About Elske Photography

Elske's biography

Elske matriculated from Linden High School in Johannesburg in 1992. She passed with full exemption in English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Art, Biology and Accountancy. After matric, she studied towards a National Diploma in Photography at the Vaal University of Science and Technology. During her studies, she was named Best Photography Student in 1996, and in 1997 she received two gold awards as Best Student in Beauty & Fashion at the annual Fuji Profoto Awards.

While studying, Elske worked part-time as supervisor at Dions in Menlyn in the Photography, Audio and Visual Department and achieved above-average sales during that time.

From January 1998 to April 1998, she was employed as a darkroom technician with Kodak Prolab, and from April 1998 to June 1999 she worked as a photographer for Sun International touring locally and overseas. Her responsibilities included the production of high-quality material for professionals in the world of entertainment and gaming. From middle 1999 to the first quarter of 2000, Elske assisted fashion photographer Clifford Hansel, and advertising photographer David Prior. During this period, she was also an assistant photographer with various glossy magazines, including Cosmopolitan, True Love, Elle, Food & Home, and Style.

From April 2000 to July 2003, Elske was employed as a photojournalist with the daily newspaper Beeld. She worked in conjunction with various journalists to create in depth features using digital and film mediums. During this period, she was also the entertainment photographer for Jip & Plus magazines.

Some of the special events she captured include: The Comrades Marathon, the Engen Grand Prix Series, Currie Cup rugby, the Vodacom Super 12, Aardklop, the Oppiekoppi Music Festival, President George W. Bush's visit to South Africa, the crowning of Rain Queen Mojadji, the crowning of King Kgosi Leruro Molotlegi, and the Royal Bafokeng Kingdom.

Working in such a fast-paced and unpredictable environment such as that of the newspaper industry, Elske learned that the creativity of a photographer contributes significantly to catching the attention of the newspaper reader. Elske proved that she does this in an eccentric and very individual way.

From July 2003 to May 2004, Elske joined Huistgenoot / You / TV-plus as a magazine photographer. Her gallery includes front covers, news events, features, glamour, studio work, and entertainment. She worked with a lot of celebrities, makeup artists and stylists. Her career highlights include working with various actors such as those of 7de Laan, Backstage, The Res, and Isidingo. She also covered the Huisgenoot "Skouspel" at Sun City, Pop Idols, Coca Cola Pop stars, Gareth Gates' visit to South Africa, Charlize Theron's visit to South Africa, Nelson Mandela with Charlize Theron and Enrique Iglesias's visit to South Africa.

From June 2004 to July 2008, Elske joined Tuis & Home / Ideas / Idees (Creative Living Magazines Division) as a magazine photographer. She worked with a stylist to create only the best moods in décor settings for feature articles and covers. She also did promotional material for clients. At the same time, she was running the Johannesburg photography department.

In her own words

"I have had the privilege of touching on all mediums in the industry. What really captured my imagination at the beginning of my career was putting my skills to good use in the magazine world where fashion, corporate and advertorial photography changed how I viewed working with people directly, adding value and making a difference by selling what the client wants, through photography."

"After nearly 20 years as full-time professional photographer, I have joined the ranks of freelance photographers in July 2008. I am still in the magazine world, but as a freelancer covering all photography mediums. Thanks to my valuable experience, I have the ability and expertise to capture a wide variety of mediums. I am living my dream of running my own full-time BEE-certified business, with a fully equipped studio, producing high quality images and results for my clients through various assignments. Highlights so far included:"

  • Dulux campaign - "Colour the World"
  • New Husky product launch campaign
  • New Philips airfryer
  • SA Brandy festival
  • Decorex winning designers
  • Tile Africa catalogue (Connexions)
  • Pampers/Unicef

Awards & competitions

Elske has been an entrant for the Sony Profoto Awards, Professional Fuji Awards, National Press Club Fuji Press Awards, World Press Photo Awards, Vodacom Journalist of the Year and Mondi Awards between 1997 and 2011. During her career, Elske received the following awards, amongst other:

