Benson 100 Faces – Behind The Scenes
Last year the RAF Benson Photographic and Imagery Centre’s professional Royal Air Force photographers embarked on a project to capture portraits of 100 personnel that make up Team Benson, ahead of the RAF Centenary later this year.
The project saw its first image go out on Social Media on 22 December 2017, 100 days before 1 April 2018, when the RAF will celebrate it’s 100th year.
As a build up to the official RAF Centenary, images created have since been released daily across all major social media platforms to tell the stories of all those who are part of Team Benson, ranging from Service personnel to Civil Servants, contractors and dependants.
The aim of the project is to highlight individuals, show diversity, inspire future generations, but most importantly, celebrate the current Air Force and the quiet professionalism shown by all, which has been essential in achieving operational success.
Photographers Sgt Rachel Malthouse, Cpl Tony Hawke and SAC Amy Lupton have worked tirelessly, to produce high quality portraits that show the professionalism of Benson personnel, to humanise the military by breaking boundaries with a creative lighting and develop photography style that brings military portraits into the present. Some humour has also been added to the project, seeing portraits released on specific days such as Pancake Day and National Tooth Ache Day, to coincide with the individual roles within the military.
Often working alone, but also together on shoots, the team have assisted each other when things haven’t quite gone the way they had in mind, to act as a sit-in model to speed things up when timings have been tight, or even just to act as a human light stand to hold a flash or reflector.
The project has not been without its difficulties; convincing individuals to be photographed, often in front of their busy sections and with the risk of potential slabbing. However, the project has been a great fun to produce, finding themselves in the most unusual places, at times, battling the heat of the flames or getting their camera kit covered in DKP and residue of CS left over from the earlier Mod 1 Training in the Gas Chamber.
Rachel, Tony and Amy are extremely proud of the project and would like to thank to Station and all those involved thus far for their time and support.
Written by SAC Amy Lupton