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Dean Elliott


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Dean Elliott

Nickname: 'Deano'

Professional Photographer

Born in Durban South Africa

I was born in Durban, South Africa. While completing a degree in Fine Arts Photography and lecturing part time at the same institution, I serviced outside clients for commissioned work. Soon after my studies I acquired a position at a studio and became senior photographer as well as technical advisor for Sinar South Africa. This afforded me the opportunity to travel to places like Bangkok and Cologne and domestically a few times a year. From 2010 till early 2012 I joined a larger studio which helped broaden my scope further while also acquiring a position as a part time photography lecturer at Vega (Advanced digital). I have since become independent and continue to service my clients.

I believe that one creates an image in order to satisfy a personal need to re-interpreting an emotion stimulated by the visual sense, that existed for a brief moment in time. A still image is only a trigger to this already lived experience, a container of sorts. We later have the choice to re-live this emotion at our own free will. All images are a distorted rendition of the minds eye, it is always intriguing how one relates to an image. I enjoy that part of photography.

Contact details

M: +27 827436579

Web presence

Professional details

Current Position(s)

Photographer | Dean Elliott
2012 - present

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Independent photographer.

Independent contractor | Vega
2011 - present

Academia, Education and Training

I lecture the advanced certificate in professional photography as an independent contractor for Vega School of Brand Leadership.

Previous Position(s)

Studio manager | Pure Photographic Studio
2010 - 2012

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

I was studio manager and senior photographer for Pure studio, the largest photographic studio based in Durban. Pure photograph for the retail and advertising industries and extend themselves further into high end digital photography market. Specializing in 35mm, large and medium format digital equipment and workflows.

Studio manager | Studiotwentyfour
2004 - 2010

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Photographic Studio manager for a studiotwentyfour design and photographic studio based in Riverhorse valley, Inanda, Durban, South Africa.

My duties in order to maintain the smooth operation of a medium sized studio with three photographers are listed here in no particular order. I held the responsibility to ensure all equipment was up to date and of the highest possible quality, software had to always be the latest to ensure the smooth operation of workflows and I always needed to research new suppliers and establish an ongoing relationship with them for future purchases of equipment.

It was also my duty to maintain a great working relationship with the clients and to accurately take a brief by the client in order to execute the job to their highest expectation, among other things, cost estimates and pricing structure, invoicing, maintenance, liaison, answering phones, communicating with the other departments in the studio, etc.

Most of all,
to take photographs.

Senior Photographer | Studiotwentyfour
2004 - 2010

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

While being the studio manager for studiotwentyfour i was also the senior photographer to the company.

My duties over and above managing the studio were to shoot any technical jobs that we would acquire and further liaise with those clients designers and other agencies. To produce technically challenging photographic work on large format digital cameras.

Technical advisor | Sinar South Africa
2004 - 2010

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

My duties were to keep my knowledge of Sinar equipment and software up to date, also to inform any Sinar users in South Africa of the latest technologies. I would travel nationally to assist in the process of setting up new Sinar equipment at some of South Africa's most well known photographers' studios. One of my duties was to demonstrate to a crowd, the usability and functions of the camera as well as workflow in which it is best suited.

I have also traveled internationally to keep up to date with international trends relating to Sinar and high end photography in general.

I was in direct contact with Sinar in Switzerland to help troubleshoot any issues that clients may have with equipment and it was my duty to follow up on deliveries and timing. I had to see to any faults that may have arisen and deal telephonically with clients that had troubleshooting problems while on photo shoots.

This position took me to Cape Town and Gauteng numerous times a year. I would meet with our agents based there and help with any issues that their clients may have. I would assist in any sales that may have needed some attention.

I have been to Thailand in 2007 and 2008 for Sinar training and marketing strategy meetings. Then in 2010 i went to Cologne, Germany for the photographic trade fair, Photokina.

Fine Arts photography lecturer | Durban Institute of Technology
2002 - 2003

Consulting and Project Management

I was a part-time lecturer for a brief few weeks during the course of the year. I set up the first year students with the dark room and followed through to the second year with a few basic photographic techniques.

