Today, we’re getting to know Celeste van Rooyen a little bit better! This is part of a series of interviews we will be having with KIKI members. If you would like to be interviewed go to our interview page and answer a few questions!
Website/ Blog: www.celestevr.com/blog
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/celestevanrooyenphotography
1. When and how did the photography bug bite you?
I was shot by FanJam many many years (i wish i can send you that image!!) ago and did some modeling. I saw the effect the lighting and make up and off course his talent had and I wanted to do this for others!! I started winning travel photography awards with a point and shoot camera whilst living in london and when I moved to Dubai I took it further and never looked back!! My biggest break I would say was when I entered the shoot 1920 era for Emirates Airlines Calender 2010 – People still recognise my name and I never stopped working after that exposure. A few days ago I booked a wedding of someone who saw only those images from the calender and how funny: whilst I had a meeting with this future bride, a groom from a previous wedding walked into the coffee shop raving about my work! I realised I got noticed when many models, make up artists, and retouchers ask to work with me and alot of people asked for photography advise and when I landed a job recently working for ‘The Studio” in Dubai. Photography is not just about take a great shot – Its a combination of how you run your business, whom you are, proper planning and visualisation beforehand, the shoot, directing, location, editing, etc. I still like the rush when I get noticed and chosen for a job
2. Your house is on fire, your family, equipment and pets are safe, but you only have time to take 2 items, what would it be?
3. If you could have a conversation with anyone about anything, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would love to chat to Marilyn Monroe. I love her sayings and just would like to meet her for myself and she can talk any old nonsens she likes but she has to let me snap her afterwards hie hei. I would like to know what she would have changed in her life.
4. What can you talk about for hours? (apart from photography)
wine, life, exciting new things, clothing, travel. Me and my girlfriends’ conversations to those who know me are never boring
5. What makes you really angry?
people walking in front of me and stopping whilst im carrying heavy stuff and am in a hurry like always, people whom are two faced, people who dont enjoy or appreciate or make use of every single moment in life, crime in south africa, unfairness
6. You help an old lady load her groceries in her car; only to find out she is extremely wealthy. She wants to buy you something to say ‘thanks’. What would you choose?
7. What subject matter do you love shooting?
models, beautiful models with beautiful clothing : fashion
8. If you could only take one lens on every shoot (even if you don’t currently own it), which one would it be and why?
24 – 70 2.8, own it and it never leaves the cam
9. If you had all the time in the world to do one photography project, what would it be?
and if I had the budget I would love to do Fashion photojournalism in a big way like teling a story about people with beauty, great location,storyline in the images, great clothing etc. Anne Leibovitz style!!
10. Have you ever had one of those embarrassing moments at a shoot? Would you tell us what happened and how you survived?
I’ve experienced many things – It makes us stronger and we know that we will never make this mistake again. Our work is our views and thoughts and our thoughts are whom we are and we are = our personalities, experience , background and energies. Being drunk on holiday I formatted my card by accident. I shot a marathon and the client changed the settings to small and the next day I started my new shoot on Small. I fall over stuff . Once I fell over a rock on the beach – there was blood everywhere. Once on a dessert safari I bumped the big lens against my front tooth. Once a taxi driver grabbed my camera bag in Amalfi and dropped it and dented the lens and the insides of the cam fell out. Once I carried my external hard drive on top om my laptop and dropped it and lost many years of work etc. I’m sure i can think of many more things but id rather not think about it.
11. What music do you listen to when you have to get through long hours of admin and editing?
12. Which aspect of your craft are you the least and most confident in?
most confident in directing people and editing and creative organising beforehand with what works and what not. Least confident is problems that I face on the moment: in a lens or camera or skill that is not always sharp and when I dont focus both subjects but sometimes just the one subject super sharp like I wanted to.
13. When you have to make big decisions, which do you prefer? “Flipping a coin”, “Comparing the pro’s and con’s” or “going with the flow”.
go with my gut feeling
14. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve already been mostly everywhere and still like the buzz feeling of waking up in a brand new culture and city but I’m going through some changes on the moment and feel that I would love to live and work in New York or LA. My most favourite place in the world is still our family farm in the Boesmanland and my most favourite person is still my grandfather!
15. Give a link to one of your recent shoots that you absolutely loved shooting? Why did you enjoy it so much?
It was a last minute booking. The lights was simple and effect unexpected. The model hair and make up and clothing was perfect. A little studio in Dubai Mall advertising Bloomingdales. The result was just plain awesome