People: One Minute with photographer Ben Hodges
Creative Medium: Mixed (I come from a graphic design and moving image background of study and work). There's a definite emphasis and pre-dominance in photography/cinematography though.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work: I'm a new-media creative with an emphasis in photography/filmmaking and a passionate heart for creative expression (in any form it comes). I've been shooting now both personally and professionally for about six years and it's only really been the past two years I'd say that I've begun to hone my style and find my creative 'voice'.
If your portfolio could speak what would it say?
What's the story being told here?
What makes you different from other creatives? I don't think there's any major difference, I think the creative 'hunger' that leads people to choose creativity as either a passion or profession is something that unifies us more than divides us. I think anyone who feels that 'creative' longing to make something is ultimately seeking to connect (either consciously or subconsciously) with those around them, to 'speak into the void' as it were. Andrei Tarkovsky (a Russian filmmaker) wrote a great deal about this and the purpose of creativity saying...
"Art is born and takes hold wherever there is a timeless and insatiable longing for the spiritual, for the ideal: that longing which draws people to art"
This quote always stuck with me; this idea that there is this relationship between the work and the worker - a reaching beyond. For some people that means connecting with a spiritual force – for others it means another person. If there is anything that separates my work from other creatives – maybe it's just that I'm aware and seeking to actively embrace this in my work. I know that when I shoot there's usually a moment with the model or location that I'm waiting for where I feel it click and I have an emotional reaction to what I'm looking at. Maybe that's pretentious but it's also the only way I know how to work.
Who has been your greatest influence? I'd say most of my work (either creatively or thematically) has been informed by cinema and its auteurs. That mental-practice or judgement-system of what you choose to put in front of the lens and why; as a tool to discern the best way to tell a story, is an essential component to the way I work.
I couldn't credit any one person solely, but Edward Hopper and the way he paints or frames the people in his scenes is a constant reference point I play with on shoots. Cinematographers like Conrad L Hall, Jeff Cronenweth and Directors like Mark Romanek and Terrence Malick are also a great source of reference for mood/tone.
What does your workspace/studio look like? It currently varies shoot to shoot; ideally the space reflects my brain - half structured, half organised chaos; full of littered references to things I've seen elsewhere.