My name is Alex Benetel and I am a 21-year-old student from Sydney, Australia, currently studying a Bachelor of Education. There is a phrase I wrote and tend to live by when referring to my photographic style: “I aim to create beautiful photographs that capture mysterious yet dream-like worlds, filled with oddities that encompass aspects of reality.” You can follow Alex to get updates and see more of her photos!


 When did you start taking photos and what inspired you to get started?
I started taking photographs when I was about fifteen. I enrolled in a Visual Design course that ended up exposing me to pinhole photography. It was fascinating! My teacher then introduced me to Flickr, where I found a community of young artists who were taking some of the most interesting photographs I’d ever seen. I was immediately inspired and began taking photographs of anything and everything!

Do you have any influencers?
I look up to many inspiring artists, who push me to grow as an artist myself. These include Tim Walker, Gregory Crewdson and young Artists on Flickr such as Alex Stoddard, Logan Zillmer and Rosie Anne.




What has been your favourite shoot and why?
I would have to say that shooting “The departed” was quite hilarious. I had come up with this idea, which involved one of my dogs (Max). Later on in the week, my Dad, brother, Max, Cinta (my other dog) and I all headed to the park, on what seemed to be a pleasant afternoon. Now, to provide some context, Max and Cinta loved to explore, so when we took them to the park for this particular shoot, just getting them to the right location took a little while. I didn’t mind, because I loved seeing how happy they were and I was too busy struggling carrying everything (including a kitchen chair) that I needed for the shoot. Once we reached the location, I set up for the shot, making sure all of my camera settings were correct and my props were where they needed to be. I took a few test shots and was ready to go.

The shot required my chair to be leaning backwards, meaning that my Dad and brother had to assist. I took those shots first. Now all I needed was Max, who had already wandered off. But, he eventually made his way back and walked over to where I was sitting. I thought, “Yes! This will be nice and quick.” It ended up taking all of us trying to get Max just to sit because by this point Cinta had joined us and there was just way too much excitement. It was hilarious. Trying to get just one clear shot of Max sitting, without any obstruction was challenging. Finally, I got the shot. I soon realised that it had began to sprinkle and said “Hey, it looks like it’s raining in the distance over there” and within thirty seconds, I kid you not, it began bucketing down. Here we were, in the middle of the park, at least a ten minute walk from where we had parked, with two dogs, a kitchen chair and no umbrella. We ended up stopping just after the rain had stopped to snap this priceless behind the scenes photograph.




Do you remember a difficult photo shoot session? What happened?
Shooting anything in water where you’re both the photographer and model is always challenging. I’ve only done this a couple of times, one where I did it completely by myself with no assistance from my brother, Christian who is also a photographer. I hadn’t taken my 52 Weeks photo for this particular week in March, so I had experimented with this concept I had quickly thought up that day – it didn’t end up working out. I then thought about this other idea I had previously roaming around in my head. It involved me going out and shooting in my pool at night, which I knew was going to be difficult. But, seeing as though I needed a photo for my project, it was worth a shot. Within two minutes, my remote had died, which required me to use the self-timer option on my camera. Ensuring I was in frame and in focus was very difficult, especially when I had to climb in and out of the pool multiple times to check if all was going well. Keep in mind, I was wearing a long dress which was now completely soaked.

I became exhausted very quickly; frustrated that my idea was not working out and that I was running out of time. It came to the point where I was trying out different poses and just hoping that I would get one decent photograph that was worth using. By some miracle I captured something I was happy with, which turned out even better than I expected during post processing. To this day, “Limbo” is one of my favourite photographs I’ve ever taken.


What do you carry in your camera bag?
My camera, lenses (Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/1.4 & Nikkor 50mm f/1.8), remote, spare memory cards, charger, lipstick, Instax 290, film and I think that’s it! That’s what I was carrying whilst travelling in New York, however if I were to go on a regular shoot, I would only take what I really needed.


What are you currently working on right now?
I am thinking about starting another personal photo project over the summer, due to the lack of time I’ve put aside for photography this year. I really want to get back into the swing of things and push myself even further as an artist. But, I am currently involved in a collaborative portrait project, which will be completely underway by early next year. I’ll have some of my works displayed in Katoomba, Australia, which I’m very excited about.
8. Can you share a couple of tips with your fellow photographers?
It takes a while to develop your style – you need to be patient. I’ve been shooting since 2009 and I can only now honestly say that I am happy with where my photographic style is going. It’s taken a while, but you just need to push yourself and put yourself out there. Collaborate with other artists, get to know them and keep shooting. Start a project where you’re consistently shooting and sharing photographs – that’s where you’ll see a more rapid artistic growth. Take photographs for you and focus on growing as an artist.


Can you share a couple of tips with your fellow photographers?


It takes a while to develop your style – you need to be patient. I’ve been shooting since 2009 and I can only now honestly say that I am happy with where my photographic style is going. It’s taken a while, but you just need to push yourself and put yourself out there. Collaborate with other artists, get to know them and keep shooting. Start a project where you’re consistently shooting and sharing photographs – that’s where you’ll see a more rapid artistic growth. Take photographs for you and focus on growing as an artist.


Remember to follow Alex on ViewBug and visit her website and Facebook page!