Before I came on the COSMO Swimwear shoot at Diva Resort in the Maldives, I had no idea what went on at a fashion shoot or who actually did what. Here’s an overview of the crew:
1. Models, obviously (even I knew that). The number of models can vary, but on this swimwear shoot there were five. Grace and Tsanna from Canada, Isabela from Brazil, Justin from Chicago and Candice from Cape Town. All of them absolutely loved the Maldives and got on like old friends. (There’s even a bit of a romance developing between Justin and Tsanna!)
2. A project manager. COSMO’s Business Development Manager, Leigh Kinross put the whole shoot together, arranging sponsorships, advertisers, the team, transport and the location. Fortunately, she managed to fit in a couple of treatments at the Diva Spa – after all that organising she must have needed a time-out.
3. A fashion director. Our Special Projects Fashion Director, Robynne Kahn, sourced some of the most newsworthy and desirable swimwear of the season. There are at least 10 swimsuits from this shoot I simply have to have – and some of them I can even afford. She’ll pair a show stopping one-piece with an enormous chunky necklace or earrings in ways that will make your eyes pop out of your head.
4. A fashion assistant. Junior Fashion Assistant, Andrea Albertyn keeps everything in order, which is no mean feat when you’ve got 20 assorted boxes full of bikinis, earrings, bangles, shoes, sandals, necklaces, dresses, hats – and you’re shooting about 10 outfits at a time. Andrea makes a note of each item photographed, as well as the designer, outlet and price, in a red-and-white polka dot book.
5. Hair and make-up. Huey Tilley has a way of making hair and makeup look effortless and natural all at once, despite being the victim of an ancient curse that causes his essential M.A.C. powder to fall on the floor and shatter within the first few days of shooting.
6. Photographer. Jacques Weyers has the nerve-wracking job of translating a few simple ingredients (model, palm tree, beach) into endless variations that all have that certain something that makes COSMO fashion spreads sensational.
7. Photographer’s assistant. Gerrit Olivier has got Jacques’ back – quite literally when Jacques is walking backwards through the sea taking photographs. Other duties may include drizzling water from a palm frond onto moonlit models in bikinis. He tries not to make his friends sick with jealousy.
8. Videographer and general prankster. Roland Sweet has about five cameras, two of which are waterproof – which is lucky, because the crew are occasionally tempted to pour ice-cold water over him while he’s napping, in revenge for all the tricks he plays.
9. Journalist. (That’s me.) My mission is to hang about watching the weird and wonderful goings on and to write about them. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
Find out more about Diva Resort here.