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Meet Sienna Benton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sienna Benton.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After I graduated high school, in 2008, I decided to make a huge transition from living all over the Pacific Northwest and moved to California for more opportunities. I’ve been artistic my whole life and decided that I wanted to spend my time pursuing my dreams. It really is that simple. What is not so simple is figuring out what my passion(s) were and how do I turn those passions from hobbies into a career?

I discovered my interest in photography when my grandpa lent me a small digital camera to take pictures at a local park. Like many self-taught photographers, I started by shooting nature and landscapes, then in 2011, I started shooting portraits, beauty, and fashion. In 2013, I received my Bachelor’s degree at Sacramento State University for Photography.

With the help of wonderful friends and mentors, I learned how to photograph, model, and create editorial concepts. Since then I have been published in over several magazines (Vogue.it, Jute, Dark Beauty, Elegant, Stilo, & more) featuring my work as a photographer, model, stylist, and creative director. After completing my degree, I was called to active duty for the United States Air Force. During my service, I learned that if I didn’t have photography in my life, I wasn’t happy.

Although the military has taught me how to have an incredible work ethic, discipline, and respect, I knew that my life would always be from an artists point of view. I had to keep pursuing my passion so I often reached out to locals and co-workers to let me shoot with them. Documenting military life allowed me to understand and appreciate real moments and timing them perfectly to capture genuine emotions. I took this knowledge with me after I completed my service honorably in 2015.

Now that I had a GI Bill, I felt like I had the world at my feet and the opportunity to go anywhere and try something completely new. Like any daring dreamer, I thought maybe I’d move to La La Land to try to expand my modeling skills into acting. After all, how hard could it be…

After reality hit, I realized that success doesn’t come overnight, and success isn’t what everyone thinks it is. A lot of success is defined by how much money a person makes, or is often associated with fame. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to those goals.

However, Jim Carrey has a really amazing quote where he states that he wishes everyone could be rich and famous so they could realize that it is not the answer. I 100% agree.

After I received my Master’s Degree in Fine Arts with a focus in acting from the New York Film Academy, I realized that I was no longer chasing my dream, but living the dream. I am an actor who actually likes my agent. I fell in love with my best friend and teammate who shares the same passion I do. I teach photography and art at Halstrom Academy. I get to wake up every day and contribute to a bigger vision of what actually matters.

Inform, entertain, and inspire. This wasn’t just luck. I fully believe that the harder you work, the luckier you are.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My biggest struggle is that there is a ton of rejection in this industry and that rejection can really affect the way a person values themselves. I’ve had my days when I’m tired of feeling and I’ve had my days when I just wanted to quit because I thought I wasn’t enough. What you have to remember is that you are enough… not for other people but for yourself.

Ask yourself if you have made the necessary steps to like who you are as a person. Are you spending your time doing what you love and with people you value? If you wake up on a Monday and dread it going to work, then you need to make a change in your life. I focus on the fact that I wake up every day of the week and get to do something different in the arts. Monday I’m a teacher, Tuesday I’m a photographer, Wednesday I’m a model, Thursday I’m an actor, etc…

Sienna Eve Benton – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a master of none. I have artist ADHD where I can’t decide which profession to master in. Although I have a Master’s in Acting, I still have to master the actual skill itself. Today it is helpful to know about different professions within the industry and often times people go through phases when they want to just learn something new. I am always wanting to learn something new. I’ve gotten a degree in photography, then acting, now art, graphic design, while still taking classes about acting and photography.

Even in my spare time, I’m curious about space. I’ll watch documentaries about different planets and think, wow I want to learn more about that. I guess you could say I’m a professional student. Even in my email signature I sometimes put “Photographer | Actor | Model | Instructor | Vet because they all define who I am and what I do.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Sucess is happiness. I don’t think success needs to be defined by wealth or fame.

Although there is nothing wrong with aspiring to have either of those things, I just feel like wanting wealth and fame comes from a place of insecurity rather than confidence.

Happiness, on the other hand, comes in so many forms. It can be exploring new places, pursuing hobbies, spending the day in the sun, playing with our pets, going out with our friends, loving our partners, giving to others, etc…

Pricing:

  • Fine Art Modeling Day Rate: $250.00
  • Headshots: $150.00 for two looks.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson kremerjohnsonphotography.com; Tyler Williams and Steve Teague

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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