It’s been busy, which is great. As our 5 Willows business is becoming more widely known, we are receiving more enquiries and providing more photography services to the local community, which is very exciting.
Craig has photographed a number of weddings in Thredbo, Lake Crackenback, Perisher and Jindabyne - they are always different, lots of fun, and very special. We also had a family shoot with the couple renewing their vows in front of the children, followed by some snow-location family portraits and and all-in family snowball fight!
As much as 5 Willows is a commercial business that supports our family, we are also very aware of the importance of continuing to serve the local community. We perform much of the commercial photography work at SMGS, and Craig continues to teach photography in the senior school ‘Academy’ programme twice each week, but we are also very excited to be photographing the JCS Yr12 formal this year.
We gave away prizes every day during the SMIEC interschools equestrian event, with the Image of the Week winner receiving a large printed canvas which now has pride of place on the bedroom wall apparently - photography is there to be enjoyed.
Furthermore, having worked with Theo from Schoo Studios earlier in 2018 to photograph some of the local school children, we are very happy to be extending this service in 2019 to a more significant partnership covering schools in the Monaro region. Annual school photography is a very valuable service and we are very excited to be able to keep it local.
The Garden studio
The spring bulbs have been and gone in the Garden Studio as we continue to try and establish the trees and plants that we believe will make the studio look great in the photographs and be a lovely space to explore too. Most of the trees have survived the winter frosts and snow, with just a few casualties as expected.
With some more constructions to be completed we are excited to see the studio continuing to take shape, and will be looking to announce an opening in the not-too-distant future.
Our family home
We are very excited to have received DA approval for construction of our family home on the property, with work due to commence in December. As with the Little Haus, our off-grid solar arrangement will be providing 100% of the power to the property, and water and waste are also to be carefully managed.
Horses, dogs and chooks
An update wouldn’t be an update without new animal additions to talk about. We have one new horse, Nickel, who is an experienced stock horse and Caroline’s main ride.
Two new puppies also arrived just before winter. Buddy and Jess are two German Short-Hair Pointers and have grown up fast. They loved the snow and are happy and spoilt like all of our pets.
We are also hoping for a few new baby chooks in the middle of November. Nanny, our resident broody hen, and her daughter are both sitting on a few.
Our potato crop ended very well last season with well over 200kg grown, supplied to The Market, or directly to customers, or eaten ourselves. The 2018 harvest has sold out and we are on our last bag at home.
With the weather warming up we are excited to be able to home-grow more of the ingredients for our Vegetable Stock. Currently in the ground we have strawberries, peas, beans, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, chilli plants, garlic, lettuce, onions and some early crop potatoes.
This is alongside the plum, fig, apple and crab apple trees that have established themselves and are starting to show new season growth.
We will be planting more potatoes for the main crop in the next few days, and the seedlings for zucchini, tomatoes and carrots will be transferred soon too. We’d just like a little more rain.
We have always loved watching MasterChef as a couple since the beginning, and now we love the fact that all of our children also love the show and have a real passion and appreciation for food. We genuinely hope they will enjoy this part of the family business.
On a recent trip to Melbourne we did go a little bit crazy in the City. We had a casual dinner booked at Gary’s Boathouse restaurant which was lovely. We stumbled upon Birch & Purchese in South Yarra, the exquisite dessert shop owned by Darren Purchese who was also there at the time and was so generous with his time to our family.
The big splurge came at Dinner by Heston - a 3 hour experience worth every cent not just for the food or the perfect old-school service, but for the sheer wow-factor that the children shared as every course was presented. The meal finished with a bonus course of ice cream, made with liquid nitrogen at the table, complete with clouds of smoke!
Hopefully it won’t be such a long wait until the next update from us at 5 Willows.