You might not know the name Ben Cope, but it's more than likely you've seen his work. His photos have appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Glamour and Nylon Magazine to name a few. His craft is undeniably powerful art....but he isn't comfortable unless he's pushing the envelope and expanding his portfolio in terms of style, technique and subject. Please enjoy 9.5 questions with Ben Cope.
1 - You studied sculpting...what is the last thing you sculpted? How long has it been?
Last thing I sculpted were some male figurative clay body forms. They are fairly deconstructed hollow shells of bodies. Its been a couple years though. I don't have the time or space to really do what I like to do with sculpture anymore so I stick primarily with my photo work.
2 - Can you rate your photographic work? Do you have a favorite picture?
Thats a tough one. I like some of my photos but am never really satisfied. I am always trying to get better. I have become more classic in my approach in the last year or two since I have been doing so much more portrait work. I feel simplicity is everything. I would have to say some of my polaroids would be my favorite images. I have been playing around with double exposure on polaroid and have gotten some really amazing things. One of them being my shot of Kris Kidd in my studio smoking a cigarette. Also, some of my polaroid portraits of Kate Bosworth are pretty stunning.
3 - What makes a photo session with another human difficult? Weather? Attitude? Something else?
I only find it difficult shooting people when they aren't comfortable with themselves and don't know how to ignore the camera. I know that is a lot to ask with a big ass lens in your face but when someone can let go and exist in front of my camera I get the most amazing shots. I am not a fan of over directing so when people can just be there and move I catch what I want.
4 - Who have you photographed that you would consider the most 'rock n roll'?
Kris Kidd is pretty rock n roll. So is Madison Paige. And then there is Brandon Boyd, who is a rock star, so I guess that would include him in that list. All three move well and let their personalities out when they are in front of the camera.
5 - The last sugary cereal you ate? What is your all time favorite?
I think I finished a bowl of my son Ace's fruit loops recently. And I would have to say that is probably my favorite.
6 - What historical figure or celebrity would you like to photograph if you had a time machine at your disposal?
Bruce Lee because he is a badass.
7 - Most awkward or difficult photo session memory...no names necessary.
When someone that thought they were a model wanted to shoot with me and showed up 4 hours late and then tried to tell me that the light was wrong for her when the light would have been fine if she actually showed up on time. The thing about doing a natural light shoot is, well, natural light changes throughout the day...
8 - I imagine LA is the most convenient place for you to live and work. Where would you live if you could have equal convenience regardless of location?
I would relocate to NYC again if I could have a space like I have built here in LA. Or London possibly. Love the vibe in London.
9 - Choose a super power - invisibility, ability to fly, see through walls....why?
I mean, I would have to have been bitten by a radioactive spider I guess. Climbing on walls and having spidey sense would be awesome.