natural, simple, everyday.
what is your first memory of photography?
i can't recall my first memory of photography because i can't remember a point in my life without it. i remember certain early moments like birthday parties and trips to the beach where my parents would take out the camera and snap a few shots. but i have no distinct memory. having grown up with photography, even in the must mundane way of capturing small pieces of the every day as my parents had done, it has become just a natural part of my life as snow is to a polar bear.
what is your favourite thing to photograph? is it the same as what you photograph most?
generally, i like to photograph landscapes and nature because there is something honest in the simple existence. the way it is is the way it is always. nature doesn't pose. it doesn't take hours to make up and prepare for a single shot and then return to its previous state. its beauty lies in its ability to be what it is, allowing the currents of climate and other environmental conditions to move it. for that same reason, i like to photograph people in their everyday activities. no schedules, no studios, just the person in his or her environment, naturally responding. i am studying anthropology in university right now mainly for the reason that i find people fascinating. in my photographs, i like to capture some of the ways in which we interact with each other and our surroundings, places like coffee houses or markets: busy places where people intermingle and exchange. i like to photograph people's natural reactions to the environment.
what is your dream city to photograph? why?
my dream city is wherever i am currently living. right now i am living in santa cruz, california. it's so beautiful here. redwoods line my path to class. i see families of deer nibble on the grass outside my residence hall. i have the beach on the one hand and the forest on the other. of course, i dream of traveling, and all of the wonderful cities that are in the world. but, i believe that the dream lies in the present; see where you are, see the beauty in it. i think that every place has something special, something worth photographing, and for me, as for now, it's santa cruz. it doesn't matter where you are; it's how you see it. every city can be a dream city. you can dream a dream from the reality that you are in.
what do you love most about shooting film?
when it comes to film, i can be quite stingy. i don't want to waste film, so i take care into what i capture. what i like about film is that it forces me to properly look at a space. i have to scan the area for certain signs of colour, texture, and lighting that may be potential cues for a great photograph. it makes me use my imagination. however, even for the photographs that don't turn out great, the pure memory of taking it gives it value.
what inspires you to take photographs?
usually, it is particular shapes, colours, shadowing that inspires me to take photographs. when i see something that catches my eye, my instinct tells me to grab my camera. i take photographs because i want to capture something beautiful.
what encouragement or advice do you have to give to other photographers?
great artists show us their unique definition of beauty.
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benai is such a lovely girl. i remember that when my blog was brand new she wrote about it in one of her blog posts. that was enormous encouragement to a beginner like me, especially having seen her incredible talent and eye for beautiful treasures. reflecting on this interview and her personal blog, it is clear to me that benai has a truly poetic spirit about her: her creativity and appreciation for beauty meld together in her photographs, as well as her ideas about life. girls like benai are really special - they're important signposts for leading an appreciative life.
to follow along with benai, visit: