Ben Garrett on the Importance of Personal Work

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Commercial Photography

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GunsHoses web2 533x4001 Ben Garrett on the Importance of Personal Work

“Guns & Hoses” (The shot that got him the job) | ©Ben Garrett

Todays post is actually not written by anyone of our regular writers, but by American photographer Ben Garrett. It just so happened that one day when we checked our mail, there was an email from Ben, containing the story below, complete with images and everything.

So, with no further ado, we present Ben’s story.

“Photographers and Art Directors always talk about the importance of shooting personal work, and here is the proof that it pays off.

“About a month ago, I shot a job with BooneOakley Advertising for their client Bojangles, a southeastern chicken franchise. I pretty much got the job handed to me because I already had an image in my portfolio that had the same look the Art Director was going for.

“Almost a year earlier, I reached out to the non-profit group Guns & Hoses. They raise money for the families of firefighters and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty. I really liked what they were doing and felt the least I could do was to donate my time and photograph some promotional pieces for them. I shot this photo of the firefighter and police officer to promote an upcoming rivalry football game they put on as a fundraiser. James Hoke, the Art Director on the Bojangles account, ran across my work through mutual friends and this photo stuck out. Lucky for me, it was a perfect match for the upcoming Bojangles ads. The next thing I know, I’m out in Los Angeles, shooting billboards without even sending the agency a promo piece!

 Ben Garrett on the Importance of Personal Work

©Ben Garrett

 Ben Garrett on the Importance of Personal Work

Ben’s set up

 Ben Garrett on the Importance of Personal Work

©Ben Garrett

 Ben Garrett on the Importance of Personal Work

Ben’s set up

“There is a good chance my portfolio would have been overlooked if I didn’t have that Guns & Hoses image in it. I probably wouldn’t have even been in the running to bid on the job, let alone have it handed to me like it was. And this is the proof that shooting for yourself can lead to unexpected good things down the road.

“The lighting diagrams show a general view of how I set up the shots. I used Pro-7a and Pro-7b units. I used the Softlight Reflector Silver because I wanted a hard light source that would blend well with full sunlight. We also used a Softbox 2×3’ RF for fill. The reason why I chose a small light source for fill was that I wanted it to be direct, almost like a softer version of a ring light. I just wanted to open up shadows on the face, without lighting the clothes and the gravel too much.”

Great story, Ben. Thanks for sharing your work with us. And those of you want to see more of Ben’s work should check out his blog.

Also, if anyone else out there has something they’d like to share with us, use the contact form and drop us a line!

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Comments (6)

  • Corporate Headshots

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    Very strong portraits – they remind me of my favourite photographer Annie Leibovitz – her early work for The Rolling Stone.

    Reply

  • Kimberly Davis

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    Ben is an amazing photographer and one of the nicest people you will ever meet! I love to see his new work, it really reflects his personality and has a layer of “fun”. Good job Ben!

    Reply

  • Kristian Gehradte

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    Nice work mate! I too love using a nice specular light for out door portrait work, looks so crisp n nice!

    Reply

  • Martin Hunter

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    Car looks odd in first pic. Perspective is wrong behind the figures – shifted & smaller. A problem with reflections perhaps?

    Nice pic tho !

    Reply

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