Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Photography By Ben


Welcome to the More Photos Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs worldwide. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here is your host, Damien Allen.
DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen and joining me today on the phone is Ben Aranas from Photography by Ben in Jacksonville, Florida. Good morning, Ben, welcome to the program.
BEN: Good morning, Damien, how are you?
DAMIEN: I’m doing fine, sir, yourself?
BEN: I’m doing great, thank you.
DAMIEN: Well you specialize in weddings, engagements, family and children portraits, graduations, senior portraits, and all kinds of events. How long have you been in business, Ben?
BEN: Well we have been in business since the early 90s; almost 20 years. I actually started in about 1987 when I bought my first SLR, 35 mm on a trip to San Francisco and had to by a camera before I headed out there. I came back with some amazing shots and it’s been a fun ride since then. I came home and shared my photos with some friends and some of those friends were in local camera clubs and I joined the camera club and was competing in camera club competitions doing landscapes and portraitures and grew from that point on. I fell in love with it. I love the creativity of it and think the best way to describe my interest in it was competing and just listening to the judge’s comments and learning from that is what really got me going.
DAMIEN: Now where in the Jacksonville area are you located?
BEN: We are close to the beaches area, just a few miles from the beach. It gives us access to the beach, lots of parks along the beach where we are constantly going to the parks and the beaches that I love.
DAMIEN: Now being in Northeast Florida, the absolutely gorgeous shoreline there, you’ve got St. Augustine not too far away, a lot of very picturesque areas. Do you do location shoots or do you have a studio? 
BEN: We do both we have a residential gallery which is what we like to call it at our home. We have a studio set up here. We do some areas outside and we do some location shots at the country clubs and the resorts in the area.
DAMIEN: What other types of services does Photography by Ben provide?
BEN: We do quite a bit. We do consultations; we do brochures for country clubs. We also do events for well-known corporations like Casper Golf, the Stellar Group, a big corporation here in Jacksonville among others.
DAMIEN: Now you also do wedding albums. What is the process that goes into creating wedding albums for Photography by Ben?
BEN: I truly love putting together wedding albums. When the wedding is all done with, we get the images over to the bride, post them up on the website, and then she has a chance at that time to select her album and the images that go into the album. Once we get the images back, we sit down and create almost a time line, storybook type of album for the bride. Once we have it complete, she can go through and make any changes. She may have some suggestions and there have been times when he bride and groom come over and we sit down and go through the pages of the album and come up with different ideas; something that may work better on one page compared to another page. When it’s all finalized and done, we do our own printing. We print the album out and she can also put any personalized text in the album and we print it up and assemble it and deliver it.
DAMIEN: What inspires you as a photographer, Ben?
BEN: I think the creativity of the photography. It’s almost like an art form. I take a picture and tweak it a little bit here and there in Photoshop. I experiment with it and put out a good artistic image and it may just be portraiture or close up of a bride from shoulders up. Keep your eye moving around the picture, the lighting has a great deal to do with the final result or the final image, and I think it’s really the creativity, setting up the lighting. Lighting is an important aspect of a photograph. The emotions that can come from the bride or her parents see her daughter from a bridal shoot and tears start coming into her eyes and I cry and my wife cries, you know, it’s very pleasing and satisfactory.
DAMIEN: As you do all these different types of photography, what do you find makes the best type of photography? Is it the creative photojournalism aspect to it or is it the elegant portraiture aspect of it, or a mixture of the two?
BEN: I think it’s a mixture of the two. When we go do a wedding we have three photographers. We will have one photographer doing the candids. When it comes time for us to do the formals, we get the bride and groom together for what limited time we have. Sometimes we have 5 minutes, sometimes we may have ½ hour. But to be able to make some classical portraiture using the bride and the groom or the bride herself is great. 
DAMIEN: What is the best piece of advice you can give a couple when hiring a professional photographer, Ben?
BEN: I would say the best advice I could give for a bride and groom and sometimes the parents are involved a lot of times, is do the homework. Find the style of a photographer that they have, do a consultation with the photographer. Make sure you are going to be happy with the photographer. You have expectations at the end that you are going to want to have, and make sure that photographer can meet your expectation and it would be a good idea to consult with two or three photographers just like you were buying a house or something and you want to take a good look at what they have to offer.
DAMIEN: Ben what separates you from other photographers?
BEN: Thank you for asking that, Damien. I have two other photographers who work with me, my wife works with me. When we go out to weddings, it’s good to have her there. She can step into the bride’s room while she is getting ready preparing, usually the bride’s maids are there with her, her parents, her aunts are sometimes in there, and my wife can go in and capture some of those moments. The bride putting her dress on and we also have an assistant who does the candid shots, photojournalist photos, and then myself. I like to think that we approach each client with respect and it’s an honor to be able to be chosen to photograph a wedding of a bride and groom. Sometimes their parents are involved also. It’s a very special day for them. It’s a onetime event, not just for bride and groom, but to photograph a corporate event or a high school senior. I don’t do much advertising. Our work usually comes from word of mouth, repeat clients. I think our style comes with composition also lighting, as long as you know the technical aspects of the camera, and our personal service that we give. We try to give each client the best personal service that we can provide, making them feel like they are the only person that we are working with at the time which to me feels special and is something great to achieve and that’s what we try to do.
DAMIEN: You have some awesome photography on your website. Have you ever entered any photo competitions or exhibitions?
BEN: Yes, actually I have.   It has been a few years since I have competed. I have competed many, many times when I first started into photography and did a lot of nature, landscapes images like that, and I competed for contests and competed in exhibitions and on the cover of several magazines, images in several calendars. That’s what really has gotten me motivated.
DAMIEN: Some very awesome stuff. You have any new news coming up for the rest of 2011 into 2012, Ben?
BEN: We always stay up on new technology, new wedding designs, albums, and we have a home gallery here in Jacksonville, and we have a beautiful back yard, and we hope to set up a few more new setups in the yard and we are going to change our website this year. In a few months we will be going to that and customizing that and we are just going to keep up with technology.
DAMIEN: Well if someone wants information on Photography by Ben, were do they go, what is the website and contact information they need?
BEN: The website address is and our telephone number is (904) 708-2057.
DAMIEN: We’d like to thank you very much for joining us today and discussing Photography by Ben with us.
BEN: Thank you, Damien.
DAMIEN: We’ve been speaking with Ben Aranas of Photography by Ben in Jacksonville, Florida, and you have been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody thanks for joining us today, we’ll catch you next time. Have a good afternoon.
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