We are Benjamin & Matan, professional fashion and lifestyle photographers, based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. We specialize in editorial, commercial and portrait photography. Our paths crossed back in 2016, when we then realized we share the same belief, that photography is an art of observation. Our photographic experience, passion, and beliefs are what connects us.
We decided to combine our worlds together into one. One world, one common framework, one perspective, shared by two photographers. The camera for us is a tool for freedom of expression. Our love for photography comes along with our love for people. We believe in connecting people, styles, elements, colors and of course, connecting perspectives. In 2018, we completed a one year photography course at Studio Gavra in Tel Aviv. Since then, we’ve been working with amazing brands and people – all over the world. We love every moment and feel truly blessed.
As you’re both creative partners in business and a couple, how do you manage the work/life balance? Do you actively use your personal life in your work?
The combination between relationship and work always sounds like a recipe to disaster, but somehow it came naturally and today it works great together. There’s a great tasking agreement between us, whether it’s at home or if it’s at work. We both make sure to give a lot of space for the others wills and desires, in the business and in life. When things get tough and we need a break, we travel to see some nature because that’s the thing that gives us great balance, inspiration and calms us down. We would be lying if we said it was easy since the beginning, but its something we wanted to together so badly, and apparently our willpower overcame all the struggles. In our relationship, listening is very important and sharing towards one another. Of course we took these aspects and reflected them on the way we work together. Our jointed business is like our child, and together we both give our shared values into it.
How did the decision to work together come about?
We’ve been together for 5 years and from the moment we met the camera was our shared love. In the beginning we loved to document ourselves and one another. Two years later and we realized that it was time to learn a profession and develop as the natural choice was to study photography. At first we were afraid of the idea , but we decided to bet on it and started studying together in the same photography school.
People knew us there as a pair, and a lot of them belittled our choice to be so close to each other , but that didn’t budge us from our decision. While studying, and doing the class’s homework, we discovered that we’re working together in the same mindset and realized big things are to come for us, like this energy that surrounded us when we imagined our next project together, and like in life we give each other inspiration, we realized that in photography it applies the same and even better than we thought.
We started handing in projects together at school, at first they thought we were just being lazy to hand in projects separately, but we stood our ground and didn’t these opinions tear us apart and fought through until they accepted our jointed projects, and the rest is history.
What’s the story behind the shoot? What are you hoping to convey with the shoot? How do you delegate the work between the two of you on a shoot?
The story behind the photos is similar to what we were feeling when COVID came upon us. Like we stated above, nature trips are one of our anchors that keep our relationship in tact when times are rough. COVID made us deal with a lot of struggles and fears all though we were together all the time we felt alone at times and each one of us with his own fears. We didn’t get to see our family and friends for a long time, we only saw each other all the time. We didn’t know when it will be all over and when we could be “set free” and see nature and just inhale deep and exhale it all out.
We hope that we succeeded in conveying a feeling of freeness through the photos and relief (mainly the photos where Daniel – The model we photographed takes off his blindfold and is set free) The message is – It’s time for us all to start anew and leave 2020 behind. Let go of the fears and be set free and breathe in deeply and connect back to our roots, to connect to nature and grow out of our fears.
Our work starts way before the actual photoshoot day. The job splits between us at home, in the stages of preparing the photoshoot. Every time one of us shares what he would like to photograph in the next project and he’s the one who’s responsible to collect inspirations (references), when we show the project to one another we both start working the wheels in our brain together and we perfect the concept and take it to our own world. During the photoshoot the work between us splits evenly, one of us is behind the camera and the other takes care of technical things like work on lighting, work on the model (styling, makeup, directions) and takes care overall of a pleasant atmosphere and it makes it easy for us during the photoshoot day.
Our worlds collide even after the photoshoot when it comes to choosing the photos and editing. We are partners in every decisions and every stage of the process.
We also find inspiration within our love all the time.”
Perspective by BM
What are your inspirations?
Our main inspiration is taken from nature of course. If you’ll deep dive into our inspiration world, you’ll find out that we collect different fashion magazines from the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000 and through them we succeed in creating a combination between retro photography and modern photography in every one of our photos. We find inspiration in music as well and people we meet along the way. We also find inspiration within our love all the time.
Everything could be an inspiration to us, the magic is to know how to find inspiration in the little things that surround us.