Ann Arbor Photographer Honored at the Venice Film Festival

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Ann Arbor photographer Yana Benjamin recently returned from the 68th Venice Film Festival where she was awarded a Grand Prize for one of her black and white street images.

Ann Arbor photographer Yana Benjamin recently returned from the 68th Venice Film Festival where she was awarded a Grand Prize for one of her black and white street images. Her photograph is included in a short film directed by an award winning photographer Bill Frakes screened for the first time at the festival on September 6th 2011. Her photo was selected from more than 7,000 entries in the Manfrotto “Imagine More” contest.

While in Venice, she was given the honor to photograph on the red carpet and captured the images of Colin Firth, Gary Oldman. “It was an amazing experience, I enjoyed every second of it. I stayed in a beautiful hotel from the 13th century right next to St. Marco`s square and ate fresh seafood every day,” she said. Yana and her fellow winners from Europe and Asia celebrated their success with Italian actress Violante Placido who hosted the award ceremony. “It was a perfect blend of people! We had the best time talking about photography, art, our lives and experiences. Life in the Venetian lagoon flows slowly, Italians are very relaxed and their life motto is carpe diem,” Yana thinks.

The winning photograph is a part of a street photography series dealing with the exploration of reality and surreality. According to Yana, she is mainly interested in the narrative and visual connotations that can occur often by chance. She explains, that in her work as a wedding and event photographer, she is the observer, not the creator to an existing scene. Knowing when to click at the precise moment she masterfully captures the personalities of her clients and her photos reflect a spirit of ambience through her skill using documentary techniques. “I see a big difference in the method of street photography and wedding photography. In street photography the ability to see unseen and create visually interesting comparisons is crucial. These can often be bizarre images that can never be duplicated.”

Yana Benjamin grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia. She got her first camera, old Russian Zorki, for the ninth birthday. She graduated from Comenius University majoring in Journalism, moved to San Francisco a year later and recently relocated to start her photography business in the Ann Arbor area. Yana has been documenting life and creating breathtaking visual stories ever since. To view Yana`s work visit http://www.yanabenjamin.com

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Jana Benjamin
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