Ben Mancino '14
When asked if he remembered what his first camera was, Ben Mancino ’14 replied enthusiastically with a “Yes!” Without missing a beat, he mentioned that it was a Kodak Z740, a digital camera that dated back to 2004. He currently uses a DSLR Nikon D3200. When comparing the cameras to one another, they seem to be a lifetime apart. However, in Mancino’s hands, both cameras represented one thing: a dream.
“I kind of just fell in love ever since I took my first picture,” he said. Being a professional photographer has been a lifelong goal for Mancino and he didn’t wait until receiving his degree to achieve it. While studying arts management at the College, he made sure to actively practice what he learned in the classroom by branding himself and his photography. As a student, his photos were featured in multiple exhibits and publications and he frequently appeared in the campus’ marketplace as a vendor to sell his artwork.
Just months after graduating, Mancino was recognized in one of Shoot The Frame’s monthly international contests Shoot The Wild. His piece “Mouths are for Eating” captured a fly in the mouth of a snake. He references this photo as one of his best pieces.
“Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to win an international award for my photography. My goal was to do it by the time I was 30 and here I am, at 23, and I’ve already accomplished that goal.”
In the future, Mancino plans on working as a photographer for a nature publication and hopes to eventually open his own gallery. “I am a nature photographer at heart,” he said. In fact, it was the nature and the scenery of the Berkshires that drove Mancino to attending MCLA. “Working with all of the artistic people in the area and being surrounded by all of the inspiration of the Berkshires really spoke to me… my portfolio has expanded incredibly.”
As a photographer, Mancino is always doing new things. He started his own Facebook page, Ben Mancino Photography, in the summer of 2013 and has built his own audience from the ground up. The periodic releases of his various collections are always well received.
Mancino has his ideas laid out for the future and the discipline to back it up. He contributes his success to passion and hard work. “I shoot whenever I can. I always try to get out and push my limits. I feel like people who don’t push their limits are stagnant… and if you’re stagnant, you’re not growing.”
He went on to thank MCLA for providing him with a safe zone to explore himself and to grow as an artist. “If I went to another school, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.”