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Rooftop Cover Shoot

The glossy, beautifully polished House and Leisure covers that you see on shelf are often the result of hours of styling, re-stying, shooting and re-touching. They take a team of dedicated staff to get the perfect shot and then to add the finishing touches. Our October 2011 Inside Outside Living – SA  Style cover tells a particularly interesting story. As always, the process begins with sourcing all the items we need to recreate a certain look that will best reflect the theme of the particular month's issue. With this month being focused on inside/ outside living, the Joburg inner-city penthouse of  John Clark and Alicia Thompson offered the perfect abode. We sourced all the props on Monday, 22 August – a truly idyllic spring day – quietly confident that we were all set for the shoot the following day. But when we arrived on Tuesday, 23 August, we were welcomed instead with a windy day, only to find the severity of the situation when we were standing on the balcony of the 18th floor apartment in Joburg's CBD! Although the weather conditions were rather challenging, the valiant House and Leisure team, with multi-talented photographer Elsa Young behind the lens, tried for 3 hours to get the shots needed. A few challenges or 'styling tricks' as we like to call them, included gaffer taping the glass doors together in the guest bedroom to stay open, holding the Sagaform glassware along the pool edge until the second before the photograph was taken, whilst having the jacuzzi-like water splashing in our faces. We also improvised by lining the stack of towels with Le Creuset pans and lids and had the challenge of Alicia, the home owner, standing in the shower but not getting wet as a result of the water swirling a metre above the shower head. After many laughs and attempts we unfortunately had to call it a day as the adverse weather was clearly relentless. We returned, more hopeful, on Friday the 26th for another beautiful day of shooting and finally managed to get the winning shot. We created the fun shot above – taking one of the several snaps where the ladies were battling gale force winds – adding a couple of ridiculous touches in the process (flying zebra included!). The second image shows our final cover shot, bathed in the lovely Joburg sunshine we first expected, with the props and Alicia staying intact! To see more of the picture-perfect final snaps turn to page 58 of our October 2011 issue to read 'Roof with a View', showcasing the magnificent apartment that is October's House of the Month...   Text: Heather Boting Images: Elsa Young