Images by Thys Dullaart

Every couple of months the Ed’s Photoshoot comes around, where I get to dress up in some beautiful couture and strike a pose for my ed’s note pics. And two weeks ago, that time came around again. I have found renewed respect for models, because as glamorous as it sounds to have your hair and make-up done up beautifully, then don outfit after outfit – it’s quite hard work!

This time, we did things a bit differently. Instead of a glamorous setting, we went for a shabby chic backdrop – and found the perfect place in the Stanley Beer Yard, at 44 Stanley in Milpark, Johannesburg.

This unique venue is actually a gastro pub with a hunting-lodge feel. Deep leather armchairs cosy around a huge log fire in the one corner, with a solid-wood bar taking up the other. And long tables fill up the space in between. With the buzzing atmosphere over the weekends and the gastro pub-style meals with an eclectic arm to the menu as well – which includes things like German sausages, Karoo tjops, veg and haloumi kebabs, Mediterranean, cheese and cured meats board, rib-eye with a Morrocan rub, Mouille (mussels) and fritte, pregos, salads and Lindt chocolate brownies – you will be neither hungry nor chilly on a cold winter’s night! And of course, Stanley Beer Yard specialises in craft beer – so you won’t go thirsty either.

So while photographer Cindy Ellis was setting up, I perched on a stool for make-up star Charlene Warwick, of Face And Grace, to turn me from an ugly duckling into a swan (if only for a few hours) – Face And Grace has worked with many celebrities, after all – so if Charlene couldn’t help a gal out, then no-one could!

Primped and primed, I donned the first outfit of the day – which I must add, was the first ever haute couture dress I have ever worn. And so my few hours of feeling like a princess began.

The exquisite designs of hot up-and-coming SA designer, Chad Lahoud, were breathtaking – with every detail hand created by Chad. My two favourite outfits – black and white flowing dresses of sparkling beads, diamantes and feathers – were also the most fun! Photographer Cindy angled me perfectly, then had her assistant create a sturdy breeze which literally “ruffled my feathers” to create a stunning effect on camera.

Something must be said about the eye of a photographer – Cindy knew exactly what elements to bring together to create the perfect scene: backdrop, décor, angle of the shot, lighting…photography really is an art! Cindy has been in the industry for many years, and does everything from portraits and interiors, to personal photography. So I was in very good hands!

A couple of hours later, and I’m sorted for the next few issues of SA Home Owner. You will see the pics starting with our July issue – so take a look and let me know what you think!

With thanks to Chad Lahoud, Charlene Warwick – Face And Grace, Cindy Ellis Photography, and Stanley Beer Yard.