My name is Ben and I am a photographer based in East Yorkshire.
Music has always been my passion. It's always had such a massive influence on everything I do. I am especially passionate about live music. This is where my love for photography began.
To start with, I would just take a few photographs here and there at concerts of my favourite bands with an old 'point and shoot' camera. Me and my partner would go to lots of shows together and she would be there, constantly taking photo's from the crowd. At the time, I never quite got why. I can even remember jokingly moaning that she was missing the band.
When my girlfriend upgraded her camera, she kindly gave me her old, beat-up but brilliant 'bridge' camera and I repaired it to the very best of my abilities (with sticky tape). I started taking that camera everywhere. To every show, to every day out, to every possible opportunity and before long, I had caught the bug. I quickly became that person at gigs and festivals that was constantly looking through the lens.
As I delved deeper and discovered how to properly control what I was shooting, I realised how much I loved it and decided to jump into the world of DSLR's. That when i began to explore photography.
When I first started, shooting live bands was always the road I wanted to go down, but, the more comfortable I became with my camera, the more I wanted to push myself to learn new styles, tricks and techniques and explore all the different aspects of photography. Now, I find myself taking photographs of everything and anything. It has gotten to the point of starting to feel lost when I don't have a camera with me, in the same way some would feel lost without their phone.
Whether I am in the photo pit at a gig or at the peak of Ben Nevis, and everything in between, I am happiest when my camera is in my hands.
These early moments where not my first venture in to photography though. I come from an art background, and through college and art school had tried my hand at it before, briefly working in a Red Room on original film photography but the spark was never quite ignited then. I can remember, years ago, when at a concert, I told the security that I worked for a magazine and all I needed was a couple of shots to go with an article I was writing. All lies. But I did need some for an art project I was doing. Surprisingly though, they bought it and let me into the photo pit.
I couldn't believe it and I didn't quite know what to do now I had got there. I don't think I had thought that far ahead. I can remember looking around and seeing the crowd from the other side of the barrier going crazy, then suddenly, seeing thee vocalist jumping in to the crowd, right next to where I was knelt with my tiny 'point and shoot', trying to fit in.
I think from that point I fell in love with capturing moments like that, but It wasn't until years later that I would realize it. At a show, everything can be so chaotic. The bands going crazy, the crowd are going crazier, and to try and capture that feeling in one shot and to be successful enough to make you want to keep doing it, never knowing quite what's going to happen next. That's what I love about photographing live music. I still get that same feeling now in the photo pit as I did the first time.
On the other side of the spectrum, landscape and wildlife photography is just so peaceful and such a contradiction to shooting live shows. You have time to think, analyse and control your shot, and at the same time, wind down and relax.
Every different type of photography I do contains a different element that I love. I guess, now I understand why my girlfriend was always looking down the lens at concerts, trying to capture that perfect moment. I am just so grateful now to be able to do this as a job and hopefully capture your perfect moments.
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