Friday, 17 April 2015

WakaWaka Marrakech

When I saw on my call sheet we were shooting 'WakaWaka', I wondered if this was maybe a new type of print or range of clothes. Nope, it was just where we were shooting - a hostel!

Buried deep within the Souk, I was expecting a run down 'edgy' place - edgy was about right! From the moment we walked through the doors, we were hit by colour and beauty at every angle. It was one of the most beautiful places I saw in Marrakech!

It had an open air centre, like most Riads - a huge lack of ceiling. I think here and at our Riad they had covers, but if some rain suddenly came along you were in for a problem!

It was an incredible place for a shoot. The photographer captured parts of multicoloured walls and cushions in a magical way (Jamie Gray - he's amazing!). We were also given hot pancakes and almond dip by the lovely people who worked there which were great shooting fuel.

I especially liked the roof garden (as all houses there seem to have!)

Climb up the rickety stairs and come out in a burst of colour!

I love the shade of this blue - the make up artist had shot in this exact spot before, Debenhams, winter coats in 50 degrees heat! Thankfully we only had summery light clothes, and a 'cool' 30 degrees to shoot in.

We also came across the oldest WakaWaka resident..

The very cute, friendly tortoise! He had 'doom' painted on him - how mean :(

Here's a sneak peek of me - I had my eyebrows dyed blonde/nonexistent for this shoot and they are only just starting to grow back in a very uneven, unflattering fashion.

It was another incredible shoot and I loved the pictures from it, they're like nothing I've ever done before!

Marrakech Souk

If you remember my last post, our Riad was based within the old town - the Medena - with its' hustle and bustle, the Souk (market) taking up a vast proportion of this, with all the winding side streets leading to the main square. I had no idea that the Souk could be as deep as it was - once you are in, you are completely and utterly lost in a never-ending maze of glitz, noise and bartering. 

It definitely out did any London market I've ever been to! Every turn you take greets you with items you never knew you needed - treasure coves of lanterns, lights and jewellery, huge carpets slung over eachother, spices, animals - anything you can think of, it's here. The amount of stuff is just overwhelming - every stall has got something different and unique. 

I became obsessed with this Hand of Fatima seen everywhere in Marrakech! 

I was expecting to be jeered at for my blonde hair and 6 foot height, but I didn't actually come across anything much worse than I've experienced before. I was respectful and covered my body in maxi dresses, and sometimes my hair in a shawl, but on the whole it was fine. I think I scared them more with my intense bargaining skills! 

I picked up some spices to take home for my spice-obsessed boyfriend (seriously, we have an entire ceiling length cupboard filled with the stuff) which were all cheap as chips and smelled amazing. There's quite a lot of knock offs of spices and things like Argan Oil though in Marrakech - quite a few stalls claiming to have the best in the Souk! Luckily we went with a great man, Abdul, who took us to great stalls (even though they were probably his friends'!) who definitely made up a large part of the fact that we weren't really ripped off anywhere, and found our way home! It was amazing to follow him navigating his way through the hundreds of stalls. 

I came home with so many bowls, plates and pots - I had to wrap them all in several items of clothes to get them back in one piece! 

A truly one of a kind place - I could have got lost for days quite happily in the Souk! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Shooting in La Pause

I woke up in my princess bed to the sounds of the Call to Prayer, tropical birds tweeting and chickens clucking. Jumped up, opened my doors and was welcomed by the beautiful pool and breakfast awaiting! 

Every day we feasted on Yamina's Morrocan pancakes, pastries, omelettes, freshly made yoghurt and fruit. I ate copious amounts of the homemade orange marmalade, which was made from the oranges under which we ate! Yamina gave me a giant jar to bring home. 

Did I mention it was amazing?! 

I went into a mild food coma on the sun drenched rooftop whilst waiting for everyone to pack up..

and met this little dude! 

In Marrakech it is good luck to have a tortoise in your house. We encountered quite a few! Suddenly everyone was ready and we were making our way through the busy market to our bus. An hour later, we reached... the middle of nowhere

We were led down a little path, to a desert-paradise. We had arrived at La Pause, the rustic desert hotel which oozes beauty and culture. 

There's nothing around, except some ponies, a handful of people and two gorgeous dogs basking around in the sunshine. 

We were served an amazing Morroccan lunch - lamb tagine! I'd heard a lot about it and was not disappointed - slow cooked lamb with apricots, almonds, dates and spices. 

Avocado & Tomato starter

A beautiful lunch! I think it's difficult to find good food in Marrakech, just because of how much choice you have/how hard it is to find places (the old town is a literal maze) so this was the only authentic 'Morrocan' meal we had! It was one of the best meals I had out there (although... every meal was declared the best yet). 

After we got over our mild food comas, the wonderful Amiee set to work on my face. I needed to look sunburned - I'd already had my hair bleached and fake tan before coming out but that apparently wasn't enough! 


It was the first time I'd been made up in a fort!

The end result was what I look like after three months of heavy sunbathing and summery fun! This shoot was for New Look, to promote their new range based on Marrakech which I can confirm is need-everything-in-my-wardrobe-now beautiful. I fell totally in love with every single thing I wore and have a huge mental list of things I NEED to buy.

We then had I think my favourite shoot I've ever done. It sounds super cheesy, but I remembered why I love modeling - it can be so artistic and amazing (and take you to places like Marrakech!). The pictures came out brilliantly and I can't wait for them to be published! (31 May in Fabulous Magazine). Here were some of our locations.. 

My favourite memory is definitely standing on this hill overlooking the impossibly large stretches of hill and mountains, with nothing else around but a crackling log fire and a great team, watching the sun go down. We managed to catch the 'magic hour' of photography, where the sunset illuminates photographs beautifully.

After we were plunged into darkness, hundreds of candles appeared, tribal singing started up and the insane amount of stars showed up. 

The atmosphere completely changed - it was incredibly romantic and stunning! 

We hopped onto our bus and prayed that we got out of the desert safely, cavorting up and down hills in the pitch black! The roads weren't much better - the driving in Marrakech is definitely the worst I have ever seen, and I used to live in Cyprus! People drive on the wrong side of the road, like they are in a Mario Bros race. We made it back fine though, to this -

The old town is a lot different at night! More on that next time! xx