Ben Pollard Cinematographer/Photographer

The evolution of modern cameras has allowed me to work in a more creative manner, this and natural light enable me to create the documentary style wedding photography and films that I like. This is what stimulates my visual senses. I am myself quite an emotional person, I love to see ‘love’, as a result shooting weddings has become a natural choice.

My love of films has had a major influence in how I produce my moving imagery. How the combination of visual sequences tied with music and the spoken word can result in captivating the senses and providing the audience with a sense of emotion is my satisfaction and fulfilment.

Having a father that made his living through photography seems to many to perhaps be a natural choice. It was however a little more of a convoluted journey to becoming a wedding and portrait photographer. Initially I left school wanting to be a graphic designer, there are strong parallels between this and photography; images and creativity. What sent me away from graphics was that, at the time there was still a heavy reliance on hand drawing. Whilst I was a very capable artist it would bore me to repeat the process for the required variations. After just one year studying design I followed a career guidance advisor and studied for agricultural engineering. Whilst this later became an ill-fated choice it does still draw on many parallels that I frequently use in the commercial photography that I work on; the requirement for practical, problem solving solutions. Such problems as finding ways to make things stand in awkward positions; plus traveling light on location sometimes means improvising and using what comes to hand.

Having ended up working in a car-breaking yard my father as good as dragged me out and took me to Nottingham to study photography, which in summary brought me to this. My original focus was on advertising photography; I had grown up often working with my dad on shoots in the studio and on location. I had no appeal for wedding and portraiture photography work at the time; the industry was stifled by static images and my perception of what for me seemed less creative kept me away.

After a stint of working in the cruise ship photography industry in 1997, I returned to the UK, and my father and I set up Red Pepper Pictures; mainly pursuing advertising, PR and product photography. We later created a portrait studio in our nearby town of Wirksworth. The basis for the portraiture studio came off the back of a 2 year stint with my working for Venture portraits and the lessons I had learned in operating a ‘business’. It was primarily a way in which to make money, which up until this point Red Pepper simply hadn’t done. The studio closed due to the struggling UK economy and our lack of being able to find business through any other means than overly expensive marketing in supermarkets and shopping centres.

I now operate from mostly from my Home in Allestree, Derby with my two Jack Russell terriers Barney and Holly for company during the day. My wonderful and very supportive partner Helen and I like to go on walks together with the dogs and enjoy the company of close friends and family.

photographer derbyshire Ben Pollard from ben pollard on Vimeo.