The truth about doing a photography workshop…

I get it. You’re sitting on the fence, wondering if you can REALLY afford that large chunk of money thats most likely in the $1000’s. I have been there…TWICE.

I’m saying I get it because I really do get it. For me it wasn’t just the forking out of money but it was also other fears of being in a room with other photographers who knew what they were doing plus getting mentored off an incredible photographer you’ve obviously followed online for a while #shyyy! You’re wondering how it will really benefit you and your business…

I have attended two photography workshops in just matter of 10 months apart and both were SO different. The first one I attended was the Reverie Revival workshop hosted by the extremely talented and kickass American family photographer Hailey Faria. If i’m being honest with you I didn’t actually plan to buy a ticket to her workshop. I LOVED her work SO much, so that definitely wasn’t the reason. I just didn’t think it would benefit me because I just had no idea what could possibly be learnt! It was purely a reflection of myself and what I thought of myself. I was working in a shearing shed the day that she announced she only had one ticket left. I stood there at the table talking to a girl called Alli. We have a lot of in-depth life talks. She has always pushed me forward. She MADE me book it…literally. The only thing holding me back was that I had a fear of being out of my comfort zone. I booked Hailey’s workshop before I even booked my tickets to America.

Hailey Faria is incredible and I’ll always always be so grateful she came into my life. I actually deep heartedly feel like I OWE where I am today to her, because there is no way I would be anywhere near here if it wasn’t for her #mike Drop…I could go on and on about this girl…she changed me as a person, as an artist and I just simply found myself
and found my style.

I came home from the states…I quit my full time job of a Wool-classer a couple of months after going to her workshop. I ended up being a booked out photographer. I put my prices up (to what I deserved because prior, I was busting my arse and doing sessions cheap for exposure, experience and because obviously I loved my work..But I had to have another full time job to support me while I was doing this. So when you think about it, I was working so that other people could afford their family photos… I’d get paid in the love they feel when they saw their photos, but I had to find a way to fund myself and my life so that I could do this.
If you were to scroll back through my instagram you can literally see the change in my work in a matter of 6 photos ! “Hailey in my dreams” vs “Jayde met Hailey”. See if you can find it!

But still… is that enough to make you fork over that pay check that is probably worth about 4 weeks of work for a newbie photographer. I know how hard it is to part with that hard earned moola !

The second workshop I went to was a Free the Bird Workshop hosted by Jai Long from Melbourne who is nothing short of inspiring! Man who knew photography could actually be so business….eyyy!
I’d heard so much amazing feedback from other photographers who are now crushing it after going to one of his workshops. But could it really change me and convince me to again spend another 4 weeks worth of sessions to sit down and listen to how he runs his show? What if I wasn’t ready to take my business from hobby to full on business mode ?

I look at Jai’s work and I am amazed at how emotive yet soft and calm his photos feel. Prior to this I did wonder if this was the workshop for me because we’re completely different photographers, plus the self doubt kicked in again, not to mention the thought of being with other photographers freaked me out…again! But if I could learn off who I feel is one of the best in the wedding industry than wouldn’t I be the one benefiting? From gaining perspective and knowledge and actually LEARNING about business and who you are in your own business? There is no one and I repeat no one in this world who has a business mind like Jai when it comes to Wedding Photography (and if there is I bet my bottom dollar its because they too have been to a Free the Bird Workshop! Everyone is a different photographer and no one is a carbon copy of you. I realised I needed to observe the feeling of capturing soft and calm yet incredibly powerful photos and introduce new techniques in my work. So…I booked the last ticket to his Melbourne workshop!

I hardly slept the night before the workshop, thinking it was going to be so scary with 20 other photographers in the room… LITERALLY… I walked into the room and was greeted with a big hug from Jai who was so cool, calm and collected. I learnt an incredible amount of knowledge and business-y type stuff from these 2 days in Melbourne. Jai literally blew me away with his story and constant get back up and face your fear approach. I’ve felt like a failure so many times in my career (and still do) and from going to his workshop earlier this year every time I feel like i’m failing I just sit with myself and the feeling and know that I have to face my fear and step back into it. Find out HOW to make it work. Life won’t come to you.

