By Sophie Beresiner
The cloud: 5am call time, (which is UK 1am, I know I shouldn't think this way but my body can't forget). The lining: leaving a pitch-black Dubai and arriving, via a very comfortable mini bus, to the most beautiful desert landscape I've ever seen. The Arabian Nights luxury camp is quite literally in the middle of nowhere, and a place I have vowed to revisit off-duty. I'm completely won over by the rolling dunes, embroidered outdoor poufs, towering palm trees and yes, the camel stable right outside.
Marcus our photographer has shown a strong preference for white camp wall, rather than miles of mottled sandy dunes, which is what we drove here for. But this also suits model Heidi, who discovered opening her eyes was something of a challenge in the early morning winds. We will be crunching sand in our teeth for days. Shoots that evolve on the day itself are always more exciting for me and I'm happy to create a very beautiful mix of shots that pay homage to our glorious surroundings while going a bit off-brief as the moment takes us.
Every single item from the rail has made it onto my summer wish list - a definite downside to this job. Alexander McQueen and Victor & Rolf do not factor heavily in my wardrobe at present but spending this much quality time with them has created a definite bond. Uh oh...
Heidi, ever the professional, displays an extraordinary ability to switch from eye-wateringly elegant to an insurance nightmare, breaking off from a shot to respectively climb a palm tree and hijack a camel. These shots didn't quite make the edit.
Make-up artist Val Garland managed to preserve her L'Oreal Paris products in the desert sun (the light inside the camp wasn't good enough) long enough to make the April issue something very special. We left the camp happy, bruised - camel humps, ouch - and slightly suntanned.
Another long journey later and we're eating too much pizza back at the hotel whilst excitingly planning tomorrows shoot. It's the exact opposite of this one and we're looking forward to creating a whole new direction for our summer issues. Best subscribe so you don't miss them!