16 Behind the Scenes Stories About Complex's 2012 Magazine Covers

Rita Ora: Rita Rocs

Issue: August/September 2012

Photographer: Zoe McConnell (@ZOEMCCONNELL)

Written By: Rob Kenner (@boomshots)


We were in London during the Queen's Jubilee, and all the streets were blocked off.


Brent Rollins: "We found this photographer Zoe McConnell, because we needed to hire a photographer in London. There is no shortage of photographers in London, but we needed somebody who would still be able to shoot Rita in a sexy but not so cheesecake way. We found Zoe and thought it was a good fit, so we went to London for the shoot. We were in London during the Queen's Jubilee and all the streets were blocked off."

Gina Batlle: "Because we were there during this huge holiday, I think we were at the shoot a little longer than they originally wanted us to be, so it worked out for us in terms of a lot of down time. Rita was really sweet, funny, goofy, and had a really positive attitude. We actually had the opportunity to see her perform; she opened for Coldplay the night before, and we got to meet her whole family. We don't usually have the opportunity to see what someone is about in that way, because timing doesn't allow, but it was cool to see her in action."


She opened for Coldplay the night before, and we got to meet her whole family.


Brent Rollins: "We did the shoot at this amazing house. We were looking for 'dorm' story/foreign exchange student scenario, because she is 'coming to America.' The photographer found this house, I forget who it was owned by, but it is badass. It's super '70s, but in an awesome way-very modern and high design with a yellow bathtub. Everything was just awesome."

Gina Batlle: "The interior design was really cool. Even though they had all this cool shit, it felt really comfortable. Zoe was really awesome; she knows how to direct women without making them feel uncomfortable. She is also really easy going. When I sent her an email, I accidentally typed her name into my Gmail search and saw that she had sent me an email two weeks before pitching her work. I just ended up replying back to that email."

Read the Cover Story

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