Anyone who knows me or follows my work knows I love incorporating playing, moving and exploring nature into my photoshoots, so much so that my logo is "Play. Move. Explore.".

My own children have always loved nature play and especially playing in water. One of my all-time-favourite photos of my daughter Piper is of her in hot pink Dame Edna style sunglasses and rainbow gumboots jumping in puddles. And as an adult it can be kinda fun to join our kids. Heck you don't even need to have kids, jumping in puddles just brings back memories of being young and carefree.

During Autumn I include throwing handfuls of leaves during my sessions whenever I possibly can and my winter equivalent is puddle play. If you are intrepid and wanting to try it at the end of your photoshoot be sure to discuss it with me during our phone consultation and/or note it on your client questionnaire.

Two girls with rainbow umbrellas on a winter day in Melbourne
Children jumping in puddles during a Melbourne photoshoot
Close up of children in gumboots jumping above a muddy puddle
Two girls with rainbow umbrellas playing in the mud in Melbourne


For sessions that include puddle play the final decision on which location to shoot at within the Dandenongs can be left until one day prior to your session so that we can pick the spot with the best muddy options at the time.


I recommend wearing clothes you aren't precious about and gumboots for this style of shoot (you can wear boots the whole way through our session or change into them towards the end). Winter in the hills can be chilly so layers, jackets and beanies are all good options.


From a practical point of view I highly, highly recommend that you pack some old towels and spare clothes to change into at the conclusion of our shoot. If you have a distance to drive home, or back to your bnb accommodation, you might also want to bring a thermos or travel mugs containing hot drinks to help warm you back up.


To add to the wintery vibe, and to introduce some more fun and vibrance, I have several styles of umbrellas which I can provide, whether it is raining or not. If we are at a location that doesn't have steps, seats or logs we can use for sitting shots I will bring a bench and/or picnic rug with plastic underlay that we can use to ensure we get variety in your gallery.

Young girl in Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges jumping in puddles
Young child jumping in mud
The joy of playing in mud and puddles

where will it fit into our session?

If you opt to include muddy puddle play it will be done at the conclusion of your session so that we can get other, non-wet and dirty photos first.

if we have kids should we tell them about it in advance?

I will leave it up to you whether you let your children know in advance that this will be occurring but be mindful that for some wild, nature loving kids the knowledge that they will be being let free to go nuts may be a real distraction and make obtaining the other styles of photos I like to provide you with more difficult. If you elect not to tell them about the finale to our shoot just discreetly let me know so I don't let the secret out by accident.


Don't think muddy puddle play is just for families with young kids. I truly hope that this winter season I get at least one couple or family with older or adult children to opt to include this within their session. I lay the challenge down, here and now.

Girl using her gumboot as a bucket in a muddy puddle
Muddy girl after puddle play in Melbourne
Girl playing in mud

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".