ELWES Benjamin

Série « Married » / Parcours

My decision to pursue a career as a photographer was made during a seventy-two hour coach journey in Brazil in the early 1990s. I had assigned this time to consider career options before returning home. The decision was straight- forward : to do photography in Paris.

On my return to Europe I became an assistant to the Paris based American fashion photographer, Pamela Hanson working on editorial and advertising shoots, which also involved making cups of tea for the likes of Helena Christiansen. Having worked on the International Fashion Show circuit for British Vogue and The Independent Newspaper, I then based myself in London in 1998.

Since then, my work has been balanced between regular commissioned work and my own personal projects. I have directed my attention to developing my work free of an editorial brief, and have endeavoured to follow my own instinct in terms of ideas and subject matter. In this way I have tried not to be indebted to any particular style of photography, in order to maintain a sense of spontaneity as well as honesty to my work.

I have exhibited as part of a range of group shows and one of the images was exhibited at The National Portrait Gallery as part of the 2002 John Kobal Portrait Awards. Most recently, during 2006 I contributed a set of images of teenage mothers from Great Yarmouth to an exhibition in Gothenburg, Sweden entitled Mother. Please see exhibition details enclosed.

I have now embarked upon a Photography Masters at University College for the Creative Arts, Rochester, under the tutelage of Ori Gerscht and Frances Summers. This step was made last year in order to dedicate myself to developing my personal work exclusively, and I will complete the course in Autumn 2009.

The submitted work has not been exhibited as a whole, although a broad selection of these portraits and other work has been published in The Fundamentals of Photography (AVA Academia Publishing SA Switzerland, Helen Drew/Getty Images ISBN 28847990500)

I have submitted the enclosed photographic portraits entitled Married, as I believe that they would contribute to the theme of Europe Between Tradition and Mutations. By virtue of looking closely at a niche of English society and a group’s approach to the tradition of marriage, I hope that this work may find a place within the overall exhibition. (June 2008)