Santa Ana’s Last Stand? – Republished Photo from 2008 – Alamo, Texas

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 1.21.52 PM

Back in 2008 I was contracted by The Texas Observer to photograph Mr. Ken Meritt, who managed the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refugee in Alamo, Texas. Merritt was trying to save to protect the refugee from plans of a border-wall and as of recent the national park faces that same thread again.

I am sharing this blog for two reasons. One, to show that in 2008 I was just as passionate about photography and story telling as I am today in 2017. Secondly, to bring awareness to this issue through the power of photography. Here stands a man doing right and fighting for a cause and still ended up losing his job. This portrait of Mr. Ken Meritt will forever represent the fight he put up to protect something very important to our community.

Stay informed because these are issues happening right in our backyard. If you are a photograph try to capture it as much as you can. Story tell!

If you are a publication and looking for a freelance photographer in the Rio Grande Valley please contact me for rates.

Advertisements

Make-A-Wish RGV – McAllen, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

The importance of giving back is something that is always on my mind.  Ava Sandlin, the executive director of Make-A-Wish Rio Grande Valley, reached out to me a about their event on Apr 29, 2017 and we gladly volunteered.  This year theme was Evening of Wishes 2017.  That night we celebrated a beautiful princess who’s spirit was so bright and hopeful which had the pleasure to photograph. The whole experience was humbling and makes you count your blessing.

The effects of helping out the community are endless.  We develop connections with others and learn that you don’t have to be wealthy, a little gesture of kindness such donations time is greatly appreciated.  If you wish to volunteer to the Make-A-Wish Rio Grande Valley please visit the page below.

http://riograndevalley.wish.org/

 

7U8B9398_BLOG_BLOG7U8B9316_BLOG_BLOG7U8B9356_BLOG_BLOG

Stephanie Rios – Professional Photographer – Ben Briones Studios

There comes a time in your life when you have to ask for help! It is inevitable because as much as we think we could do everything and anything, truly, we can’t. And after we receive help it usually customary to thank that person. Today, I thank you Stephanie Rios!

crm-images_08-18-16_stc-203-copyMerriam-Webster’s dictionary defines help as the following: to give assistance or support to. Allow me to be the first to admit that I constantly need help and thus call one people for assistance. Mrs. Stephanie has become one of those people who has become my go to for support because she’s simply amazing.

Stephanie Rios is a wonderful mother, a gracious wife, a trusty worthy friend, an amazing sister, and ambitious and talented photographer.

I often refer to Steph as my shooting partner because the relationship is beyond a paycheck. I got to witness Stephanie walk down the isle as her wedding videographer. I got to witness Stephanie carry her beautiful son for nine months and document that milestone in her life. And I cannot forget about her husband, whom I have come to love equally, because to be 100% honest, Mr. Carlos Rios is badass. [Excuse my french.]
steph-rios_highres_benbriones-111

Stephanie has helped me on numerous events, photo shoots, photo booths, and everything photography related. She’s extremely talented. She has an eye for detail. She has personality to become a super-star photographer. And I support it all. I support her ambition so much that I will defend her against anyone who tries to discredit her or worst not give her any credit for the skilled photography she provides anyone who hires her.

steph-rios_highres_benbriones-97

This morning my friend Steph posted a  genuine question on a photography forum on Facebook called South Texas Photo & Video Community on how to approach photographer’s she second shoots with for credit on photos they share that she shot. For those familiar with forums you know it can get rowdy, and mainly by the know-it-alls [me included]. Well the question sprouted a healthy debate and insightful  opinionated information. [my two cents included]

The simple solution that I proposed to this type of issue is for the hiring photographer to create and have all second shooters / freelancers sign an agreement. Within this contract  the hiring photographer should include the verbiage and clarify the expectations,  responsibilities, and  intellectual property privileges of the second shooter. Sadly, none to very little photographers do this at all. I don’t blame them though, business knowledge is not that common in the photography industry. Many don’t take the time to see their brand as a business and that later become issues. [please read business books photographers]

