What’s that saying about working with Children and Animals? Behind the Scenes on our Kids chapter!

Last weekend the weather gods were on our side after torrential rain had been predicted all week. I remained hopeful and thankfully the rain stayed away, and we even got a little bit of sunshine! Then the neighbours decided to have a burn off and almost smoked us out. You can’t win them all, but luckily with a bit of well timed wind we didn’t get too much of the smoke in the photos! My hair and clothes were a different story though.

Our location was out the back of a property in Colac, somewhere I shot one of my Uni portfolios back in the day. My folio back then was based on an Alice in Wonderland style tea party for a mock cookbook. Looking back on that now, it was probably a given that I would be here 8 years later shooting an actual cookbook! After getting back in touch with the owner of the property Sam, I went to have another look to see if it had changed much since I was last there. It was still as beautiful as I remembered with the gorgeous trees and a little bridge over a trickling creek! We had pre-visualised this shoot as being a warm, Autumn afternoon but unfortunately the trees hadn’t really got that memo. That will be a job saved for photoshop!

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I spent the weekend before the shoot with my Mum and Dad who helped make a lot of the props we used for the shoot! Dad made us a wooden swing and cut up some logs for us to use as platters. I sorted through Mums fabric stash and picked the colours for the bunting she was going to make us. I also raided Mums quilt stash for the perfect blankets to use, as well as her collection of plates (thanks guys!)

Model wise, I knew I could count on my friend Ty to round up a few cute kids for us! Once we worked out the time that suited everyone I sent out a few inspiration photos to the Mums of what we were hoping for the kids outfits. Warm autumn tones and layers was the brief! They definitely nailed it! The words ‘these kids are more stylish than I am!’ were heard a few times throughout the shoot.

One of the first meetings Emma and I had to discuss our ideas for each chapter, we both decided we wanted to use a dog in this shoot. Conveniently, my sister has an adorable 5 month old Bernese Mountain Dog so she was an obvious choice! Ziggy loves water, so the biggest worry on the day was that she would go for a swim in the creek. We had Chelsea and Lucy on ‘Dog Duties’ to keep Ziggy distracted with treats. According to Cabe, (one of the models) he and Ziggy have matching shoes so despite Ziggy ‘being a bit woofy’ I think he was still a fan of her.

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With the lack of autumn leaves at the location we had to improvise and bring our own in! Big thanks to Emma’s parents who rummaged around strangers front nature strips and collected us a couple of bags full. Not only did they provide us with more leaves than we knew what to do with, they also mixed up the variety, so that we had plenty to choose from. Legends (with no shame!)

Emma’s biggest worry about the shoot was that we’d hear a big “YUCK” as the kids ate the food, but luckily, we only had good reviews! They kept coming back for more, so we’ll take that as a good sign!

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A massive thank-you to Courtney from @withlovefromnearandfar who captured all our Behind the Scenes photos! It was so helpful having another creative set of eyes on the shoot and to pick up on things I was too busy to notice! It was pretty hectic with so many kids and a dog to take into account, but overall it went perfectly! Those who recommend against working with children and animals obviously don’t know how much fun it is! A big thanks to all the Mum’s and kids who joined us, I hope the kids had as much fun as I did!

Four chapters down, two to go!!

-Soph xx

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