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Benjamin Hunter (8/12)

August 12, 2009
by


(click the photos to enlarge them… no really, do it.)

PA: How long have you been an artist?
BH: I guess I’ve acted artistically for most of my life in one form or another (music, drawing, poetry, etc.), but photography found me about three years ago, near the end of my time at the Los Angeles Film School.

PA: What are your biggest fears as an artist and how do you overcome them?
BH: I’m really afraid of getting bored. I’m afraid of enjoying something so much I just wear it out, flood any creative venue with too much of the same thing. And in turn, I’m afraid of followers (ha) getting bored. I think if you follow my styles, trends, whatever, over the course of the last three years, you’ll see techniques come and go. I guess I overcome that fear (without thinking about it, really) by changing it up. I think I’m settling down more and more, however, as I discover new formats… it’s really hard to get bored of film. Any film is just… unbelievable. I love all of that. I’m afraid of being so broke I can’t shoot film haha.
PA: What type of art do you create?
BH: As of lately, I have really been asking myself that question. I’ve been conflicted in regards to what people have asked me to do and what I want to do. For me, it all comes down to a real story I can attach to an image. I care about photographing real people who have real passions, real joy, pain, conflict. I’m striving to take pictures that show that. Did I answer the question?
PA: (haha ya that works)
PA: Do you have any creative rituals in your process?
BH: I shoot as little as possible. If the film comes back bad, then I just gotta get better. That’s all there is to it sometimes. If the film comes back good, then I don’t have to sift through too much. Scanning film is a strangely intimate process for me. Having tangible media is amazing and important. I create little bonds with specific pieces of film. I’ll go back sometimes, find a slide, and say “I remember you.” I often look back at my work, look at the things I was passionate about a year ago, three years ago, ten years ago, and ask myself if it’s still relevant, or if I still care. Some of that stuff gets injected into whatever I’m working on at the moment. I usually need iced tea, too.
PA: What is your greatest creative motivation/drive?
BH: Umm… I hear people talk about affecting people, and “If I can touch one person with this art…” and I don’t really think that’s me. People create art to tell stories, and although those stories are experienced by the viewer, I sometimes think that people want to tell those stories simply to keep from forgetting them. It sounds selfish, but as professional as I try to act, I feel like everything I shoot is ultimately for me. I try to produce compelling images because by the grace of God, there is some crazy chemical reaction in my brain and in my body that translates into pleasure. The world could love something I do, but if I don’t care, I don’t care. Forget it man, you know? My own selfishness is a big part of my motivation. That’s what it boils down to, for a lot of people, and they just might not realize it. Did I just depress everyone in the room?

PA: (I don’t think so, thanks for your honesty, I think every artist is a little selfish or at least mildly narcissistic)
________________________________
This is our first artist of the week featuring a photographer, we hope it won’t be the last and we could not be more pleased that Benjamin is the first. As Benjamin pointed out, there appears to be a level of honesty and emotion captured in each photograph. I also agree with Benjamin that there are real stories behind his images that have seem to become so rare among contemporary photographers.
To check out more of Benjamin’s work visit bchphoto.com.
Until next time
Zach
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One Comment leave one →
  1. justinmiyamoto permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:58 pm

    awexome!

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