Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Bennion.
Jeff, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My full-time job is a lawyer. I have my own practice, and I specialize in injury cases, especially brain injuries. I’ve been a lawyer for eight years. I also teach at Cuyamaca College and UCSD Extension. I’m also a husband and a father of three boys. As a lawyer, I represent people whose lives have been changed forever. I take on part of their burdens, and they rely on me to help them get better. It’s often very contentious, and it is always very stressful. I’ve represented parents and children in wrongful death cases, people who have lost limbs in surgeries gone wrong. I represent people in employment cases who have been discriminated against or treated unfairly and have nowhere to turn. It’s a big burden and it weighs on you. Being a lawyer is the only job I know of where if you don’t take mandatory drug and alcohol abuse training every three years, the state can take your license away. So, I started looking for outlets to relax my brain. I have always been into Photoshop. I worked doing graphic design for the comedy website Cracked.com when I was in law school, and I use Photoshop to make charts and graphs in the legal field. My dad is a photographer, my brothers are photographers, and we are highly competitive, so I decided to get a camera and start taking pictures of my family and landscapes. When my family got tired of posing for me, that turned into working with models. Then, I got my first flash and learned how to really elevate my photos by sculpting pictures of people with light. Then, I got more lights and more lenses, and then a studio, and now I spend a lot of my time taking portraits of people.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I do portraits primarily. When I take a picture of someone, I have a million choices that I make to capture someone’s personality and beauty – angles, lighting, poses, background, outfits, etc. Most of the people I work with are not professional models, they are just everyday people, and they usually feel intimidated in front of the camera. My favorite moment is when I show them what I see in my camera, and they realize, “That’s me?” It’s neat to see someone recognize their beauty. I love seeing the confidence that it gives them.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Well, it’s become easier to be a better artist, but harder to stand out. If I wake up tomorrow and want to go take 4,000 pictures, I can do that and get that practice in, and I don’t have to buy film or develop the prints, so the cost to me is next to nothing. But, that also means everyone is doing it, so it’s harder to get noticed. But, I don’t really create art to get noticed, I create it for me and whomever I’m photographing.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work is primarily on Instagram at @jeffb.photos. We have a workshop coming up in the desert in June. We’re flying in models from all over the country and meeting at this incredible desert Oasis venue. Details are on our Facebook page.
- Address: 5825 Avenida Encinas, Suite 110, Carlsbad, CA 92008
- Website: www.jmb.photos
- Phone: 6198504859
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @jeffb.photos
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/musefactorystudio