ELLE New Talent Fashion Photographer

Ten photographers have made it to the finals of the ELLE New Talent Photographer Search in partnership with SAMSUNG. The photographer search was launched in July this year, as part of ELLE Magazine’s renowned talent campaign of discovering and launching young talent into the fashion industry.

Selected from a pool of 75 entries, the 10 finalists will each showcase their work at the ELLE New Talent Photographer Awards Ceremony to be held in Cape Town on 11 November 2010.

The brief for the competition was for entrants to create an eight-page fashion or beauty feature that answers to the description: Sexy, Stylish and Spirited, with minimum retouching on their work.

The 10 finalists are;

From Cape Town freelance photographers Pieter Hugo, Gerhard Muller, Jean-Pierre Fourie - who has been shooting finalist portfolios for the Miss World and Universe Pageants, 20 year old self-taught photographer Freddie Child-Villiers and Alix-Rose Cowie, editor for an online SA design and advertising showcase.

From Johannesburg, freelance designer and photographer Melissa Huneberg, George Rabe and 23 year old Thato Montsitsi from Soweto. From Port Elizabeth photographer Natalie Field and Gerhardt Coetzee, who has brought his architectural background into fashion photography.

The judging panel for the final event will consist of: Armine Kalogeropoulos Business Leader – Digital Imaging, Samsung SA, Chris Viljoen ELLE fashion director, Anna Lineveldt ELLE creative director and Award-winning fashion photographer Gerda Genis (photo).

According to award-winning fashion photographer Gerda Genis, “Fashion photography is about creating a visual language, mostly in a series of pictures that capture the reader and draws them into the essence of a story, a story that always centres on clothing. The stronger the visual narrative, the longer the story lingers. There is no restriction to the narrative, the most important element is that it captivates the audience.”

“In the judging process, we will be challenging finalists to show us that they are capable of creating visually interesting stories in their pictures and maintain consistency in their ability to create it for a second time around. We want to see if they were just a ‘flash in the pan’ or able to consistantly produce beautiful images within budget by utilising a single location effectively. We are trying to find someone whose artistic thinking differentiates itself from his/er peers, whilst remaining consistent in its delivery,” comments Genis.

Editor of ELLE Magazine Jackie Burger says, “Fashion Photography is a multi-layered discipline that requires impeccable technical skills, artistic talent and emotion. Part of the challenge with fashion photography is that it requires that all these elements are merged and that images speak to target audiences and evoke emotion.”

The judges will be looking for a creative photographer with an eye for beauty, fashion, detail as well as the technical skill to create a visual feast for both local ELLE Magazine readers and their international audience. They’ll be looking for someone who’ll be able to capture the brief in all elements of his/her work from directing models, to wardrobe, hair and make-up, among other things.

“In the past eight years the ELLE New Talent project has launched careers of several talented young fashion designers and make-up artists in the country. As a result of the demand for more talent in other areas in the fashion industry, through newer campaigns like the ELLE Fresh Face and ELLE Photographer Search, ELLE has taken a more holistic approach to addressing the gaps within the South African fashion industry, by creating more opportunities for young people,” comments Burger.

Burger adds, “At ELLE, we are passionate about these talent search campaigns as we are grooming young people who can be used today and in the future as representatives of the South African fashion industry. We would like to encourage more industry players and more businesses to come on board and invest in SA’s talent as in the long-term these young people will play a significant part in defining the calibre of the country’s fashion industry.”

Armine Kalogeropoulos, Business Leader - Digital Imaging, Samsung SA says: “This partnership with ELLE offers all young photographers an opportunity to experience the great benefits of working with top of the range equipment and industry leaders. We are proud to be involved in this initiative and to be able to play part in creating long-term careers for South Africa’s young photographers.”

The winner will receive the latest innovation in camerawork and accessories worth R24 000 from Samsung, which include the NX10 Hybrid Camera, a Samsung R730 Notebook, and a Samsung XL2370 monitor.  The winner will also receive on-the-job training with ELLE Magazine, where s/he will assist ELLE photographers on all editorial shoots scheduled for a three-month period. The winner will also get to do an editorial shoot to be published in ELLE Magazine in one of the 2011 issues of ELLE.

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