Ben Allsup has been practicing photography since childhood. He says,
My life has been entwined with photography from before I was even born. My father used the little money my parents had set aside to pay for my delivery into this world to purchase a Nikkormat camera. And so, I was subsequently bought on credit— which seems to have been a source of friction between my parents. My mother was not pleased to hock her baby out of the hospital, but my dad had pictures! This was my first introduction to what happens when money and photography mix. I began shooting with that Nikkormat earlier than I can remember and to this day have a wonderful photograph I took of my young parents hanging on the wall of my home. Later, in high school, I used the Nikkormat in Photography I & II. It was in these classes that I realized how much I enjoyed photography— immensely.
Ben has since honed his eye studying photography, in a string of darkrooms, behind the counters of now nearly extinct camera stores, as a photographer’s assistant, freelancing, working at a professional photography school and as a “shooter” for newspapers. Over decades, he’s shot tens of thousands of images from all variety of special occasions to the quiet moments of everyday life.
Several years ago, Ben embraced the digital age and a renewed, self-motivated search for images. His desire to share the results led him to create benshotme.com, which in turn evolved into the publication, for several years, of a quarterly magazine of the same name. More recently, having expanded his collection of film cameras, he has also returned to shooting both color and black & white film. Whatever the format, he is dedicated to shooting daily, whether at home or abroad.
In the past decade, his travels have allowed him to capture images on most of the continents, and he has visited Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain several times each. He has also spent several weeks in Antarctica and even developed and printed images in the darkroom at Rothera Station.
When asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always wanted to be able to travel the world and take photos, and now I get to do that.