Karolina Harper is one of the lucky few who have managed to turn their hobby into a fulfilling career. 

So many people clock in and clock out, living to work instead of working to live – but not Karolina who is fortunate enough to love her job. 

Originally from Poland, she moved to Northern Ireland 17-years-ago and subsequently began working as a classroom assistant and then teacher. 

Her spare time was spent developing her skills as a photographer. 

But her life took a turn when she was asked to do a newborn shoot for triplets. 

“After that I took a career break to see if it was going to happen,” explained Karolina, a 41-year-old mum-of-two. 

Karolina Photographer - Local Women Magazine

“It actually went really well and I found that I loved being a full-time photographer.” 

As time went on, her customer base grew and so too, did the types of events she was invited to capture. 

“I would do a newborn shoot and then they would ask me to do their engagement and then their wedding,” she continued. 

“I’ve found I just love being part of that special day – it’s the day we dream of since we were young girls and I get to be part of it. 

“I try to document every minute, tell the story of the whole day by my pictures. I just love the creative side of photography. 

“For me, it’s about the emotion and connection between people.” 

However, Karolina’s professional adventure hasn’t stopped there and she spends as much of her free time training and developing her techniques. 

She even took two wedding dresses with her on a recent trip to Liverpool with her daughter and the pair spent an afternoon photoshoot in the city centre. 

Karolina Photographer - Local Women Magazine

Karolina has now expanded into elopement photography – both in Northern Ireland and abroad, including a wedding in Majorca last year. 

She also captured the moment a couple from America saying ‘I do’ on the fabulous North Coast. 

So how do couples find an elopement photographer, particularly when they have never travelled to the country where they are planning to marry? 

Karolina, who lives in Coleraine, said: “I have found that when you work with celebrants in the past, they then recommend you to couples who are eloping to get married.” 

Checking out photographers’ social media platforms is very useful as it allows couples to find the style and character that reflects their own personalities. 

Meeting in person ahead of the big isn’t a necessity, according to Karolina, but she continued: “I’d strongly advise catching up either by Zoom or video call, or in person. 

“I think the best way to get to know your photographer is to get your engagement photos taken by them and see how you get along.” 

Elopement photographers can also offer advice on the most suitable locations for the wedding ceremony and photographs, especially for those who haven’t had the opportunity to visit the area ahead of their big day. 

For her part, Downhill beach with the incredible Mussenden Temple in the background and the coast around Ballintoy are two of her favourite spots for breath-taking weddings. 

As for elopement photography, Karolina said she believes destination weddings will become increasingly popular as more couples opt for a low hassle and intimate event. 

“I think it’s amazing,” she said. 

“More and more couples are deciding to go abroad and have an intimate ceremony instead of a big day with 120 plus guests they hardly even know. 

“If I could do it again, that would definitely be my choice.” 

JUST 89p per Issue – Subscribe Today

Download the beautiful, fully interactive magazine to your device.

Subscribe to download every issue of your area’s magazine.

Pick from Belfast, Down, Mid Ulster, North Coast, & North West.

Never miss an issue.

Local Women Magazine Digital App
Local Women Magazine Digital App