Freelance artist and photographer | Freelance
2001 - 2004

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

During my third year of studies I started taking on commissioned photography work. Also the odd painting job here and there. In my spare time i was an assistant to Durban based photographer, Angela Buckland. Photo shoots worth mentioning are: Elle Decoration, Orange Juice design and Teremok Bed and Breakfast (Umhlanga), (Top Billing favorite). Her work can best be seen in the magazine, “ELLE – Decoration”.

Educational history


Glenwood High School, Durban, South Africa (1998)


Durban Institute of Technology

Durban, South Africa | 2001 - 2002

BA-Fa - Photography

Fine arts majoring in photography

Durban Institute of Technology

Durban, South Africa | 1999 - 2002

BA-Fa - Photography, Painting

Fine arts majoring in photography and painting



Sony Profoto silver award for advertising photography | 2008

2008 Gold, Advertising category at the South African Sony Profoto awards and 4 Bronzes in other categories.

Sony Profoto silver award for automotive photography | 2009

2009 Silver, Automotive category at the South African Sony Profoto awards, and 1 Bronze

media exposure

Liza Lou | 2008

"Liza Lou", 2008, exhibition publication. Front and back Cover and plates. L&M Arts, 45 East 78th
Street, New York, NY 10075.

American Idol - Liza Lou | 2010

"Liza Lou", American Idol - Works from 1995-2010, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris 2010 pg 11, 91.

Creative Showcase | 2010

"Creative Showcase", 2010, Film Guide to South africa Pg 23.

Sawubona - in flight magazine | 2009

"Sawubona" Magazine, (issue, November 2009, Editorial, "in Focus" 2008 Sony Profoto Awards, Page 107)

Pix magazine | 2004

I have shot covers for Pix magazine, issues: "Sept-Oct 2004", "Jan-Feb 2005", "July-Aug 2005", "Jan-Feb 2006". and produced a few Photoshop tutorials and fashion editorials.

Competitive Accomplishments

East london, South Africa | South African Schools Surfing - Half colors | 2008

Surfed the South African schools tag team championship surfing held in East London, South Africa.

East london, South Africa | South African Schools Surfing - Half colors | 2007

Surfed the South African schools tag team championship surfing held in East London, South Africa.


Other Activities


Skateboarding, 1986 - present

I have been skating longer than i have been surfing, although its been sporadic. Not enough to become competitive. I enjoy the idea of skateboarding and it nomadic approach to a lifestyle sport.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking, 2011 - present

I recently started MB and absolutely enjoy rinding, casually on weekends though. Im not very competitive, as i enjoy cruising.


Surfing, 1993 - present

I have ben surfing pretty much all my life, as far as i can remember. But only really took it seriously since i got a new surfboard on my 13th birthday.


Julie Gardiner, Art Buyer, Jupiter Drawing Room, Cape Town.

"“Hi Dean, I have been on set with a few people that were on the Durban shoot. They only had good things to say about you in a very difficult set up. Thank you so much for keeping your cool and being so accommodating and getting what we needed in a very trying environment.
" - 2011

Lara, Graphic Design House, Cape Town

"“It was great to work with you and Dean. Thanks a mil - you were a great director!”
" - 2010

Thierry Hagenauer, Sinar

"“Hello Deano, Looking good!! Fame at last!” (in reference to an image taken of me shooting in Bankok, Thailand.)
" - 2008

Beko, Model

"“Had a super day today. I wanted to thank both you and dean for being a fantastic crew. You were magic.”
" - 2009

Mick Haggarty (Design, California) and Liza Lou (Artist)

"“Thanks for the images, they are perfect, we consider it very good fortune for us to find you, thanks for an outstanding job, looking forward to seeing the whole shoot next week”
" - 2009

Kirsten Goss, London

"“Dear Dean and Jessica. A quick email, to say ‘thank you thank you’ very much for fitting us in at such uber late notice. We really appreciate it! And your service and follow ups has been fantastic and so professional!”" - 2009

Andrew Mills,
Marketing Manager - Boxer Superstores

"“Jeepers. You are a Photoshop Legend. A master of your craft. The Michelangelo of photography.”
" - 2008

Maureen Dua, Group Brand Manager Enaleni Pharmaceuticals Consumer Division

"“Hi Dean,
I'm hoping Kim passed on my compliments to you - your photography is absolutely outstanding - I've worked with some amazing photographers and what you have done would more than blow them away. Well done, I am so impressed.”
" - 2008

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