Blog | 21 February 2019

Behind the scenes at Ferne McCann’s DARE Fit & Healthy photo shoot

Hannah Kettle from the DARE team takes you behind the scenes of the Ferne McCann First Time Mum and The Only Way Is Essex star’s DARE Fit & Healthy photo shoot.

Ferne McCann

The Only Way Is Essex and First Time Mum star Ferne McCann

Ferne McCann first made a name for herself by appearing on hit TV show The Only Way Is Essex.

She quickly rose up the ranks of stardom and now has her own reality TV show, First Time Mum, as well as recently bringing out fitness DVD Fit As Ferne. So she was a perfect fit for the cover of our second special, DARE Fit & Healthy, which launched on 14 February, packed with health and fitness tips, trends and sport-inspired beauty.

Our cover shoot took place in late November in a studio in London’s Shoreditch.

Ferne had another shoot booked after our one and had to get back to her daughter, Sunday – so time was against us.

We had to nail a cover shot and at least four other pictures to use alongside her interview in the magazine, all in the space of a few hours.

To add to the pressure, we were also going to be filmed behind the scenes by her ITV crew for her TV show.

“Before I knew what was happening, I was taking one for the team and doing a lighting test, which involved sitting in front of the camera in Lycra shorts.”

I arrived at the studio early with my editor, Jo, beauty editor, Natalie, and stylist Bronagh Meere, which gave us a good few hours to set up and discuss the running order for the afternoon.

Bronagh brought along almost enough clothes to fill Topshop’s flagship store, but it’s always better to be over-prepared and to provide enough options to make the star of your shoot feel comfortable.

Ferne McCann on the photo shoot for DARE magazine

We picked six outfits to show Ferne – and she loved them all. She’d also already had her hair and makeup done by her trusted glam squad, which saved a lot of time and meant we had the whole afternoon to get a set of images.

Read more: Dare Fit & Healthy hits the newsstand

Sarah Brick, our star photographer, and I prepared the colorama and set – we’d decided on a brilliant teal blue a few weeks prior – and before I knew what was happening, I was taking one for the team and doing a lighting test, which involved sitting in front of the camera in Lycra shorts and the same blue jumper you see on the cover.

‘She jumped onto the set’

I’d just managed to change out of Ferne’s outfit when she burst onto the set, introducing herself and her team, including two camera crew. (I was very glad they’d missed my moment in the spotlight!) After a quick pre-production chat with the team, Ferne was eager to get going.

She jumped onto the set (yes, really) and began dancing to her favourite song, which was on full blast, while Sarah snapped away. We wanted to capture as much of her infectious energy as possible for the cover shot.

Ferne McCann on the photo shoot for DARE magazine

We’d put together a mood board of poses we wanted Ferne to try, but it was evident that she was great at just doing her thing and working the camera. We tried a few options with Ferne on a white box, but quickly realised it wasn’t working and whipped it off set.

Sarah had an amazing rapport with Ferne and managed to get the best out of her, even lying on the floor to get the best shot – Sarah’s starring role, which was shown on the TV show.

The rest of the afternoon went super-smoothly, and we got four brilliant shots for the inside feature. Ferne was loving the theme of the shoot, which kept the whole crew upbeat and positive, and after a few hilarious comments on the fanny pack that Bronagh had chosen, she continued to jump and dance on set like no one was watching.

It was obvious she was used to having a film crew follow her around, as she was completely at ease in front of our camera. We ended the shoot having to repeat, for the third time, our clapping and cheering, ‘It’s a wrap’ (all for the TV camera’s benefit), after which she hugged us all goodbye and hopped into a car heading home to Sunday.

It was a whirlwind of a day, but the result was totally worth it!

DARE Fit & Healthy is out now.

Along with all the brilliant editorial is an amazing bundle of on-brand samples worth over £12 on newsstands, and £20 in WHSmith, which are bagged with the magazine, making it an out-and-out winner!

Hannah Kettle
Hannah Kettle
Group Art Editor

Hannah is River's Group Art Editor for AS Watson with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Skilled in graphics, typography, InDesign, art, and graphic design.

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