  • Sony Profoto Awards - Food - Bronze.
  • Finalist for Making History-Lee Jeans Campaigns.
  • VOW Awards South Africa Bridal Industry - Bronze.
  • Chosen as a candidate out of the whole of Africa (only 27 chosen out of 127 candidates for APEP (African Media Entrepreneur Pipeline Project).
  • Fujifilm Profoto Awards - Fashion & Beauty - Silver + Bronze.
  • Fine Art - Silver Still life - Bronze.
  • Media 24 Magazines - 1st quarter winner cover Sept 2007.
  • Tuis/Home Cover of the Year 2007.
  • Media 24 Magazines & Newspapers Competition - 2nd in Food & Décor.
  • Annual Fuji Profoto Awards 2007 - Still life / Advertising - 2 Bronze.
  • Women by Women - A book launched by Department Arts & Culture - 50 Years of Women’s Photography in South Africa.
  • An E.Y.E. - Exhibition with 3 other Professional Photographers.
  • Appletiser Pure Pleasure - Part of exhibition - National.
  • Fuji Press Awards - Highly Commended.
  • Annual Fuji Profoto Awards 2004 - Weddings (2 Bronze).
  • Professional Fuji Accolade Awards - Beauty & Fashion Awarded Highly Commended.

Events covered

  • Comrades Marathon (2001 - 2003).
  • Engen Grand Prix Series (2001 - 2003).
  • Currie Cup rugby (2001-2003).
  • Vodacom Super 12 (2002-2003).
  • Aardklop (2000 - 2002).
  • Oppikoppi Music Festival (2000 - 2002).
  • S.A visit by President George W. Bush of U.S.A (2003).
  • Crowning of Rain Queen Mojadji (2003).
  • Crowning of King Kgosi Leruro Molotlegi (2003).
  • Royal Bafokeng Kingdom.
  • Huisgenoot “Skouspel” at Sun City (2003).
  • Pop Idols (2003).
  • Coca-Cola Popstars (2003).
  • Gareth Gates visit to South Africa (2003).
  • Charlize Theron (Oscar Winner) Visit to SA (2004).
  • Nelson Mandela with Charlize Theron's visit (2004).
  • Enrique Iglesias visit South Africa (2004).
  • Simonsberg - Errieda du Toit PR (2009 - 2012).
  • IST year-end fuction (2009).
  • Stanlib year-end function (2008 - 2010).
  • Jenni Newman PR - Lisof & Phillips (2009 - 2012).
  • Pampers (2010 - 2012).
  • Thembi Seete new face always (2010).
  • Standard Bank Brandy Festival (2010 - 2011).
  • Estee lauder / Sarie / Fair Lady Makeovers (2010).
  • New Husky campaigns launch (2011 - 2012).
  • Dulux - Colour the World Campaign (2011 - 2012).
  • Plascon Decorex Designers (2010 - 2011).
  • Tsogo Suncares (2014).
  • Tsogo SCC New Look (2014).
  • Tsogo Magazine (2014).


Professional membership

Elske was a member of the National Press Club between 2000 and 2003.

She is currently a member of the PPSA, SAFREA and Adobe Photographers Directory.

Elske was awarded APPSA for Architecture in 2011.

Recent courses

Elske attended the following additional courses from 1999 to 2008:

  • Africa Media Online (APEP) Stock Library.
  • Digital Imaging Workflow Master classes with Graeme Cookson.
  • Digital Asset Management Master classes with Peter Krogh.
  • Digital Photography Ecosystem Master classes with Peter Krogh.
  • Digital Imaging Essentials advance Master classes - course at Africa Media online with Graeme Cookson.
  • Desktop Publishing - AAA Advertising School, JHB
  • Certificate SBDC Training (Marketing and running own business).