Benjamin Michel is an artist specializing in cinematography, film direction, writing, and photography. He has worked on several films including narrative and documentary features, shorts, music videos, commercials, and TV shows. He was born in Irvington, New Jersey and has worked internationally. Since 2013, he has made Oakland the base where he has engaged in various projects connected to Bay Area culture.
Since making Oakland a place of residence, I’ve been consciously photographing portraits of the various people of color I’ve encountered. Each photograph is like a memory in time reflecting the subject and my personal story at the moment of it’s capture. ‘Reflections of Oakland’ is an ongoing portrait series vignetting the existence of Oakland residents either native or transient. These photographs encapsulate the lives of black folks using their talents to express Bay Area culture starting in Oakland.