If there was one workshop you need to go to, to take your business from “semi-comfy/ hard yards” to “holy crap thats a better way” than you need NEED to get to one of his workshops. Every photographer I have talked to that has been “Freed by the Bird” has said remarkable things and are now conquering their business! I think every photographer NEEDS to attend his workshop! We can never and should never stop learning from others around us who inspire us. I believe it’s the only way forward. There are so many photographers in this world and there isn’t a better workshop to attend to help you move forward in your business in order for it to thrive !

Top 10 things I have taken away from a workshop.

  1. Facing fear. Facing the feeling of going to a workshop and putting yourself out there. To then come home feeling so inspired and with a fresh perspective of yourself.
  2. Confidence – so important. I come home feeling confident and backed within myself to implement what I have learnt knowing its the right path.
  3. Connecting – connecting wth the other photographers there ! So important ! You learn just as much off them even
  4. It’s a chance for someone to observe you. I tried to change a moment in a session during Hailey’s workshop. At the end of the day she told me “allow that moment to unfold as is – because then you have just interrupted the connection your capturing and you might not get that back again” I think of these words EVERY session.
  5. Insight – Insight into new technology, business moves. What to start doing and what to stop wasting your money on.
  6. Sorting your finances out! Free the bird is one man who knows how to HUSTLE.
  7. Growth – You HAVE to grow. Think of yourself in the mosh pit. Where do you wanna be?
  8. Inspiration – I’ve read some mixed reviews lately about styling sessions etc. Styling sessions have honestly changed my career! I feel like an artist again. The feedback I hear from just simple helping with colours and styling from the mother makes me know I am doing the right thing for my clients. Stay in your own lane and your clients will come to you for you.
  9. Working on your flaws. Workshops allow you time to see your flaws and then putting structure in place to help you work with them or fix them.
  10. Power – You hold all the power within your business. You’ll leave the workshop feeling so POWERFUL.

So…should I be booking a seat to a workshop?

We as photographers always fail….On a daily… but we get up and brush it off and still produce art and holy shit do we aim to DELIVER. It’s pressure I get that. It’s a big investment I get that also. Jai’s workshop made me look at me. Not my art. It actually took the pressure more so off my art and got me back to basics with business. I went into his workshop with a total open mind to sit back and learn. I made myself connect with other photographers. There are so many wonderful photographers who go to his workshops who are out there literally travelling the world photographing ideal clients. Get amongst it. I learnt about light. I always winged that shit in sessions. But I learnt to look for the light in the dark spots. I came home and realised I also needed to look for the light in the dark spots in your career also.

From me to you reading this, the ones sitting on the fence… I urge you to go…book it… make a commitment to yourself. Absorb how you can bring what you have learnt from them into your business to make it you. I promise you investment wise, your money you have invested will return quicker than it would have just working on yourself. Your able to skip steps (skip the mistakes others make – they’ll happily share this with you)

Check out below for behind the scenes photos from Free the Bird Workshop with Jai.

Creative anxiety…Plus my top 10 tips to overcome it.

Have you felt overwhelmed, overworked, anxious, inspired but at the same time non-inspired and just simply burnt out from your business you literally pour your life into?

I know you…trust me I do. You’ve clicked on this because at one point, you have felt it too. You’ve suffered alone too, cramming as much work in as you can during late nights and early sluggish mornings sitting behind your laptop. No amount of coffee can keep up yet you can’t work to your dreams quick enough. You pour your heart out into your business. Your creative business has become your life.

I’ve been feeling it lately too. See, people just look at the photo on Instagram…however it’s so much more… you and I both know it… it’s personal… a constant representation of the artistic shit-storm going on behind the scenes…to create…to deliver…to reflect …to inspire…#repeat. It’s a little different for us creative business owners. We don’t just make a product to sell. We ARE the product that sells. Our WORK and PERSONALITY constructs our dreams and creates our business. If our cup is a bit empty, it’ll reflect itself in one way or another. 

