I’m Trent Bell, I am Architecture & Portrait Photographer who recently shot a personal project.
I have a masters degree in Architecture and practiced Architecture for three years, jumped ship and became a photographer…I’m very glad I did.
I enjoy meaningful conversation, walks on the beach with my wife & kids and I occasionally go surfing.
Recently; fuelled by the shock news that a friend -an educated professional, a husband, and a father of four children – had been sentenced to thirty-six years in prison; I undertook a personal journey & project.
This explored how our bad choices can contain untold loss, remorse and regret.
The Project is called REFLECT: Convicts’ letters to their younger selves.
Watch my journey in the video below the gear section and see then I’ll tell you what I learned and what I would have done differently.
Killer Kit Awards
In My Bag
- Canon Mark III
- Canon MarkII
- Canon battery grip
- Canon 24-70 mm f2.8
- x 2 telecovertor
- Canon 17mm tilt shift f4
- Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
- Canon 50mm f/1.2
- Canon 90mm tilt shift f2.8
- pocket wizzards
- Canon 600ex-rt speedlight
- Lastolite Grey Card
- White Lighting strobes by Paul C Buff
- ThinkTank Airport Security
- Website: http://www.trentbell.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/trentbell
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrentBellPhotography
Professional Photographer: Yes
The Power of Personal Projects:
HOW THIS PROJECT CAME ABOUT?
In early 2013, I was shocked by the news that a friend—an educated professional, a husband, and a father of four children—had been sentenced to thirty-six years in prison.
Over the proceeding months, I was haunted by not only my friend’s bad decisions and loss of freedom, but also moments in my own life when things could have easily taken a bad turn.
There were times when my son would look up and smile at me and the finality of my friend’s situation would rush into my head and I would hear a cold thin voice say: ‘…there, but for the grace of God, go I…’
Our bad choices can contain untold loss, remorse, and regret but the positive value of these bad choices might be immeasurable if we can face them, admit to them, learn from them and find the strength to share.
HOW THIS HAS CHANGED ME:
Its made me much more aware of how interconnected we are and how much more empathy we all need.
No actual financial benefits as of yet, a lot of exposure and such which, is very good, but we have not sold any prints or had anyone call up and say “hey, saw the project and we think you would be great for this job…”
WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY:
We didn’t embark on this as a business project, we didn’t define objectives, outcomes and goals, but this may be an interesting exercise to see if you could get more benefits or media coverage.
With hindsight, I would have documented the project more throughly from the beginning to be able to get more material out of it for more social media content.
You also need to be ready, if you’re lucky enough for your project to go viral; you won’t get much notice and need everything in place.
ADVICE TO PHOTOGRAPHERS EMARKING ON PERSONAL PROJECTS:
Find whatever is close to your heart, whatever you know and are passionate about and find a way to use your creativity to give that an incredible, beautiful lasting voice.
As aesthetic creatives we have a lot of opportunity to produce our own projects and express our voice and do a lot of good for others.