Ben is a professional photographer who loves working with beautiful models – mostly in Asia – and mostly naked! Ben loves to travel and has sold thousands of image licenses for all sorts of cool things.
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography.
I’m a bit of a philosophical & rebellious spirit who looks at the world around him and doesn’t particularly like what he sees. However there are some aspects to this existence that make up for the injustice, the unfairness and the general muck. Probably about the most accessible and at times most profound of these redeeming aspects is, I believe, the experience of beauty. And so the capturing and perhaps creation of beautiful things is something I find to be particularly satisfying and worthwhile.
Why do you love the fashion nude style?
I think our insistence on covering up our bodies is something of a sickness in our society. We have been conditioned to feel that there is something wrong, evil or damaging about very specific, very small parts of the body. The very liberal use of the nude in my work is my own little rebellious statement against this rather silly state of affairs. I try to show that our bodies are beautiful and they can be displayed without the final perception being trashy or necessarily sexual. However after a while shooting plain nudes gets a bit boring. Throw some stylish bits of clothing or accessories in the mix and the ability to be creative opens right up.
You do some amazing model shots. What is your secret when photographing nude models?
Cheers mate. No secret, just lots of work, thought, practice and at times planning. You’ll only get out of your photography what you put into it.
How do you bring forward the character of a woman?
My own personal work with models is more about style, flow, aesthetics etc than emotion and character. Though for the sake of the question I’ll say that one of the most important things if you want to bring out personality (real or contrived) is comfort. You have to make the model feel comfortable, both in your skill level and your conduct during/around the shoot. If she feels you know what you are doing and are there for the images alone then she’ll be more likely to work with you to achieve whatever look it is you are going for.
You submit your work to stock photo sites. What are the best sites to work with and some tips you can give us for success with these sites?
Sure, jump in a time machine and go back to before the financial crisis. That’s getting to be about the only way to make a living from stock these days. Either that or nail the kind of looks that sell (not so hard to do when most sites have best selling lists) and be prepared to work hard.
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and how do you select your equipment?
I care very little about equipment, pixels are pixels, photons are photons. I use whatever is available, in terms of lighting, camera gear etc. As it happens that generally happens to be Canon gear with prime & L-series lenses because that’s what I happen to own. But I’ve shot on models cameras, assistants cameras and if I did client work probably client’s cameras too. With lighting I’ve used all manner of cheap & available sources of light up to high end studio flash. The benefit with more expensive gear isn’t normally being able to do things you can’t with cheaper/less gear, it’s normally more about convenience. If you are determined you can replicate the styles of very expensive studio setups for instance with a few cheap lights and some effort.
Can you name some tips for those who want to start taking photos of nude models?
Spend an amazing amount of time looking at the type of photos you want to take. But not just looking, really LOOKING. Look for the shadows so that you can try to work out where the lights are, look at the perspective, the depth of field etc so you can work out roughly what sort of lens was used and the camera settings etc. Look at the background, the foreground, the props the fashion, can you see any patterns in the pictures you like? Those you don’t? Once you learn the basics of photography you can learn from every photo you see.
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