A while back Stephanie and I did establish an agreement on how we will handle credit and images she has taken for my brand. And far from it do I ever not credit for her the help she provides me. I go beyond and link my clients to her personal brand; Stephanie Rios Photography because she’s worthy of praise.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-10-35-58-am

Photographers who are reading this I challenge you to credit your second shooters or assistants after your next photo related job. Give thanks publicly. Post your favorite shot they snapped for your brand. Take a behind the scene of them passionately grabbing capturing a moment. Take even further and share their personal portfolio so that your clients can see that you hire top quality talent.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-10-34-34-am

If you are looking to hire a photographer for your next event or photo shoot I recommend you a talented photography by the name of Stephanie Rios.


steph-rios_highres_benbriones-145-copy
Stephanie Rios Photographer 
Owner / Photographer
Weddings | Portraits | Children
(956) 313-1741
stephanievalencia7@gmail.com

International Women’s Day – Women In Photography – RGV

International Women’s Day

Women In Photography 

laura soria photography
Laura Soria 
Right now lets give Kudos Ms.Soria. Laura is one of the hardest working female photographers I know and have worked closely with. Thank you for your dedication to my clients, to your clients and your contribution to our local photography community with your beautify images!
View Laura Soria‘s work here:
 
felicia.jpg
Felicia Sepulveda
I met Felicia one day when she needed to rent photography equipment. I had started this new photography equipment business out of McAllen, Texas and somehow this up and coming photographer from Wesalco found out about my business. She went from becoming a rental client to a shooting partner in my business. Now Felicia manages and shoots for her own company named Shutterbelle Photography. She has assisted me in various photo shoots and events. Felicia just had a beautiful baby girl with her handsome husband Nathaniel Sepulveda. She’s on her way to earning her SUPER MOM but I’m pretty sure she has already. Today we honor you because you are awesome and following your dream!
View Felicia Sepulveda’s work here: https://www.facebook.com/fsphotography3213/
stephanie rios
Stephanie Rios
Mrs. Rios has become such a great photographer. I have enjoyed seeing her grow her skill, her portfolio and business skills. Steph is happily married to Mr. Carlos Rios and together they have a handsome baby boy named Nathan. I always tell Steph that’s super a SUPER MOM because she’s got everything in check and still manages to be an amazing photographer! Today I honor you and thank you!
View Stephanie Rios’ work here: 
 
adriana euresti
Adriana Euresti
Ms. Adriana was a huge part of my business from 2012-2014. Without her I wouldn’t have able to grow or accomplish as much as we did together. Now Adriana manages and runs her own successful photography business Photos by Adriana. I am very proud of the photographer and businesswoman she’s become and I continue to wish her the best in all she does. When we were working together we shot it all from new born babies to Las Vegas bachelor/bachelorette party adventures. What I am trying to say is Adriana is very well equipped with a variety and years of experience in photography. So everyone please hire her! Today we honor you!
 View Adriana Euresti’s work here: 

Chick-Fil-A – Pharr, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

One day I was enjoying an awesome lunch at the new Chick-Fil-A in Pharr, Texas. I had my computer out and some hard drives on the table working away on the latest work. A Chick-Fil-A employee came up to my table and asked if I was doing well then asked what I was doing. I told her I was a photographer and working on some photos and videos for my clients. She took interest and kept asking more questions.

Little did I know that the store owner was sitting right behind me and overhead our conversation. He asked me for a business card and said one of these days he may need some photos to help promote the store. We set a meeting to discuss what was needed and agreed on shooting a breakfast, lunch and dinner sessions with the store guest. Talk about divine meetings! Praise God!

The photos you are seeing today are from the breakfast session at the Chick-Fil-A Pharr, Texas.

