Ben Blood’s photography has a way of making me want to step into one of his pictures and experience the moment, but also wanting to keep my distance so as not to intrude on the beautiful scene. Something I think of as the perfect visual experience. Go ahead, read the article and peruse these next few pictures and then, when you can’t get enough, stop on by his site, BenBlood.com to see more of these charming moments. (P.S. Click on the images to make them bigger. Totally worth it.) 🙂
PQ: Describe your approach to your art. Ben: A majority of my artistic/creative exploration is focused in photography. Usually I tell stories through a series of images that show movement, moods, and real gesture. My subjects are usually people, urban landscape, or natural things.
PQ: Why do you love art/design? Ben: I like how art can take you to a place you have never been, or bring back a strong feeling of a place you have been. There is something satisfying about creating. Even if no one else sees it, it is rewarding. Art can also be used for awareness, social change, personal empowerment. One of the best uses of art I have seen is Jeremy Cowart’s photography project called ‘The Help Portrait.’
PQ: Why do you love photography? Ben: For all the reasons I enjoy art. In addition, I enjoy sharing and photography is a way I fulfill that.
PQ: Where are you most inspired? Ben: Oh man, I am inspired mostly by things I see in day-to-day life. Yesterday I was driving through a residential neighborhood and saw this kid sitting inside the back of a U-Haul truck piled with boxes behind him. Around the truck were random things that needed to be packed. Obviously he was guarding all the household heirlooms, ha. There are days when I see two or three amazing things in a row, while other days I don’t see much. There are films like Darjeeling Limited, The Tree of Life, and The King’s Speech, which give me so much creative excitement, both visually as well as in the storytelling.
PQ: What is your artistic good luck charm? Ben: I do not have any good luck charms. I believe in prayer, and though I have never told any of my couples this, I usually pray for the couple before shooting their wedding.
PQ: What natural gift would you most like to possess that you don’t already? Ben: The gift of making people feel completely at ease when I am around them.
PQ: What is your motto? Ben: I don’t really have a motto. I have a pretty strong will about being the best I can at/with my art, and to do it differently than what everybody else is doing. Some time ago I could be caught saying “step it up!” Maybe that is my motto.
PQ: What advice would you give to a young person who dreams about doing what you do? Ben: Practice practice practice. Almost anything you want to do is possible. Be aware of the current trends within the group of your peers, but do not mimic them, rather stand apart. Take interest in the background of the artists you enjoy and admire. Pursue artistic growth by means of various forms of art, not just one. Collaborate and associate with talented artists outside of your own field. Slow down a little. Realize where you are. Photograph things that are important to you and always carry your camera with you. Things are easier to achieve than you think.
PQ: What is your biggest success? Ben: This past December I was named in the top 20 rising stars of wedding photographery by PDN magazine. That was pretty cool : )
PQ: What is your biggest regret? Ben: Probably working so much that I do not have time for the important things in life like my family and friends.
PQ: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Ben: Not having love for others.
PQ: What is your dream of happiness? Ben: Having all the people I love and care for nearby me. Not letting the desire or dependence of money influence my life.
PQ: What is the one physical object you currently desire? Ben: A Teenage Engineering OP-1 synthesizer. Oh. Man.
PQ: What is one emotional thing you currently desire? Ben: Contentment maybe?
PQ: Whose work, other than your own, are you most excited about right now? Ben: Film director Terrence Malick.
PQ: What are you currently reading? Ben: This interview. My emails? Jokes aside, I really do not read as much as l would like. The last things I have read are my Bible, PDN magazine, Wired magazine, and Good magazine.
PQ: What are you currently listening to? Ben: I’ve had a premium trial to Spotify for the last month, and I have been discovering so much good music. Oh man, this band called Trummor & Orgel. They are a Swedish duo of drums and organ. I can’t get enough. I’ve also been listening to Mavis Staples, Dungen (one of my all time favorites), Damien Jurado, and Django Reinhardt.
PQ: Who is your favorite painter/artist? Ben: Piet Mondrian has been one of my favorite painters. I really enjoy his use of grids, primary colors, and geometric forms.
PQ: Who is your favorite photographer? Ben: Vivian Maier has some amazing street photography, Grant Hamilton and his geometric polaroids, Philip Toledano’s project, Days With My Father. Sorry, I guess you only asked for one. There are specific projects I enjoy from different photographers.
PQ: Who are your favorite musicians? Ben: I will buy every record of Fleet Foxes and Dungen.
PQ: Who is your favorite writer? Ben: The Apostle Paul and C.S. Lewis.
PQ: Who is your favorite poet? Ben: I don’t read enough poetry to give a fair answer.
PQ: Who are your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction? (t.v., movies, or books) Ben: Mr. Fox in Fantastic Mr. Fox! He’s a hero, right?
PQ: Who are your favorite heroes/heroines in real life? Ben: Journalist Edward R. Murrow. Holocaust activist, Sophie Scholl.
PQ: What do you most value in your friends? Ben: Selflessness, light-heartedness, spontaneity.
PQ: What are your greatest strengths? Ben: Hmm, I suppose I enjoy being a good host. This is an awkward question : )
PQ: To what faults do you feel most indulgent? Ben: Thinking too highly of myself, but also comparing myself to others.
PQ: What is your favorite virtue? Ben: Trust.
PQ: What is your favorite vice? Ben: Gluttony. . . of food. I can always eat.
PQ: What, to your mind, would be the greatest of misfortunes? Ben: To never see the world outside of your home state.
PQ: What would be the happiest of good fortunes? Ben: Flying to the moon?
PQ: What is your favorite color? Ben: Gray.
PQ: What is your favorite hot beverage? Ben: All sorts of teas. If I could only pick one, Earl Gray Cream from a tea house in Seattle called Remedy Tea.
PQ: What is your favorite item of clothing? Ben: I like jackets or a good sweater. Maybe it’s because I live in an overcast city.
PQ: What does it feel like to be involved in peoples’ lives during their big events? Ben: Some of the people I work with are my closest friends. Some I don’t meet until the day of their wedding. Either way, they ask me to be there and it is the most important day in their life. They share some of their closest friends and family with me. I don’t know many other jobs like this. It is an honor, and slightly overwhelming.
PQ: What is art? Ben: Art is anything that is created to invoke a feeling or thought.