Ashley Garcia Rodriguez – UT Grad – Austin, Texas

Grad sessions can be creative, fun, and formal all at the same time! When I shot Ashley’s grad photos at The University of Texas at Austin, I knew there would be a ton of great locations or backdrops to make good photos but how to use those spaces creatively was up to me.

CREATIVE 
I always recommend my grad clients to bring their regalia and 1 to 2 outfits to get them in different looks. Ashley decided on her cap and gown with one nice dress. So outfits are part of the creative part of the shoot. Lighting is the second way you can make the photo shoot more creative and as you can see in these 6 photos I used lighting pretty differently giving each image a different feel. I used both ambient and studio lighting. Ashley Nelcy Garcia Rodriguez_2012 Grad_PRINT_BBP (12 of 23)_WEBAshley Nelcy Garcia Rodriguez_2012 Grad_PRINT_BBP (13 of 23)_WEB
FUN
Posing your client in fun and creative poses can make for fun photos. I sometimes ask my clients to spin or jump creating movement a sense of movement in your shots. You can also tilt your camera in odd positions for cool perspectives. What creates the most fun photo for a client is when you allow them to be themselves. Most people have their own silly way of being unique and when you can capture that you’ll have great pics. Ashley Nelcy Garcia Rodriguez_2012 Grad_PRINT_BBP (3 of 23)_WEBAshley Nelcy Garcia Rodriguez_2012 Grad_PRINT_BBP (17 of 23)_WEBFORMAL
Grad photos can be a little serious too. These are big milestones for many people and sometimes these moments call for formal portraits. In grad photos that means full regalia or formal outfit. In these photos we shot formal pictures in both outfits. Ashley Nelcy Garcia Rodriguez_2012 Grad_PRINT_BBP (1 of 23)_WEBAshley Nelcy Garcia Rodriguez_2012 Grad_PRINT_BBP (21 of 23)_WEB

If you are interested in taking grad photos please fill out the form below.

 

Mariela Rubio – UT Grad – Austin, Texas

While at The University of Texas at Austin I had the pleasure of photographing a few friends and it became more special when they hired me to photograph their graduation photos. I photographed Mariela a few days before graduation so she could send photos to her mother and family members because they were not going to be able to make it to the ceremony due to some complications. Pictures are important when freezing special moments in your life. I encourage everyone who is graduating to take some grad photos. Here are my favorite from this photo session. MarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-10_WEBMarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-26_WEBMarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-27_WEBMarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-16_WEBMarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-29_WEBMarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-32_WEBMarielaRubio_HighRes_BenBrionesStudios-40_WEB

If you are wanting to take graduation portraits please fill out the form below.

Yanin Sanchez – UT Grad – Austin, Texas

Yanin was a good friend of mine during my run at The University of Texas at Austin. We were both from the Rio Grande Valley so when we met each other in Austin we had a lot in common. She was an amazing student. Get this…she finished her undergrad at UT-Austin in 3 years. That is amazing. Yanin hired me for these beautiful grad photos we took of her around the 40-acres. Here are some of my favorite shots from this photo session with Yanin. 04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-1_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-2_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-13_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-32_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-44_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-48_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-50_WEB04.24.10_High Res_Yanin Sanchez Grad Session_BBP-82_WEB

If you are interested in grad photos please fill out the form below.

Mikaila Hernandez – UT Grad – Austin, Texas

Being a graduate of such an amazing school like The University of Texas at Austin is an unexplainable feeling. You feel part of something bigger than yourself. Posting these photos reminds me of my time at school and sometimes I really miss it. It was such a great experience and what better to remember your time in college than through photos.  Check out some of my favorite shots from this UT-Grad session. Mikaila Hernandez_2012_BBP (19 of 35)_WEBMikaila Hernandez_2012_BBP (29 of 35)_WEBMikaila Hernandez_2012_BBP (11 of 35)_WEBMikaila Hernandez_2012_BBP (10 of 35)_WEBMikaila Hernandez_2012_BBP (34 of 35)_WEB

If you are graduating from college and would like to take photos please fill out the form below.

Darkroom Adventures – Austin, Texas

TBT 2010

Back in my college days at The University of Texas at Austin I spent most of my days in the darkroom with my classmates. For those who have shot 35mm film and had to go through the whole process of processing film; you can also vouch that it’s frustrating as hell but extremely rewarding.

