Our Golden Age is Now by River Bennett

River Bennett (Photography River Bennett)

I had been handed a gold foil fire blanket and pushed towards the door of "figure out something to do with this" by my collaborative mate. 

His genius annoyed me, in a loving mate kind of way. He lived in an imaginative world of gold, shapes, lines and animals. Our conversations were marvelous. Full to the brim of hilarious chaos, cluttered made-up words and a wild intense humour. My husband would shake his head in disbelief often telling us how weird we both were. 

Investing a piece of gold foil blanket into my life was extremely kind. I love anything shiny and glowing. So I decided to do a photo shoot with TheWolfpack using the gold foil.    

The day of the photo shoot was a mess of weather conditions - windy, rainy, cloudy and stormy. TheWolfpack wondered whether it was the right day. I even wondered. "Lord save me from their whinging!" I hated how crazy the wind can make children. 

I sat them down prior to shoot. 

"Right. So it's going to be crazy at the beach. The wind may actually pick you up off the ground." 


"And you may actually get soaking wet in the rain." 

"But we have our clothes on?" 

"Live a little, boys!" 

"What do we get if we do it?" 

"Listen, you get to learn the value of investing in art in imperfect, yet perfect, conditions. You will get the opportunity of being part of something great and memorable! You get the fun of being like a super hero with a Gold Cape." 


"Yeah, ok, you can have ice-cream. But only if you do everything I tell you to do - and no whinging! Like, my brain won't cope if you whinge." 


So off we went, down to the beach in the car. I could feel the wind lifting the car off the road. I turned to Olivia with a crazed look and said,“This is going to be wild!" 

Her eyes lit up. 

"I know."

We pushed our way out of the car. The wind whipped around our faces and forced us to crawl across the sandy ground, while we made a grab for the smallest of the Pack who was about to fly away. (Not really - but it was pretty windy.) 

We landed on the top of the sand dunes overlooking Cronulla Beach. I felt like we were in a movie with the sky awash with strong monochrome colours, and the waves raging and battering up the sand with relentless hits. I always play soundtracks in my head in moments like those. This time is was Bach Suite No.1 composed for the cello. I was lost by the magic of creation.

Who was I to collaborate with such genius? I felt a little inferior for just a moment. I often feel this way before a shoot, but I decided to find a way to become part of it all, and contribute what only I could bring.

I turned to one of TheWolfpack and said, "Wow babe. This is amazing huh!" He grinned. He knew exactly what I was talking about. 

We started to shoot as I continued to play Bach in my mind. Is that weird? Does anyone else do that?

The winds began to collaborate with the gold foil, lifting it, moving it like watching a ballet on Broadway. The waves rumbled behind us, and the wild grey skies hovered above us. 

This beautiful symphony of wind and waves and sky and gold foil erupted like the applause of a thrilled audience.

We were in awe and speechless to say the least. As we wrapped up the shoot, silent and exhilarated, the rain started to lash down. With cameras, children, foil and shoes flying everywhere we ran like mad to the car. 

We made our way home to get ice-cream as promised, and couldn't wipe the smile off our faces. 


What did this photo shoot teach me? 


1. To make a move when conditions are perfectly imperfect. 

To be honest it was cosier to stay home. It was late afternoon and none of us wanted to go out and get wet and cold. But there was something magical that happened that day, which if we had stayed home, we would have missed. 


2. Collaborating with creation is a huge honour. 

Creation’s contrasting stillness and passion inspire many artists to create. Using your artistic creative talent and adding it to nature’s perfectly designed course is almost supreme. Humanity and nature were obviously meant to run together. 

And when we pay attention to creation it can speak to us of things greater than ourselves. 


3. Watch for symbolism - our golden age is now

In just about every shoot I later see something extra magical while I edit the images. 

The gold foil became more than just gold foil to me. To me it represented a royal gown almost. It wasn't just because my son was wearing - although I liked that he did! But I kept thinking how children are born with supreme creativity. It adorns them in such a beautiful way. Imagination and daydreams are part of who they are. 

Unfortunately, there can come a time as they get older that that creativity isn't encouraged over their life and is sadly surrendered by the child as they become an adult. 

I believe we were all born with a golden creative robe. I believe our golden age is now. I hope we all endeavor to push the creative boundaries in our children and inside ourselves. 


4. Always, always buy ice-cream to celebrate.


River ️ XO