Our first photoshoot in the countryside, capturing what is at the heart of Inu8 ... connection, simplicity and joie de vivre!
It is the type of countryside that is rich with colonial history and charm, bucolic hills and lush valleys. We arrived at Kimo (Ky-mo) Estate, a 7,000 acre working sheep and cattle farm just as the sun was setting over the green rolling hills – a glorious backdrop for the next two days.
Here, just 10 minutes from Gundagai, near the Murrumbidgee River, we felt the calm and grounded energy of the sacred land. Whilst not confirmed, ‘Kimo’ is believed to be an indigenous name for ‘mountains’ and refers to the large hills of the now Kimo Range.
We also felt the Antarctic blast from the Snowy Mountains! When we booked the trip, our first location shoot in the country, it was planned for March. Whilst beautiful light and sunny autumn days may have come and gone, we embraced the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in the charm of winter. It was of the course the promise of long vistas, wind-blown grasses and open skies that had led us out of the city and into this serene landscape.
As the sun set on the day, we took our first walk through the farmlands. It was slow, allowing us to fully absorb the land and the weather.
Our first evening was spent getting to know the beautifully rustic but wonderfully comfortable and country chic, Shearers Quarters. A communal ‘Cooks Kitchen’ and ‘Mess Hall’ serviced the six bedrooms. The ‘Wash House’ retains its authenticity as a separate outbuilding - piping hot water and a heater that gave surprising warmth to the old tin shed made it a trip worth venturing out for.
As Madame Lily Bollinger would attest, there is always occasion to open a bottle of champagne. Celebrating moments is something we savour now more than ever, and with family commitments at home taken care of, a new collection ready to photograph (well almost!), and the warm glow of the fire to enjoy, we had much to celebrate. Dinner was a casual affair, warm and hearty. We could only imagine the boisterous shearer's dinners enjoyed in the ‘Mess Hall’ given the enormity of the dining table.
Waking only to the sound of bird life, we ventured out to take in the crisp dawn air. We were greeted by cloud and mist, with only the possibility of a crack of sunlight emerging from the grey sky at sunrise.
As the day unfolded, we found ourselves swiftly responding to the ever-changing weather conditions. Misty skies made way for brief moments of luminous sunshine, warming our spirits, and encouraging further exploration of the vast property.
We made our way to one of the highest points on the mountain ridge, where an off-grid A-frame eco hut sat perched on the side of the hill overlooking the Murrumbidgee River Flats. It was reassuring to know that after a long day exploring one could return to the hut and soak in the wood fired hot tub, fully immersed in the landscape.
After a morning of exploring, we found ourselves retreating to the warmth and shelter of the Shearers Quarters. The grey clouds returned, bringing with them more mist and light rain. Inside the soup was warm and we were grateful to spend time on the yoga mats.
For the remainder of our time at Kimo we allowed ourselves to be guided by the natural rhythms of the day and we chased the light. There was a sense of delight and discovery following such simple pleasures.
We let go of expectations, something we are all more used to now, and we felt incredibly grateful for the moments that were created and the images captured. Just like the long golden grasses waving in rhythm, we too were feeling more connected to the ebb and flow of the land. The light did pop when we least expected it and created the kind of magic that can never be planned.
The new environment offered us all a new perspective. Apart from the comings and goings of the sheep we were alone with the landscape ... alone, but together, present to experience the simple joys of living.
It is our wish to create many memorable trips and experiences for our community and we look forward to you being a part of them. Let's stay connected!
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