Monday, March 7, 2016

Alex Sweeney

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to a friend to Chris Avery Bennet and talented photographer Alex Sweeney. A talented Connecticut photographer Alex continues to build her career one snapshot at a time. Please enjoy the following interview with the one and only Alex Sweeney.

Q: What inspired you to start taking photographs?

A: Ah this question always makes me think! I think when I was little I was drawn to the fact that I could see pictures in books, television, and whenever my mom got the disposable camera developed. The idea of preserving memories was so important to me because growing up with ADHD I had a tendency to forget things and photographs were a reminder of things that I probably would have forgotten about had I not captured the moment in film or on my digital camera. 

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: Besides photography? I like to read, currently I'm reading a book called "Bowie on Bowie" by Sean Edwards, David Bowie was a huge influence growing up so it's a great read! He's a fantastic character! Also, I like to draw (though I'm not very good at it), binge watch Netflix and drink lots of bubble tea.  

Q: What are some of your favorite things to take pictures of?

A: I like to photograph a lot of self-portraiture, not because I'm a narcissist or anything but because I think the hardest critic is yourself and photographing yourself and liking it is such a challenge and I find a great thrill in that challenge. Another thing I enjoy photographing is fashion editorials because fashion is such a huge part of my life and one of the focuses of my career because my ultimate goal is to be the next Richard Avedon (I know cocky right?). I'm not a huge fan of natural landscapes but more recently I have been doing a lot of architectural photography, there's something beautiful about all the buildings in New York City with their unique cracks and patterns, it fascinates me.

Q: What kind of shots peek your interest more nature, people, or art?

A: Most of the time I tend to stick to models and people, because the human connection is what makes photography to me so special. The interaction of the viewer and the camera, and the subject and the camera, that conversation that goes on when viewing photographs is magical to me. 

Q: What draws you to being a photographer?

A: Ever since I was about the age of 10 I realized I saw the world differently than others, I wanted to preserve moments and have physical evidence of memories I had collected throughout my life. As I grew up I realized I sucked at math, wasn't good at chemistry, hated writing for long periods of time, history is interesting but not a wise career choice. Art and photography to me was the only way that made sense to my brain, the only thing that I had passion for and along the way I discovered more clearly that fashion and photography are my muses. I have ADHD and the environment of being a photographer and working in fashion really help and utilize my unique qualities that I was given. I love the chaos, the beauty, the insanity, and the uncertainty of photography, and I love that I can control that chaos with a click of a shutter. 

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Right now I'm planning on moving to Manhattan and continuing to work for the fashion house I work for, I have an amazing job and I wouldn't trade it for the world, it's helped me grow so much as a person and as an artist. 

Q: Do you have anything planned or in planning right now?

A: Recently I just shot my first maternity shoot, it was an interesting experience. Next I'm doing a shoot for an actor who needs his head shot done; I never usually turn down anyone who asks me to help them out. 

Q: What’s your favorite pass time?

A: Favorite pastime? Probably eating Ben and Jerry's and binge watching Bobs Burgers on TV.

Q: Do you enjoy what you do?

A:Yes, I enjoy what I do because it makes me happy not once has my job ever felt like a job it feels like fun because it’s what I enjoy in life. 

Q: What is your favorite event to go to?

A: My favorite event to go to to photograph is a fashion show. My favorite types of events to go to in general are concerts, and I'm attending the Blaqk Audio concert in May.

See more of Alex at and on her social media 
Twitter: asweeneyphoto
Instagram: asweeneyphoto

Interview by Tim Joseph 
 -Chris Avery Bennet

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hayley Gripp

This week it is my pleasure to introduce you all to a dear friend of mine. She is truly one of the most inspirational and helpful people I have in my life, Hayley Gripp.
Hayley Gripp is a natural all American actress, brand ambassador and philanthropist. She made her debut in the industry in 2012 as a print model, landing national ads for brands such as "Verizon Wireless" and "As Seen On TV". As an actress, Hayley has shot multiple commercials, has been a celebrity taste tester on Cupcake Wars, landed prominent roles on: "CSI: Las Vegas", a reoccurring role on the Lifetime original series "Killer Kids" and a role in the Lionsgate feature film "The Vatican Tapes". Hayley is a nationally published writer, with her most recent article published in "Simply Gluten Free" Magazine. In her free time Hayley is also a professional holistic vegetarian chef, and her cooking has been featured on live cooking segments, including the "San Diego Channel 6 News". Hayley prides herself on her philanthropy work and many charitable endeavors that include: the title of Youth Ambassador for California and Young Adult Board Member for the "Tourette Association America", the title of Female National Spokesperson for "The Stop Bullying Now Foundation" and in her home town of Los Angeles, Hayley avidly supports "The Covenant House California" and "A Place Called Home". Hayley has spoken to over 45K across the country on the bullying epidemic of our youth, and played a prominent role in getting the I.D.E.A. Act passed in Washington DC. As a representative and Brand Ambassador for "The Organic Face" Cosmetics, Hayley has collaborated directly with CEO Noreen Diani to help empower young girls through the education of healthy skincare as well as positive self esteem. Hayley is the face of "Undersummers" brand shortlettes, and will soon be launching her organic lifestyle blog in the hopes to educate others about the brand and the health benefits of living an organic sustainable lifestyle. In 2016 Hayley will begin filming the sitcom "The Ginger Girls" and training new TS Ambassadors at the National TAA Conference in DC.
Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming news and interviews on this amazing person and never forget to Make a Difference and Be the Difference.

-Chris Avery Bennet