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December Safari Shoot

Describing this shoot as incorporating a 'bespoke bushwhacking experience into your home', the HL decor team chose the Table Bay animal camp on the slopes of Table Mountain as the ideal location. Surrounded by long grass, thorn trees and the magnificent backdrop of the mountain, you would be forgiven for thinking that you're somewhere in the middle of the African bush or on the set of the epic film Out of Africa... The concept behind this shoot was a luxury safari setting that evoked that classic, colonial feel of being in the bush. Think those famous Louis Vuitton 'Core Values' adverts featuring the likes of Angelina Jolie and Bono in vast foreign landscapes, and the powerful presence of nature in many of the images. The idea was to translate the luxury bush camp style captured in HL's shoot into your home. The team headed up to the Table Mountain National Park next to Rhodes Memorial on the bottom slopes of the mountain, cars and vans packed to the brim with props and safari products. The HL decor team included Decor Editor, Jeanne Botes, and assistants Schalk van Wyk, Kate Loggie and Gemma Bedforth, while Micky Hoyle was the photographer and his assistant Tim was also there to lend a hand. The team was hard at work setting up and shooting between 9am and 4pm, with a park ranger present to keep an eye. Certain tricks and measures were used to keep the sets intact during shoots, such as lying on the grass before a shot to flatten it, and tying the bigger canopies to look like typical camping tents, which also allowed more light into the shot. The team was quite worried about the overcast weather as rain immediately means delaying a shoot. It had rained the day before which didn't bode well for the day's activities. Ultimately though, the clouds were a blessing in disguise, as the rain held out and there was just enough light for a successful shoot. Too much sunlight can also have a negative effect on getting the perfect shot. The items used came from far and wide, including tents and other paraphernalia from safari equippers Melvill and Moon in Port Elizabeth, vintage luggage from Cécile and Boyd's, carpets from Gonsenhausers, and an array of fantastic old-school finds from second-hand stores, and other great decor shops like Pezula Interiors and Dark Horse apparel store in the Mother City. (For a full list of stockists please see page 164 of our December issue.) The shoot proved to be a giant success and the images speak for themselves. The attention to detail and care that went into each shot is quite astounding. Don't these snaps just make you want to retire to your own luxury tent in the wild? To see the dreamy end product, turn to page 12 of our December 2011 issue, now on shelf! Text: Kim Grové