When researching for one of the Where To Retire In Australia editions, we were put in contact with Carol Jones.
The Manager at the Business Enterprise Centre in Mudgee said we should contact Carol as she had a unique business that she ran from her rural property.  This was our first contact with Carol, otherwise known as the ‘Ironing Diva’ (designers of the The Fitz Like A Glove Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies).

Fast forward and there is news of a new product from the innovative Carol. Not just any product, but one that makes use of Carol’s wonderful photos from her beautiful home in rural New South Wales (she’s also known as the ‘Paddock Paparazzi’…..watch out birds, kangaroos!)

The product is called ‘Jigsaw Puzzles By The Paddock Paparazzi’

We had a chat with Carol to find out more:

Why did you incorporate it into your range?
On our website, we emphasise
that we are a rural business. And we use my photographs. That are taken on my beautiful rural property. That’s in the hill country in a very picturesque part of The Central Tablelands Of NSW. To add to the romance of how we live and work from our remote rural property. Where we drive an hour to buy a litre of milk.

Ever since posting my photos on social media. In my newsletter ‘Tips & Tricks’. On my blog posts. And on our website. Customers and followers have been asking me if it’s possible to purchase my photos. Either in the form of wall art. Cards. Tea towels. Book of photos. Computer screen wallpaper. Calendars. All of which I said no to.

In February 2018, Jennifer, a follower on social media. Told me how her grandchildren were mesmerised by my photos of the wildlife that roam my property. Because city children never see this wildlife. And asked me if I have ever considered turning my photos into jigsaw puzzles. Because she and her grandchildren do jigsaw puzzles together. And saw this as an opportunity to share my wildlife with her family.

My partner, Victor Pleshev, and I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to do something different with my photos. We did our research. Found that it’s possible to do this in Australia. And it became a new product.

We already have the market for my jigsaw puzzles. They are my customers. Who are mainly parents. And grandparents. Who have told me how much they like my photography.

I don’t have to create a following. Or create a new market for these puzzles. I already have the following. And the market. Within my own customer database.

Did you have any photographic lessons?
None. As someone who reads extensively about how to run my business. I’ve never read a word about photography. I am very much an amateur photographer. For me, photography is a joyful hobby.

What type of camera/cameras do you use?
I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 camera. Purchased in 2012. I won’t trade it in for a newer version because none of the newer versions have the very long super zoom that’s on this camera. Which allows for absolute clarity when shooting wildlife in the distance. And on the move. It’s fully automatic. I use no manual settings. I don’t even know how to do that. I’ve set 3 custom settings on my camera. And they allow me to shoot between sunny and cloudy conditions. I rarely take indoor photos. I have over 300,000 photos stored on my desktop.

What inspires you to take photos?
I’ve been taking photos since my dad gave me his very old Box Brownie camera when I was a child. Digital cameras gave me an opportunity for instant feedback. Which was never an option with photographic film. And with the advancement of technology, and the ability to upload digital photos to emails and the web, it gave me an opportunity to share my photos with my sister in the USA in ‘now’ time. Rather than 21 days later. When developed photos arrived in her mailbox. I now share my photos with several thousand people via my numerous online social media platforms.

What are some of your favourite photos you have taken?
All my photos are my favourites! Birds. From tiny Wrens. To majestic Eagles. Foxes. Wild goats. Kangaroos that roam my property.  Wildlife enchants me and steals my heart.

And the glorious sunrises that transform the landscape from cheerful to broody to sombre. Depending on whether it’s sunny. Or so cloudy it looks like Gotham City. Create the ambience for the day. Then there are the beautiful winter mists that transform the hills into lakes of white foam. When the mists settle into the folds of the hills. And just before daybreak in winter, the sun will cast a spotlight onto the knoll of a hill. Just like in a theatre. While the surrounding hills are still draped in shadows.

Is there a preferred time of day to take your photos?
I’m a landscape and wildlife amateur photographer. So natural light is very important. I only ever go out for a walk at sunrise. And all my photos are taken then. When the sun rises high in the sky, it’s a no-go zone for me. The light just isn’t good enough and doesn’t add drama to the photos like sunrise does.

Who are your jigsaws for?
Children. And adults. 
Customers have a choice of photographs to choose from. And a variety of sizes.

For children. From 30.  To 60.  To 120 pieces.
For adults. 500 pieces.

To find out more about the Paddock Paparazzi’s jigsaws just click here

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