“Look like you’re enjoying yourself” we’d shout at the kids as they paddled around in front of colourful sandstone cliffs, or lush green wetlands.
Or “Ve haf vays of making you haf fun” (said in our best Sergeant Schultz voice – remember him from Hogan’s Heroes? No? Our kids didn’t get it either, so never mind. Obviously we’re showing our age.)
What’s my point?
We believe our river and wetlands are gorgeously beautiful. We believe you should get out there and see it for yourself. We believe kayaking is the best way to do that. We want you to hire kayaks from us, or enjoy a guided kayak tour with us. We believe the best way to convince you to do that is to SHOW YOU how lovely it is, and so, we invest a lot of energy and time into getting great photos for our website, social media, brochures etc.
And of course, it helps if the people in the photos, are the “beautiful people”, like our kids (but we’re not biased!) In the early days of our business, our children patiently paddled in circles, smiles plastered onto their faces, in front of beautiful scenery, while we clicked away. (Thanks kids.) Our patient daughter even consented to have her photo on magnetic car door signs: Greater love hath no daughter) Over time we’ve had generous customers willing to let us use photos we’ve taken on tours, with their lovely faces/backs/silhouettes in amongst the beautiful scenery, or against backdrops of breathtaking sunset and sunrises mirrored on the water.
BUT – the past few months have been a bit of a shock for Kym and I, who have usually hidden behind the camera. We’ve been seen! Exposed! We’ve felt very blessed to have SA Life come to film for a short segment on their travel program, which we are eagerly anticipating seeing soon. We’ve also been part of filming for an ad, which is being made for Destination Riverland, which is intended for cinema and tv use. True – that may end up being no more than a 0.5 second glimpse, but still – we may get the chance to say, “Look, Mum, that’s me!” We’ve also made the front page of the local paper; The Murray Pioneer”, and the following week – a few pages further in.
And we’ve laughed at the irony: it’s become our turn to paddle in circles with smiles plastered onto our faces. And, do you know what? It’s pretty easy to smile: It really IS all quite beautiful.