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The story of Koolah Creek Highland Cows & LySar Photography

I’ve been wanting to put into words, for a while now, the story of how we came to photograph for Koolah Creek Highland Cows.

To also thank 2 lovely & incredible people, Hugh & Sarah of Koolah Creek Highland Cows, for not only allowing my creative mind to explore possibilities, but to facilitate them & make them happen - mini shoots - competitions & oh so much more. I know my ideas have created more work for them, I will always be grateful.

So, if you’re up to reading a short story, that I’ll try not to make into a novel, grab a cuppa & settle into a comfy seat & start reading……

It all started with Sarah, from Koolah Creek Highland Cows, first contacting me towards late August asking if I could do a short notice photo shoot of their champion cow in the next day or 2. Not knowing anything about photographing cows, I of course, said yes & a date was set.

Hugh had just taken Brianne Ruadh (Bri), her calf Paislig Riabhach (Paisley) & Kapheira May to the Ekka 2023 Royal Queensland Show, where Brianne took out the Stud Beef Small Breeds Interbreed & was named Breeds Interbreed Champion Cow at one of the biggest Royal shows in Australia.

As it was extremely hot at the Ekka, Hugh didn’t hang around for any formal photos, but headed home so the cows wouldn’t be too stressed by the heat. Hugh & Sarah wanted posed photos before releasing Bri, Paisley & Kapheira back into the paddocks to live their best coo (I’ve learned that's Scottish for cow) life.

Driving into the farm I found myself at the base of Vincents lookout, which is part of the gorgeous Lansdowne Escarpment, just beautiful.

Once at the farm, we talked about what photos & posing they wanted. I learned a lot that day about how long it takes to wash, blow dry & brush the cows for presentation (about 2-3 hrs per cow) plus how they need to stand while being judged. AND that they need to have the products washed out afterwards. Whew, that’s a LOT of work.

After taking the ‘formal’ photos we wandered through the paddocks where I met & photographed their herd. One of my favourite cows is Mischief. Nothing at all to do with how photogenic she is with her gorgeous big horns. She is their oldest cow & doesn’t quite know how to interact with the others due to not having cow company before coming to Koolah Creek Farm. My heart was full & possibly my sd card after that walk. I dream of spending time on foggy, frosty mornings & in the forest with those cows.

As we walked & talked Hugh & Sarah shared with me the plans they have for the farm & I know I added some more ideas in there. It’s all a work in progress!

The amount of work they’ve put in since buying this once neglected property, is incredible. Considering Hugh works at a school & Sarah is away much of the time at Uni studying vet science. For instance the base of the big strangler fig, that I love to photograph under, couldn’t even be seen due to the amount of rubbish around it. I love the golf ball & piece of machinery that the tree has claimed as its own. Rubbish had been left strewn all over the place & is slowly, as time permits, being cleaned up. They are transforming their farm into a beautiful destination.

One of the things I love is that Sarah now knows the look on my face when I have an idea rolling around in my head. She gives me that, what? look & I spill my ideas. Ideas like, “could we do mini shoots with the baby cows?” “What about a competition to give away a Highland Cow Experience & include the photography?” “What about .......?” My mind is going crazy.

So with each idea that spills from my mind, we discuss & plan and dates are set around times when Sarah is home from Uni & we’re available.

I feel incredibly blessed at having met Hugh & his farm hand Sarah. You will truly find it difficult to meet nicer people who go above & beyond in everything they do.

Here’s to many more hours, days & years photographing in paddocks, in the forest, under a gorgeous strangler fig & at the beach for Koolah Creek Highland Cows.


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