A stint of maternity leave delivered Jade Philp both a new baby and a new business. Four years on, the Barossa-based photographer behind Jade Philp | Barossa Photographer is our April Business Partner of the Month, and a proud member of the SA Woman community. Jade captures families beautifully in nature and creates heirloom pieces and prints you will treasure forever.
Lauren Zwaans sat down with Jade to talk about the business she never thought she’d have, her affinity for capturing children and fur babies, and her must-visit Barossa hit list (it’s a long list – and we want to check out all of them!).
How long have you been running Jade Philp | Barossa Photographer?
I have been running my small business from home for four years, since just after my daughter was born. I’m the kind of person who cannot just sit still so with my maternity leave also came a new business! “Jade Philp | Barossa Photographer”, however, is actually my new brand and business model and is just over 12 months new! The re-brand brought about the focus on product creation and a more luxurious and inclusive client experience. I absolutely LOVE IT!
When did you start working as a photographer and did this work stem from a long-term passion?
I’ve always been passionate about photographing people but I never ever saw it as a career opportunity. I would often take photos of friends, family and pets with my DSLR on the weekend and school nights, but I never gave it a second thought as a job. In high school I was so obsessed with getting good grades and a super impressive SACE score that I actually refused to take the photography subject in year 10 through to 12 as I said it was a “dumb person’s subject”.. *laughs* HOW WRONG WAS I!
So naturally with my super high year 12 score, I went to uni and studied to become a midwife and worked in that field for a little bit of time before realising it wasn’t quite for me and deciding to take the plunge into my own business. After having my daughter I had time to sit back and reflect on what I was doing with my life. I realised the importance of having a lifestyle full of things you love and are passionate about, rather than following along with social norms and what I thought to be “the right thing to do”, and that is when I reignited my love for capturing people and thought “why not just turn this into my job?”. So off I went, and I’ve never looked back!
Tell us about your areas of specialty as a photographer.
I am a lifestyle photographer who photographs families and specialises in product creation for my clients. I love to create lifelong heirlooms for people including gorgeous memory walls, albums or interesting prints on different natural mediums like cotton rag, timber and stone.
I pride myself on being genuine, fun and relaxed, and have a huge focus on “play” during my sessions. All of my sessions are super fun and I don’t like to take them too seriously. I’m all about capturing natural laughs and real, genuine emotion. I love nature play based activities for kids and in my sessions I work to capture the true connection between my subjects, whether they’re three or 30 years old.
Although I work with predominantly families, I also work with commercial businesses who need relaxed and natural content for their socials. After dabbling in most areas for quite some time, I realised that my true passion lies in photographing families with children of all ages and like-minded businesses with really cool branding!
You offer a range of the most beautiful heirloom products and keepsakes! Can you run us through a few of your favourites?
Ah – super hard! At the moment, I am really loving my custom torn edge framed prints. What is that, you’re probably thinking.. So, they are something you simply cannot get anywhere else, they are unique, look amazing and give a really different meaning to just a photo in a frame. These products are a framed print, that is printed onto cotton rag and the edges are torn to give this amazing natural effect to them. The print then floats magically behind the glass and it simply looks STUNNING! So different and such a statement piece unique to my style. So I would have to say they are my favourite at the moment!
You shoot a lot outdoors in nature. Is this because you have the beautiful Barossa Valley as a backdrop?
Yes! I love shooting outdoors, especially with young children! I’m a huge advocate for nature based play and I feel that when children are able to explore the world around them, use their imagination and truly be themselves, it makes for the absolute BEST, most natural pictures! I myself have a four-year-old and know if we were to ever be in an indoors situation she would become shy and restless and we would never get the images that showed her personality. When you let the kids be kids, and help them to forget about the camera, I feel like they allow their true selves to shine through and be captured just as the family see them. It may very well mean that for the session I am literally running around after them with my camera, but the workout is ALWAYS worth it. Of course having a gorgeous backdrop here in the Barossa Valley complements that. We’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful area!
What do you love most about working with families and children in particular?
I absolutely LOVE working with children – and fur children! Call me crazy, as they say never work with animals and children but it is what I feel I was made to do. I am a giant kid. I love playing chasey, exploring with the kids to find the fairies in the trees, imagining the sticks are wands and going feather collecting. I love watching their imaginations blossom and seeing the parents’ faces of pride when they allow their little personalities to shine through to me. I think being a mum myself, I just know how important it is to have your family captured in this way and it is something I absolutely LOVE doing for other families. I just relate to it all so much and I am so thankful that I get to capture those memories for other mums and dads!
How often do you suggest families have professional photos taken and what makes them so special?
As often as you like, really. I have clients who come back multiple times a year because they literally don’t want to miss a moment and some that do yearly or bi-yearly sessions. I personally get professional images taken for myself between yearly and 6 monthly depending on what stage we’re in with our children. I also create my own yearly albums every January. I think yearly is a wonderful start! It just allows you to see how much they change in only a year, when you look back on it, the difference is HUGE! Especially when your kids are little.
Your style seems to really capture people in the moment. Is this something you always set out to do?
Yes. As I mentioned, my sessions focus on play, and capturing real, genuine moments. I love real laughs, joking around and having a whole load of fun. I am not a fan of having the more posed photographs and you will basically never see a picture of everyone all sitting stiff and looking at my camera, it’s just not what I am about as a photographer.
You also offer commercial photography, such as headshots and branding shoots. Who have you worked with in the past?
YES! I am so glad you asked this! So, so many amazing brands, and some women in this community too! I have worked with some AMAZING Barossa, Adelaide and Hills-based businesses and I love it! Some of my favourites are Em’s Cookie Jar, Primp Style Co, Chocolate No. 5, Pressed Pantry, La Base Wines, Kids Unite, Bubs N Up, Barossa Maternity Wear, Linkes Bakehouse, Winestains, Arno Wine Co., Steven’s Estate Gardens and the list goes on and on. I also LOVE collaboration and it is a huge part of what I do!
If you were going to offer one piece of advice to our community on how to get the perfect headshot, what would it be?
I am all about getting imagery of yourself that shows your brand and personality. So my advice would be to be photographed by someone who makes you feel super comfortable to be yourself… Go to a place you love and get yourself captured being you.
Why do you love being a part of the SA Woman community?
I love the collaboration and connection of the SA Woman community. It is such an awesome, uplifting space to be able to connect with other like-minded women! I love it!
And finally, we have to ask… Where are some of your favourite local haunts in the beautiful Barossa Valley?
Well – I could go on for dayyyyyys but here’s a few!
For café’s and food:
Em’s Cookie Jar
Thanks for chatting with us Jade!
Find out more about Jade…