Subscribe to industry newsletters

Advertise on Bizcommunity

Making Table Mountain a cover model

Cape Town-based design agency INFESTATION recently did a photoshoot to capture the front cover image for the Cape Town Visitors' Guide 2016...
With the shoot taking place at Bo Kaap Kombuis restaurant in August Street, the images were specifically planned to feature a reflection of Table Mountain in the glass of the upstairs section of the restaurant.

That's not as easy as it sounds to get right, with this shoot in question spread out over seven days after scouting, including all the indecision and weather calls.

INFESTATION has produced the guide on behalf of Cape Town Tourism for the last three years. Here, Sam Bainbridge, Art Director at INFESTATION, tells us what went into getting 'the shot'...


1. Let's start with the decision to make Table Mountain the cover 'model' for the 2016 Guide.

Bainbridge: Our mandate with Cape Town Tourism is to present Cape Town to travellers in a way that is a combination of the expected and the unexpected, as our city is so rich in visual and experiential iconography. They come here to experience our assets like Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch, Robben Island and the Waterfront, so they expect to see these icons in the literature we present them. Our endeavour is to present it to them in a way that is not the usual 'stock image' version of these icons.


2. How does this differ from the other covers you've created for the Guide over the past few years?

Bainbridge: When we took over the design of the Guide in 2013, we began incrementally changing the way the cover had been presented in the past - and indeed the image use in general - to showcase our people as a part of Cape Town's assets. We wanted to include locals in a way that tells a more complete story than just capturing a pretty scene.

Our first cover showcased a local kitesurfer, with the mountain teeny in the background to add a sense of place, and in the second cover we started addressing the issue of seasonality in Cape Town by ensuring that visitors know that we're not just famous for sun, sea and sand - hiking in our many beautiful locations is a very popular local pastime.

This time, we wanted the mountain to become a part of the fabric of the picture itself whilst showcasing an urban vibe within the city, especially in line with profiling Cape Town's many wonderful and unexpected neighbourhoods. While we wanted the mountain to be the hero we know she is, we wanted to ensure she didn't steal the show!


3. Interesting. What went into setting up the shoot in the Bo Kaap Kombuis then?

Bainbridge: We hired a brilliant production company, Steel Productions, who helped us with all the logistics. This included scouting out the many locations I had suggested as potentials, negotiating with the owners of Bo Kaap Kombuis to use their beautiful venue, organising the casting, the timings, and ensuring that the props, makeup and wardrobe were organised for the day, as well as keeping the various team players informed of all decisions at all times, up until the time of the shoot.


4. What's the expected outcome from using this unexpected shot?

Bainbridge: We want to cement the concept of Cape Town as an unexpected city in our local audience's minds and renew interest in this beautiful location, as well as stimulate unbargained-for delight from a visitor's perspective, so they share their 'travel like a local' experience and become brand ambassadors for a city we love.

To get your hands on this issue of The Cape Town Visitors' Guide, you'll have to keep an eye out from mid-October. You can also follow Cape Town Tourism and the Infestation Twitter account.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity, the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017, and can be reached at ...