interview Photography

An Interview With Ben Zank

7/22/2016Jake Ryan

Sometimes on Instagram you come across a photo that immediately grabs your attention. That’s exactly what happened with the photo below. 

The photo was taken by Ben, a 25 year old photographer who takes some of the most interesting photos I have seen, I put a few questions to Ben about his photography and you can see what he had to say below. 

Hey Ben, First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. 
I'm 25, went to school for journalism, rode my bike, and played way too many video games. At some point down the line I turned my obssession to  photography when I found a Pentax ME Super in my grandparent's attic. I was 18 when that happened. 

So I only recently found your Instagram and I was quickly taken in by your photography, how would you describe your style?
Dark, surreal, quirky, humorous, and bizarre.

At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to be a photographer? 
I don't recall the exact moment in time, but I do remember being asked this question before I even considered myself to be one.

Is photography how you make your living? 
Not quite. I work part-time freelance at and Ad agency. I take commissioned work whenever it comes around.

I see a lot of people on Instagram worrying about their ‘theme’ on their accounts. Do you think it’s important to stick to one theme?
I'm not an instagram photographer. I'm a photographer that uses instagram as an outlet to share work. Do I curate my photos? Sure, but I don't lose sleep over keeping a 'theme'.

Everyone of your photos seems so perfectly timed. How much time goes into planning your photos?
It's hard to say. I don't keep track of my workflow much these days. Some of it is photoshop and some of it is just straight moving furniture. I like to stay spontaneous in my creating until I get an idea. Then the real planning comes.

And how much time goes into editing them?
It really depends on the complexity of an image. Some photographs-you know they are going to be good from the moment you take them. Others require hours of retouching and days of contemplation.

What equipment do you shoot with?
Canon 5D Mk III
50mm 1.4
24-104mm 4L
85mm 1.8
Remote shutter

What is it about photography that you love? 
I get to do all the dumb shit I did as a kid and actually have something to show for it after it's all said and done. Like one time I had a firework go off in my face while wearing a suit and a welding mask. That would have been pretty stupid, but I got that on camera and it looked awesome.

Do you have a favourite photo you’ve taken? 
I love all the photos on my website, but I'm not romantic about them. They'll all be pushed into the archives within two years for new images.

How hard is it to find your identity as a photographer? 
I don't know. Everyone is probably different when it comes to this. My first photos were of a hat hanging off a tree and some simple photos of my sister. My first attempt at a 'surreal' photo came almost two years later.

What motivates you? 
If I knew I'd probably be able to channel it better.

And finally, what do you have planned for the future? 
Videos that are photos that are videos.

Make sure you check out more of Ben's work on his Website 

and follow him on Instagram HERE

Thanks to Ben for taking the time to speak with TravelFoodFilm. 

All photos in this post are owned by Ben Zank. 

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