Austin Texas photography blog by Ben Sklar

Archive for February 2012

Professional shopper for the WSJ

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January was a busy month to my surprise. I shot a story in San Antonio for the Wall Street Journal about professional shoppers. I didn’t know what that meant, but it’s a really niche profession that takes a lot of people skills. Claudia Coleman is a professional shopper with Nieman Marcus and has many clients that she shops for. She presents the items she pulled from the story to her client in a private dressing room and they talk about style, color, taste, the season, anything. Claudia has been very good about building relationships with her clients through many years of service and friendship. Check out the story in the WSJ online. This story photographed in multiple cities and I was pleasantly surprised my friend Eli Meir Kaplan photographed the ‘super salesperson’ in Washington DC, check him out!



Irrelevant today, gone yesterday. Rick Perry’s Response for Newsweek

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It’s really amazing how fast things change. Six months ago Gov. Rick Perry was a strong contender for the White House and what feels like overnight he’s disappeared from relevance in the Republican primary race. In August Perry tried to rally the conservative Christian right at an evangelical prayer event held at Reliant Arena in Houston. I was commissioned by Newsweek Magazine to photograph the rally, Perry and anything else of interest.  People were really into their prayer and that’s what interested me most so I remember aggressively wandering around the floor of the stadium shooting what these people were passionate about. I tried to understand or atleast make a visual translation of what they were doing. Before the event I was pretty terrified of what might take place but it was a wake up call to a vast sector of the American population that I’m rarely exposed to in Austin’s liberal/apathetic/progressive bubble. The participants were fasting during the rally as a part of the Call to Prayer so there was no food to be found. This was a logistical nightmare for a working photographer so I came prepared with croissants from breakfast (I ate 4).

Texas Drought

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I covered a national news story recently for the New York Times about the Spicewood Beach community running out of water. The private community near Austin has its own well that was gifted to the LCRA to manage years back. Now the community is having water trucked in to meet its needs. I gathered a generally bitter feeling from the residents who were very friendly, but obviously unhappy with the impeding stress of their situation. You can read Manny Fernandez story about the Texas Drought and see some of my images too.

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February 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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February 4, 2012 at 10:15 am