Amandla Stenberg for Essence Magazine

  • Photographer: Benjo Arwas
  • Photo Assistant: Brandon Wholihan
  • Talent: Amandla Stenberg
  • Make up: Kali Kennedy
  • Manicurist: Tracy Clemons

Benjo_Arwas_Amandla_Stenberg.jpg Continue reading

Featured in PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine August 2013

3 years ago, when I decided to make the trip from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles and go after my dream of studying photography and start somehow to move things around towards that dream, I had a connection flight stop-over in London. As any photographer, I went to WH Smith at the airport, you know,like Barnes and Noble here in the USA, but in Europe. I went straight to the section where it says: “Photography”.

After spending around 25 minutes in this stand and looking on all the new hot equipment, whats going on, Photoshop tips and some articles about inspiring photographers I decided to buy the one magazine with the most input for me. I picked: “PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2011”.

The magazine is a large mixture of photo techniques, photo articles, inspirations, photoshop tips, old school and new school articles, guests, contests, equipment reviews, advertising for endless big camera and photo equipment company from Canon to Leica and all the other big guns. The magazine is Since 1959 and publish 13 times a year to +200,000 subscriptions and other thousands that getting it on the stands or pre-order.

I went to my flight to LA, read the articles, went through the amazing images, colors that I never seen in person of photographers from all over the world, stories, equipment reviews, and not to forget the “best way” to sharp images with the unsharp mask.

As well, I saw this section of “Gallery: Your Amazing Shots” which is a collection of 3-4 photographers from all over the world that sharing their stories about their work, and the inspiration of the picture they took. I never realized how the hell they submitting these, because I never saw any submissions email or whatever. I just forgot about it.

Almost 3 years later, after living in Los Angeles, emerging and building myself, doing mistakes, running in circles and shooting everything and anything like Paco from “The Good The Bad And The Ugly”, I got an email saying:

Hi Benjo,

Firstly let me introduce myself, my name is ******* and I’m a staff writer at Practical Photography magazine. I am emailing because I came across your images on ***** and I think they’d look great for our gallery feature! It’s aimed to inspire our readers across the globe with amazing photography. We do pay you for using the image and will send you a copy of the mag once it’s printed. I don’t know if my previous email to you got through but I thought I’d try again 🙂 I’ll attach screen grab of the shot we were interested in, and a spec sheet of what we’ll need from you.

Talk to you soon, and have a nice weekend! 

Staff Writer, Practical Photography

So, not only this magazine contacting me in person, but they want to pay me(!) jackpot.

Of course I told her my story about how I grabbed their magazine back in Heathrow Airport in London when i was on my when to make the dream happen, that caused me taking the photographs that I’m trying to take everyday. Ironic.

Practical Photography Magazine feature Benjo Arwas

So there we go, 3 years later, I get in the mail an envelope sealed from UK of “Practical Photography Magazine, August 2013” Issue, and see my picture in the section of “Gallery: Your Amazing Shots”. Ironic.

And I know that there are hundred of thousands of photographers and aspiring around the world now that stopping at the newsstands and looking for some news, inspirations and techniques in photography that purchasing this magazine. Well, its only $7, not bad for the large mixture of knowledge in 130 pages.

The image is of my fiancée, muse and best friend and talented photographer – Sidney Kraemer (lucky me). She always inspire me with her beauty and soft look, that I always bug her to photograph her. Once she let me photograph her just as part of my personal exploration and I captured all of her pure beauty. Besides the editors of Practical Photography Magazine loving it, it’s also got right now hanged in the CAL (Coastal Art League) Museum and Gallery at the International Kellicut Annual Photo Show 2013, San Francisco, and soon to be hanged in Calumet, San Francisco, but thats another blog post that i will write about soon. So if you are in the bay area, do me a favor and send me a picture? 🙂

Thanks to Sidney for her beauty, and thanks to Practical Photography Magazine for making a step in my dreams and showing that what goes around comes around.

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