Behind the camera: In 2017 Ben received a brain cancer diagnosis and was told he would be lucky to survive two years. Against all odds, five years on he and his family are happily living in Upper Hutt with their two children. His oldest was only 18 months when he got the diagnosis but is now six. He and his partner have had another son since, their “miracle baby,” after Ben was told his treatment would prevent him from having more children. He’s now taken over duties as a stay-at-home dad.
Why photography? Ben started doing photography around 15 years ago. He’s self-taught and says he still has “a lot to learn.” For a while his photography mainly focussed on heavy metal music and car events, but more recently scenery and nature have sparked his interest. “I have photographed about a dozen weddings now and enjoy the social side,” he explains.
Ben’s photography took a “big hit” after he became unwell, having less energy than before as well as suffering headaches. “At the same time my diagnosis has been good for my photography as it put me out of work as a joiner. I now have slightly more time to get on my camera.”
The snap: Ben’s photo Bird Bath was taken at Wellington Zoo. “I loved just watching this Kea splashing around having the time of its life in a morning bath […] and seeing the movement and the action as this large bird flapped its wings, showing off the amazing coloured feathers hidden underneath.”
Judge’s thoughts: CPotY judge Shalee Fitzsimmons says: “This image ticks all the boxes for the movement category. A moment captured with pure energy.”