MY PREFERRED CONTRACTORS FEATURE
One of my goals for Pretty Neat Pretty Cool is to highlight freelancers and contractors who have helped me along my professional path. I have been extremely lucky to work with incredible talent, but those specifically featured here are incredible souls who have helped me personally. It’s my small way of thanking them, and hopefully driving eyes toward their own endeavours. I wouldn’t be who or what I am without their guidance, patience, and incredible generosity. Today I’m talking about The Dollie House team.
THE DOLLIE HOUSE BACKSTORY
During my time at Hello Pretty, I was fortunate enough to work with some of South Africa’s most talented creative businesses. Having just moved to Cape Town, I was in the middle of World Design Capital and all that went with it. (I have A Few Thoughts on WDC14, but those are for another time.) Names I had admired for years were suddenly in my inbox.
I’d like to say that I transitioned into all of this smoothly, but that would be an outright lie. I fangurled hard, and often.
While no longer in the thick of the South African design world (having moved on to the glamour and allure of hot chocolate and spices), I still try to support the brilliant people that I was lucky enough to work with back then. One business I’ll always go back to is The Dollie House.
Photographers Rizqah and Reshaan are two of the most beautiful, gentle souls that I have encountered in Cape Town. Their kindness and patience guided me through photoshoots without ever feeling painfully self-aware. You know that feeling when you don’t know what to do with your hands? There’s none of that on their watch.
They photographed the Hello Pretty team when we were leveraging every bit of free marketing that we possibly could. #startuplife meant no marketing budget, so we were heavy-handed with press releases. Many publications asked for PR photographs, and we went to The Dollies for help.
We were an awkward group of people – somewhat unrefined and adorably geeky. (I like to think so anyway.) We definitely didn’t know what to do with our hands while we were being photographed. The Dollies offered quiet direction and made us laugh, and in the end, it hadn’t felt like a photoshoot at all.
THE DOLLIE HOUSE IN 2017
This, combined with their beautiful way of capturing light, made them the first people I contacted when I was planning to redo my website. We met for breakfast at the beautiful The General Store, spoke about dogs, travelling, and plants, and spent the most enjoyable morning together.
We could only assume that the nature of Cape Town, blogging, Instagram, and 2017 in general were to thank for the complete apathy we enjoyed from the other patrons. No one batted an eye as I moved around the store, posing up a storm. Tip: the entrance to The General Store is constructed in such a way that it acts as a built-in infinity curve. You couldn’t ask for better natural lighting. Their coffee and pastries are superb too, which certainly helped.
Many thanks to Colette for kindly allowing us to make use of her shop for a few hours.
I was so pleased with how the photos turned out – so much so that the colour scheme for the new Pretty Neat Pretty Cool website was chosen with their photos in mind. They’ve allowed me to turn my own face into site stock photography! (Cringey? Maybe. In keeping with me trying to get my face and name out there? Let’s hope so. So let’s all be awkward about my high volume of self-portraits together.)
All photos here and on my online profiles are their handiwork. While I opted to use their colour photography throughout, I’m taking this opportunity to highlight their lovely black and white photos.
GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM
If you’re not currently in the market for custom stock photos, their product and lifestyle photography is exquisite, and also how the Hello Pretty team came to know them. Family portraits, weddings, and studio photography are also within their skill set.
I cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you Dollies, you’ve made me look totes profesh. (And with that clanger I will see myself out. Please don’t judge Riz and Resh based on my terrible closing line!)