Today we’d like to introduce you to Benjamin Galland.
Benjamin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always had a love of photography ever since I grew up watching my dad lugging around his camera and gear. It was something I explored as a hobby throughout my life, but it really took shape when I studied in Florence, Italy in college and took courses at the university there. I continued to hone my skills and finished with a major in visual communication at Berry College. After college, I helped to found h2o Creative Group in Brunswick, a full-service advertising and marketing agency. At h2o, my photography consists of shots taken with marketing as the end product. I shoot everything from food to ads to homes and much more. However, when I need a respite from the 9 to 5 grind, my photography takes a different direction.
I stumbled on to drones a few years ago as a toy and was instantly fascinated with the perspective. I never thought of capturing images with such a device, as the earlier drones had very poor image quality. But as technology progressed, I began to see what might be possible through the drone.
In my latest aerial series, social media has played a large role in showcasing these images. I’ve also produced a series of books on the barrier islands of Georgia. Published through UGA Press, I’ve worked alongside various authors photographing St. Simons Island (2013), Jekyll Island (2016), Sapelo Island (2017) and Cumberland Island (Summer 2020). I’m also wrapping up a book on Tabby (historical building structure). This book will use historical tabby sites from St. Augustine, FL to Charleston, SC to tell the story of the people and place in that time.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Running a small business can be draining, and it’s then that I really find solace in my art. I realized that my art could be used to bring awareness to the coast of Georgia and conservation and protection efforts. I’m passionate about the protection of our coastline but I don’t seem to fit the mold of a “normal” advocate. Rather, I believe that showing people the beauty of this area naturally inspires the desire to protect it.
Please tell us more about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
I co-founded h2o Creative Group in 2009, and over the past ten years, we have established ourselves as the premier marketing agency in Southeast Georgia. I specialize in all of the photography needs for our marketing clients, as well as providing one-off photography projects for various clients, including the state of Georgia, the PGA, and various hotel chains. I have always been passionate about food, and over the past years have built a solid food photography portfolio. I just recently shot the 2019 culinary guide for the state of Georgia.
We pride ourselves in providing all of our services in-house. We have web designers and developers, illustrators, and advertisers, social media management, videography and photography. We offer digital advertising plans as well as traditional media plans and are well-established to do all of the buying. We work as a close-knit group, and I’m really proud of that. If we start a marketing campaign, we have an internal meeting where everyone gets to hear first-hand what the client is looking for: the graphic designers, the production crew, and even myself, as a photographer. It’s an efficient workflow, providing a coherent message.
What were you like growing up?
As a child I had ADD, but no one knew what that was yet. So, I was kicked out of many daycares, put in behavior classes, and generally too busy and unfocused for teachers to know what to do with me. As I got older, I learned to cope with it and by high school was the class president and voted “Friendliest,” whatever that means! I was always into the outdoors and could never sit still. I was an Eagle Scout, and I spent all my free time canoeing and kayaking the waterways of coastal Georgia. I specifically chose Berry College in Rome, Georgia for the size of the campus and all the mountain biking trails I had access to. My love of the outdoors continues to this day, and I love nothing more than sharing it with my kids.
- Website: gallandphoto.com (artistic work) ; h2ocreativegroup.com (commercial work)
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @benjamingalland
Benjamin Galland, Bobby Haven, Don McKenzie