Morning Beauty #1

Stephanie Cook @ Kismet MGMT

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FACTICE Magazine, Issue #17 February/March 2013

Click here to view and download the whole issue

  • Model: Anastassija @ Elite Models L.A.
  • Makeup and Hair: Lina Hang
  • Styling: Jen Summers
  • Assistant and Behind The Scenes: Sidney Kraemer
  • Featured Designers: Gypsy JunkiesRitual, Miss G Designs, Jonathan Burdine, Muneco, Muheeka, Sugarpuss, Roxy Contin Designs, NOA by Noa Cardelli Designs, Monica Wallway of Jan Hilmer

FACTICE Magazine, Issue #17 – “My Inner Demons” from Sidney Kraemer on Vimeo.

we put together another well prepared story featuring some amazing designers for Factice Magazine. It’s actually the 3rd time in a row (Since Issue #15) and already planning for Issue #18.

The shoot is mixed with film and digital processing. I attached some outtakes of Large Format Polaroids and 8X10 photographic paper I took during the editorial. I like to shoot with Large Format during these kinds of shoots, because then I have more time to slow down the pace, and focus more on the subject matter instead of all the surrounding pressure. I just get into my own world and start seeing the moment. Sometimes failure happens and sometimes there are happy accidents. Sometimes there are great results without any doubt. Its this journey that never ends and everyday I’m discovering new things by experimenting and making mistakes.

The light was consistant during the entire story; I used a beauty-dish with a diffusion cover as my key, half of my studio door open for the fill. and a back blue gel to add for the palette and the color atmosphere. Later in post I did my own magic by adding more of the ghosty and blurry feeling.

The team effort was great. Jen brought pulled some amazing stuff from several showrooms, and Lina added to the show with variety of skulls and props which added some spice to the story. The model casted was Anastassjia from ELITE Models L.A. It is always pleasure to photograph amazing creative people and strong warriors. Why warriors? Well, it was completely freezing that day, a total of 6 different makeup looks was created, and a definite patience and passion for the story was needed.

Sidney Kraemer made for me a nice feature Behind The Scenes video – Thanks Sid!!!

Stay in touch: WEBSITE / EMAIL FACEBOOK Page / Twitter / @INSTAGRAM

Paris Retrospective // Film By Keith Lancaster

Paris Retrospective // film by Keith Lancaster from Benjo Arwas on Vimeo.

During my recent trip to Paris, my girlfriend, Sidney Kraemer (, took a footage of me shooting around the city as well as behind the scenes pieces and Keith Lancaster ( followed me to document my photography ,my thoughts ,and my journey and put it all together to create this video piece. I wasn’t ready and wasn’t prepared, but the best stuff happens when your’e not ready, right?

So thank you Keith for the great opportunity to visually share my thoughts and thank you Sidney for always being there for me.
Thanks to all the teams, creative people and talents: Michelle Catillon, Davide Pereira Palos, Katia Ren, Raquel Crispim, Marianna Giordana, Christine Aimee, Coppelia Pique, Metropolitan Models, and all the other colleges that help and were around from Brooks Institute. PS- the person that sold me the 4X5 in the US, thanks sooo much!

One Parisian Day With Paolo Wutrich

During my trip to Paris i luckily met a lot of talents and creative people.

One of them was Paolo Wutrich, Original from Brasil (my favorite country), but currently living in Paris and working his way up in the acting scene and commercial modeling.

Michele Catillon, my dear friend and amazing Parisian makeup artist that working at the historical,famous and luxury location called “STUDIO HARCOURT”, introduced him to me and said we must “setup a shoot”. But i don’t like that title “setup a shoot”.

I call it – “Lets meet Paolo, go to drink coffee, hangout in Paris, AND on the way, we will take some pictures.” (PS – just tell him to bring most of his wardrobe 🙂 )

So we met, we had couple of portraits in the studio on 4X5 polaroids that i was inspired by him to create them, because of the moment, the feeling, the vibes and how i saw him as a person.

Polaroids © Benjo Arwas

From the studio, we packed my camera, his clothes and we went up to Sacre-Coeur / Montmartre area the be in an artistic, inspired and great natural light location in Paris.

During our trip we had lots of rain,sun,clouds,wind,sun and more rain. the weird weather of Paris in August. WEIRD.

Paolo Wutrich © Benjo Arwas

Paolo Wutrich © Benjo Arwas

Paolo Wutrich © Benjo Arwas

Paolo Wutrich © Benjo Arwas

Paolo Wutrich © Benjo Arwas

Paolo Wutrich © Benjo Arwas

Of course i couldn’t hold my addiction for film. So i took each outfit on 1 B&W sheet of 4X5 to seal it in my book. Again, just a different way of photography  different feeling, and different interaction with the subject. It’s my happy an addiction.

4X5 B&W © Benjo Arwas

4X5 B&W © Benjo Arwas

4X5 B&W © Benjo Arwas

Im glad Michele introduced me to Paolo. we had to talk about lots of things, industry, art, creativity and life. we ended up drinking good Parisian coffee on the corner, to conclude everything, and to call it a day.

