FashionPhotographyBlog.com caught up with Photo of the Week winner, Celeste van Rooyen. Celeste originates from Cape Town, South Africa but had lived in London for 3 years, then studied wine making in Stellenbosch, South Africa and worked in the wine industry before moving to Dubai where she is now based. Her work has also been printed in OK, Shape & other magazines in South Africa, so it came as no surprise when she won her round of Photo of the Week. “Golden Era” was the week’s theme that Celeste was a finalist and there was some fierce competition in the votes but it was her photo from “The 1920s Shoot” that won with the public in the end. As the winner of Photo of the week, I caught up with Celeste to explore her photographer’s journey and the inspiration behind her winning photo.
I asked Celeste how did she started photography, she replied, “I started documenting images of our farm in South Africa for a book;, that led me to photography and the fact that I love fashion and creating a feeling led me to fashion photography as I quickly got bored with the other types of photography and liked all the categories that makes a fashion photograph work or not”. So what is it about fashion photography that makes it so great in comparison to other photography genres? According to the photographer, “It makes you feel in a different way – you have makeup, poses, clothing, hair styling, types of lighting and venues to all contribute to tell a story and create a feeling”.
So what’s the story behind the photographer’s winning photo compilation? How did the inspiration come about? Celeste replied “As a beginner I entered a competition – It was an Emirates airline face card competition and I still today receive work [from] the contacts/friends that I made from this entry and the exposure received… The model in the pic will be travelling to Los Angeles in august actually.”
For this 1920’s inspired shoot Celeste used a Canon 5d Mark 2 – with 2 umbrellas as well as shooting off camera with Profoto Pocket Wizards and EX580 flashes. Looking at the playfulness of the models in the photo, I asked Celeste, what she thought was unique about your photographic style, she answered, “I can shoot various styles – it depends what the client likes. I can shoot what the mood board requires and add a bit of my own flair as an option where needed.”
I asked Celeste if she had any advice for photographer starting out. She began describing that the journey is a step by step process, that you should focus on mastering your style and building your creative team, however, it depends because “everybody is different and is different in different parts of the trade. It just depends on who you are, what you’ve learned in life, who you know, and where you are with skills… Some people need to find out these things for themselves on the job”. However, the photographer did manage to list down what she thought were important for new photographers beginning their journey. These included:
– You cannot be a fashion photographer on your own, you need a great team!
– You need to have an eye for your own style;
– You need to have an eye for detail;
– Know how to work in a team;
– Manage the look and feel of the shoot;
– Don’t follow too many rules but make sure that all the components ‘work’;
– And lastly, keep an eye on the clothing of course.
On the flip side I asked her what she thought the reasons why photographers fail in fashion photography, Celeste replied “They don’t’ know how to direct their model, they stray from the end result and lose focus.”
To find out more about Celeste and other photos from her 1920s series you can find them on her blog and her website. Celeste informed that both her and her model, Denitsa, will be in Los Angeles in August and is willing to test, assist, meet other photographers and make new contacts and friends in the industry. You can find Celeste van Rooyen online via her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN and Pinterest.
Currently, we have another round of Photo of the Week running. To participate in the voting, make sure you “like” our Facebook page here and vote for your favorite photographer‘s photo out of the finalists in the comments section of the post. The photo with the most vote’s by the end of the week at Sunday midnight will win Photo of the Week and win the great prizes on offer.
Since FashionPhotographyBlog.com is Google’s #1 site on fashion photography in the world, you might be interested in entering our Photo of The Week competition. This could be your entry to some great exposure if you submit your photo and win. To find out more details on how to enter, make sure you join our mailing list. We will send you the entry details via your email. As a reminder, voting ends at the end of the week so make sure you get voting our Facebook page here.
What do you think of Celeste’s winning photo? We want to know what you think. Tell us in the comments below, do you agree with how this week’s voting outcome? What is your critique on this photo? We want to hear from you!