Category: Travel

This South Africa Photography Trip post may be one of the most exciting personal blogs we have ever shared with your Hayes & Fisk Family. This was truly a magical experience and a bucket list trip. We embarked on this journey, along with 22 other professional photographers and great friends, in hopes of expanding our […]

This South Africa Photography Trip post may be one of the most exciting personal blogs we have ever shared with your Hayes & Fisk Family. This was truly a magical experience and a bucket list trip.

We embarked on this journey, along with 22 other professional photographers and great friends, in hopes of expanding our photography skills. Neither of us had ever visited South Africa, so we jumped at the chance to do this with other like-minded colleagues and friends.

In this post, we will share some details of our adventure, as well as some of the amazing images that we were able to capture. One thing that makes these images so special is that they could only be taken in Africa. It was truly magical.

We landed in Johannesburg after our direct 16-hour flight from Atlanta, where we stayed overnight. The following day, we went to Lesedi Cultural Village.

This village is one of the best tourist attractions in South Africa, allowing visitors to really explore the glorious diversity of the people of this land. Set amid rocky hills and bushveld less than one hour’s drive from Johannesburg, and on the way to Sun City, Lesedi Cultural Village offers visitors a chance to encounter people of Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Ndebele and Basotho origin.

Our Reserve and Camp

After our visit to Lesedi, we left for the Safari Camp, where we stayed for a full 7 days. We will not mention the name of our reserve and camp because there are endangered animals there. Animals like, Rhinos, African Wild Dogs and Elephants, are sought after by poachers. While we were there, poachers actually broke through the electric fence one night and kill two Rhinos, for their horns. This is so devastating to their dwindling population.  The forest rangers explained that unfortunately, this happens too often and the locals that they get to kill these amazing animals are given what is equivalent to $300 or $400 U.S. dollars. However, the people that bankroll it get up to $300,000 to $500,000 for the horns. It was very sad.

While we will not mention the name we can say that it was a beautiful and expansive reserve with over 175,00 acres of protected reserve. The River Camp is set within the canopy of the riverine forest on the banks of the Marico River, in the Eastern portion of the beautiful Game Reserve. This treetop lodge has been built to blend in with the nature that surrounds it and allows guests to truly unwind and enjoy their peaceful surroundings. The main lodge consists of an open plan lounge, dining and reception area with a pool and bar area close by. Enjoy the panoramic views from the traditional Lapa that is set in the forest glade.

The River Camp is a wholly-owned, community-based tented safari camp. It is an ecotourism partnership between the Molathedi Community, aha Hotels and Lodges and the North-West Parks Board. The concept is unique in South Africa with substantial benefits accruing to the community itself. 

Our Adventures

One day we visited a local village school that has grades 1 – 8.  The school building is actually very new. Many of the past groups that have toured, with the tour leaders, have made donations to help build the school.  Many of us gave monetary donations and brought them, socks, pencils, hard candy, and other treats. There were 185 total students.  

During our day, we would get up every morning and go to the lodge for coffee and a light breakfast. Then be on our jeeps, with our certified guides, by 5:30 am.  We would ride all over the reserve and stop around 10:30 am for a coffee and tea break. They would fold down the grill of the jeep and serve french press coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, and muffins.  It was such a unique experience. We would head back to the lodge around 1:00 pm for a late brunch/lunch and then rest, download cards, charge batteries. At 3:00 pm we had after high tea and then we were back in the jeeps until sundown.  They have sundowners in the evening which is a time we would all gather somewhere together and have a snack and cocktail. We would head back to the lodge for dinner and then usually in bed by 9:00 pm. It was amazing and everyone was so incredibly knowledgeable and hospitable.  

It is truly hard to put into words what a unique and amazing experience this was. We hope the images below help give you a glimpse into our special time in Africa. We are seriously considering hosting a trip next year and if any clients are interested please let me know, mary@hayesandfisk.com.

South Africa Photography TripSouth Africa Photography Trip South Africa Photography Trip South Africa Photography Trip Videos

South Africa Photography Trip

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Adorable Portrait Session to End 2016 We have an absolutely adorable portrait session to end 2016. We know we are a little biased regarding these images, but we think Katie’s latest portrait session is just perfect. Katie’s mom is one of Mary’s VERY best friends. They went to high school together at St. Gertrude’s.  Mary […]

Adorable Portrait Session to End 2016


We have an absolutely adorable portrait session to end 2016. We know we are a little biased regarding these images, but we think Katie’s latest portrait session is just perfect.

