Photography student Belen Shafer was assigned to research and write about a photographer whose work inspired her.  Without a second thought she had Ben in mind.  Her enthusiasm and understanding for Ben’s work is shown in her essay below:

“When we were given our project to write about a photographer there was someone who immediately came to my mind, Ben Larrabee.  Ben lives and works in Darien, Connecticut.  Darien has a special place in my heart, as it is where I first stayed and lived when I came to America.  It is also where I first felt the need to buy a camera.

A friend of mine worked for a family in Darien.  This is where I first came in contact with Ben’s work.  I was very impressed with his photographs.  The family had portraits taken by Ben hanging throughout the house.  Each one was filled with impeccable taste.  He used the right amount of light, angle, a wide pallet of shades and incredible presentation.

Ben Larrabee  approaches the subject in a magical way; he captures the spirit and energy of his subject.  Ben chooses black and white photography for all of his shoots, which adds an air of romance, class, timelessness and mystery to what otherwise would be ordinary pictures.  Every part of the process is flawless from the paper to the framing to the signature.  He does not set expectations when he starts, but rather goes with the flow of the moment.  He starts with an idea and lets the photo shoot unfold until he feels that he has something special.

Ben Larrabee does not photograph the way people look, but captures the energy and dynamic of the family.  “Moments of Grace” is the term that Ben uses to describe that instant when he captures that “perfect” picture.  In my research I found a set of videos that helped me understand more about his practice, his values and the human spirit.  By keeping an open mind and having patience when shooting photographs he can capture these moments.

Ben Larrabee is the one photographer that caught my attention and soon to become my inspiration.  He is well recognized for his fine portraits.  Ben recommends to his clients to hang the photos where they can see them regularly.  Where they can remember the connection and the love when things do not go so well.  His photos are a gift that can be passed on from generation to generation as a personal treasure.”

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