Ben Christensen is a western lifestyle photographer. In his work, he aims to capture the beauty of the American West and everything that comes with it. We were able to catch up with our good friend and chat a little about why he does what he does.
“When I think about what started my love for the western lifestyle, I think about the week-long horse packing trail ride I took in the mountains of Utah with my dad. Camping every night under the stars and only bringing what we could on the pack horses. That trip will forever be one of my favorite memories.”
Cowboy boots are a part of Ben's lifestyle. It's one of the key pieces of clothing he shoots for as a western photographer. He is particularly a big fan of the Lucchese suede boots. Today, he's wearing our handsomely rugged tan Frontier Suede Livingstons. Other days, Ben wears the Sawyer. But, the first pair of boots Ben ever had were his dad’s hand-me-downs from the early 80’s. Ben had to wait years to grow in them since he received them at a young age. They were light tan and had been resoled twice.
Arizona will forever be home. Having grown up in Tempe, Arizona, Ben is now based in Mesa, Arizona and travels all over. His interest in photography began when he started documenting these rad adventures he went on. One day, one of his friends asked him to shoot his wedding. The favor was returned when his friend’s mom paid him $800. From there came many more paid photoshoots. Then even more. It turned into a career not long after it all started.
Ben has shot lifestyle photography all over the world, specifically for fashion, outdoor adventures, weddings, various events, and of course, campaigns within the western industry. He loves people; especially learning about them, hearing their stories, and finding out what they’re passionate about. Ben absolutely loves photographing people in their element while adding in a bit of his own flair. He admires every part of his job and cannot wait to shoot more in the western category, continuing to explore his passion, and sharing his vision of the old west.
What does it mean to have Lucchese boots in your western wardrobe?
The quality and style of my boots and hat are the most important to me in regards to wardrobe. My style is influenced by the old American West that represents a timeless, classic confidence in who you are. Lucchese boots fit that style perfectly. The boots that I wear are timeless and represent my own western lifestyle. So having Lucchese boots part of my wardrobe is everything! I don't leave home without them.
You have continued to emphasize western wear in much of your personal and professional work. Why?
There’s a certain style of western wear that makes my western photography what it is today. It’s inspired by the old American West, my love for the outdoors, and all the old western movies I grew up watching with my dad. That same western style has continued to play a huge roll in my life, even all this time later. Simple, timeless, tones of the old west and tall crown vintage style western hats … they’re all part of my everyday life.
What does #livingmyownwestern mean? What is the movement you starting by using that tag?
#livingmyownwestern is very special to me because I’ve been traveling all over, shooting lifestyle photography for the past 10 years. Along my photography journey, I’ve always related my travels to the old western movies I am so familiar with such as The Outlaw of Josey Whales. I related to characters like Josey because of the people I’ve met, the adventures along the way, and the obstacles that I’ve had to overcome. It might have only been photography, not old western showdowns I was partaking in, but man, I felt like I was living my own western.
I began using the hashtag #livingmyownwestern in order to encourage others out there who see their life/journey as relating to their own adventure—and more specifically, how their reality connects to the west. We are all connected to the old American West one way or another (think about it!), so my hope is to capture and share other people’s life through my photography. I’m working to keep that much beloved western sentiment alive.
How does this affect the way you raise your family?
By #livingmyownwestern, I’m showing my kids first hand I’m following my passions—working hard to perfect my skills as a photographer. Being a father to three kids, I’ve learned that leading by example is everything. You will always teach your children more by showing them than just telling them. So, if my kids grow up showing love and gratitude to the people they meet, exemplify their blessings by the way they live, and follow their passions, all the while knowing who they are and what they are capable of, I’ve done my job.
For more information about Ben Christensen’s photography, visit benchristensenphoto.com or follow @_benchristensen on Instagram.