Black and White Storytelling by Ben Miller

Black and White Storytelling

by Ben Miller

Steve and Brandon,

I think that all photographers are searching for the perfect camera and a photographic style that they can call their own.

My main focus in photography is black and white storytelling. I find that the sum of several photographs which tells a story can be greater than one just one perfect image. I have found the gear that best suits my focus. In my bag is a Leica M9 and an Olympus OM-D E-M5. Both of these systems allow me to get close to people without being obtrusive. I believe in prime lenses and do not own any zooms.

I recently was commissioned to shoot an event with my M9 and E-M5. During the gathering I was pulled away and asked to join a few gentlemen in the parking lot. I wrote the following story to accompany the captures of what occurred:


At every party there is a secret party.

One that only few know about and are invited to.

I was lured away from the crowd to one of these clandestine gatherings.

I turned down the smoke as it is not my thing.

I partook in drink instead.

They handed me a big shot of Fireball whiskey.

I gargled the cinnamon spiced liquor and then swished it around in my mouth.

After swallowing I asked if they had handed me water and if there was anything stronger.

As I raised my Leica to my eye I said “document everything”.

I then smiled and said “don’t worry…..

I’ll only capture you from the nose down.”


Attached are the images from the photo story.

You can view more of my work on my website and blog:

Thank you Steve and Brandon for having a wonderful website that so many of us look forward to everyday.


Ben Miller

Secret Party 1

Secret Party 10

Secret Party 9

Secret Party 8

Secret Party 7

Secret Party 6

Secret Party 5

Secret Party 4

Secret Party 3

Secret Party 2

Secret Party 11

Secret Party 12

Secret Party 13

Secret Party 14

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  1. Ben, you continue to amaze me with your work. Many take years to develop their abilities and style of composition, storytelling and portraiture. You seem to have a natural talent to it.

    If you are interested, check out the masters. They are worth looking at and learning from. I might suggest Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Diane Arbus. For some fun check out Harry Callahan, Garry Winogrand, and Elliot Erwitt. Gary Winogrand used to walk the streets with his Leica. As I have not kept up with contemporary photographers, I can only suggest from what has inspired me over the years.

    Keep shooting and

  2. You did what Wilson Hicks the photo editor at Life did. He would have a research team precede the photographer and come back with a script of potential subjects and topics in which the subjects participate. Thus, you have a well scripted photo essay. I could easily be accompanied by words. Have you read Words and Pictures by Wilson Hicks. If not, do look at it.

  3. Lovely set of images and great processing… Could I ask you to share with us you processing technique please ?
    Thank you

  4. Last image presented powerfully sums up the consequences…a listless, Comfortably Numb, that many never escape..

  5. Friends wheat beer and weed. Nice way to spend an afternoon.

    Thanks for the images and memories.

  6. ‘During the gathering I was pulled away and asked to join a few gentlemen in the parking lot’

    That immediately sounds dodgy!

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