The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The best photographs add something extra to the image

Caroline's photo: one week old leghorn chicks

Caroline's photo: one week old leghorn chicks

When I was a teenager, my mother took watercolour lessons from Gilbert Adams . His father was Marcus Adams – the celebrated society photographer. Gilbert trained in his father’s studio and has quite a few well known portraits in The National Portrait Gallery. He also was a successful artist (easel rather than camera). He died at the age of ninety in 1996.

Gilbert was a colourful, larger than life character. A real old bohemian. When he heard that I was going to study Drama and English at university he was astonished.
“Why do you want to study drama? I have enough drama in my life without needing to study it.”
Perhaps my sedentary 18 year old life needed a bit more pace and depth.

Being able to capture the essence of life is a real skill. Whether it’s  in a photograph, a sculpture or even a play.

I thought I was quite a good amateur photographer until met Caroline . She offered to raise our new brood of leghorns under her key broody hen, Rusty – an experienced and proven gentle adoptive mother. Carloine’s  photographs of our new brood of leghorns are stunning. She regularly emails photos. These are not just snaps of the chicks, her photos always capture the essence of her subjects. During the day I receive her emails on my mobile but have to wait until I return to the cottage in the evening to download the photograph. It’s great having something really good to look forward to at the end of the day. We are never dissapointed.

If the brood was here, having hatched under one of our hens, I would watch and enjoy them for a few minutes at the start and end of each day. These stunning photographs make me really look at Rusty and the clutch of chicks. They are wonderful studio portraits.

Caroline's photo: brown leghorn chick - 5 days old

Carloine's photo:brown leghorn chick - 5 days old

Caroline, I enjoy your shots so much that I can almost feel the fluffy chicks in my hands. Your talent for photography has made our arms length chicken rearing project a real joy. I don’t feel left out but far more included than if I had raised them here in our run. Your photographs have made me observe and get to know our chicks in an entirley different way.

Thank you so much.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rachel T

    Love the items that you are producing!

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Amber

    Yes I agree. Caroline is a really talented photographer and even better, she’s fun too!

  2. amber

    I can never get my chick photos that good, they’re beautifull!!!
    zoe amber

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Amber

      Yes I can’t take chick photos that good! Caroline is a star photographer. She captures the essence of life!

  3. Rachel T

    I think one of them should be called Foggy after Foghorn Leghorn the cartoon character!

    What fabulous photos, and how lovely that Rusty is being a good Mum to them. When are they coming to live with you?

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sylvie

    Yes the little chicks are so full of life. They can’t fail to fill us with hope.

    Hi Tilly

    Thank you your comment is really appreciated.

  5. Tilly Floss

    Caroline’s photos and your words, beautiful together!

  6. Sylvie

    How lovely.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Mary

    The black chick is called Zebedee. The other three are waiting for names!

    Hi Pamela

    I totally agree. The first photo is stunning.

    Hello Michelle Sheets

    Yes, Caroline is a superb photographer.

  8. michelle sheets

    I never would have guessed that chicks and chickens would make such a beautiful subject for pictures.
    Caroline, you are a wonderful photographer!

  9. Pamela

    The first photo of the two chicks is beautiful.

  10. So, do you have any names for the little darlings yet?

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