Thank you Michele and Paolo for a great day in Paris.

See you soon,


Large Format Photography in Paris…Part #2 – The People Behind And With The 4X5.

In continue for the last post about the experience of taking the 4X5 and picturing paris.

now im going to dedicate it for the people i met along the way. Not a lot but was totally worth to pull out the camera and take it with the 4X5 instead of digital.

Thank you for the creative people that took a part: The makeup artists: Allison Depp and Michelle Catillon, Alex,Irina,Anna and Martina from Metropolitan Models, Pierre from Major Models Milan, Paolo Wutrich, David Ravet, and my beautiful girlfriend, Sidney Kraemer.

Beautiful Sidney in the streets of Paris. © Benjo Arwas

Actor, David Ravet. © Benjo Arwas

Model, Alex K. © Benjo Arwas

Model, Irina N. © Benjo Arwas

Actor/Model, Paolo Wutrich. © Benjo Arwas

Shooting people with a 4X5 or any kind of format rather than 35mm is always great experience. you feel your hand in the photograph and psychology wise, your subject/model is aware for something different (for nowadays) and giving you the stage to create.

back in the days, all the photographs were created on large/medium format so it wasn’t really matter. people were used to it. at some place after 35mm was invented it got vanished and “old-school”. today, when im bringing my camera infront of 18 years old model, or even actors for portraits, they have NO idea what they standing infront of. thats my proof.

It’s fun for the interaction, it’s fun for the creation, the quality is equivalent to 60-90 MP. The tonality and grain of the film is just on the spot.

Here are couple of photographs i took of the models with the actual cameras, as a part of the story. really random decision on set just to push it inside and to change the photograph idea/concept.

Pierre @ Major Models, Milan. © Benjo Arwas

Martina @Metropolitan Models, Paris. © Benjo Arwas

Anna @Metropolitan Models, Paris. © Benjo Arwas

Alex @Metropolitan Models, Paris. © Benjo Arwas

Richard Avedon:

“Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is… the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own.”

I kind of feel the same way. The portraits i’m taking are eventually my self portrait and what iv’e felt this day, or what inspired me. The people i’m shooting are my inspiration and they completing my story. i can;t take a model and force her/him to do something that it’s not in their nature. it’s must to be in their natural environment, i see that in them and trying to capture the most of it. even sides of them that they were never aware of. Thats my fun and passion to photograph people.

With actors/actresses is more easy because of their nature is to broadcast personality and characters. a benefit to a model is to have this kind of gem.

Thank you for reading and please follow up for the next part about the 4X5 polaroids and transparents i made in Paris.

PS – if you haven’t seen the Part #1 of the post, CLICK HERE

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any questions/comments/feedbacks.



Large Format Photography in Paris…Part #1 – the journey and the icons

Paris was a whole playground and if you remember one of my last posts about the street photography so here is a short reminder.

One day before i left California, in warm June, i decided to buy a new camera. not digital, not expensive, but remarkable, compact and fun (and a bit complicated) to work with – Field Camera – Crown Graphic – 4X5.

It’s what you see used by dapper newspapermen in the 1940s and 1950s. You can get these for a couple of hundred dollars WITH a perfectly fine lens. a 10X10 size box that you can open, pull the bellows out and shoot handheld.

For me the highlights of the trip was to shoot film on that camera, the process, the handling, the thought that im creating like they used to create 100 years ago in the streets of paris. hanging around with monopod, or tripod in heavy shoots and just pulling out film holders, metering and click click click.

i came back with bunch of 4X5 sheets that i just got developed and over 70(!!!) 4X5 polaroids – black and white, colors and transparents. amazing experience shooting people, places, fashion editorials, portraits and some personal work.

After sitting for hours, scanning, examine, processing and “printing” out the negatives – 1 sure thing for all those who keep and telling me that they can get the same with digital photography. i must tell – dont waste your time on trying to copy a technique or to try and do something, where you can get it in a 1/30th shutter release and mark it on a big 4X5 sheets or even better on 8X10. i love medium format as well, but 4X5 is THEE thing.

Dynamic range, clarity, sharpness, fine grain, depth of field that only in your dreams you can get with the top 35mm cameras and lenses, details and of course – just the great feeling that you created the image in your own hands – in camera.

So in this post, bellow, ill attach couple of images i made with ILFORD HP5 400 and Delta 100. (i’m pretty new for ILFORD and used to shoot only Kodak, but as always, im open minded and dont mind to try new things, especially in new places like Paris.)

The shoots were photographed handheld, monopod, or just found a random staircase to place the camera stable on it. enjoy it!

All the photos got picked by Photo Vogue and going straight to my stock.

Hope youll enjoy it and stay posted for my upcoming develops which including a whole fashion spread with the Parisian model/actor – Paolo Wutrich, some portraits i took of models and people i love, and of course all my the polaroids i was taking during models tests or fashion editorials.

cheers and happy September sessions.