I have been feeling so guilty because I’m only a year in from running my business full time, yet I’m already feeling burnt out. I’d go to bed with a million “to-do’s” left over from the day but also dreaming of all the content I wanted to create too. It was constantly pulling me in both directions. Past tasks were using up space in my mind which just wanted to have space to create future projects. I would then feel deflated because both my past and future feelings were consuming me. Creating this anxious feeling I couldn’t escape. I was drowning.


Than the big C word comes in right on 10pm when you should be asleep, but instead your flicking through Insta…COMPARING. I’d look at all these other photographers smashing out gorgeous sessions during the summer. I see all these gorgeous photos and photographers doing this and that and absolutely crushing it. I felt like I missed the boat big time! For me personally I just wanted a break. Again, bringing on more feelings of failure. Than 10pm turns into 1am… still scrolling…Anxious feelings of wanting to create this and take my business here, but equally feeling depressed for all the jobs I just couldn’t catch up on. Far out I just needed to sleep!!  

It wasn’t until I was aware of this creative anxiety behaviour I was allowing myself to get into that I realised I needed to take control. This behavioural pattern is completely seperate to what and who we are. It is also completely normal and i’m sure everyone feels it. If you direct your focus to it…it then becomes real and overwhelming. 

We are all dreamers and believers no matter what line of work we do. You are aloud to feel this way. I believe that sometimes your best ideas come from a burnt out stage. You finally realise what it takes for you to get to that low point. Therefore you take control and implement standards for yourself within your business, so that you don’t get there again. For me it was just simply separating life/business.

Last Thursday my bestie was thinking of getting away for the weekend. Normally I would have been like #CBF. She was then also thinking of backing out. However I made a decision Thursday night to literally pack a suitcase, my wetsuit and hit the road. I texted my bestie telling her “I’m going whether you’re coming or not”. 

 It was the best business decision I have made for my career. I ended up staying a whole week camping in a little $50 dome tent in a caravan park near the beach, with no power. I swam every day, watched dolphins early in the morning, went for nature walks. Filling my cup up with a little dose of “getting grounded”. 

I found the most awesome little treasure of a café called @boundtoearth in Narooma, with the best #smashedavo I’ve ever eaten…period.

Work? Did I also work? Hell yes!! And I got sooo much done! I was so motivated because I was doing something for myself. I’d spent all year literally pouring myself into my business and my clients that I never once put myself first…dam girl I would eat lunch and breakfast still editing and replying to emails. That is not normal…and if your doing this too, then it is time to STAPPP.


I’ve since reached out to a few fellow photogs and apparently there has been a few creatives feeling the same way especially these last two months. What is going on? 

Ive put together the top 10 things in my opinion to get you out of the rut and what can you do to ease these anxious feelings + actually get some shit done!

  1. Write down a DAILY 1 hour activity that you wish that you had time to do every day. BLOCK OUT TIME TO ACTUALLY DO IT – this is critical! e.g. 6-7pm every night is your hour. Go for a casual walk in nature.
  2. Heard of Screen Time on your iphone? Head to settings – Screen Time – App Limits – Social Networking – start with 2 hours a day. Say good bye to unproductive time scrolling though facebook.
  3. Write a list of jobs within your business that you enjoy doing vs ones you don’t. 
  4. Start delegating those ones you don’t like!! (I am just about to start this and I feel so much better already). See ya later culling.  
  5. Please take a break – for me it was heading to the beach. Buying a $50 tent and paying $30 a night to camp. The best $200 I’ve ever spent. 
  6. Get 2 clear jars. Get creative with names but basically a “to-do’ jar & “done jar”. Write a list of all the little jobs you have piling up. Now write next to them how long you think each task will take to finish e.g. 5 mins 10 mins etc. Cut them up. Put them in the “to-do” jar. Got 10 minutes spare? – pull one out and just get it done! Ideally try to do this when you first get to work that morning. Even pull one out a day. Or a have a “jar day” where all you do for work that day is the 5 min jar. Then reward yourself with the rest of the day off. I DARE you to try this!
  7. Clean up your work space. Your energy will change dramatically.  
  8. Get clear about what you actually want to service within your business. It’s oh k to say no to people/clients that aren’t your ideal client. I’ve learnt that it only adds more anxiety and depressing feelings = wasted unproductive time.
  9. #slowsunday! This is real. Start doing it and step away from work (or work on creative things that you personally want to do) 
  10. Share this. So people know that you too are feeling this way or have felt this way. People just don’t understand and think because we work from home that we technically work “all hours”. Yass girl I know you get those 10:30pm Sunday night emails “prices please!!”. (insert face palm). It’s oh k they just don’t understand. 

