Excited to share Gabie and Manuel’s engagements that we took at the popular photo shoot venue in Weslaco, Texas, Casa Polonia! We did a set of outdoor and indoor photos for them. This couple was so much fun to work with. They trusted me with some of my crazy angles and ideas and I’m glad they did because I really love how their photos came out.
Although I love all of them, I have a few favorite because of the meaning behind them. The first one is the one with the blue color gel light; I love that one because it adds a mood to something often shot and I also love it because they trusted me to get out of my comfort zone to be creative. The second photo I’m super proud of is the McDonald’s ice cream cone engagement shot because they said their first date many years ago was at that same park with two delicious ice cream cones.
Photo Credit: Emi Peña, Ben Briones
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For those who have been a career photographer for three years or more can probably relate. When on a gig or assignment you literally eat on your drive to the next gig, while editing photos at a coffee shop or in your office and sometimes your clients feed you too. If you are like me, I charge all my meals to my business account because for the most part I am always eating while working and for that I am thankful. Through photography I have been able to feed myself, my family and loved ones because I have followed my passion through and through, as if it was my next meal.
Photography has been my passion since 2007 and we have just entered into 2019 and I am still going strong. I am more than sure I have done something photography related on the daily since 2007. When I graduated high school I went straight to the University of Texas Pan-American where I quickly got involved with the college newspaper and magazine as a photographer. When I transferred to the University of Texas at Austin it was to be admitted into their photojournalism program. When I was absent at parties and school events it was because I was either working on my photography business or shooting something for the college yearbook. Today I work at South Texas College from 8am to 5pm as their PR & Marketing Photographer and when I leave at 5pm I go straight to my home office to work on my photography business from 5pm – 2am in the morning. I live photography daily because it is my passion. It’s all I know and it’s all I love to do.
When you become a business owner, especially a photography business owner, sometimes it’s hard to catch your breath because you are constantly working and bettering yourself. It’s important to sit back and take a breath of fresh air….SIKE! It’s actually really hard. To those photographers who find time to travel and put down the camera and remove yourself from the editing computer, kudos to you, I envy you. To those who are workaholics like me and have a camera within arms reach, hell yeah, let’s get this cheddar. (Sara, “But you’re lactose in tolerant.) Fuck it, I will still get the cheddar. If you love photography, breath it daily. If you find yourself gasping for air because you’re not working, start working and work hard.
Felipe de la Cruz Sandoval, father of missing or slain Mexican student visits South Texas College to talk about their initiative to find their children. Very interesting but hard to photograph. Here are some shots from this event.
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My Pelican 1510 loaded and ready for work. I’ve been using Pelican Products since 2011 and the products have been part of my success as a professional photographer.
I bought my first Pelican Case on Sunday, May 22, 2011 from B & H Photo and Video. I proudly purchased the Pelican 1654 Waterproof 1650 Case with padding and a lid organizer and it was the best purchase ever! Back then this setup cost me $338.94 but today something like this would cost you $463.31 from B & H Photo and Video. Sad to say I no longer own this model because I sold it to my cousin who’s a cinematographer.
Today I own three pelican case setups; Pelican 1510 Carry-On Case with padding and lid organizer (seen above), Pelican iM2620 Storm Trak Case with lid organizer and the Pelican 1560NF Case without foam.
If you have owed a Pelican case you know they are durable as hell and you can do so many things with them. Here are some of the ways I have used my Pelican cases:
- Traditional photo gear storage and luggage
- Photo Booth equipment and prop storage
- iMac 27inch Travel Case
- Clothing luggage travel for two people
- Standing / Height stool (because it’s durable as hell)
- Light Stand Weight
I am a big fan of Pelican and it’s has been an important piece of gear in my photography career that I hope to use until the end. If you have any questions about Pelican cases please feel free to contact me by filling out the form below.
Photography Lesson: Composition
A while back I met up with my good friend Edna, who is an amazing photographer, to do a photography lesson on composition. To be honest I don’t know why she does lessons with me because her work is amazing already but I’ll take any moment to teach anyone who’s passionate about photography and getting better with a camera.
Photograph by Edna
Photograph One – Edna V.
Photograph One – Edna V. – BREAKDOWN
The photo is really well balanced from the top and from the bottom. This is important in when composing a shot because you never know when your client may want to purchase a print. I always teach my photographers to shoot for print and this shot was perfectly shot with that in mind. The pose / body also forms a triangle and that is important to note because the human eye is attracted to simple shapes and if you can create those simple shapes through human poses you have won the eye. I also encouraged her to shoot from an angle so we can get the leading lines formed by the bridge and rails. This helps the viewer follow the lines to your subject.
Photograph Two – Edna V.
Photograph Two – Edna V. – BREAKDOWN
Often you find yourself near a set a stairs and want to pose your subject on the steps, which is what we did here. If it’s a long stairway I always suggest to sit the model 3 to 4 steps up from the bottom to allow some space above the head. In the photo above my student Edna gave enough space to frame the subject in the stairway. This setting was perfect for applying repetition, which is another important tool to use in composition. I was able to help see the shape in the body and the repetition of the stairs for the composition.
Kudos to my student Edna, as mentioned before, she’s already an amazing photographer and sharpening up her composition skills will just make her better. You can view here work her at this link: swankyfoto
If you are interested in photography lessons please fill out the contact form below.
There was once upon a time were I shot a quince photo shoot at the International Museum of Art & Science in McAllen, Texas. I am not too sure if they allow photo session to happen at the Museum anymore but at least I got to say I did it. The photo shoot was short and simple. Her Mom didn’t want anything too fancy but did want some unique shots so I think the Museum was the best place to take the photos. Here are some of my favorite shots.
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Typically you tend to see Quince portraits photographed outdoor but for this winter wonderland style quince we chose to take the photos inside to make them look more elegant and so they can be closer to the winter theme. I really love how these shots came out because The Gala Special Events is always decorated beautifully. Here are my favorite shots from this quince photo session. You can also view more photos from her actual event here: https://benbriones.com/2014/12/09/destiny-love-pena-quince-ben-briones-studios/
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Here are some outtakes from a location scouting shoot. We had a photo shoot scheduled at the McAllen Convention Center for a quince that evening and I wanted to test the lighting, backdrops and angles so when our client showed up it would be super smooth.
I believe location scouting is an important part of a photographer’s job but sadly a lot of photographer don’t do it. It takes extra time to do but saves you a lot of time in the long run because it will make it a better experience for your client that you’re not having to guess where to to take your client and it will make your editing experience much easier.
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I love this Mommy and Daughter photo session I took a while back at the beautiful Memory Lane Photo Spot located in Mission, Texas. Sarah just had her baby girl and there was a lot of excitement to the new addition to the family. Here are our favorite shots from this special photo shoot!
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