SXM photographer, Ricardo Benjamin has always been one of my favorite artists on the island; but when he started posting his “Postcards from Paradise” series at the beginning of 2015; I was hooked on Benjamin Photography! So on that note I decided to share a little bit of his story.

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At 13 years of age, Ricardo got his hands on a Minolta X-GM. He developed an insatiable passion to expose to others the beauty he saw in everything around him.  

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“I remember at age 17 and my first year at University in New York, I spent most of it on top of the building of LIU taking pictures. Obviously my grades were nothing to write home about. After that year I told my parents I was going to California to study Photography.”

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Even though his passion for photography was strong, his parents preferred a more secure path for their son’s future so they sent him off to Miami to continue studying Engineering.

“Well I did the Engineering thing and have been a computer consultant most of my career. Many years later I am a full fledged Photographer with people from far beyond SXM requesting my services in one form or another. And loving it!”

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After following his “Postcards from Paradise” series it seemed to me that he goes above and beyond to get the perfect shots. So I had to ask him what it was that gives him the energy/motivation to capture these magnificent moments.

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“LANDSCAPES, when done right; leaves a “Jaw Dropping” impression. I absolutely love to see great ones so I’m also crazy about creating them. Yes my work flow takes long hours (might definitely be another way) I spend about minimum three (3) shooting and about the same amount of time editing one or two shots and rarely go back to the album.”

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If you had the opportunity to speak to 18 year old you… What advice would you give yourself?

Due to his computer consultant career he’s been asked on a few occasions to speak to graduating classes of that age group. His advice has always been the same.

“I am long winded when it comes to kids, but I will summarize here:

  1. Seek knowledge! Without it; you could never be successful.
  2. Be humble and always show love, no matter your success.
  3. Help those that come after you, impart your knowledge on them, for you will know they need it.
  4. Love whatever you choose to do, it will allow you to smile daily, the person with a smile on their faces everyday is a successful person.”

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Of course we had to ask the last but not least question… Explain why you love and appreciate your island life?

At about age of 24 he established himself in Miami and bought his first house. Years after Telem requested his services back on Sunshine City St. Maarten offering a one year contract. Obviously the short term contract was a risky bet but that was no issue for him. All he wanted was the opportunity to go back home.

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“I have been all over the world but this damn little place is my magnet. I love how we are (People that reside here) we share an insatiable desire to laugh and love, more so when i was growing up we always just wanted good for everyone and everything.”

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So that covers a little bit about Mr. Benjamin and his road to becoming one of SXM’s most successful and respected photographers. For more information please visit his website and don’t forget to like his facebook page!

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