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Behind the Lens

Written by Natalie Watt


Posted on September 02 2019

Does a picture really tell a thousand words?  Perhaps it does, but what about the thousands of words a picture doesn’t tell you? 

Let me take you for a sneak peek behind the scenes of my latest fashion shoot for Basal the Label.  The location was once a lively home, filled with music, laughter, flowing champagne and the mingling of the rich and famous.  Now it stands empty and lonely – except for today.  

It sits pretty right on the beach front in Adelaide’s mellow, yet vibrant, seaside suburb of Henley Beach.  I mean, check out that view!!  World class.

I am grateful and humbled to have been given the privilege to do this shoot in the home of one of Australia’s most iconic Fashion Designers.  I can reveal who for privacy reasons, but take it from me they’re big!!!

Photographing a summer shoot in the middle of winter, I did feel a little sorry for our striking model, but as the consummate professional, she certainly had to dig deep to summon her inner summer vibes for this campaign.

It was a typical Adelaide winter’s day…. in fact when I arrived, it was still dark but forecast for a hint of sun….fingers were crossed anyway.

In getting there early it gave me a chance to compose myself for the long day ahead and just check over everything.  The running sheet, pressing of the garments, accessories, props and enjoy a warming cup of coffee.  The devil is in the detail…

With only 8 hours to capture the entire collection, I knew I’d have to run a tight ship.  Thankfully the team that came together on the day, worked seamlessly and I can confidently say, we nailed it!

By 8am, hair and makeup was all happening.  Taylor Thompson (pictured below) waved her magic makeup brush to give our gorgeous model that sun-kissed, dewy, glam, Boho look.  Not to be upstaged, Nala, was close at hand to make sure she didn’t miss out on any of the action. 

The house was starting to come alive again with a buzz of excitement.  Our photographer, Gretel, was now setting up her gear and Katrina, my sister, stylist and set assistant was helping to prepare the first few shots.

 Finally, it was time to start, and it was on like Donkey Kong.  Change, Primp, Click and repeat…

Time certainly flies when you’re having fun, but by gosh I wasn’t expecting for it to completely evaporate. 

To make the best use of time, we had to use some Macgyver-like skills and turn our model’s blanket into a makeshift change room on the beach just to save time.  I even gave up on wearing shoes myself…   who said this fashion gig was glamourous???

I was actually starting to think the weather Gods were against me, a light sprinkle of rain started to fall, but just then the clouds parted and a glimpse of sun shone down.  Gretl sprung into action, to capture shots in the perfect light. 

Unfortunately, the sun shine was over before it really began, but the grey weather turned out to be a blessing in disguise.   It allowed Gretl to use her talents to capture the vibrant hues of our beautiful silk against the contrast of moody, brooding sky – I mean how stunning does the Amorita Camisole in Siena look?  There is something very alluring in this photo – and it’s not just our gorgeous model. 

After a long & tiring but hugely successful day, I counted:

  • 8 hours of work (not mentioning the preparation and post-production)
  • 61 outfit changes (that’s 8 minutes per outfit)
  • 9 different sites within the 1 location
  • an entire bowl of Allen’s Lolly Snakes

which resulted in 543 stunning images for our upcoming season.  

I simply couldn’t have pulled this off without my team of awesomeness, so thank you with all my heart.  So much gratitude.