Images of Kilkenny help to remind emigrants of home

Kilkenny people living all over the world can have a look at their native land online thanks to a website created by an Irish company.

Kilkenny people living all over the world can have a look at their native land online thanks to a website created by an Irish company.

The company Lokofoto has launched lokofoto.com to provide a “photography by location” collection. Visitors to the site can choose from over 800 landscapes from scenes of Kilkenny to views of the Aurora Borealis seen from Malin Head in County Donegal a few weeks ago.

“With so many people leaving Ireland, having a connection or reminder of home has never been so important,” said Daire Irwin, co-founder of Lokofoto, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland. “We want to create the world’s greatest collection of location photography so that people can collect a memory of somewhere they love.”

Fiona Faherty, who recently moved to London to continue her teaching career, discussed what makes her Lokofoto image special to her: “As an Irish person, I take great pride in my culture and identity. I moved to London last year and found that I was looking for people, places and experiences that reminded me of home. I wanted to have a permanent memory of Ireland and found a picture of my home town that I can look at every day. It helps me to feel closer and more connected to Ireland.”

The company’s founders Daire Irwin, an award-winning designer and artist, and photographer Eddie Johnston met at Start-up Weekend last February where they won “best start-up concept.”

After this, the pair worked together on the Create Ireland programme where they developed the idea for Lokofoto. The site invites photographers to submit pictures to the site and once uploaded, visitors are asked to vote for and curate the images.

Photographers submit their images from across the world and identify them by location; once a sale occurs, photographers receive their share of the sale and Lokofoto handles all the printing, shipping and handling.

“So many photographers are struggling to sell their work,” said co-founder Eddie Johnston. “We carried out a survey entitled the ‘Value of photography’ and found that 92% of Irish people would buy a photographic print for their home yet 62% have never bought a photographic print before. We are creating a site to change that, allowing people to discover photography that truly means something to them, connecting photographer and collector. Our aim is to provide high-quality, localised photos and eventually have photos from every locality in the world.”