valuable hours wasted. Anyway, I know I should practice every day, but unfortunately the winter here in South is AWFUL! I miss snow, I hope we’ll get it soon. Then it would be a lot nicer to go out with camera, so much better than stormy wind and rain! 😀

          • Rachel Davis says:

            That’s a shame the course was a waste of time, and money. The weather has been awful here too most of November: dark, wild and wet. Not good for photography.
            Hopefully it will be bright in January and I can help you out with your camera confusion in person 🙂

  12. That’s so cool!Congratulations:)

  13. Meghan says:

    Congratulations, Rachel. Your photos are amazing and their inclusion is well-deserved!