Thanks for reading all you hustling magicians. Let me know on my latest instagram photo in the comments if you enjoyed reading this and if you have tried or are going to try my jar trick. https://www.instagram.com/jaydecreativeco_photography/

Peace  

Adventure time… 2nd leg of America

Hey guys i’m still here travelling the states. The last week I have just had minimal service… It’s been great to just tune out, but its also been hard as I wasn’t expecting to run out of service so I have had a few unfinished tasks. We have also been in bear country so it would have been nice to have a phone just in case. We did have bear spray though ! No..it’s not like mosquito spray. When I told my sister she was Laughing Out Loud. So Tip #1 for this blog is to get a T-mobile sim. When we arrived at the airport there was a little phone shop selling sim cards (I can’t remember what the brand is that I got, but I get bugger all service) and my partner who got a T-mobile sim gets all the service. And tip #2 get bloody bear spray ! It’s worth the $50 (not that we used it but we didn’t exactly get much of a thrill going on hikes knowing that there were grizzly bears about so we have done a lot of drive-hiking (is that even a thing?) > i’ll save this story for my 4th blog.

So where did we finish… Oh that’s right… we were camping at the edge of the Zion National Park where some famous sheep yards are. It was beautiful. We woke up with the sound of nothing. The sun edged its way over the Zion Range, warming the mountain range up. The colours of the Zion Canyons are amazing. Just big (and I mean big) red rocky mountains, always changing colour dependant on the sun. Have I painted a good picture yet?

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This has been our cute little home for the last 2 weeks. Its been sooo good. Now there is 2 companies that I would recommend. We were originally going to go with cruise America through our travel agent. But we left it all a bit to late and ended up sourcing this one from this company and they have been really great and pretty good rates too. Oh and make sure you get a shower & toilet. Than you can camp anywhere.

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Zion National Park from a distance the night before.

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Today we entered the Zion National Park ready to explore ! I honestly had no idea what to expect and it’s actually been one of my favourite places so far for hiking and the view. You really have to experience it just to see how big this place is. We tried to get accommodation but you really need to book ahead during peak times. This has been a bit of a disadvantage of “going with the flow” when travelling. But it has so many bonuses and I would take an un-planned trip any day over a planned trip !

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Tip #3 – Now ya’ll (yes as in american ya’ll)…whatever you do, don’t go for looks over comfort when your about to do the narrows hike. A skirt just does not cut it (I did have swimmers on underneath but in some parts we were waist deep in water and I had to either ditch the skirt or put up with a wet skirt). We literally hiked for about 8km through rocks and water EXACTLY like above…(this was a good spot because most of it was about a foot or more deep of water and then in some parts flowing water. I would highly HIGHLY recommend doing it though because it’s actually been one of the best things I have done all holidays ! The scenery was breathtaking. These pictures don’t come anywhere near close to what the scenery was like and how big the canyons were.

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Tip #4 – When you get your partner to take a photo make sure you remind him that it’s really important that YOUR in focus… Not the bikini babe in the background (insert rolling eyes here).

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Oh k shirts off and i’m in focus…

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So this is literally what you walk through for km’s. It’s amazing !

