Mar 012012

 

WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY ARE YOU CURRENTLY FOCUSING ON AND WHY?

I have worked as a Freelance Photographer in the fields of Portraiture, Architecture, Stills and Historical Processes such as Gum Bichromates, however currently I am focusing more on my Fine Art Photography – at night. It’s something I started experimenting with shooting at 16 and have come full circle to enjoying the experience these past few years, once again. The long exposures allow for truly being in the moment and I shoot this work with chrome, (yes, I still shoot slide film, everything on my website was shot with film 🙂 ). Kodachrome 64 was my go to favorite film forever but now I shoot with Velvia.

The majority of my personal work is captured at night, as this is when I am most inspired and has been an element of my work for over 20 years. There is mystery at night, and I feel that this body of work is an expression of a photographic meditation through a long exposure. I have been able to merge my two loves of Photography (picking up a camera at the age of 12) and Yoga, I began to practice in 1990, so 22 years ago, however I have been teaching this as well since 2006. The peace and tranquility in these scenes are what I hope will transcend for the viewer, so they might take away something as magnificent as belonging to something greater, or just something inspiring and as necessary as hope.

TELL ME ABOUT A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO INSPIRES YOU

In my University days studying Fine Art, we learned about the History of Photography. It was incredible seeing the first images ever created – it would be impossible to pick just one, I would say that I have been inspired by the early photographers, Nicephore Niepce, Julia Margaret Cameron, to the great classics, Andre Kertesz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn and in Fashion, which is where I started, Richard Avedon, Sarah Moon and Herb Ritts. It’s the way they were able to tell a story, with such depth, richness and truth.

FOR YOU, WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF PHOTOGRAPHY?

The best part of Photography is that connection I experience in the creating of the image, the magic, whether it’s in  photographic meditation with nature or with a person – being in that flow, or the zone, it’s a beautiful dance of give and take. To me, they are both sacred however when another soul, allows me to capture their essence, this is an experience I do not take lightly and that’s why I take time with my portraits – to allow the person I am photographing to emerge and share their true self as they begin to feel the trust. Without this, their inner being, you can capture just the mere shell, and the image won’t have the energy, the gravitas that each of us carry within us, always.

The beauty of photography, for me is the creative process but like all things there is the practical element that is important as well, the yin and yang, without the other, one can not exist. If I really had to focus on my not so favorite part, it would be keeping up with the latest and most powerful computers and software at the studio and on the road. This is so essential in creating the data base of my life’s work, which is all digitized today, scanning all my film along with the raw files from digital shoots and the amount of storage this requires especially having to back everything up on different hard drives.

WHAT IS THE LATEST PIECE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT THAT YOU HAVE ACQUIRED AND HOW IS IT USED FOR THE TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY YOU DO?

Coming from the world of film and television, I learned how to light with Fresnel tungsten and daylight balanced lights (like Mole-Richardson’s used in the Hollywood films of the the 40’s) so I was delighted to see a portable easy to use light called The Rotolight. I used it recently on a music video shoot and it worked beautifully. Created by brilliant designers in London from Pinewood Studios.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAMERA?

I picked up a camera when I was 12, more for documenting family events with a Kodak Instamatic that was a birthday present from my parents. But then I became fascinated with photography when I started experimenting with long exposures at night on a friend’s camera, an SLR that took 110 film. The first real camera, 35mm, I bought was a used Minolta XG7 and then a year later I upgraded to the X700. It was the perfect camera to buy at 17, light and affordable which allowed me to learn about photography and carry it everywhere. I also began a camera collection years ago and my oldest is from 1895.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LENS IN YOUR BAG?

My all time favorite lens is the 150mm F 2.8 from my Mamiya 645, fabulous for portraits when I was shooting medium format. Right now, while I’m traveling, my favorite lens is the EF24-70mm F 2.8 for my Canon 5D. And since I travel with my film camera as well, it’s a 28-85mm, as the portability of both these zoom lenses is priceless.

WHAT, WHO OR WHERE WAS YOUR ULTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE?

Again, it’s tricky to pick one – I feel that I have been so fortunate to do what I do, that each experience has been incredible. From all the people and performers I have photographed to all the places I have been, I can’t pick one…but if I had to, there was one that was so profound – I was hired to photograph a home birth and I was on call, just like the Mid-wife. The mother to be and I did a beautiful pregnancy shoot a few weeks before hand so she would feel comfortable with my presence at the time of her giving birth. Talk about the magic of the universe, from 5 people in the room, there emerged 6. I will always feel honoured for witnessing the birth of Paris 🙂 who is a teenager today.

WHAT, WHO OR WHERE WOULD BE YOUR ULTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE?

That’s a tough one to answer, I love to travel, so wherever my next destination is, will be amazing. Every shoot is so special whether I’m photographing a person or a specific place and I am grateful for all the experiences I have had so far and that I will have in the future.

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?

After an amazing intimate concert down here in Florida, I have been loving the sounds of Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. 🙂

THANK YOU AND KEEP SHOOTING!

www.jacquelinebenyes.com

Share

5 Responses to “Photographer In Focus – Jacqueline Benyes”

  1. Devi Ananda says:

    Wow. I learned a lot reading this article. I love the idea of photography as meditation. Beautiful.

  2. Shirdi Jaya says:

    Exquisite image.

  3. Very deep and quite profound. Found another world to photography I had not thought of before. Thank you for sharing your full experiences.

  4. sue says:

    lovely article – I especailly enjoy reading about when people firsrt became inspired to create their art. Always a treat to know where it comes form.
    A beautiful shot too!

  5. Colette says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Beautifully done. Talented and articulate! Cx

© 2018 LouE. Photo Blog LouE. Photo © 2018 Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha