Christian Benetel is a 23-year-old fashion and portrait photographer from Australia. His photos are raw, emotive, and deeply meaningful. In this interview, he talks about his early beginnings on Flickr, where he finds inspiration, how his travels have impacted him, and more.
I’ve been following Christian’s work for a few years. The amount of love and energy that he pours into his concepts is a source of motivation for many artists. If you’re looking for a new role model in the photography world, you’re in the right place!
1. How did you get into photography?
I got into photography almost 10 years ago in high school when my sister had just started taking self-portraits and was uploading them to Flickr. After school, she would show me her own shots and those of the people she followed. I saw everyone’s creativity on display and knew immediately that I wanted to express myself through the medium of photography.
2. What are the key differences between who you were before you discovered photography and who you are now?
Well, when I started photography I was around 14 and now I’m 23 so we would need about 10 more pages to list all the differences! In terms of the difference photography made, it really just gave me another outlet to express emotions that built up inside me, whether positive or negative.
3. Where do you go when you need to find inspiration?
If I’m ever in a creative slump, music is always the answer for me. I’ve been playing music and passionate about it since I was little, it has inspired so much of my work. You’ll never catch me editing a photo without music playing in the background.
4. Has life in London affected your photography style in any way?
As everybody knows, London is known for its dreary and cloudy weather. You’re probably thinking that this affected the lighting and tones of my shots and whilst you’re definitely right the main thing it changed was my emotional state!
Months on end of cold, miserable weather after moving out of home for the first time, to the other side of the world, completely alone put me in a tough place mentally. As a result of this, I created a lot of darker images within the first 6 months of moving. I was struggling a lot to adjust to my new life and am so thankful I had photography as an outlet during a difficult time.
5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
That’s a really tough question. I just hope that by then I’ve been able to make a career out of my photography and that I’m still creating work that’s emotive and creative. I’m starting to get into cinematography too so who knows, I may have a film under my belt by then!
6. What is your favorite photograph from your own gallery?
I’ve never been good with favorites, each photo is special in its own way but my favorite at the moment is called ‘Spectre’ (pictured below). This was an extremely personal shot I made shortly after moving abroad. My aim with my photos is to always capture an emotion and I think this shot does that very well.
7. If you could take photos of anyone in the world, who would it be?
I would go back in time and take pictures of family members of mine who have passed while they were still here. It would be amazing to get photographs of them in their prime
8. What is your biggest creative strength?
I haven’t focussed heavily on having a consistent style, vibe or ‘look’ in my photos.
9. What is your biggest creative weakness?
I haven’t focussed heavily on having a consistent style, vibe or ‘look’ in my photos. It’s a blessing and a curse!
10. What is something you wish every photographer knew?
I think right now especially, photographers need to remind themselves of why they take photos. I think many people are catering to whatever they believe will give them more followers, more likes and more traffic to their page. I say just create what you love and share that. People want to see genuine, heartfelt work.