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.]

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.


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.


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.


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.

Stephanie Rios Photographer 
Owner / Photographer
Weddings | Portraits | Children
(956) 313-1741

The Photographer Series – Iliasis Muniz – Ben Briones Studios

Iliasis Muniz is a super talented up and coming photographer out of the South Padre Island area. She has been creating lively art for her clients for over 3-years now and has big ambitions to expand way beyond the Rio Grande Valley. She’s bubbly, giggly and a lot of fun! Definitely important qualities to have in the photography industry. For anyone who is familiar with photography personality, Jasmine Starr, Ms. Iliasis Muniz tends to remind me of her a lot, but of course, Iliasis has her own flair and unique qualities that allow her to stand out.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Iliasis for the first time this past Tuesday. What I really enjoyed was that she turned out to be exactly how you would imagine her being just by her personality on social. And to top it off she was so nice and brought me an unexpected gift. We met at Moonbeans in McAllen, Texas and talked about photography, business and life. Then we produced this pretty cool video interview laying out a little bit of her story. I think till this date this is one of my favorite episodes of The Photographer Series! Check it out, enjoy it, and let us know what you think!

You can view Iliasis Muniz’s work at the following links

If have enjoyed this interview and want share your story fill out the contact form below.

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The Photographers Series – Mikey Sanchez – Ben Briones Studios

Mikey was one of those photographers I secretly followed because his work  is very unique. One day I decided I wanted to meet the guy so I invited him to participate in The Photographers Series and I am so glad I did because his interview was so refreshing. This kid has ambition and the drive it takes to build a photography brand. He reminded me of 2007-2008 Ben Briones; always on the go letting nothing stand on my way. Based on his Facebook pages he has a good following and that’s wonderful for a young brand. Mikey said something very powerful that I also believe in one-hundred percent. “There is no one else out there like you and that’s what makes you special; not only as an artist but as a photographer. So once you find what makes you special as a photographer it’s up to you to zone in on it and own it…” Lets lend our eyes and ears to this ambitious artist. I present to you Mikey Sanchez, owner and photographer of Infinite Productions and Infinite Magazine.

If have enjoyed this interview and want share your story fill out the contact form below.

The Photographers Series – Ellen Ibarra – Ben Briones Studios

I first met Ellen Ibarra toward the end of last year. We both belonged to a Facebook group called RGV Photographers. I saw a post she made in which she’s looking for a videographer to help her create an intro video for her website. I responded and told her I had a close friend who could help her. She came by the office to talk to my friend Mike and me about her project idea and we have been in touch ever since. Photography gave us something to relate to but strangely, videography brought us closer.

Ellen is such a sweet and tender person. Today you will see that throughout her video interview. Originally a thirty-minute conversation about her journey as a photographer filled with emotional recollections of events; her story had to be edited to a seven-minute video which shares her struggles and passion for her photography.

Ellen Ibarra specializes in new-born photography and this is her story.



If you are a photographer and would like to participate in The Photographers Series please fill out the contact form below. 


The Photographers Series – Andres Rodriguez – Ben Briones Studios

Andres Rodriguez is one of the coolest cats you’ll meet in the Rio Grande Valley. Mr. Rodriguez is a very talented photographer specializing in sports photography and dreamy portraiture. My favorites pieces of art that he has created are his fitness model portraits. Behind every photographer there is a story ,and today you will get some insight to Andres’s journey as a photographer. While interviewing him ,I could feel all the emotions each question evoked. Andres is a great example of a photographer fighting the end and odds to follow his true passion. I admire this photographer being able to find understanding that becoming a professional photographer is a slow process but not impossible.


I present to you Andres Rodriguez, owner of and 


If you are a photographer and would like to tell your story, please fill out the contact form below. 

The Photographers Series – Dani Tiscareño – Ben Briones Studios

Today’s feature is Ms. Dani Tiscareño, owner of Vision Works Photo Company, and self-portraitist extraordinaire. Dani specializes in creative and fantasy portraiture and owns a 2000 sq. ft. studio in the  heart of downtown McAllen. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Tiscareño back in 2008 when we were both hired by the same client to document a Hindu Wedding. Dani has recently been exploring creative self-portraits where she plays each character she photographs; an example can be seen in the video.

In this video Dani will be sharing a little bit about her background in photography, how she began her career, some struggles she faced, her preferred equipment and some business insight and tips. I present to you Dani Tiscareño. Enjoy!



If you enjoyed this video interview and would like to tell your story please fill out the contact form below.


The Photographers Series – Imanol Miranda – Ben Briones Studios

Yesterday, I began my video series tentatively titled The Photographers, which will focus on telling the stories of local photographers in the Rio Grande Valley. My goal for this project is to tell your story (photographers reading this). The photo industry in the Rio Grande Valley is growing rapidly.  As photographers, we should see each other as a community and not competition. Don’t get me wrong, if you run a photography business you are competing but we cannot forget our to share about our passion for the craft as well. Many of you are inspirations to others in the industry and even to strangers who follow your Facebook page. I want extent an invitation to any photographer who would be willing to tell their story, if that’s you, please fill out the contact form under the video.

Thank You!


I had the privilege of interviewing Imanol Miranda a local McAllen photographer working on a series titled Mexican American Photo Project. Today I debut that video. Enjoy!