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Susannah Benjamin, part one

2 October 2010
By Sean

Susannah Benjamin








Today is a rare day.  It’s unique in that I often have difficulties picking only a few photographs from each featured photographer, but I always manage to do it.  Not this time.  You will notice that the title indicates that there are going to be multiple posts on our next featured photographer, Susannah Benjamin.  It truly was impossible for me to limit this feature to just the standard five to eight pictures that I normally show.  I have broken the feature into two parts – color and black and white, with each containing the normal maximum allotment of eight images.  Sorry to those that I have struggled with in the past, but alas, as the owner and editor, this is my call to make.  Quite honestly, though, I do not think that any of my readers will be disappointed in this decision – most of the time more pictures is better, especially when they are of this caliber.

Susannah Benjamin has a vision that is not especially rare for young people, but her ability to express and convey that vision, most certainly is.  When I first viewed these images I was taken aback.  The quality of light, the expressiveness of the models, the technical ability and their conceptual nature were forthright and convincing, seemingly relevant in the world of conceptual photography.  What really got me, however, was these images were taken by a 16 year old (she is now 17).  It took quite some time for me to wrap my head around it.  I have been immersed in photography culture for the past several years and can honestly say that this is the first time I have seen work executed so well from anyone so young.  In my experience, most of the work that I have seen produced by people this age are banal, focused on hedonistic desire and actions, and irrelevant.  Most lack this level of foresight and vision.

Simply put, we need to pay attention to what Susannah Benjamin is working on.  Her work is not as pretty as it is visually engaging.  Despite their minimalistic appearances there is a lot going on in these images.  It is possible while going through her flikr account to see the transformations she has made with her work in just the past two years.  The growth and conceptual development is impressive to say the least.  She will go on to do great things.  Pay attention now, while she is relatively unknown, I think we will all be glad we did.  Stay tuned, next week I will be publishing part 2, which will showcase Susannah’s black and white work.

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