Shelley Buckle – now Shelley Ferreira, having been married fairly recently – is not a name unknown in Durban and even in South Africa. She has made a huge impact on the local modelling industry, especially in beauty pageantry, and has managed to remain genuine and steer clear of becoming a stereotypical pageant girl. Having lived in Umhlanga for all 24 years of her life, she currently still lives in the same area with her husband. Shelley describes herself as “humble, fun and generous” and it is easy to agree. Read more about this remarkable girl below, who is the final judge in our #ProjectScouted panel.
Lee Folkard Photography: What is Shelley’s life like? You currently work as a graphic designer, are newly married, and you also have your modelling career on the side.
Shelley: My life is hectically busy! I’m busy all the time, but I love it! It keeps my life interesting and fun. I look forward to seeing where I will be in 10 years time!
LFP: What inspired you to choose your career in graphic design?
Shelley: I’ve always been a creative individual, with my love of painting having started at the tender age of 6! I knew that my career would involve the creative industry, and so chose to pursue Graphic Design.
LFP: And how did the modelling begin?
Shelley: It actually started as a confidence-booster when I was 11 years old. My mom would enter me in small modelling competitions, hoping that it would help me to break out of my shell, and she was right! It has shaped me in so many ways, and has made me into the person I am today.
LFP: There have been so many highlights and achievements in your modelling career. Tell us what stands out for you.
Shelley: Winning Miss Deaf SA and being able to attend Miss Deaf World still stands out as a huge achievement for me. I still remember that exact moment being announced as the winner of MDSA on stage, and then being rushed off for a live TV interview straight after!
LFP: Now that you are focussing on your marriage and your career in graphic design, how does modelling fit in?
Shelley: My modelling comes after everything and when I have the time to do it, it happens. Otherwise, the love of my life comes first now.
LFP: It is quite rare to see someone so humble and sincere in the modelling and pageant industry. How do you remain grounded?
Shelley: I try not to let the little things bother me and to push through it all. I believe in taking negative situations and seeing the positive in of them.
LFP: What is the one thing you would like everyone to know about Shelley?
Shelley: I am an extremely hard-working individual and am passionate about the deaf community. I try to be involved as much as I can with charity initiatives. I believe we all have a part to play in giving back.
LFP: How did you hear about #ProjectScouted?
Shelley: I heard about #ProjectScouted when it first started last year, especially since it was gaining so much attention on social media. I think it’s a fantastic initiative and really showcases the hidden talent we have in Durban!
LFP: What motivated you to agree to be one of the judges for the Project?
Shelley: It’s an honour to be a part of such a well-established brand and it would have been very hard to say “no”! Because of its success and its aim to showcase Durban talent, it definitely influenced my decision to be a part of the judging panel.
LFP: Are you willing to share any of the criteria you will be basing your judging on?
Shelley: I’m looking for spontaneity and originality; anything that makes me say “WOW!” on the first impression.
LFP: Do you have any advice for the girls participating in the Project, or for girls in the beauty pageant and modelling industry in general?
Shelley: The best advice I can give is to just be yourself and let your qualities show. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, be the best version of you.
Now that you have been introduced to the exceptional judging panel of #ProjectScouted Cycle 2, all you have to do is stay updated on the Lee Folkard Photography Facebook page as well as on Instagram to see the girls that make it through each phase. Also follow Shelley on Instagram @shelley_ferreira to see her living her inspired and inspiring life.