UT-Austin classmates Thomas Allison and Callie Hernandez

UT-Austin classmates Thomas Allison and Callie Hernandez

I took these photos during our finals. Everyone was frustrated and annoyed of having to spend our whole day developing and printing our film photos. I wanted to capture the ambience of the day since it was going to be the last days of class. Seen in the photo was my UT-Austin classmates Thomas Allison and Callie Hernandez. Both classmates have gone out to do great thing with their lives. Thomas is a great independent photographer for various companies and Callie is now a Hollywood star. UT-austin was filled with such talented people.

Honestly I enjoyed being stuck in there. I never felt more of a photographer until I shoot 35mm film, developed it and printed it. So for me being in the darkroom was kind of like a escape from the rest of academic responsibilities. I hated the smell of the chemicals but loved what they did. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.

UT-Austin Student waiting for film to dry.

UT-Austin Student waiting for film to dry.

Sometimes I miss UT-Austin, most times I don’t and just live the great memories I had looking over photos from that era of my life. This was a random blog but I just wanted to share some random shit about my experience at UT-Austin and include some cool visuals.

There’s a first time for everything – UT Volleyball – Austin, Texas

While at The University of Texas at Austin I shot the sport of Volleyball for the first time. I really didn’t know what to expect, where I was allowed to stand, or what to shoot exactly.

I had photographed collegiate basketball, track, soccer and baseball. Volleyball was going to a new challenge but I was up for it. Around this time I was shooting with a Canon 5D, 70-200mm 2.8 lens, 50mm lens, and 20-35mm 3.5 lens. I did my best with what I had and I took it as a learning experience. I don’t think the college newspaper or yearbook ever sent me out to another volleyball game after this but that’s okay, I learned.

The game was enjoyable because; One, it was UT athletics and two the crowd of fired up students as amazingly supportive. This shot is one of my best from this first time experience.

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Neil Young at UT-Austin

In 2010 I had the opportunity to photograph Neil Young for a publication known as The Horn’s, He called me up around 5pm and asked if I was free to shoot something. I said, “Yeah sure, what is it?” Neil Young, he is playing at the performing center at The University of Texas at Austin.

This was one of my first major photography jobs while living in Austin, Texas. Their were restrictions that I was not prepared for but I toggled on my knowledge of my gear and did my best. The stage was way further from where I was allowed to rome and shoot from.

After leaving performing center, I mentally kicked myself. Why? I didn’t take photos of concert goers, excited fans, and the staff at the center.

The lady in the photo below traveled 13-hours to see Neil Young perform, those are the kind of things that make a story pop. I hope next time I am sent on a assignment I will remember to shoot the whole story. For now this is what I could produce from this event.

[THROWBACK 2010] 

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If you have questions about my photography please fill out the form below.

Nature Photography – Austin, Texas

Traditionally my photography leans toward portraiture and photographing people. I’ve noticed that the majority of photographers start off their photography careers photographing nature and I don’t blame them because photographing people is very intimidating, especially as a beginner.

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There was a time when I would photograph butterflies on my college campus in between classes but that was as far as my nature photography would go when I was first starting my photography career.

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I find it kind of hard to photograph nature and I have learned it’s because I don’t have any patience and because nature doesn’t respond to you. Recently I have had a want to shoot more nature but I just don’t feel like I have the time to do so. Hopefully that can change soon. In the mean time here are some of older “nature” photography I captured when I was living in Austin, Texas attending the University of Texas at Austin.

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Austin has beautiful sceneries in every corner so a lot of my “nature” photography was done when I would need to walk / commute somewhere. The majority was also taken on the UT campus because it’s such a beautiful mix of landscape, nature and architecture. _MG_9887

Hopefully I will be sharing more of my nature photography after this post. I feel excited to go out there and shoot, hopefully I find the patience and make the time. Thanks for reading!

Maggie McCloud – UT Grad – Austin, Texas

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY 2010

While going through some old hard drives I found these beautiful graduation photos I did of my friend back when I was attending the University of Texas at Austin. They came out so great and I really don’t know why I haven’t showed them off! These are my favorite shots from this graduation portrait session in Austin, Texas.

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If you are graduating soon and would like to celebrate your achievement with a portrait session please fill out the contact form below for pricing.

 

Photography, Love, and Jesus; How I Market in 2014.

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What did it take to get Ms. Mariela in front of my camera to produce this beautiful image, taking into consideration, we never met before this session.

Here is my big marketing secret… I asked! 

