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Meet San Fernando Valley Photographer: Ben Shachaf

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Shachaf.

Ben, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up I enjoyed anything to do with art, whether it would be drawing, painting, or multimedia. After high school, I decided to take a class in photography. I bought my first camera and I remember not being able to put it down. I would take pictures of anything and everything, I was obsessed! I would find myself traveling the streets of Los Angeles on my own and taking pictures of people, places and whatever else would interest me. I would love coming home and uploading the photos on my laptop and would spend the whole rest of the day going through and editing all the photos I took that day.

Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t always been a smooth ride when it came to my passion. I would find myself struggling in my classes in college. I didn’t care for them, all I would look forward to is photography class or photo shoots I would set up outside of school with friends. I’ve always been that way, stubborn. I started dropping classes and taking more courses in photography or other multimedia. I also gave up on my job to pursue my passion as a photographer which wasn’t an easy task, I would find myself struggling to pay the bills with the little work I was doing as a freelance photographer.

When you look back, can you point to a period when you wanted to quit or a period that was really frustrating?
I’ve definitely had my fair share of difficult moments when I felt like quitting altogether. Being a photographer in LA, it’s hard to get recognized and get paid for what you think you are worth. There’s a lot of other artists out there, and it’s an extremely competitive industry in this city. If you want your work to stand out in the crowd you have to find a niche and build towards that specific niche that you enjoy. You don’t necessarily want to be a “jack of all trades photographer”, in my mind, this will make you less appealing as an artist.

What would you tell someone who is just starting out?
If you are just starting out in photography I would recommend taking classes at a local college. This really helped me understand the fundamentals of photography before I took off on my own path. Also, networking is key! Join modelmayhem.com and search for other photographers, models, touch up artists etc in the LA area that you can collaborate with and seek out advice.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me. As time goes by my work is being recognized by more people and often I receive opportunities and requests from others that admire my photography. I hope one day I’m able to take my passion for photography to the next level and make it a full-time career.

Contact Info:

 

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