Mostly -- just start: Interview with Photographer Fredis Benitez
Every now and then, I have the pleasure of working with someone that gets my wheels spinning. It's this sudden feeling of wonderment. I want to know their whole story. The road that got them to where there are today. The inspiration behind the work they do. How they find the motivation to stick with it day in day out... The whole nine.
Back in March, I was super flattered by the opportunity to shoot with Fredis Benitez. By the looks of his portfolio, I never would have thought that he was just getting started. His aesthetic is clean, crisp, and dreamy in tangible way, and most impressively, he's a dreamer committed to the execution of making these dreams of his a reality.
See below for my full interview with Fredis. Hopefully, it'll be an inspiration to anyone out there needing a push to just start whatever it is you're holding back on. Enjoy!
Peace, Love & Sunshine ~Chels
1. Fredis, introduce yourself. We want to know all about you. Where you're from, etc.
First off, thank you Chelsea for asking me to be a part of your blog. I truly appreciate it.
I am a native Houstonian and currently live in SW Houston. Spent 4 formative years in Austin where I graduated from college. My background is in advertising/marketing.
2. How long have you been doing photography? Is that your background by trade?
I bought my first "legitimate" camera in October (Team Nikon). Prior to that I simply used my phone. Photography is not my background so there has definitely been a learning curve and obsessiveness with researching. I'm still very much an amateur compared to some of the great talent out there.
Really what I enjoy about the process is editing because of how therapeutic it is and the infinite ways you can compose.
3. Walk me through the step-by-step process you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
I attribute a huge part of where I'm at to some of the really talented people I have been exposed to throughout my life. The thing about creativity is it can be expressed in so many different ways beyond a picture -- there's music, cooking, fashion. All of these are things that I observe from a distance, respect, and emulate in some way.
My first step was starting -- I compare any new hobby to running. The first 1/2 mile is generally the most painful but once you find your tempo and stay at it you'll find it gets easier and you get better.
4. Are there any Houston photographers (or anyone in particular regardless of where they're from) who's work you really appreciate and why?
Absolutely. Greg Noire is a local Houston photographer on a different level right now. I respect his vision and talent.
Nationally, Aaron Brimhall -- he's a moto-lifestyle photographer my friend Mike introduced me to. I actually got to meet him and he is one of the most amazingly talented yet down-to-earth, humble dudes in the game; all attributes I respect.
5. What's the one thing you wish you would have known before getting started with photography?
How expensive it can get.
6. It may be too soon to ask this, but what's your vision for photography and your brand? What do you want to be known for? Where do you want to take it or it to take you?
It is early, but my vision for what I do is steadfast improvement. I will continue to travel and document wherever I go. I simply want to be known as putting out great work, which I know will take time and continued practice. At some point I'd like for my work to be on a national publication -- something like Kinfolk or Cereal mag.
7. Last, but not least, if a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Don't focus on what's not available to you. A key aspect to creativity is using what you have around you to make things happen.
Mostly -- just start.
Top 5 favorite things about Houston?
1. Coffee Shop -- Blacksmith because they serve Greenway and have powdered soap (Houston can be hipster too). The Wifi is fast.
2. Restaurant -- It used to be FuFu Cafe but we all know what happened there. I'd have to say Brasil (patio area). You can people-watch and get good food.
3. Cocktail: Moving Sidewalk: The whiskey sour is legit and I take everyone I know there
4. Tout Suite -- if you take anyone from out of town there they leave with a great impression of Houston and the macarons are delicious. They also serve boba so major plus.
5. Activity -- shooting pictures or riding motorcycles with my friend Mike Le. We always bounce ideas off of each other so it's a good place to get feedback for plans.
Want to connect with Fredis?
Let’s connect! Twitter/Instagram @thecoffeybreak