Until recently Ben Ward had been kicking around Auckland, working in the fashion industry, playing in post rock band Old Loaves and posting awesome photo essays to his website Hamburger Cemetery. He's now moved to the promised land - Australia - where he works for Monster Children - and is currently somewhere in Mexico / the United States which he will be documenting for us. We thought it apt timing then to introduce you to Ben and his work, so below an interview followed by a photographic series.
Hey Ben! Introduce yourself.
I was born in Papakura, I can’t really remember my time there; I’m sure it was wonderful. I was five when we left and grew up in Mount Maunganui I used to surf a lot, I didn’t really dig school so I quit that pretty early, worked in a glass factory for a few years and then decided to study.
What interests you about photography?
I was a late starter - the only cameras I had when I was young were disposal and I didn’t get them often. I guess I was just interested in capturing things I saw; capturing something that I thought was interesting and turning that into a thing that’s everlasting. Since I started taking photos I look at everything in a ‘that would be a good photo’ way and I like that - it makes me look at my surroundings a bit differently.
What do find unique about the medium of photography?
I enjoy it because it freezes a moment and considering have fast everything happens being able to capture just a small portion of it is pretty damn special – to me at least.
Who or what is your perfect subject?
You're also a musician. How do you find working in multiple creative disciplines?
Music and photography are completely different outputs for me. Music will always be my main source for creative expression – I put a lot into creating and performing music, which makes it such a rewarding output. I guess the two amalgamate in the sense that they both capture my creative aesthetic, just in completely different forms.
Who are some of your photographic heroes?
Not sure if I have any heroes, but I definitely have a few people I like and follow what they do. I really enjoy Ed Templeton and Grant Hatfield’s style of photography and Gregory Crewdson for how completely elaborate and surreal his work is. Basically I like photographers who have a similar aesthetic to me, in that they capture the conventional lives that we live.
Digital or film? Discuss:
Film, definitely. It’s a completely different feeling compared to shooting digital. Shooting film makes you take your time and really think about the picture you’re taking. I couldn’t do my job without digital and a lot of my pictures are digital because of how accessible digital photography has become. I think it’s good to be able to use both, which I always try to do.