An Interview with Tyra Leeming: Our In-house Photographer

Pouring over Tyra Leeming’s work makes you realise the extraordinary extent to which she has created what Signature Living looks like.

As we start to chat, it’s clear to see that our in-house photographer is passionate about her work – although she did begin our interview by showing me “the boring side of her job.”

As she sits at her desk, the photographer remembers her first forays into photography, shares her aspirations for the future – and reveals why she loves what she does.

Tyra Leeming – Photographer

Signature Living

First and foremost, “I helped scrub the floors before The Shankly Hotel opened. I started by taking Breakfast up to Lawrence and Katie Kenwright‘s room, then I was promoted to hostess – that built my confidence.” There is a hint of a smile on Tyra’s face when she speaks of how far she has come in such a short space of time. You know talking to Tyra that she was never going to leave her career to luck; although she is quick to acknowledge just how lucky she was that Lawrence and Katie “got wind” that she was “into photography.”

“They asked to see my work, they liked it – and then they asked me to be the photographer.” Prior to this, however, Tyra was studying photography – the ‘Photography Higher National Certificate’ to be exact, which enabled her to work and study at the same time. Suddenly we dial back, and she relates how her workmates once came to her aid:

“I had to write a 5,000-word dissertation and I lost my USB stick the day before I needed to submit it. The next day, I came in to work and told Paul Ashcroft who set me up in a room with a computer – he kept checking on me to see if I was okay and helped me write the whole essay.” She turns suddenly nostalgic and adds: “It was amazing. Everyone said don’t work, just get the essay done.”

It’s Not Corporate, It’s Family

Signature Living

Tyra describes a dream of almost epic proportion when asked what she loves about photography and what the future holds for her: “I want to launch a company that hires young, aspiring photographers and teaches them how to work in the industry and not with fine art.” She passionately continues: “You’re not taught how to work in the real world, they don’t teach you how to take a picture of a bottle of Coca Cola or how to style flowers properly – nothing that makes you money. I want to team up with companies like Signature Living and train young photographers.”

What comes across so prominently as our conversation develops is just how much Tyra loves her job, although she did say she “didn’t know” why she loved it at first, before exclaiming: “I find it quite therapeutic, I like being creative; it’s nice – I like that part.”

As for Signature Living, Tyra is keen to praise the company and its ethos: “It’s not exactly what you’d consider corporate, it’s family; they take care of the staff like family,” a sentiment Claire McGinnis – the new General Manager at Shankly Preston – echoed when we last spoke.

As our chat drew to a close Tyra, despite her reluctance to answer what she said was a “cheesy question,” described Signature Living in one word: “Fun.”

A Career With Us

If you think you’re ready to take that leap of faith just like Tyra did, then make sure you don’t miss any of our latest vacancies. Also, why don’t you check out our article which explores what it’s like to work here, with us.

To enquire further about our latest events and deals, contact our friendly and successful team on 0151 588 0017 or head over to our Facebook.

We hope you enjoyed our interview with our in-house photographer Tyra Leeming.