How Astrid Obert Shot 'Inception' in Cape Town

How Astrid Obert Shot 'Inception' in Cape Town

As creatives, we all love opportunities to work out creativity muscles and test how far we can push it. This was how the shoot “Inception” came about for photographer Astrid Obert.
Commercial work with clients is always welcomed as we all require money to survive but if you’re in the arts purely for the money then you may be in the wrong industry. With art comes passion and in addition to that passion being a major driving force for many of us creatives, it's also an itch that needs to periodically be scratched. I suppose that's one of the wonderful things about art regardless of what your outlet is. Art is boundless and so whatever tools you have at your disposal are enough to create something.

With all that being said, “Inception” is a project whereby Obert and her team decided to shoot something creative and out of the ordinary. As Obert and her team wanted to tell a story, the preparation for it felt like they were planning a movie. 

Firstly, they had to create a storyboard to make sure the images flowed well together. As per usual for most shoots, they then had to get a team together including a stylist, prop stylist, assistants while casting for models. They also needed a perfect location… when does a photographer not want a “perfect” location? Am I right? For this shoot in order to tell the story so they spent a good amount of time on location scouting too. Once everything was set, a team briefing was necessary so everybody was on the same page.

“Inception was shot at an isolated farm outside of Cape Town. The Sunrise shot with Chris who walked from the dawn to welcome the first sunlight set the stage for an amazing day. We had an absolute blast and each character came to life as the day unfolded. The shoot was fabulously fun and funky. We danced, we laughed, we played, and ended a great day filled with a wonderful synergy, around the ring of fire. Special thanks to all our talents, actors, and my amazing team who made this day”.

Sunrise on an isolated farm outside of Cape Town? Yea, perfect location achieved.

Equipment List

Nikon D810
Nikorr 35mm, 50mm, 85mm
Manfrotto Tripod
Hyperjuice Power Packs
Macbook Pro with Capture One

Equipment for the set while using available light
Butterfly 12′ X 12′ Frame
Butterfly Silks 20′ X 20′– Full / Half / Full Stop
Heavy stands high 6x - for the backdrop / Molton / Butterfly
California Sun Swatter to be mobile, Silk and Frame
California Sun Bounce zebra Reflector / Frame
Boom Stick and Grip Head

Reflectors, flags, grip gear, and a Tipke beach cart were also brought along to help set up the whole scenery and a huge amount of sandbags to ensure nothing falls or flies away. It’s not clear in the images but the day of the shoot was incredibly windy and having everything held down but sandbags are important for the safety of both the crew and the equipment itself.

Closing

“It was super exciting to shoot with my whole team on the farm in the outback away from civilization. We arrived there the night before, and it was like we’ve had a trip back in time” The jobs of a commercial photographer are not always that super creative, your job is to just photograph what your clients need. You can suggest and try to put your own spin on things but they will and should always have the final say. It is truly essential to produce your personal projects. Create a mood board and tell a story and try to work with an exciting team. This is fun, and this is why you are a photographer in the first place. Never let go of your passion and never forget to periodically scratch the itch.

Team

Photographer: Astrid M. Obert
CD: Riaan Kleynhans number7even 
Retouch: Markus Broenner​​​​​​​ 
Make up & Hair: Karina Berg c/o Bigoudi​​​​​​​ 
Make up & Hair: Janine Pritschow​​​​​​​
Styling: Catharina Van Wyk c/o SNCM ​​​​​​​
Location: Cape Town

Models:
Rio Hooper (Ice Models)
Noa Drisdale (Ice Models)
Jessie Crichton (Boss Models)
Mariah McKenzie (Twenty Model Management)​​​​​​​
Christopher da Luz

Images used with permission of Astrid Obert.

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2 Comments

Crazy shoot!
A lot of people busted their butts on putting it together, it took an "amazing team" but it's odd that everyone was credited except for the assistants who did the heavy lifting and rigging so nothing blew away or killed anyone..
Like Jackson Browne says "they're the first to come and the last to leave"

Emmanuel Vivier's picture

Really nice!