January 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Thanks for the checking out the blog! It can be found at this permanent address: http://bengebo.com/category/news
I integrated the blog in with my main website so all of my creations can be found in one place. More pictures like the one above can be found there. Thanks for looking!
December 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
There’s a lot of things happening this month. I am currently working with Boston-based Architect Diane Lim(Lim Design Studio) on various projects throughout the city. I recently photographed the newly opened Sweet Cupcakes on School Street downtown for her. Those pictures will most likely be in my next post. She was the architect who also worked on Hi-Rise Bakery which I shot this past October(See previous post). It’s great to be able to have my hands in a bunch of different architectural projects, I find it helps test my approach to make “new” photographs. After all, every photo shoot is a strive to make something different. It’s always an uphill battle and knowing that acts as a reminder that I am only as good as my last picture. I found the key to staying out of a creative rut is to always be uncomfortable and maintain persistent.
I am also having a website launch party this Sunday(12/18) from 2-5pm at The Lilypad in Inman Square in Cambridge. There will be food, beer, a talk about my cross-country road trip as well as an acoustic performance with some remaining members of OkCaptain. Along with a new website and a party to celebrate, later in the week I’ll be co-hosting a podcast with designer Mat Budelman. It will be a free form talk about art, design, the cosmos, anything that could possibly cross our minds.
Here the photographs I took of the band Indobox when they were performing at The Royale in Boston. A great bunch of guys and they put on a dope show. This shoot was a lot of fun and really was impromptu. We only shot for a solid 20 minutes before the band went on stage to play. This was one of those times where I had no idea what the expect, both with the location and the lighting. If there’s anything I know how to do well, I’d say it’s being able to light anything anywhere. Those classes with Stephen Ostrowski when I was attending NESOP really paid off.
November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
I recently worked with PRE-CON Construction a few weeks ago. A project they recently completed was the the Hi-Rise Bakery Cafe, second of two locations in Cambridge. It was a complete remodeling with a unique design for a Cafe, take a look at the wooden ceilings. I also love the table and chair design. The architect was Diane Lim who’s based out of Boston. Take a look at some of the photos below.
October 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
A few weeks ago I went to take pictures with Courtney at Mt. Auburn Cemetery right before peak Fall colors kicked in. Perfect day and perfect location; a place I’ve been meaning to shoot at for some time. We headed to Harvard Square as the night set in and finished the shoot at the Goorin Bros. hat store, which is apparently the oldest hat making company in the U.S. After such a fun day, we then stuffed our faces with burritos at Picante.
I was also just featured in Boston Globe Magazine for a bathroom I photographed for designer Brenda Be. This was one of my favorite bathrooms to shoot because of it’s very eco-friendly design. With our population increasing nearing seven billion, it’s more important now than ever to leave the smallest carbon footprint we can. In an unrelated note, I broke my hand in a bicycle accident in early October which can partially explain the absence of new blog posts. The pictures from this shoot were all shot a few days after the accident. Pain is just a state of mind and when you gotta work, you gotta work! I am recovering quickly and my hand is getting better everyday. My new website is pretty much done, now it’s a matter of nailing down a location to have the launch party. We’d like to launch before Thanksgiving, probably the week of November 15th after I return from Florida, which is where I’ll be spending a few days working on a personal project.
Boston Globe Magazine
August 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
In mid-June, I head out on a road trip across the country to document America. My initial intention was to “diagnose America”, which I realized gave me an instant negative stance in the way I was going to view things. I realized that would be a too obvious of an approach. So I asked myself, “Why not shoot America the way I shoot everything else?” If you could talk to any person in history, they would say that the time they are living in is the most extraordinary time there has ever been. Who knows what exactly the world will be like in twenty years? Or even ten? No matter how bad they seem, things are better now than they ever have been. Things just seem bad because today you can find out anything that’s going on anywhere in an instant. So, I realized what I needed to do was to document America in a purely objective way instead of trying to “diagnose” it.
I didn’t set out on this trip to bring awareness to the current state of America, but that’s sort of what I ended up doing. I went to a lot of places, many the average American probably haven’t heard of before. I tried to document these places in the most objective way possible. Although I will do a few posts of abandoned towns(this being the first post, another will be about St. Marie, Montana), I didn’t find what I saw as depressing, I was more-so witnessing the slow shedding of America’s skin.
The first place we stopped was Centrailia, Pennsylvania. This was an abandoned coal mining town that was more eerie than you can imagine. We got there before dusk and left before we thought the zombies would crawl out of whatever dregs Centrailia had. Almost every person who lived here left and all of the homes were removed after an out of control, underground mine fire started(and continues to rage today) that created sink holes everywhere and pumped out steam all over. Today, everything is overgrown and partially vandalized. It seemed very post-apocalyptic. Before we were about to leave, I met a man who used to work in the mines back when they were in operation. He had some interesting stories to tell, as did most people I met on the road trip. This wild-eyed fellow was the first person I photographed on the journey and it pretty much set the stage for the rest of the trip.
I’ll have a few more posts coming in the near future about other places we went as well as just the portraits I was able to make. Although I have been to most of the U.S. and have driven across the country multiple times, this was the first trip where photography was the sole reason for traveling. I can’t wait to share the rest of the photographs. Thanks for looking.
June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last weekend I worked with a band called Crush Nova, who did a set at the 2011 Boston Pride. It was weather-wise a dismal day, but we were able to make some photographs inside the City Hall Plaza, something I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do. The building was created by architects Kallmann McKinnell & Knowles in the late 60’s, a style of architecture that’s called Brutalism(and for good reason, if you’ve ever walked around inside that place). It’s a cold and unwelcoming building but there is still some attraction to it. With their start time pushed back, it allowed us to make more photographs than we originally had time for. They were a fun band to work with and put on a pretty good show.
In less than 24 hours, I am going to be embarking on a road trip across the country. I plan on taking pictures of people I meet along the way, scenes that don’t confront me on a regular basis and mainly documenting America as if I were trying to diagnose it. I’m not sure what I’ll find, but I am anticipating whatever it is I do.
Although I plan on posting once or twice along the way, but if I don’t talk to you before I return…Happy 4th.
June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
This week’s assignment was giving ourselves one hour to produce six images on Newbury Street during a weeknight. Being the first real night of the year that felt like summer, taking pictures got me especially anxious, even considering I was on a shoot for 8 hours all day already, with little sleep the night before. Just like going for a jog on a cold day or jumping in a pond for an early morning swim, your mind tries to convince you to stop within the first few minutes. Once you finally ignore that part of the brain, you can fully immerse yourself into the task at hand and make the most out of what you’re doing.
Taking a giant step outside of your comfort level is probably the best way to improve yourself in any craft. On June 18th I am embarking on a cross country road trip to continue developing my travel and portrait portfolios. It’s been a few years since traveling from one coast to the other, but I know how much of a pain in the ass it can be, while at the same time can keep you humbled. To be able to travel around the country visiting friends I haven’t seen in too long, exploring small towns that none of us have heard of, camping and biking in some of the most beautiful spots in the Southwest…I feel very privileged to truly explore the United States instead of trying to just get from one coastline to the other in record time.
These small photo assignments I’ve been assigning myself are helping me break down any wall of comfort that I thought I had. Really, any comfort we have was built with our own imagination.