While it may be chilly here in the states, South Africa is warming up for their season of summer, and so is Superbalist, with a new line of decorative pillows, patterned rugs, and modern patio furniture. Cape Town-based photographer Inge Prins helped curate Superbalist’s chic summer look to highlight their new products and celebrate the season with a pop of color and a beachy attitude.
What was involved in planning and preproduction?
Art director Charl Edwards works closely with the buyers at Superbalist around a trend or theme and the shoot gets planned accordingly. The products are chosen for the shoot around this theme. Charl chose some extras to fill the “story.” The color of the products as well as their launch date on the Superbalist site are all considered. The theme of this shoot was “Exotic Jungle.” Charl sent me a mood board and brief in advance to help me get a clear sense of the visual direction of the shoot. In this case, a two-day shoot was planned in order to have a mix of location and studio shots on the Superbalist site and other platforms.
We did a location recce and discussed the brief in further detail and planned our angles while on site. I had a look at the direction of the sun’s movement around the house and we planned the route the shoot would take accordingly. We discussed the logistics of getting the products, props and photographic equipment delivered and into the house. The location we shot at only has access by a very steep flight of stairs or a very small slow lift. After the recce I planned a gear list that I passed to my Agent (Emma Buckland) who booked the equipment with a local gear rental house (Sunshine company). Emma also organised the gear delivery to set for the morning of the shoot as well as booked a photographic assistant through the CCA, a Cape Town assistant association. I briefed my assistant Alex, before the shoot to keep him informed on what would be expected from him on the day.
On shoot day 2 of the production, Charl and I both visited the studio before the shoot. Charl chose the paint colours for the flats that needed to be painted and I gave my feedback on his choices. Charl briefed me and explained look and feel he wanted for the studio aspect of the shoot. He showed me lighting references and we discussed his vision. I drew up a gear list accordingly that was delivered to the studio.
How many shoots did you conduct to get all the images? What were the shoots like?
This was a two-day shoot. Day 1 was on Location and Day 2 was in studio. Both days were about 10 hour days. Charl and I work well together and we have a good understanding. The location and studio were filled to the brim with products on the days of the shoot. Charl’s assistants colour-coded all the props and packed them out in clear groups so Charl could choose and work easily and replace products as he saw fit. The Superbalist buyers like seeing as many of the products as possible in the final images, so it’s always good to have options on hand. All the plants were real and fresh and had to be kept alive. The leaves were clamped and taped into C-stand arms and placed into frame. We were busy and worked hard but we found time for jokes and laughter and the mood was very creative and playful.
Did you face any challenges with this project? If so, how did you overcome them?
I would say the biggest challenge might have been getting in and out of the location house with so many props. The house sits on a slope of a mountain. Running up and down the small steep stairs took serious energy and the little lift was too small for some of our things.
We had to make sure to allocate enough time in our schedule to get in and out of the house.
The wind also suddenly picked up around midday as we were about to shoot the poolside shot and the inflatable flamingo became very hard to control – we were all nervous that it would blow off the cliff into the sea but luckily managed to grab a frame with it in the right position. Just leaving the house was a big challenge too as I fell totally head-over-heels in love with the house and wanted to stay there forever.
What was your favorite part of the project?
I enjoyed both the shoot days. Working in the location house was definitely my favourite part. The house has the most incredible view over the ocean. The house itself is beautifully designed and the owner has impeccable taste. The weather was perfect that day, hot and bright and it felt like we were shooting on a remote island. I am so grateful to be able to shoot in such beautiful locations in my own hometown. – not just another day at the office.
See more of Inge at ingeprins.com.
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