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 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
 Luke 11:9

Now do I believe this photo session was  miracle, no, but I had complete faith in The Lord that if I asked I would receive. Faith is powerful and practical and ya’ll know I love me some Jesus. One of His commandments to us [John 13:34] is to love to one another as he loved us and that teaching inspires me that in showing love to someone it will be returned. So I took a leap of faith and asked some friends and clients to advertise the services I was offering  while on a two-day trip to Austin and it worked.

Successful Word of Mouth marketing is love returned.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. Of course your brand has to have a good reputation and credibility but I am sure that’s something you already know. You cannot be shy in  photography. It takes good social skills to build a standing brand. Most of my clients hire me because Word of Mouth and yours can too. Paraphrasing the dynamic dual Zach & Jody,  “Turn your clients into walking, talking billboard for your brand.” As photographers we record some of life’s most valuable moments for our clients and that alone is a privilege. Word of Mouth marketing is trust and love between you.

Show love and it shall be returned.

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If you’re interested to book a photographer/videographer, please fill out the contact form below.

Do Friendships Make Better Pictures?

Ben Briones Studios

 

 

Building healthy relationships is a key to success in photography. I met Susana back in 2010 while studying at The University of Texas at Austin. My roommate, Miguel Cobos, introduced me to her after an event they attended.  As a photographer I noticed her natural beauty right away. She had it all; freckles, colored eyes. height, dimples and a million dollar smile but what was most appealing was her beautiful personality. Susana was genuinely a very nice girl and that’s why I think we’ve been friends ever since. The pictures above is a peak of genuine friendship that developed over time. Susana claimed that I promised to photograph her one , which I probably did, and that day finally came on May 10, 2014.

Friendships my fellow photographers are what it takes to create good portraiture.

  • A friendship builds trust with your subject allowing you to be more creative.
  • A friendship allows your subject to feel comfortable which helps the session flow well.
  • A friendship allows the client to value your services thus having no hesitation to pay for them.

The trust that Susana had in me allowed for creativity to flow and put her in a state of ease that allowed me to produce some milestone images for her. It’s not everyday someone graduates from a nationally recognized business school like McCombs plus UT-Austin’s Liberal Arts Program. These photos represent a special time in her life. Susana is an extremely smart and driven woman with a bright future ahead of her. I am very proud to call myself her friend. I present to you my favorite images from her portrait session. Hook’em Horns! 

 

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If you’re interested to book a photographer/videographer, please fill out the contact form below.

How to have it all: when college and your photography career collide.

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When I got my final letter recognizing my graduation status as complete, I celebrated with an over-the-top-wear all your UT apparel-hook’em horns selfie, but I wasn’t always this excited to be a University of Texas at Austin Longhorn. There were days where I wanted to give up, pack my bags, and move back to my mom’s.  And that is because I was accepted into UT’s very competitive photojournalism program of which I didn’t complete. My best friend claims that I said, “I’m going to dropout and pursue photography full-time.”

So, why didn’t I?

The reason I didn’t drop out of school to pursue photography full-time was because a degree helps beyond school book knowledge. Ben Briones Studios would not be as successful as it has become without the experiences a college education gives you. It feels good to have a bachelors from a university ranked 22nd best in the United States and the 8th best public university and 30th among the words universities. Earning a degree period, should push you to become a better you. UT’s motto is ‘What Starts Here Changes The World’ and I truly believe I am doing just that. 

Here are five ways my degree has helped me: 

  1. Status; because I am a Texas Ex I have booked clients on that connection alone. #HireALonghorn
  2. Discipline; deadlines, exams, and studying has allowed me to reactivate my inner-student and apply it to my photography career. As  ‘pros’ we have multiple deadlines, we are faced with real life exams and photography is constantly changing so we must study to stay relevant.
  3.  Network; the lawyer who setup my LLC was also a University of Texas graduate and the day I went to pay the $2500 setup fee, it miraculously dropped to $700 because it was ‘3 P.M. and OU STILL SUCKED.’
  4. Knowledge; my last semester I took an Introduction to Accounting course as an elective, which I dropped a few weeks before graduation, but the knowledge I gained you best believe it has helped me manage my business finances.
  5. Confidence; college is scary but when you graduate you come out a totally different person. Confidence is built through relationships made on campus. Confidence is built through class presentations. Confidence is built when you walk on stage to grab that fake diploma and walk off stage without falling flat on your face in front of all your classmates, family and friends.

When college and your photography career collide.

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