“There is nothing like being away for awhile and then you see the bridge and having it feel like home.”
Ben is a photographer. It’s what he enjoys doing. There is no place he goes without a camera as a companion. Like his wife, Erica, their lives are dedicated to creating a body of creative work. They have the ability to share their talents with the community while sharing in the experience of the talents of others. His worldly travels along with being an active member in the Falmouth community allows him numerous chances for interesting and unique shots and a way he can portray to others how he sees the world. In the past he has published these in zines and printed for friends and family.
Ben moved about with his family as a child until they decided on Cape Cod to call home. His day job takes him to far reaches of the planet, and his passport is quite filled.
“Before I was about 10 or 11 we moved here. I was about 10 or 11. We moved through a lot of Southeast New England. Seekonk, Barrington, East PVD, so a little RI and a little bit of Eastern MA. I lived off Cape in Boston for five years and moved back. I’ve lived here ever since. For me this is home. All of those other places I listed they just weren’t home. They didn’t feel right.”
While Cape Cod is his home, there isn’t much here in the way of the scenery that creatively inspires him. His eye is drawn elsewhere. There is an incredibly unique set of individuals that call the Cape home. Ben grabs the perfect moments from the people around him. He has the ability to tell an entire story in one individual snapshot.
“Most of my photographic inspiration comes from wanting to be ready for when there is going to be a good photo opportunity. I call myself an independent photographer or a practicing photographer. By practicing, I literally mean I’m practicing for the day that it counts. I am somewhat the opposite that I don’t find the environment inspiring visually whatsoever. I love the ocean, but I love the people here. I found that the quality, the depth and the scope of the people here is really remarkable.”
An example of this visual storytelling is a photo of a nip bottle. It was a perfect opportunity for an image to spin a tale of people who live here. Ben has trained himself to look at the world through different eyes.
“Someone picked up a nip bottle from litter in the bog and nailed it to a telephone pole. I took a photo of it and it represents a lot of stuff about the Cape, like the classic Cape Cod alcoholic, or the struggling artist who just made their art there all of a sudden.”
Through just seeing something someone might have thought was just a bit of trash, there was a story to be told. His images speak to this type of scenario. There is always something deeper below the surface of every narrative. Today he enjoys the Cape for the people and what keeps him here is in this same ballpark. He feels connected and at peace with Falmouth. He is intertwined with different networks and enjoys knowing people and saying hi to folks wherever he goes.
“There is a great community aspect of going out and knowing you’ll see people that want to talk to you and be a part. There's many levels of that too. There are many cultures here. Friend’s throughout the science community, the entertainment community. That's one of the things that keeps me here. We're part of the community. I love it. At the coffee shop, you see all walks. It's not the city and it's not rural. It's something in between. When you engage the community. It really pays off in dividends. When I started my website part of that was I wanted to get back into the community and be engaged with the people who are playing music and doing art. Once they see you there, in the typical New England fashion, it takes a while but once they see you at a place a couple of times and they see you want to be a part of the community, it really is a good place. Engage in what's going on around you and find out what those things are.”
Living on Cape Cod, he sees a trend with the general population. Young people just aren’t staying. It is a somewhat uphill battle that hopefully will change in the near future.
“We're transitioning from younger people living here to older people living here. We don’t do a good job in keeping the younger people entertained, and giving them good jobs, so it's the struggle of not having a diverse community ultimately. It would be nice if there was a lot more opportunity for them.”
Outside of the age going up, Ben has found a great life on Cape Cod with his wife Erica. They both travel the world and are happy to call the Cape home base. He continues his photographic journey and continues to shoot daily, not missing one day for the last 12 years.
“There is nothing like being away for awhile and then you see the bridge and having it feel like home. Having the temperature go down 5 degrees.”
You can see his body of work here at benshotme!