We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave Bentley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dave, what is the most important factor behind your success?
In the photography industry, there are tons of great photographers to choose from, and competition can be tough. I’ve taken my customer service training and experience from previous jobs and applied that to my photography business, allowing me to offer my clients a great experience. I’m honest and genuine. When I shoot portraits, for families, couples, or just anyone in general, I like to capture authentic moments and personality. That’s what tells the client’s story.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a portrait photographer, focused on capturing real people in real settings. My journey as a portrait photographer started just outside the Nation’s capitol, in Arlington, VA. After spending more than a decade with the iconic landscape of DC as my backdrop, my girlfriend and I moved to Arizona almost three years ago. It’s been a work in process as I’ve changed up my style to be in line with the Southwest vibe, but I love the challenge it’s presented and where it’s taken me as a photographer. Different times of the year offers demand for specific sessions, and I stay busy shooting a variety of portrait sessions including family portraits, senior portraits, couples/engagements, headshots, aspiring models, and personal branding sessions. I love capturing individuals and their unique portraits. My sessions always include candid shots. I hate seeing galleries that are only generic, stiff poses. I tell my clients to just relax, and let’s have some fun!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough one. Arizona is full of so many full and unique places to see. One day would definitely be spent heading to Sedona, seeing the gorgeous red rock, and hiking all the beautiful trails and secret caves. No trip to Arizona is complete without heading further north to see Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and of course the Grand Canyon. I also loved visiting the Titan Missile Silo just outside Tucson, and the PIMA Air and Space Museum. Bonus: if it’s in early fall, you gotta go see the aspens in Flagstaff! For food and drink, there’s tons of options. I’m a fan of hitting small mom and pop restaurants (esp for breakfast burritos). It’s always fun checking out the bars on Mill Ave in Tempe, or Old Town Scottsdale.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to my girlfriend, Allison. She’s been my biggest supporter over the years, and is always there for when whether I feel that I’m in a creative rut or struggling with some other business decision. She’s constantly encouraging me and pushing me to be the best version of me, as a person and as a photographer.
Dave Bentley / Photographer