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Elle Style Reporter’s quest to find the genius behind the lens

By Thabile Manala
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Johannesburg, 3 May 2016 - With over 300 entries showcasing the latest trends in the world of fashion, our search for the next ELLE Style Reporter, in association with Orms & Canon, began. Through blog posts and storyboards, the stiff competition made the judges’ deliberation all the more difficult. Now, narrowed down to eight finalists, the best behind the lens will be awarded with the incredible opportunity to be the next ELLE Style Reporter.

The ELLE Style Reporter property was created just three years ago, crowning two successful winners, Trevor Stuurman and Niquita Bento; the announcement of the third winner is now just around the corner!

With an ever-growing interest for local fashion in South Africa, the idea of the property was to find someone who’s perfectly attuned to what’s new on the streets and the catwalk. The winner should have an eye for fashion, be social media savvy and have the ability to narrate what’s on the ground through their lens. ELLE’s publisher Gisele Wertheim-Aymes says, ‘With the growth in social media, this really serves as an example that anything is possible and ELLE wanted to be the catalyst!’

The first winner Trevor Stuurman successfully created a niche in the industry by developing his own distinct trademark, and the second winner Niquita Bento, balances playful fashion quirks with interesting architecture through her lens as ELLE’s creative assistant. Together they prove that the ELLE Style Reporter is a sought after platform for emerging talent.

This year again, the competition is powerful: ELLE Editor, Emilie Gambade says, ‘The eight finalists have really brought a unique point of view. A fresh look at ‘home-grown fashion & style’, away from the usual street style images we often see. Each of them brought something different and allowed for their own emotions, their personality to softly tint their work and imprint their images.’

The panel includes esteemed judges Ed Suter, Emilie Gambade, Tarryn Oppel, Niquita Bento Malibongwe Tyilo, and partner sponsors Roger Machin from Canon and Mike Ormrod from Orms.

‘I will know it when I see it because it usually makes me gasp! With both of the previous winners, there were moments of gasping at some of their images! I really want to feel a sense of the photographer in the image, a personality that comes across. Someone who has a grasp of taking a good Street style image,’ says Ed Suter.

‘Ideally I would love to see someone who is able to strike that delicate balance between understanding global trends and embracing a local translation of fashion,’ says ELLE Contributing Editor Malibongwe Tyilo. ‘South Africans have a unique way of interpreting fashion. I want someone on that pulse!’

‘Looking beyond South Africa is essential in attaining that end-product that is both of high quality and overflowing with relevant trends. It's about finding originally on the streets that stretches well beyond what we all see on catwalks around the world. Capturing that will set a clear winner apart from the rest,’ says ELLE Fashion Director, Tarryn Oppel.

‘Canon prides itself on the quality of the products it produces, and we would look for the same thing in the images submitted by the eventual winner,” Says Canon Professional Product Manager Roger Machin. ‘Pictures that would simultaneously demonstrate the ability of the photographer and the high quality he/she can produce that is up to ELLE magazines exceptionally high standards.’

When asked what he expected to see from this year’s ELLE Style Reporter, Mike Ormrod from Orms said, ‘For me the ELLE Style Reporter is such a unique opportunity for entrants to gain exposure, for great South African talent to be found.’ Ormrod however, also takes the photographic element of each entry into account, ‘it’s not their photographic skills or technical ability, but rather their eye for detail, observational skills and aesthetic sense.’

The winner will receive:
· An exclusive one-on-one session with acclaimed photographer, Ed Suter

· A Canon EOS 6D DSLR with EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 is STM lens to the value of

· R30 995, courtesy of Orms & Canon
· A monthly stipend of R5 000, from July - December 2016 in his/her capacity as the 2016 ELLE Style Reporter

· The opportunity to tell their stories through the pages of ELLE, creating content for all platforms under the leadership and guidance of the editorial team and the editor Emilie Gambade.

TO FOLLOW THE JOURNEY, STAY TUNED TO: www.elle.co.za/enter-elle-style-reporter-2016-2/