Its been fun for me to watch Stephen progress, he was one of the very first supporters of michaelthementor.com and more often than not, when we get beginning photographers coming to the forum, they stick around for 4-6 months and once they learn the basics we dont hear from them anymore. I understand why this happens, I am thankful to say Stephen has stuck around and has helped dozens of other photographers that I know of, probably hundreds more if you count his high school students. I personally believe that when we focus on teaching and helping others, our capacity to teach and learn increases and I know Stephen has taken this to heart.
If I am not mistaken, Stephen is a High School Teacher in Houston, and over the 12-18 months his photography has absolutely evolved to another level. He has done so because he is constantly and regularly working on it. I approached Stephen and asked if I could feature him on my blog as part of our "Featured Photorgaphers". I know you are all familiar with my 365, but Stephen has started a different 365 on the forum that has to do with nature which you can see here: Stephens Nature 365 Project
There are many things I like about his work, the main being that it is an entire different genre of photography. I am so used to portraits, and occasionally a landscape, but in terms of animal shots, it is hard to find someone who has improved so much, and has become so prolific in such a short period of time. Some of his shots are hard to believe were possible, and he finds these situations regularly. On one I remember thinking: "He actually watched the alligator eat another alligator?!? And Got Pictures?!?!" :)
Stephen's new website also just launched: Stephen Bennett Photography
Over the past year or so Stephen, you have improved so much that it is impossible to describe without having seen it with my own eyes.
Congratulations on an AWESOME job well done! We all look forward to seeing more of your work!