Turning Heads

Welcome to 2012! We hope you’re as excited as we are to get the year off to a start with fresh minds and rejuvenated souls. The Flat Art Studios team is ready to click our way into the new year but before we begin, here’s a quick flashback to 2011. Our festive greetings card with its retro barbershop theme proved to be quite a success. This is our story of the team’s transformation into chic city slickers from a bygone era.

Our custom-made newspaper

The prospect of waking up early on a Sunday morning to head off to work is enough to make any person pull up the covers and hit the snooze button but on 27 November the team all but jumped out of their beds. It was the day of our shoot and we couldn’t wait to see everything finally come together.

The preparations had been a joint venture. Lee and I had spent the previous weeks ensconced in rows of vintage clothing, shrouded in soft clouds of dust as we searched for hidden treasures to return to their former glory. We scoured the city for suitable props as we travelled into an era of forgotten glamour and old-fashioned charm. Dawie and Michael liaised with the friendly and likable owner of the barbershop – Yogi, while making notes of space available and possible lighting setup. Kirk raided his dad’s wardrobe and brought to work a myriad of colourful ties and striped suspenders while Willem sourced a vogue cigarette holder and a wooden pipe. Donna oversaw the whole process and made sure everyone was doing their part and keeping in line.

Willem growing attached to his pipe

Soon the office was overflowing with  fur coats, long strings of pearls and elbow high gloves, not to mention a wooden coat stand and an old-fashioned telephone. Fortunately, however, Donna’s desk is always in such a state that no one noticed the strange new additions and we managed to keep the theme of the card a secret.

Lee irons her dress

When the day for the shoot rolled round we had complete outfits and props for everyone, carefully selected and fitted according to the 1920’s decade. All that was needed was the correct hair and makeup to complete the look. Marzanne Gericke worked her magic on us managing to curl Lee’s usually straight hair, tame Donna’s stubborn curls and shape the guy’s rugged facial hair. This didn’t include Willem though who, taking matters into his own hands, emptied an entire bottle of gel as he tweaked and twisted his moustache. Marzanne did the makeup flawlessly and after half an hour working on my face she pulled back with a gasp and exclaimed with exhilaration that I looked like a drug addict; it was just the look she was going for. Well if she was happy so were we.

Lee has her fringe cut

Camilla has her makeup done

All dolled up, we headed to the barbershop where the guys and our assistant, Daniela Zondagh, were already busy setting up. As we arrived Dawie told us we would only need to use flash in addition to the daylight streaming through the large windows. Fortunate for us we had gained the attention of a guy dressed in a clown suit who was more than willing to help us perform our act by holding the flash for us.

Dawie and Donna set up the shot

Michael is touched up

Mother nature was not fully on our side though as a fierce wind raged down Buitengracht Street threatening to set off with us as its cargo and the skrim as its sail. Fortunately Willem, Kirk and Daniela managed to clamp the skrim down and Marzanne was left to guard the ship as we took our places inside. By this stage we had attracted the attention of numerous passersby and amused car guards who couldn’t keep from turning their heads towards the dramatic scene.

Daniela, Willem and Kirk manage the skrim

At last the stage was set, the curtains were up and we were ready for our grand performance as Daniela pressed the final click…. just under 100 times to ensure everyone and everything looked just right. A few hours later with high spirits, sore cheeks and furrowed foreheads (depending on the facial expression chosen) we took our final bow and set off back to the studio confident we had got the perfect shot.

Our chosen shot


About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
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