We had the good fortune of connecting with Charles Benoit and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charles, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There is nothing more important than taking risks in a career. Risks are an opportunity to reach out of your comfort zone for opportunities that you wouldn’t normally go for. Once you are out of your comfort zone, fear enters the arena. Once you’re afraid then you will do everything in your power not to fail until you succeed.
Risks in my career took the role in getting me out to Los Angeles in the first place. If I didn’t take the risk to come out to LA to pursue my dream of photography, I would never have had the pressure to make my art in order to pay my rent. Therefore it was either make it in photography or not pay my rent.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others as well as what excites me most about what I do is that I form a connection with my subjects. When working with models/clients, it is very important to establish a dialogue and learn about them as I capture them. My goal with my brand is to make my subjects feel powerful and confident through the content that I create. This was not always easy, as it took a lot of practice to come alive with the camera in my hands and to take a directing role as well as a photographer. It also allowed me to learn how to position individuals to look their best, communicate my vision, and technically align my equipment for the perfect shot.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was visiting the city, two spots that I would take them for sure would be the Santa Monica Pier, and the Griffith Observatory. The Santa Monica Pier, I have always felt, is a place of dreams as one of the most iconic places in the world. The Griffith Observatory also falls inline
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Others in my journey who I feel deserve a little credit are my Photography professor back at Michigan State; Peter Glendinning. In College, Peter was willing to answer any of the questions that I had and encouraged me to continue experimenting in photography any way I could. Peter also recommended me to assist a very successful photographer out here in LA, James Mankoff, who went to Michigan State as well. James has taken me under his wing on set as his assistant to learn the ropes of what a professional set is like. He has also offered to help with critiquing my portfolio and with writing up contracts with clients.
One other person who deserves credit for my success in LA is Mark Rodriguez. Before I moved to LA I met Rodriguez when he messaged me on Instagram to be a still photographer on his production of Rudolf in Detroit. I came down and did the shoot, as well as informing him that I was moving to LA and he welcomed me to his company, Mastermynd Media, where I now work as a full time photographer shooting social media and magazine covers for clients, celebrities and other influencers.
All images of myself are shot by Mark Rodriguez All Portfolio Images Shot by me. Models in the Images: Katie Welch, Amanda Holquin, Laura Samuels, Nick Gerling, Sohni Ahmed, Andrea Zamora, Erinn Smith