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Meet Jeanette Benitez of SFValleyphotos in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeanette Benitez.

Jeanette, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started with a class assignment in the fall of 2018 to capture my neighborhood on one b&w 36 exposure film roll. When I went out to photograph, I felt very limited to what I call home. I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and went to school in Van Nuys, Valley Glen, and Northridge. I worked in the city of Encino and Van Nuys and have family and friends all over the valley and enjoy seeing and being part of these cities. The San Fernando Valley is one giant place I like to call home.

After the assignment was done, I wanted to continue this long project for myself and everyone else who loves the valley lived in or haven’t been at all while capturing the essence of the San Fernando Valley with no restriction.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a year now since I’ve started this project and so far, it has been a smooth road. I keep pushing myself as far as I can go but don’t see myself stopping at all as there is just so much to see and capture in the valley and it is constantly changing.

My choice of medium is film photography, each frame on that roll that is loaded onto the camera is special to me. When pressing the shutter speed, I don’t see the image immediately and can’t go back to delete the image which has helped me to get better within the year to slow down and take my time.

I find film photography therapeutic and relaxing. Yes, it is an older method since there is digital photography now, but film photography is something that will always have a place in my heart. I’ve learned how to develop and print my own b&w and color films in a darkroom. After developing my film rolls it is nice to see the negatives and how the images out. The same goes for printing in the darkroom, it takes patience to get a great print, and at the end, it is all worth it to see the end results.

For the past four months, I’ve had the chance to shoot more in digital with my DLSR camera and also learned studio photography at Cal State Northridge. As for my next project, I plan to do studio portraits of people from the valley and what the valley means to them. This is something I’m really looking forward to.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
On a regular day, I’ll have my camera with me and start walking around and start photographing a particular city or an event that is happening, capturing the San Fernando Valley as it is.

Contact Info:

  • Email: jj.bb.photographs@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @sfvalleyphotos


Image Credit:

Carla Cruz, Yair Lopez

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