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He really wanted a photo in front of these hands so now he gets to be featured on here. Plus it’s a payback for all the blurry photos of me.

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Now I did tell you that these mountains/canyons are huge hay ? Do you kinda get the picture of just how big they are yet ?

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We met this really cool fella from Santa Fe named Solar ! And turns out his actually pretty handy on the camera.

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Can-did ? Also pack sunscreen ! I was so sunburnt #redheadlife #morefrekles

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Hike done ! I am definitely investing in some hiking shoes for next time… wet soggy feet for 5 hours was total bliss…

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Don’t feed the squirrels… but seriously how cute are they. I had a nectarine that rolled out of my bag and it literally rolled the whole way down the hill on our way home and this little guy came out of nowhere and stole it. You aint seen funny until you see a little squirrel running back up the hill with a huge nectarine.

So that night we ended up going into Ceder City (I think) – Because I broke my camera and wanted it looked at + my partner had a blocked ear so he needed to get that looked at. It was a great little escape into a town to get some good food. Turns out my partner googled a shop that he thought was in Ceder City and it turns out it was over the other side of America (inset rolling eyes here) but at least he got his ear fixed !

The next day we came back out to Zion because I really wanted to hike Angels Landing – rated one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. Zion National Park class it as “strenuous” & “not suitable for the elderly or children. I really don’t think they could emphasise this fact enough !!! It’s a hike up a 1488ft mountain and when you get close to the top you have to use chains to hold onto, as you hike up to the top. It is extremely dangerous and personally I think they should put a limit on the amount of people allowed to hike there at once, because there are people everywhere and only one chain to hold onto. So people coming up or down have to share…one slip and you fall and ill let you work out what happens to you if you do fall. I don’t really have that many photos from it because it was so dangerous and I honestly wish I never lugged my 3.5kg camera up there !

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Owl ya’ll doin ? sorry i’ve literally waited all week to put this photo up… #dadjoke

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So that part there is where you have to hold onto chains etc to hike to the top. See what I mean ? One slip and you are gone. It is not somewhere I would be taking kids personally as you have to hold onto them. So if your prepared to lug your weight plus your child’s and know that they wont muck around, than go for it !

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At the top contemplating the massive hike up and knowing that I have to do it all again to get back to the bottom.

Tip #5 it took us about 6 hours to do this hike. Little to no sunscreen and only 700ml’s of water each…Use your brains and just pack more than we did ! (plus my partner “accidentally” drank my water thinking it was his bottle so little old me nursed a little headache the rest of the night !

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So when we got back down we decided to strip off and have a swim in this river to rehydrate ! So that mountain that you’re looking at is Angels Landing !

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On the drive back to camp I finally spotted some mountain goats ! I got out of the van to walk up the road to get closer picture. Soon remembered I was in mountain lion territory so that was a definite no go zone and got back in the van.

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The last shot of Zion I took… We camped at Hi-ground campground (i think). I do recommend staying here because you get free wifi !

On route to monument valley… Yay. Yay. Yay ! I have to save this for my next blog because there is just sooo many photos to share !

Thanks for reading ! To support me and my page please share my page or leave a comment to let me know what you loved about it !

Love and sunsets

Jayde x

First time travelling to America

If you want to keep up with my little travel adventure over here in the states than follow along as i try and upload some blogs about my experience. If you’re wanting to go to the states and have never travelled before either this might just encourage you to go !

