Benjo Arwas was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. After spending 5 years in the army he grew a deep appreciation for life. Thirsty to experience the world, he began traveling. It was during these explorations that Benjo first picked up a camera and struck by its power; he bought it and began documenting his travels.
Years later, his deep sense of awe and respect for a photograph’s power has not diminished but continues to motivate his creations. Colors, textures, culture, and traditions guide his eye to capture. Inspired by light, fashion, and the beauty of human beings, Benjo intends to make the fantasies playing in his imagination real through his lens. European influence, good music, nature, and hours of surfing resonate in his images creating emotion, motion, and personality.
For Benjo, it always circles back to the human being, the personalities and the community. His shoots involve a variety of people, all with different opinions and different values. It is through this melting pot of individuals that the world is what it is, and by embracing our differences we embrace the beauty of the world. Before each shoot Benjo always has a chat with his models saying “just be yourself, everybody else is already taken,” explaining that it’s their personality and their soul that he hopes to capture, so that for a moment in time the person is truly on the lens of his camera. “It’s not hard work when you love what you do”. Currently living in Los Angeles, California, he continues learning about his art at Brooks Institute of Photography.
DF- Where’s home at the moment?
BA- Socrates said: “I’m not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world” this is how I feel. I’m skipping from one place to another.
DF- How long have you been a photographer?
BA- I’ve discovered photography about 2 years ago, but actually since I decided to take it really to the next step is 1.5 years ago.
DF- Who or what influenced you to start taking photographs?
BA- Who? Everything from the ocean, nature, art, music to dreams and imagination. What? The ability and the known that I’m sealing a moment that will never come back or more to say – 1/125th of a second.
DF-Did you go to school to study photography?
BA- Currently I resides at Santa Barbara and attending to Brooks Institute Of Photography with the concentration on Advertising
DF-A photographer who inspires you?
BA- Helmut Newton: Black and white, story telling, edgy, provocative, contrast, sarcastic and he just knows exactly what he needs.
DF- What gives you ideas and what inspires you to create your beautiful images?
BA- First of all the models themselves. Their charisma and their character,
DF-Do you listen to music while you’re shooting? And if so who are your favorite artists to listen to while you’re working?
BA- I’m listening to Diana Krall when I’m doing post production and for everything else Lenny Kravitz.
DF- Do you prefer Black & White or Color?
BA- Black and White is the new color. Whatever you can do with color you can do with black and white.
DF- Is there a specific person you would love to take a photo of?
BA- Kate Moss
DF-Do you shoot digital or film?
BA- I’m shooting digital, and I’m using the Canon 5d Mark II. But mostly I’m shooting on film with Mamiya RZ67 and 4X5. There is no better quality than film.
DF- What’s your favorite piece of equipment?
BA- Mamiya RZ67 with Kodak Tri-X 400.
DF- If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
BA- 35mm. It’s perfect for everything.
DF- What lightning equipment do you take on a shoot?
BA- It depends on what kind of apporach I want. Sometimes I bring an off camera flash, sometimes only a reflector, but mostly nothing. I just need to find the right angle of the light, the quality and how to use it the best on my subject.
DF- How important is Photoshop in your final images?
BA- Important but not as much as I’m doing stuff in-camera.
DF- Are you a Mac or PC lover?
BA- Mac and PC.
DF-The hardest part of your job?
BA- I love my job, but I’m getting bored with my art. I’m always looking for the best and I want to improve it, which means brainstorming 24/7.
DF-Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
BA- As I said, im a citizen of the world. Each place has its unique landscape and unique vibes to produce at.
DF- What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?
BA- Vogue Italy.
DF-Where would you like to retire?
BA- Tuscana, Italy.
DF- What advice do you have for someone who want to pursue a career in photography?
BA- Hard work pays off. Learn the basic techniques and than do it from the heart for the art. Know photography before you call yourself a photographer.
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