Organising fashion shoots in foreign locations might seem exciting and glamorous to you, but the reality can be verrrry different. Take the Cosmo fashion team’s recent trip to New Zealand, for example. You see the images in the mag of a model riding a horse, holding a chicken, feeding sheep or standing on top of a mountain… but those guys didn't just rock up on cue. So, how did we actually wrangle this and how many hours did it take? You might think eight photos for a fashion shoot should only take a couple of hours, right? But you’d be so very wrong. Some of these shots take hours to set up and many people helping to coordinate. Here’s what went down behind the scenes…
We flew direct to Queenstown with Air New Zealand Here I am on the tarmac shooting a shot with model Chloe – we had 5 minutes to get onto the tarmac and nail this shot before everyone boarded the plane. Luckily, Chloe is THIS good at posing.
When I travel I eat ALL of the plane food and I literally mean anything they give me. On this flight I even asked for seconds, that’s how delicious the lamb and mash dish was. NZ has the tastiest food. My main travel tips are to take a big water bottle with you, match your sleep to your new timezone and use a neck pillow.
On the ground, we picked The Rees Apartment Hotel (www.therees.co.nz). Not only are apartment hotels great for team bonding and making friends with the whole crew, but we get to prepare brekky and dinner altogether and I hosted a couple of lounge room yoga classes in our room.
All rooms have a gas fireplace and amazing balcony looking out to the lake and alpine view, so we made the most of it in our free time by chilling out to read from the huge book selection in the hotel lobby. The views from The Rees were also incredible – not bad as a workstation.
Because we don’t like to make things easy for ourselves, we decided we wanted animals in this particular shoot. When you want animals, someone has to try and get them to perform right – so our jobs doubled as chicken, sheep and horse directors for a few days.
Again making things hard for Team Cosmo, the stunning location we chose was so remote you could only access it by helicopter. Although luckily the legends at www.helitours.co.nz offered to provide us with one. (Aren’t New Zealanders lovely?)
When you’re a hair and makeup artist you have to be ready to roll anywhere, so Katrina Raftery handled setting up amongst the glamour of the airport, the TSS Earnslaw Steamboat and the middle of nowhere like a total pro.
So there you have it. Fashion shooting is not just about pretty clothes. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted. But it is a lot of fun. Farewell, New Zealand, thanks for an awesome time.
See how the shoot turned out in the June issue of Comso - on sale now!