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Photo by Dante Fontana
It all started in Cub Scouts when Scot Benton made a pinhole camera.
He couldn’t wait until he got home to see the pictures he took. While his dad developed the photos in the bathroom that was temporarily converted into a darkroom, Benton’s love for photography blossomed and his career path began.
For many years, Benton pursued the art as simply a hobby and eventually took an evening class taught by Bob Calkins; later, he enrolled in Calkins’ college course at Sacramento City College. Calkins introduced Benton to many tools of the trade including the Professional Photographers of Sacramento Valley (PPSV) organization, of which he has been a member for the past five years. Benton has also gone to several week-long international photography conventions and other workshops to learn from the photographers he admires most. “I’ve spent years learning how to control light and make it do what I want,” he says. “I always use light modifiers on a photo shoot. Even natural light needs to be modified or controlled to get a professional grade photo.”
When Benton decided to turn his passion into a full-time profession, he knew he needed his own studio, and hence built one on his property in Rescue, California. Benton’s partner in life and work – his wife Sharon – is also a photographer. The couple works together on almost every project and especially enjoys taking pictures of newborns and pregnant women. “I’ve had mothers cry when they see their children’s photos,” Benton says. “I love to have an image in my head and study and work at it until I get that image in a photograph. But most of all, I enjoy doing something I love everyday with my wife.”
The majority of Benton’s work is done on location, but some styles – including maternity, newborns, high fashion, and photo art – he prefers to shoot in his studio. However, Benton does not put limits on what he can do within his trade, as he enthusiastically describes another facet of his portfolio: underwater fashion photography. “It’s something you have to see to believe,” Benton says. “They are actually taken underwater – camera, client and myself.” One of his underwater shots earned Photo of the Year in 2010 and helped him earn Fine Art Photographer of the Year in 2010 from PPSV. A couple of his underwater prints can be seen at the Millennium Sports Club of El Dorado Hills.
Recently, Benton completed a project for the newly established Bricks restaurant in Placerville. They wanted large prints and canvases of brick and stone buildings found in Placerville; Benton accomplished this by using a technique called “high dynamic range,” where he took multiple shots of the same image using different exposures and combined them into one detailed image. “Those who see my photography can tell a difference,” says Benton.
Visit bentonphotography.net for more information.