Michèle Benson is a multi-award winning entertainment/portrait photographer whose work has appeared on and between the covers of, Rolling Stone magazine, People, The New York Times, Musician Magazine, Guitar Player Magazine, Good Times Magazine, Santa Cruz Metro, The Sentinel, BAM Magazine, LA Weekly, etc. Her subjects have varied from entertainment personalities, musicians, film directors to authors, from the extra-ordinary to the ordinary women and men of the Arts. Her thirty years of photography have not only been an investigation into the expression of the human spirit, but also into the natural wonders and sacred sites of our planet.
Michèle has been a consistent contributor to highly acclaimed record labels and tour books for Warner Brothers, Elektra Asylum, first place award with the advertising club of Monterey Peninsula, Sam Seagull awards, The Grammy Awards, Best of Awards with Santa Cruz and voted best photographer in Santa Cruz County. She has toured with such bands as The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Gregg Allman, Les Dudek, David Lindley of Jackson Browne and many more.
"...photographic creativity is based on capturing the essence of the artist’s self expression and soul’s purpose at that moment; and that displays what art truly is - through a looking glass into the wonderland of what they have lived and have to share."
She is a noted a film still photographer on movie locations and film company shoots such as ‘Tilt”, with Brooke Shields, ‘Creator’, with Peter O’Toole, ‘Wild Rose’ for VH1 with Ginny Mitchell, The Humans, feature music video for Capitol Records; independent films, ‘Blur’ a thriller film with director John W. Kim, and ‘The Stronger’, a suspense film with director Bernadette Wilson. Further, she has worked as line producer and assistant director to many productions and in house production person to the Digital Media Factory.
Michèle had her own weekly music column for many years, ‘Night Moves’ with Good Times Magazine, which she also illustrated with her photography. She was owner, publisher, editor to ‘The Dragon’s Quest Magazine’ a 72 page quarterly publication based on Celtic Shamanism. Further, she founded and ran ‘Sacred Tours” an international tour company that explored the spiritual sacred sites in the UK, Italy and Egypt. Her book ‘From Rock Stars to Stone Circles’ is in process now due to be published in 2017, seaming together rock musicians and sacred sites around the world
She was producer, director, screenwriter, director of photography on the award winning feature film ‘The Catalyst”, based on thirty years of rock’n’roll at The Catalyst Club in Northern California. The film garnered three laurel leaf awards in film festivals around the country. A permanent gallery of her rock photography resides at The Catalyst Club encompassing over forty years of top-notch musical performers.
Currently her film crew is in production with 'All Access - Music in the Cruz'. It is a music documentary spanning the Santa Cruz scene from 1960-2016. It will encompass the venues, the myriad of eclectic bands/musicians, recording studios, engineers, promoters, journalists, roadies, the famous and the infamous; from the Chateau Liberte to today!
The wide range of Michèle talents, skills and achievements are products of a belief she holds constant: photographic creativity is based on capturing the essence of the artist’s self expression and soul’s purpose at that moment; and that displays what art truly is - through a looking glass into the wonderland of what they have lived and have to share.