I have never really done the whole travelling thing before but have always wanted to do it ! My partner and I run extremely busy lives to the point where I feel I am constantly living just to work. For the past (nearly) 4 years we have been together I have just known him to work. Weekends, weekdays, constant driving from one job to the other. We were meant to go to America last year but it got put off for work. The year before that it was Darwin, but it never happened. We prioritised work. Which is the biggest mistake you can make in life. So this year I booked a photography workshop so that I HAD to come and there was no backing out of it. Tickets + a motorhome were basically booked last minute. So I would strongly suggest just jot a date down. Prioritise it and book it. We ended up booking a rental car for the first couple of days just to get used to the roads over here. Especially when there is 8 lanes one way like below… But it’s really not that bad, a bit of american road rage is all you’ll cop. _DSC4700

Day 1 – We booked a little car but the lady upgraded me to this brand new Jeep Wrangler that they just got in that day just for shits and gigs…how can you turn that down yer ? And off we went to the Death Valley…how pretty does she look. The jeep I mean…Everything is literally dead in the valley. As we were driving through this spot below… the most coolest thing happened ! “what the hell is that?” “Is it a drone?” “ohhh madddd it’s an army jet !!! It was coming right for us along the road so fast and at the last minute it flipped on its side above us and sped off out of site quicker than it came at us.
The Jet lag was finally kicking in. After being on a 15 hour flight and having only 4 hours sleep the day before we left and driving for hours in LA and Death valley we were buggered. So we sought out accommodation. I probably wouldn’t recommend staying in the Death Valley. Accommodation is quite expensive and the food is like its name. I ate what was meant to be a half chook that night for dinner and it set me up for 3 days of food poisoning. Our accommodation was amazing though and we ended up sleeping for 15 hours (which silly me did a tan the night before so i was marinating in Bondi sans for a solid 15 hours straight=not good).

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Day 2 – The next day was the day I came down sick with food poisoning… Vomiting in a 45 Degree desert wasn’t my best memory. Thankfully we stopped at a cool little servo so I could stomach a few hot chips. They even had pokie machines in the cafe part !
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We then hit vegas where I was feeling slightly better. We booked an Air B&B until Monday until we picked up our motor home. Booking an Air B&B was probably the best thing we did because we had the whole little suite to ourselves and we were able to have a base, whilst we got over the plane ride and time difference.

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Day 3 –  We filled the first bit of the morning having a look around vegas. My partner really wanted to go to American Shooters. So lucky him gets to be featured on here…even though he specifically said he didn’t want to be on here (insert laughing emoji).

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I really have no interest in guns whatsoever… #diditforthephoto

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That afternoon we were booked in with Sundance helicopters for a sunset ride over the Grand Canyon ! By far one of the best experiences out of this whole trip has been that ! Our pilot was this lovely young girl and admittedly we were all like holy shit she looks too young… But go the girls she absolutely killed it and we all had a laugh about it later on about how good she was ! Below are pics of the famous Hoover dam and some pics of the grand canyon. It was slightly hazy so I didn’t get s good of shots I wanted.
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Day 4 – We said goodbye to the Jeep which we were a little sad about but how good does this new home look ! This is our home for the next 21 days ! From here we headed out to Zion National Park. Because I hadn’t found any good food as of yet our lovely Uber driver recommended to go to the Black Bear in St George on the way to Zion. The burger was worth the travel !

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Make sure you book well ahead of time if you want to stay at Zion national park. We found this little spot near some old sheep yards near a town just outside of Zion! It was actually my favourite spot we have camped at so far ! The view was unreal both sunset and sunrise ! The next blog will be about Zion National Park which is going to be epic !!!

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A cotton paddock and a gorgeous family.

Seriously guys… This session was a bit of everything !!

From running around the paddock to a few little wriggles away from mum and dads snuggles, then to some REAL cuddles. Running races in between the cotton rows, to a killer sunset and then to finish it off with a moody night sky. This session was simply put heaven.

When Rachel first stepped out of her car in that gorgeous skirt and her fur vest I KNEW that this session was going to be just a little bit of magic and boy was I right.

A typical family session is always a little bit chaotic and you may be sitting there thinking there’s no way I am going to bring my wild little family along for some photos. But if you just surround yourself with the love and soak up all the shy little giggles and wriggles, the magic really does happen. This was my first ever cotton paddock session and definitely wont be my last (just have to remember from now on May = cotton) . For the last couple of years I have just been on the hunt for a cotton paddock close by so I can photograph it.

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