Roy Esterhuysen is one of those people who never seem to have an off day. Always laughing, always in a good mood, and always one of the friendliest guys you will ever meet; it’s no wonder models love shooting with him and anyone creative would love working with him. Last year’s #ProjectScouted Phase Ten underwater shoot was pioneering, to say the least. The attention that the shoot gained was unprecedented in Durban and secured Roy as not only a #ProjectScouted favourite, but also as one of the top photographers in Durban. Apart from Roy’s unique speciality in underwater shooting, he is also a bespoke female fitness, swimwear, and fashion photographer as well as an established lingerie photographer working under the brand Blush Boudoir. And as if his schedule wasn’t hectic enough, Roy also works as a freelance graphic designer when he is not jet-setting to Cape Town and the like to shoot some of the most beautiful models in the country at some of the most beautiful locations in country. #ProjectScouted and the Top 6 girls couldn’t be more fortunate in having Roy back again this year to create more waves with another underwater shoot.
Lee Folkard Photography: How did you discover your passion for photography?
Roy: I’ve always had a camera in my hands, even in my younger days. It all began with my dad’s film camera with being rationed by how many shots I could take. I suppose in a way, having to be so careful in choosing which shots to take, I developed an eye for what would translate well onto camera. I started off on the business side with shooting interiors, architecture, and award functions mainly, and I then progressed onto weddings. I’m also currently the official photographer for www.beachweddings.co.za owned by James Carlsen. I developed my own style as I worked more and then moved on to lingerie and now I have also branched out into fitness photography. Having such a wide array of interests in the field always challenges me and I love the constant desire it gives me to improve.
LFP: What has been some of the best experiences for you as a photographer?
Roy: There are three main highlights for me from last year. I had the amazing opportunity of shooting a lingerie shoot at a New York studio and at Central Park. New York is an extremely inspiring location for a photographer and the work I did there benefitted me incredibly! I also captured a traditional Zulu wedding on the top of the mountains with an amazing view in Izingolweni. This was such a new and different experience for me! And then, of course, the underwater shoot in #ProjectScouted Cycle 1 was momentous for me and also having it feature on the front page of the newspaper was awesome!
LFP: What would you say is the most important part of your job when photographing someone?
Roy: Capturing a part of their personality and their natural moments is one of the most important aspects of my job. It’s also important for the person I am shooting to feel comfortable enough to be herself and let her inner self shine through. This is why my Blush Boudoir tagline is “capturing the essence of who you are”.
LFP: Is there anyone that you dream of shooting?
Roy: It would be awesome to shoot my boudoir mentor, Christa Meola Economopoulos. She has been a great inspiration to me. I would also love to capture the winner of Project Runway Season 9, Anya AyoungChee. She has such an incredibly unique, fresh look. And then another dream shoot would be with the owner of the fitness brand Lorna Jane, Lorna Jane Clarkson. Lorna Jane has been an intrinsic part of my fitness work and I love the positivity the brand stands for.
LFP: What makes for an interesting image?
Roy: I feel that there are several factors in making for a great image; location, planning, the model, appropriate wardrobe choice, the right posing for the shoot, getting a good team together and then finally a positive energy during the shoot is a must. If there is a good vibe on location, the images immediately have a spark to them.
LFP: Having been a part of #ProjectScouted last year, what made you want to be a part of it again this year?
Roy: Anyone who is a part of the Project will find themselves collaborating and working with a team that is striving towards the same goal of creating beautiful images. This is extremely inspiring for any creative person. Also I find that the photographers all push each other to do better and push the boundaries of their capabilities. We all want to see each other get better at what we do.
LFP: Do you have any tips for the #ProjectScouted girls you will be shooting?
Roy: Always have a positive attitude! And also prepare for your shoots in advance by looking up posing ideas and practicing them and work on different facial expressions.
LFP: It’s going to be difficult to better your shoot from last year. Are you willing to share any info about the phase you are shooting in the Project this year?
Roy: Well, let’s just say there will be a little twist this time. It is going to be much more challenging for the girls and also for me. But just to reassure the girls; they will not have to freeze the way the girls did last year!
The date for Roy’s shoot is still to be confirmed but will take place at Crawford College La Lucia with the girls being dressed by Lorna Jane and with lighting being taken care of by Broadcast Lighting. The Top 6 girls need to prepare themselves; this one won’t be for the fainthearted.