About Louisville Photographer, Ben Marcum

Becoming Louisville’s Headshot Photographer 

Before picking up a camera, I was a professional sound designer for live theatre. If you attended Actors Theatre of Louisville between 2001 and 2012, there is a good chance that you’ve heard my work. You may even still have the iconic waltz I composed for the annual production of Dracula stuck in your head every fall.

I opened Ben Marcum Photography in 2013. Like many people who decide they are going to operate a photography business, I tried my hand at a little bit of everything.  Weddings, babies, food, street, flowers in the back yard…If you can think of it there’s a good chance that I pointed my camera at it.

But most of those things simply didn’t feel right.

As I reflected on where I wanted to go, I thought of my past theatre career. While I didn’t want to work in the theatre industry any longer, I still loved it and wanted to keep some sort of connection to it. 

And it hit me – Acting headshots!

I decided to narrow my focus and work to become the best headshot photographer in Louisville and the surrounding area.  And not just actor headshots or headshots for performers, but professional headshots for lawyers, realtors, writers, executives, bloggers and everyone else who needs a headshot that stands out.

I had learned by then that there was so much more to a great headshot than simply pulling a smile or making an expression.  A great headshot lets you feel the personality of the person in the headshot. A truly excellent headshot shows the person as their genuine, confident, and approachable self. 

It was clear that if I was going to start to create Louisville’s best headshots, I needed a mentor.

I joined world-renowned headshot photographer, Peter Hurley’s training program, The Headshot Crew.

In less than a year I became Kentucky’s first associate photographer in the program. Today, I’m the only photographer in Kentucky to hold the title of Mentor in that program.

It is an honor to be able to help other photographers around the world bring headshot excellence to their clients.

Classic Portraits & Boudoir

It makes me unbelievably proud to to look at my work as Louisville’s headshot photographer. I still love connecting with people so I can capture them at their very best. 

But headshots, even the best, are also intended to be functional. They’re a tool to help people connect and engage. That necessarily puts some limitations on the creative experience.

I’m an artist, first and foremost, which means I’m always looking for new idea, new form of expression.  The desire to create and grow is a powerful force. I started exploring other forms of photography, with an eye to classical art and portraiture.

After creating bridal portraits for a friend, I realized I’d found my next passion. You know those classic portraits, like the ones in big beautiful frames you might see in museums or the mansions of Old Louisville? Why shouldn’t people today have such impressive works of art that will become heirlooms?

I decided to expand the business to create museum-quality, heirloom portraits. Through that, I started getting requests for boudoir portraits. There was clearly strong demand for intimate images that would nevertheless not look or feel out of place beautifully framed and hung in a home or museum. 

Ben’s Louisville Photography Studio

Like many photographers starting out, I began my photography journey in my home.  While the commute was easy, it was not my ultimate goal. Over the years I have moved a couple of times.  My first space was a charming suite in the Heyburn Building. It didn’t take long before I outgrew that space and moved to a magnificent studio in the historic Bourbon District of downtown Louisville. After calling the downtown space home for three years, It was time once again to grow, which brought me to my current space.

You can now find me in the Plainview Village Shopping Center at Hurstbourne and 64 in east Louisville. I acquired the space in June of 2021. I immediately began seeing clients in the new space while also undertaking a large renovation of the space.

Now, it’s a beautiful studio that also feels comfortable and inviting, a place where people can feel at home. I look forward to calling this my professional home for the next five years and I can’t wait to see you there.

Awards & Accreditations 

Awards and Distinctions for Ben Marcum

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