The talented Bruce Benson has been shooting with FocalAgent for over three years now. He gave up his career in IT to work full time as a property photographer with us, so we wanted to dig a little deeper.
Read on to find out how he goes above and beyond to impress his FocalAgent clients every time.
Shooting with FocalAgent since: May 2013
Locations covered: Plymouth, Ivybridge, Torpoint, Saltash, Liskeard, Tavistock and surrounding areas
First camera: Panasonic FZ50 Bridge Camera
Favourite photographer: Elia Locardi
Hi Bruce! It's been a good few years since we first started working together. What got you interested in photography originally?
I've had an interest in photography since my teens and used to play around with my dad’s Olympus OM30 film SLR many years ago. I didn’t really know what I was doing but was told I had an eye for a good shot.
I bought a bridge camera just before my daughter Katie was born, nine years ago. I soon got annoyed by missing the shot because of the shutter delay. That changed when I bought my first DLSR, a Canon 450D.
At the time, I was working as a civil servant in IT for the Land Registry. My professional career started when people started to ask me to photograph their weddings. I got paid a case of cider for my first one! It snowballed and by the time I joined FocalAgent, I was doing 20 or so weddings a year.
What drew you to a career in property photography?
I first spoke to the team at FocalAgent in May 2013. I was excited to break into a new niche. I spoke to Tom first, who asked about my property photography experience. I said I dealt mainly with people, but wanted to give it a go - houses don't have to smile, and they don't move! I ended up giving up my day job to focus on property photography. When I first spoke to you guys, I didn't dream it would turn into a full time career.
On my first job, I was nervous because I wanted the home owner and estate agent to have confidence in me. I thought my lighting was all over the place to start with, but I uploaded my first job and waited to see if they 'made the grade'. Luckily for me, they did!
We're delighted to help make up the bulk of your freelance work nowadays. What are your favourite things about the day-to-day FocalAgent lifestyle?
The new app is my favourite thing about working with FocalAgent. It's revolutionised my workflow. Before, I was scanning my floor plan sketches when I got home at the end of the day but now I take a picture on my phone and upload it while I'm still at the property.
I love the way the photographer support team are so quick to answer my queries. I work with Mel on the photographer support team and Heather on the client relations team, and I always get a really helpful response from them. It goes both ways; they've got full faith in me to conduct myself professionally in front of the home owners.
What advice do you have to any new photographers joining us?
It's really important to work closely with all of your clients, as each one likes things done slightly differently. If I've not received a job from them for a few days, I always pop into their office when I'm passing, just to see if there's anything I can do to help. I believe it's as important to build relationships with everyone you speak to as it is to take a good picture.
All of the photography in this post is attributed to Bruce Benson. You can see his website and more examples of his work here.