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Alison Westwood

10 Things I Learned On The COSMO Swimwear Shoot

1. Swimwear models really are that thin and gorgeous in real life. But they eat like normal people. Which could make it easy to hate them, but...

2. The models on COSMO shoots aren't stuck up or stupid prima donnas. We shoot with fun, down-to-earth, happy people.

3. It's possible for a pair of earrings that look like they were made out of a cool drink can to cost more than R3 000.

4. A Mr. Price bikini can look as good as an expensive designer bikini and can be a lot easier to figure out how to put on.

5. With reference to point 4., sometimes even fashion director's can't be absolutely certain which way a piece of swimwear is supposed to be worn. It's not uncommon for several people on a shoot to stand around debating this: 'I'm sure it's meant to go on this way...' 'No that's upside down, isn't it?'

6. Prep (yes, the stuff men use for shaving) is the best thing you can pack for an island holiday. It's great for sunburn, stings, rashes, cracked heels... you name it. If you don't have Prep but you have sunburn, you can ask the resort restaurant for some vinegar to put in a hot bath. It'll sting, but it helps.

7. The fashion assistant sometimes has to pin the bikini bottoms up behind because the models are so tiny (seriously!). We actually used nappy pins so there would be no chance of injury.

8. Models who've just come off Sports Illustrated shoots have to be trained not to model so much on a COSMO shoot. We prefer images of women looking natural and behaving the way they normally would, rather than performing weird contortions for the camera.

9. Getting a great shot doesn't look all that complicated, but it's a combination of many factors that all have to be just right: The light, the location, the styling, the hair and makeup, the model, the photographer, the equipment, the direction, the motion, the moment... The main aim is to capture an image that creates a certain mood or feeling.

10.
After a hard day shooting in the sun, there's nothing models love more than karaoke. And tequila! And, for the record, photographers are especially terrible at karaoke.

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Author: Alison Westwood
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