Every morning, while I’m lightly snoring beneath pure white Egyptian cotton sheets, COSMO SUMMER Swimwear’s creative team and five superhot models are slaving away to bring you the hottest summer trends. Of course I should feel guilty that I’m snoozing while they slave, but thankfully guilt is an emotion relegated to hell.
Nearly every single morning since our arrival in heaven, their call time has been just before the crack of dawn, so photographer Anthony Friend, his assistant Jonathan Gooch and videographer Roland Sweet can capture the beauty of our environment and the sizzling models in the perfectly clear light of sunrise. Any time after 8.30am in Egypt, equipment and makeup literally start to melt.
Yes, most mornings these worker bees arise at a criminal 4am so makeup and hair artist Huey Tilley, COSMO’s Special Features Fashion Editor Robynne Kahn and her assistant Petro Steyn can primp and preen our hottie models into even sexier versions of themselves (I tend to not stand anywhere near their enviably toned bodies in my bikini if I can help it).
Today we’re shooting a COSMO Swimwear cover option and Hang Ten. Model Maritza Veer is up first – she’s from Worcester and has been affectionately nicknamed ‘Casper, the friendly ghost’ (aka Spokie) thanks to her pure-white skin, which almost shines when she poses next to Brazilian Olivia Redmond and French-Senegalese-Moroccan Jessi M’bengu. But once Maritza dons her green, white and gold bikini for her cover shoot, she’s the ultimate staggeringly sexy swimwear model with her long blonde locks and lithe body. I almost start grinding my teeth though, when Olivia and Jessi explain that they can’t gym too often, as they build up muscle too quickly (gimme a break already!).
Of course it’s great fun watching Zack van der Merwe from Port Elizabeth and Curtis Hardin from Ontario, south of Los Angeles (‘Not Ontario in Canada,’ the hunky American explains), beef up before every shoot with pushups et al…
Anthony and Robynne work closely when it comes to the direction of each shot and they’ve certainly had their fair share of challenges including a renegade camera light pole nearly skewering Anthony’s left eye, a wayward horse, a few grumpy camels and chubby Egyptian kids with inflatable sharks threatening to mess up their perfect shots. But everyone knows Anthony has captured the shot when Robynne delightedly shouts, ‘Fucking gorgeous!’ – and thankfully she bestows this ultimate accolade at least five times a day.
Today’s specific challenge involves emptying the popular hotel jetty of its holidaymakers (and a fully-covered Egyptian girl determinedly clutching an inflatable crocodile) so we can shoot Zack jumping into the sea off the jetty. Thankfully they’re excited about the shoot too and happily accommodate their exile. Zack has to hurl himself off the jetty six times but then ‘Fucking gorgeous’ rings out across the jetty and it’s a wrap.
To celebrate another successful day of shooting, the team congregates over a chilled glass of white wine in the swanky Look Out Bar, while Maritza and Rebecca surprise us all by singing and playing the bar’s piano like pros… Wow!