Name: Ben Everden
Field: Social Media, and all things Digital
How did you get into photography?
It’s been a really long road. I was crazy for it in high school and used to ditch all my other classes to hang in the darkroom, I even used to teach some of the grades below to give my photography teacher a break. She was a legend, pretty much the only person that could get me to focus in school.
Anyway I was basically talked out of pursuing photography as a career after school as it was so competitive and that led me down a few other creative paths including becoming a jeweller for about 8 years. I worked in IT for a bit after that and was eventually headhunted by the Iconic Australian Surf brand Mambo.
When the GFC hit in 2009 the company was really strained and we had to keep it running on about 7 staff. With limited resources everyone had to step up and I took on the whole digital side, including photography. It’s been a fantastic ride, 6 years with the company doing stuff others can only dream about, working with Victorias Secret models, top athletes, learning to shoot when drunk and working/learning from some of the worlds best photographers.
Who are some of your favourite photographers/artists?
I can’t go past Ansel Adams, his books were the reason I picked up a camera and it blows my mind how he took such amazing photographs, even at night with the equipment that was available at the time. His photographs still hold up today in the digital era. His quote, “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a decent crop” plays through my head a lot when I’m putting immense pressure on myself or getting disappointed with a shot not turning out exactly as I’d liked.
I also always loved the street style of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he captured so much movement in his street photography I always wondered how he managed to find the action, then freeze it from the right angle and capture the moment just at the right time.
There’s a heap of modern guys that really inspire me as well, I’m in awe following a few of them on Instagram, I know i’ve got a great life but I can’t help be jealous of their lives when i’m scrolling in bed every morning.
And in Sydney?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great Sydney photographers through Mambo, Jason Ierace and Nick Leary to name a few, both have a great style and Jason in particular has a brilliant knowledge of light and lighting.
To you, what makes a good photographer and/or photo?
I think anyone that picks up a camera and gives photography a red hot crack is a good photographer, there’s always going to be people that have a slightly better eye for it than others, but if you’re having a crack and critical of your own work then you’re doing ok.
As far as a good photo, it depends on the subject. The rule of thirds is really still something I always shoot for, but i’ve been really into some peoples work that throws all those rules out the window. So I guess each frame should really be judged on it’s own merit.
Looking at your portfolio, you’ve shot a broad range of subjects, what is your favourite thing to shoot?
I really enjoy a challenge so walking into a situation where I have to deliver a specific outcome or when I have to deliver the impossible is the most satisfying. I also really enjoy working with people so attempting to capture personalities and bouncing ideas off others is great.
And do you have a favourite photo that you’ve taken? Is there a story behind it?
I wouldn’t say I have one favourite photo, there’s a heap I really like but all for different reasons. I like some photo’s because of the subject, others because of the place I was in or just the colours that I captured can really make a photo for me. There’s a few that I like just because the crazy idea I had actually worked haha…
How was it for you when you first started shooting surfing and skating? Always having a moving target in the photo is quite a challenge.
I wasn’t to worried shooting a moving subject but shooting sports like that, especially surfing, I found really hard at the start because I walked into it with the wrong headspace, I was mimicking other photographers and not putting enough thought into what was a good frame for the people that enjoy the sport. It’s not enough to just capture someone mid action, I really needed to incorporate my own style into it and remember what makes a good photo overall. Learning more about each sport and the moves that are the hardest or spectacular and at what point was also a great help. Like when shooting skate, I found that the shot only worked when you can see where the trick started and where it is going to end.
Do you think surf photography can move forward, or to word it differently, do you think there are any fresh angles or ways to approach it?
Yeah for sure!! I think as technology and surfing both evolve it will bring a new era of surf photography. Shooting surfers performing aerial tricks is still really evolving and new technology such as the Light Field camera will change the way it’s shot for sure.
Do you have any interesting projects on the horizon?
I’m looking at doing a road trip across America, Mexico and as much of South America as I can get to so I’m really pumped to shoot some new places and people.