Servicing the Creative Industry for More Than a Decade
Phil here, owner and founder of Phil Benton Photography. 55 years young, originally from Grange Over Sands near Morcambe Bay in the Lake District. I moved to South Shields in the late nineties and now live in Gateshead.
I started out as a Painter and Decorator but in my late teens became ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) which is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. To say it was a life changing diagnosis is an understatement! My painting and decorating days were most certainly over!
I used to spend hours doodling, mainly cartoon sketches. My lightbulb moment, as they say, came when I attended a photoshop talk, it was here I realised that you could manipulate photography! I wanted to know more so I joined my local camera club to learn the basics!
Photography became my hobby, I was entering competitions and winning! The feedback was incredible, I was told my work was too good to keep in a box, it should be out there for people to enjoy! This was my motivation, and along came Phil Benton Photography, a North East Photographer who specialises in Landscapes, Landmarks, Cities and Nature.
I would be lying if I said there hasn’t been challenges. Running a business isn’t easy, throw a chronic illness into the mix and it can sometimes feel impossible! If it were just about me and my camera it would be a breeze, but the behind the scenes stuff, the business management is daunting! My strength is photography, art, and creativity not websites, finance, planning and research. There’s also the 16 hours days, when I take my stall to events and fairs, some of which are 4-day events! This wipes me out for almost all the following week!
Sometimes I ask myself is it all worth it and the answer is yes. It’s my passion, and I have made my passion my job, how many people can say that! The people I meet, my customers and their feedback, its priceless, it’s what keeps me going. I now have a fully established website which I continue to develop, I take my stall to regular events where people know me and come back time and time again to see me. I also sell my products in several shops throughout the North East and I am always adding new products and photos to my range. I have a huge following on social media, I issue regular newsletters to my website subscribers, I deliver Landscape Photography talks at camera clubs throughout the region, offer 1:1 tuition, restore old photographs and work on personal commissions. I’m extremely proud to say that some of my work has been published in Landscape Photography of the Year!!
My goal is to continue to grow and develop my business! Worldwide recognition!
Watch this space!