Photo shoot takes our Jacarandas to the world
GRAFTON stylist Bree Hiatt said a creative brief to raise the profile of Grafton and its Jacaranda trees emphasised to her how passionate the local area is about its famous trees.
As the Jacarandas reached the height of their bloom, a small team of photographers, models and stylists came together with the help of Clarence Valley Council's economic development team to create a set of images to be shared nation and worldwide.
And the results are stunning.
"We were excited to create something stunning to promote the beautiful place we live," Mrs Hiatt said.
"But I don't think any of us could have anticipated how amazing the shoot turned out to be. Everything just clicked - from the local businesses and suppliers that supported us, to the people who volunteered their time and energy, to the creative team and the models.
"It was a ton of work but it happened so smoothly."
The photos show off the famous purple colours of Grafton in many different scenarios, with former Jacaranda queens in the landscape, and with a nod to the burgeoning Asian tourist market including lifestyle photos of Asian models enjoying the festival.
Clarence Valley Council Destination Management Officer Lou Gumb said the impetus came from a request from Destination NSW for images to promote the area.
"We were contacted by Destination NSW asking for photos of the Jacaranda season for their Chinese and Japanese officers to promote the Jacaranda season to their market," she said.
"We decided to create images with some personality, to really engage the Asian markets, and create images so they can envision themselves here."
Mrs Gumb said the recent review into the Jacaranda Festival identified that the tourist appeal went far beyond the festival, but extended to the full Jacaranda season in bloom.
"We surveyed quite a few people travelling into town, a lot of them were coming for day trips and overnight stays from Brisbane and Sydney and they said it was all over the internet," she said.
"We typed Grafton in Chinese into Instagram and it's quite phenomenal to see what's being shared out there.
"These pictures are something the Clarence Valley can be proud of. They show a connection back to the festival with the queens, and they allow us to promote the area in a beautiful way."
Mrs Hiatt said the support from economic was a big factor in the success of the day.
"They were fabulous, open-minded and professional to work with every step of the way; it was a joy to help bring their vision for the region to life," she said.
"We were inspired to showcase Grafton's beauty, but ultimately Grafton's beauty brought out the inspiration to us."