Go, Go, Go! This Chick-Fil-A is located at 2023 Interstate Highway 2 Pharr,TX 78577.chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer 02.25.16_FB_Chick-Fil-A Pharr_Ben Briones Studios-2_FB_BBS chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer chick fil a pharr texas ben briones studios mcallen texas photographer

If you would like to capture promo photos for your business fill the contact form below.

Messalinda Anzaldua – Make-A-Wish Rio Grande Valley – La Feria, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

Giving back is extremely important for me and my brand. This past weekend I photographed a quinceanera for a special girl. Make-A-Wish Rio Grande Valley put together a fifteenth-birthday-celebration for Messalinda Anzaldua. Mind you, I did not know this young lady and when Ava Sandlin, the executive director of Make-A-Wish Rio Grande Valley, reached out to me a about this event, I automatically said YES.

I am extremely blessed to be able to donate my services to such a awesome foundation. This is what I live for! Special events like these are the sole reason God has given me this ability to share with his people. I have been called to collect memories, capture life and provide a recollection a moment in time that can always be repeated through photography. Messalinda Anzaldua,  I don’t know you but from the photographs we took that night I saw how beautiful your life is and how many people love you.

Special thanks to Felicia Sepulveda of Shutterbelle Photography volunteering her time and helping.

1Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-2

2Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-3

Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-4

5Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-5

4Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-6

3Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-7

10Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-8

6Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-9

7Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-10

8Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-11

12Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-21

Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-24

9Messalinda Anzaldua_BLOG_BenBrionesStudios-25

If you’re interested to book us, please fill out the form below.

Single In The City – J’aime Les Livres (I Love Books) Mcallen, Texas – Ben Briones Studios

single in the city j'aime les levris

J’aime Les Livres (I Love Books) is a cool little book store located at 1219 N. Main Street McAllen, Texas 78501.  Martha “Marty” Medina has owned and operated this quaint book store for over four-years. One day a friend and I decided to explore the small shops on N. Main and when we walked into J’aime Les Livres (I love Books) we struck a cool conversation with the owner. She gave us the history on the book store and then told us about this special event that she was hosting titled Single In The City. The event sounded cool; she was going to have food, drinks and fun secure social environment to meet new people. When she went deeper into why she was hosting such an event is where it stuck some heart strings. I personally love volunteering my services for great causes and she told us it was a PINK cause by faith; I volunteered my photo booth to this event.  I want to be part of the local community of business owners so I knew volunteering the booth for this event and this cause would get me closer to that goal. I even took it one step further… I created this video for Marty and the event she is hosting.

So all you singles out there, come out and enjoy a nice night at a cute book store and meet new people and make a donation to good cause!

If you have an event for a good cause and would like to have a short video created to promote it please fill out the contact form below. 

Photographers Become Part of Your Community!

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 8.42.37 PM

In 2007 I became a volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg. My goal was to complete a 900-hour volunteer program for a hefty scholarship but my relationship with the club lasted beyond the time required. I am proud of being a Boys & Girls Club Alumni and I fully support their programs for our community.

Last week I had the privilege of being a guest speaker for various classes. I showed the students the type of work a wedding photographer does and had a Q & A. My goal was to inspire these young mines. Photography is such a beautiful trade and we need to teach the younger generation that photography, rather it be a hobby or career, is an art form to embrace.

 In every class I asked the question, “How many of you can recall your favorite photo that really touched you?” One little girl replied with something that was touching. She said, “I really love this picture of my sister and I that we took together during a holiday.” I asked why she loved that photo so much and she said it was the last photo she took of her sister before she passed away.

 I think it’s important to keep the passion for photography strong amongst the youth. The Boys and Girls Club has an Annual Digital Arts Festivals that allows students to express themselves through photography and other forms of digital media. For the past two years I have been asked to judge the Regional Digital Arts Festival and it has been exciting to see a lot of young talent in photography.

Photographers, if you can make the time, give back to the community.

20140618-140704-50824787.jpg

 

To view more photos from this event please click on this link here: Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg RGV