Katie’s mom is one of Mary’s VERY best friends. They went to high school together at St. Gertrude’s.  Mary and Jamie have been photographing Katie her whole life but these images truly left us speechless. She looks like such a young lady in these pictures.

Dressed to the nines (how about those red Hunter boots), Katie posed and smiled for us on a brisk fall afternoon when Mary and Jamie were visiting them in Louisville.  If you knew Katie, you would say that these images truly show her personality.

Just like with all of our clients, we love to photograph kids as they grow up. When we are given the opportunity to start when they are newborns and watch as they evolve into toddlers, teenagers and eventually young adults, it is truly an honor. Katie is like family to us but we feel the same way with all of our clients. We love to see the kids develop their personalities and style and we are so lucky to have so many clients that give us that opportunity.

In the new year, we hope that you will consider taking the time to have your children’s portraits professionally done. We can promise that you will be so glad you did.

katie_0965 Adorable Portrait Session to End 2016 Adorable Portrait Session to End 2016 Adorable Portrait Session to End 2016

Other Post Featuring Katie

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A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk We invite you to take A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk. We would like to wish you a very Happy Holiday and a fantastic New Year!  We want to thank each and everyone of you for making our 2016 the best year yet! We have had the honor and […]

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk


We invite you to take A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk. We would like to wish you a very Happy Holiday and a fantastic New Year!  We want to thank each and everyone of you for making our 2016 the best year yet! We have had the honor and privilege of photographing so many families, children, babies and weddings.  The fact that each of you chose us to capture your special memories, milestone moments and celebrations means more to us than you will ever know.  So thank you for sharing your lives with us.  Now we want to share a little bit of our year with you!

A Look Back at 2016

January

We traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for our industry’s largest and most prestigious conference, Imaging USA.  We spent our time their teaching, sharing and learning. We both won Grand Imaging Awards and were recognized for excellence in our field.

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

February

Super excited to welcome Mary Alice Arnest Smith on February 16, 2016.  Our very own Jessica and her husband Alex welcomed this precious little bundle of love into our world.  We are all over the moon in love with this little girl!

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

March

Laissez les bons temps rouler!  Every St. Patrick’s Day week-end we travel down to the Big Easy to enjoy lots of fun, festivities and friends.  We love New Orleans and always look forward to our time there.

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

April

Every year we enter our state, regional and national print competitions.  We are very proud to say that we use our very own client work for all of these contests.   Well this year we won BIG TIME so thank you clients for allowing us to create such beautiful and award winning images.

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May

We have the distinct pleasure of teaching and sharing with other photographers.  We are both honored to be amongst some of the top educators in our industry.  This year we were back for the 10th year in a row to teach at the Texas School of Professional Photography.  This is the largest photographic school in the country and we always love teaching and sharing!

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June

Hayes & Fisk’s first Italian wedding adventure!  We were thrilled to photograph Rich and Christie’s wedding on a beautiful June evening with the gorgeous Tuscan sun setting in the background.  This was truly a highlight of our year.

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

July

Mary and Jamie love to travel and teach and this year we got to do both on a Viking Cruise Ship.  They  toured the Rhine River and traveled from Amsterdam, through Germany and France all the way to Switzerland. We were with an amazing group of photographers and loved every minute of it.

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August

Mary and her husband Daryl got to experience being empty nesters for the first time.  Both of their kiddos headed to Knoxville and are attending the University of Tennessee.  Alexandra is a Junior and Jax is a Freshman.

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

September

On to September, this is Mary’s Birthday Month! Happy Birthday Mary!

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

October

Jamie finally got a week-end off during football season and traveled to Knoxville to see his god-children (Alex and Jax) and root for his favorite college football team!  Go Vols!

A Stroll Through 2016 with Hayes & Fisk

November

Jamie’s Birthday Month! We have to take some time to celebrate Jamie this month!

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December

Finally, the month of December is always super busy with family portrait sessions and our Holiday Quick Takes.  As some of you know we are both big supporters of Operation Smile and this year we made a donation to this amazing organization in honor of all of our wonderful clients.  Happy Holidays everyone!

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