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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.

Today, the finalists will be treated to a technical workshop, under the leadership of our sponsors Orms & Canon. There, they will also have one-on-one time with the judges before the final deliberation is made.

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. Here we find out what they're looking for in this year's ELLE Style Reporter.

‘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.’

Join us next week as the journey culminates on the 5th of May at the Work Shop in New Town, Johannesburg.

 Watch! ELLE Editor Emilie Gambade, ELLE Fashion Director Tarryn Oppel and ELLE Contributing Editor Malibongwe Tyilo on more of the juicy details here:

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