Beautiful Cape Town, famous to film and reputed by photographers and brands the world over as one of the best places to show off new collections. Leading international brands travel to South Africa from all over the world. The Lilou et Loïc crew is no exception, and it has always been our dream to showcase our collections against this extraordinary back drop of natural beauty and style. Far away from busy London and our Scandinavian roots, the different flowers, plants, scents and fragrances are a sharp contrast to what we can normally create in terms of images for our exclusive, high end collections.
Day 1: We arrive at the Delaire Graff Estate, a fashionable boutique hotel with a deluxe collection of art on display all over this very luxury hotel resort. The home decor and interiors here are exquisite. Stylish and chic, this distinctive decoration perfectly complements Lilou et Loïc's new collection and our products are easy to portray in this picture-perfect setting.
SoSo, with a setting this stunning, how easy is the job? Our models and photographers have a 4am start to catch South Africa's calming and almost fragrant sunrise, and its hard work, attention to detail and concentration throughout. The strong and powerful sunshine at midday gives respite for a good 3 to 4 hours of the day, as the sun is straight above our heads and throws harsh shadows that aren't ideal for photos. Throughout the day, each shot must be properly set with reflectors and flash lights, which can take up to an hour. A flash is needed even in the strongest sunlight, to even out natural light and counter act shadows. There are no short-cuts in either time, money or effort spent, and the common glamorous perception of fashionable photo shoots is often not as it seems!
Day 2: We're heading for the beach! The shoot starts very early to avoid swimmers and sunbathers as well as to lower the risk of sunburn and frequent melted make-up re-applications.
Our lovely model Tiana managed, with her charming personality, to "borrow" a male model!
Many curious beach guests come up to ask us questions which is lovely and engaging but does slow down progress. We love the interactions though, and the whole beach eventually knows what is going on. Time for the next location! One of Lilou et Loïc’'s favourite sports others is polo, and this is the perfect place to show the luxury lifestyle that our brand represents. We love animals, nature and sport, so to be able to combine them all is a pure treat.
Heading to Franschhoek, we're able to shoot amongst ancient vineyards and classic Dutch Cape architecture looking out over the mountains. Working with animals isn't always the easiest, but thankfully the horses were exceptionally well behaved! Heading home: Home is where the heart is, and although we bring back an abundance of lovely and impressionable memories as well as lovely images, we're very happy to be home in London at Lilou et Loïc HQ; and it's back to work!
Mark, our photographer, now embarks on downloading, sorting and retouching all the images. As we arrive back to the UK, he's not even half-way through the task, and it will take many hours of hard work behind-the-scenes again to get everything just right. We meet a few weeks later to work through the images taken and choose our favourites to use across the Lilou et Loïc website, social media, press and marketing.
So, there’s one thing left to say: a HUGE thank you to the whole Lilou et Loïc team, who are just like a family to me and worked really hard to pull off another fantastic and productive trip. Here's to the next one...!
Malin Wright – Lilou et Loïc Creative Director and Co-Founder