Photojournalist Harry Benson to showcase lifetime of work

Amy Szabo

He photographed the Beatles. He photographed the civil rights movement. He even photographed Martin Luther King Jr.

He’ll be at Kent State today. Photojournalist Harry Benson will speak at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. He has taken pictures that have appeared in many publications, including Life and Vanity Fair.

The lecture is open to all students and will feature a PowerPoint slideshow of all his works throughout his life.

“I’ve done everything, really,” Benson said. “Everything interests me.”

Benson came to the United States on a plane with the Beatles in 1964. He has photographed every American President since Dwight Eisenhower, as well as Robert Kennedy, Princess Diana, Jack Nicholson and the queen of England.

“On the other hand, you have to be careful when meeting people,” Benson said. “Making friends with the people you’re photographing can be dangerous. As a journalist, you go to an event with a set plan of what you want to get, not what your boss or the people you’re photographing want.

“My business is to photograph what I see, and what I see should inform.”

Magazines today tend to manipulate photographs, though, and Benson will not allow his photographs to undergo this process.

“I don’t do it, because it’d mean that everything I did in my life was fake,” he said.

Contact College of Communications and Information reporter Amy Szabo at [email protected].