Introducing Ben Leo Davis, a 22 year old photography maestro making the transition from hobbyist to professional. Great story, great bloke, bloody amazing with a camera in hand.
Gold Coast, Australia
Painter & Decorator (soon to be full-time photographer)
Your weapons of choice?
Nikon D800 – 24-70mm f2.8, 16-35mm f4, 15mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4.
When did you get in to photography and why?
My mum bought me my very first camera for my 16th birthday, It was a Nikon D60 with two stock lenses. I remember unwrapping the gift and being so stoked. This became my hobby after work and on weekends. I started taking photos of anything and everything from skateboarding to nature. One thing lead to another and my work started getting noticed by my local news paper and a few small magazine companies. I thought my value was nothing at the time and just saw the exposure as a way to get my name out there.
I then created a few social media accounts- Instagram, Facebook where I showcased my work. My photos were becoming viewed by a worldwide audience, I started getting a few small jobs here and there but nothing I was really interested in. I then started receiving emails from other creative photographers wanting to collaborate with me. This was one of the best decisions I could’ve made. I started hanging out with photographers such as (@robmulally, @jarredseng @jasoncharleshill, @gkhz, @polkadotpassport) to learn how they work and produce the amazing content they do. My exposure is ever-growing and has lead me to becoming the photographer I am today. I never would’ve dreamt photography could go from being a hobby to my career!
You work with some incredible brands and tourism boards. Tell us how that came about and some of your current projects?
I was recently sent on a trip to Tasmania for work when a highly regarded social media influencer noticed my work. He loved my creative edge and invited me to join a large team of creatives. I‘ve also been working with Kathmandu for the last 8 months as an ambassador. They were very pleased with the photos I produced in Tassie and we’re now organising some new adventures for their upcoming campaign. I sell images to tourism companies for marketing purposes and I’m looking forward to sharing my upcoming travel opportunities.
What do you think about this idea of microadventure? Why is it important?
I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to travel miles and miles to find adventure. You can find it in your own backyard. Whether you’re with a bunch of friends or traveling solo adventure is everywhere and anywhere!
Where’s your favourite place to microadventure in Oz?
No place like home! No.. not just the beautiful coastline and amazing beaches, but there are so many amazing spots here within a short drives distance.
I can drive 30 minutes one way and be surrounded by some of the most amazing waterfalls in Australia, then drive 30 minutes the other way to lush, tropical rainforests. Perfect microadventure.
Scariest thing thats happened to you in the wild?
I slipped on a rock trying to get to a waterfall and totalled my camera! 🙁
Apart from your camera, what’s the one piece of essential kit you’d always carry in the great outdoors?
One piece of advice for aspiring photographers?
Your work isn’t measured by the quality of your equipment or quantity of exposure. Embrace your individuality and do what you love.
Do you have a favourite quote that you live by?
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” -Teddy Roosevelt
This is a great way to look around you and see what it is you can do with the resources you have on hand right now. Don’t say things like, “if only i had this…” or, “I need to do that before I can do that..” as these are just clever ways of putting things off to a future point that never comes. The fact is there are things you could be doing right now that will future your endeavours. Work on those and everything will start to fall in place, you’ll be where you need to be, and you’ll have what you need to have to get bigger things done.