Meet a Deac – Ken Bennett

Today’s Meet a Deac is someone whose work you see all the time, but you likely don’t know him.  He’s our University Photographer, Ken Bennett.  When you see a beautiful picture on our website, or photo coverage of campus events, or spreads in the Wake Forest Magazine, it’s likely that you are looking at Ken’s work.  His job takes him all over campus and beyond, and he has won awards for his gorgeous photos.

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What is your official job title?
University Photographer.

How long have you worked at Wake Forest?
Fifteen and a half years.

In laymen’s terms, what do you do at WFU?
I make photos that illustrate Wake Forest stories for various University publications, from the home page of the web site, to the alumni magazine, admissions publications, and various fundraising pieces.

How would you characterize Wake Forest students?  What are some common attributes they have?
Wake Forest students amaze me with their energy. They all seem to be taking heavy course loads while participating in fifty different extracurriculars and student activities. Maybe it’s the Starbucks in the library that keeps them going.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
The people. It’s a great community, and I learn new things all the time.

What advice do you have for students (or parents)?
Work hard and play hard, but remember where you came from.

Ready for our bonus questions?

Book you’re reading now: American Photographs, by Walker Evans. It’s the companion book for a 1938 exhibit of Evans’ photos at the Museum of Modern Art. Maybe “reading” isn’t the right word, as the book is just black and white photos from the Depression, but the exhibit was an important step in recognizing documentary photography as an art form.

What music are you listening to these days: Folky Americana for the most part. John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle.

Favorite movie: Casablanca, [Ah, Ken, we’ll always have Paris!] though The Princess Bride comes in a close second.

Website you frequent: Several photography blogs. Boring stuff, really.

Guilty pleasure: Smoky single malt whiskys from the islands on the west coast of Scotland.

Tell me something most people don’t know about you: Hmm, I don’t know. I’m pretty open about my misspent youth and all that. I guess most people here wouldn’t know that I’m a longtime birder and spend a fair amount of time on it. That doesn’t mean I’m any good, though.

Editor’s note: here are some of my favorite pictures of Ken’s.  He manages to capture the calm before the storm at dawn of the 2000 Presidential Debate on campus, the joy and whimsy of students in a dance class and a campus carnival, the agony of the assistant coaches at the funeral of our late and much-beloved basketball coach Skip Prosser, the beauty of campus at sunset and sunrise, and the best Quad rolling ever after the 2006 ACC Championship that took Wake Forest to the Orange Bowl.  Enjoy.


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