CJ Benninger Lends Industrial Chic to DBusiness’s Medical Exposé
Michigan-based photographer CJ Benninger teamed up with Detroit journal DBusiness to illustrate their recent feature on exorbitantly-priced medical equipment. The powerful images reflect the industrial hard-heartedness of this government-sanctioned practice, wherein companies profit at the expense of patients. Documenting such a sensitive subject was not without difficulty: the companies producing the equipment in question refused to lend it to be photographed for the feature. The equipment was ultimately borrowed from an unnamed source, and the stark resultant images speak to the harrowing reality of companies exploiting individuals in need of medical care.
How did you get involved with this project?
I had done some work for this publication before -- a handful of smaller shoots and one feature. This was the first cover that I shot for them. I had showed the art director, Austin Phillips, some product samples I'd been working on, and a while later he emailed me about this project because the samples were a perfect fit for what he wanted to do.
Describe the creative process on set.
It was a pretty simple shoot. We rented a studio and a few lights. Austin knew what he wanted for the cover, and I just used one light and a couple of fill cards. He wasn't exactly sure what he wanted for the interior images, so I set up what ended up being the TOC shot and we both loved it. We took the story opener image in the same direction . . . I really wanted the parts to pop, so I kept the lighting and background simple.