A huge hello to all my followers, clients and friends, and wishing you all a happy New Year as we pass into what will inevitably be a resurgence of life as we knew it pre-COVID.
Its been a while since I posted anything really, but I am pleased to announce JAYDID PHOTO is getting back to Business in January 2023. The website has been revamped, the social accounts have been dusted off, and a plan of tours, events and workshops has been put together, along with lots of other opportunities through the year.
Lots has happened in the past 18 months and while I have been quiet on the photography front, it doesn’t mean I have left photography behind, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. With some life changes, a few trips and some incredible experiences to report on, my imaging library and portfolio has grown significantly, and while the tours side of the business has been put to one side (with very good reason), the commercial side and other photography exploits have kept me incredibly busy.
In a nutshell, Bushfires, Floods, COVID, more Floods, more COVID, More Floods, more COVID, more Floods, more Floods and then more seemingly never ending flooding rainfall, has had a devastating impact on my business since the end of 2019.
As most would understand, my business is focused on landscape and nature photography tours in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, but the devastating impact of continued and consistent natural disaster leading to National Park closures , coupled with lockdowns from COVID outbreaks and the loss of international tourism, saw my business go from a greater than $75k per year tour bookings to less than $1k per year bookings with over $25k of bookings and deposits having to be refunded or cancelled at one point in April 2020.
I am sure you wouldn’t be surprised that in February 2022, I decided enough was enough and put everything on hiatus for a period of time to see what would happen after the Omicron outbreak, and with the continued rainfall in New South Wales.
Well, in April, I departed the Blue Mountains to take up an offer of a Tour Guide role at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park and the Northern Territory working for SEIT Outback Australia (part of AAT Kings). After taking an awesome roadtrip with one of my closest friends to drive out there, I have been living in Yulara for 7 months. I got to live next to one of my most favorite places in the whole world, even with a view of Uluru itself from my front yard. As a guide, I got the chance to meet lots of lovely guests (including Glen McGrath), and made some amazing friends. I got to tour Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the West Macdonnell Ranges and Alice Springs, the highlights of which were being at Uluru during the heavy rainfall to capture the long bucket listed waterfalls at Uluru. That, plus being able to lead groups on some of SEITs exclusive tours such as Patji with the Uluru Family and Mount Connor with the Severin family on the Curtin Springs Cattle Station, alongside the extended Iconics tours to Kings Canyon and Alice Springs.
But that isn’t all I was doing. One of the worst kept secrets of 2022 was me being asked to go to Antarctica at the bequest of my advocate role with Sony Australia, to work onboard the Ocean Endeavour with Intrepid Travel. My role as Sony Ambassador on the photography program teaching guests how to use Sony Digital Imaging gear that was available to loan on board. This was an amazing month long adventure with 3 different cruises into the Antarctic Peninsula where I took over 13 thousand images, got to step onto my seventh continent for the first time, came face to face with penguins, seals, whales and a multitude of other birds and wildlife, and clapped my eyes on some of the most surreal landscape I think I will ever have the opportunity to visit. But the real highlight was the opportunity to meet around 500 new friends including guests, guides and crew on this month long, life changing adventure. I also came back with a black eye, broken knee, and a smashed up mobile thanks to the notorious Drake Passage which I had the displeasure of experiencing at its worst 6 times, but that story will come later.
Well, I have sadly departed the guiding role at Uluru and have returned to the Blue Mountains where I am once again working with Scenic World as a rides driver and guide, while I focus on bringing photography tours back, continue my commercial photography business with food/drink, commercial work, portraiture and real estate jobs rolling in, and while I plot the next moves with opportunities of returning to the Northern Territory as a guide during the winter months, a quick jaunt to New Zealand in Spring, and potential of going back to Antarctica at the beginning of 2024, there is also another one of those very special life changing photography and travel opportunities being discussed in the background.
So 2023 is going to be a bumper year for me and I am personally very excited at the prospects going forward 🙂
One of the biggest questions I have been asked in the past 12 months is, when will I be bringing photo tours back? The reality is, if everyone who asked was actually going to book on a tour with me, I would likely be back sooner, but I know not all enquiries would lead to a sale. That and much of the locations I would normally take people to have been absolutely decimated. The base of waterfalls look like disaster areas for the most part, and many of the more remote places I would guide you to are totally inaccessible due to landslide or rockfalls or closures due to construction work being conducted by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. But, as of January, this is now starting to turn around with Evans Lookout at Blackheath once again accessible, Govetts Leap not far behind, and a number of tracks previously closed having been rebuilt and once again accessible.
So commencing in February, I will be beginning a series of tours and workshops, both Blue Mountains based, and getting back to my signature Astrophotography trips, coupled with a few new workshop offerings including Nature Macro photography, basics and essentials courses, and single session events.
But the biggest change for this is that all of these events, tours and workshops will now be booked exclusively through the Sony Scene Platform. I will no longer be taking bookings from Free Independent Travellers (FITs) with an open schedule to book from. All events will be on fixed dates. While this is not suitable for some, I have to recognise, as I am sure you will too, that setting up an open calendar at this time is just not sustainable going forward.
So I am very much looking forward to welcoming you all back to our Blue Mountains tours or other tours, workshops or events sometime in 2023. Of course, if you have any questions or enquiries, you can get in touch using the form below, or email me at email@example.com.
Thank you for bearing with us over the past 18 months of trials and tribulations, and I hope to see you all again in the future.
Send a message using the form below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with details of upcoming tours, workshops and events. These will be available on the Sony Scene website soon. You can also enquire about our other photography services.