Ben Zank was born in 1991, and currently lives in New York City. Ben picked up photography at the age of eighteen when he discovered a Pentax ME Super in his grandmother's attic. His photographs aim to express himself when words fail.


(When asked what the challenges for the young photographers are)

"I can't answer for myself because I don't know what my biggest challenge is yet, but for other photographers... it's definitely the internet. People are being influenced by trends on the internet, and these trends are holding a lot of photographers back. Once you fall into a trend, you're saturating your market. If everyone's doing photos of people floating with balloons, you're not going to get much work because there are 3,000 other people who do the exact same thing. Eventually, hopefully, you'll mature and break out of that and look at other places for inspiration, but a lot of photographers are moving forward with things that are never going to get them anywhere."

A selfie is holding your phone up to your face; a self-portrait is capturing who you are. Selfies, and today’s culture, are very misleading. You could follow someone’s Instagram feed for two years, seeing photos of them smiling, looking attractive, and doing great things – but the next day, they kill themselves. You don’t really know what that person is actually feeling, because they are putting on a mask. A self-portrait is the truth.
— Ben Zank

 (When asked if it it's important for photographers to have a theme throughout their work)

Absolutely. You could shoot whatever you want, but when it comes to marketing yourself, you have to be one thing, you can't be everything. The only way to be everything is in a certain way and it has to be so subtle that you're not taking high-definition still lifes of a penny, then the next day, you're photographing yourself jumping off of a bridge. You maybe have to be jumping off a bridge with pennies [laughs].


Photography by Ben Zank. Excerpts are taken from Holycon Magazine, January 2015.

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