Each time I pick up the camera, I try to capture the world as it is. To listen without judgement, create space where subjects feel safe and heard, and be there for moments that highlight our shared humanity. Over the years, my work has focused on underrepresented communities and that’s what I continue to make the focus of my work.
Photographers & filmmakers hold power to make a difference and I intend to.
Garvin was born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. He studied creative writing at the University of Arkansas before earning a BFA in Visual Journalism with a minor in philosophy from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
During his summers in New York City, Garvin freelanced for the Associated Press, made delicious salads at a Tribeca cafe and fell in love with his wife Jessica, a Minnesotan studying the cello performance at the Manhattan School of Music. They stayed on the east coast where Garvin interned at the Christian Science Monitor in Boston and for four years as a staff photographer at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire where he was named 3-time Photographer of the Year.
Like most Minnesotans, his wife wanted to return home, and they’ve been living in Minneapolis since 2004. Garvin worked part-time at the Star Tribune and on staff at the St. Paul Pioneer Press for more than a decade while continuing to freelance for the New York Times and Washington Post. In 2015 he switched from still photographer to a video photojournalist at KARE 11 News, often considered to be the best station in the country for visual storytelling. Garvin also shoots a limited number of weddings each year.
Ben has been named Minnesota Journalist of the Year, Minnesota Photographer of Year and has won multiple Emmy, Murrow and national NPPA and BOP awards for his photojournalism. In 2020 he won an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for his work as co-director, cinematographer and editor for the acclaimed documentary film Love Them First.
In 2021, Ben formed Ben Garvin Media, LLC and now works as an independent documentary filmmaker/DP, freelance photographer and editor. He continues to develop new films and freelance projects with his collaborator Lindsey Seavert at their studio in south Minneapolis.
I am so proud of my family. Jessica and I have been married nearly 20. She is a musician, baker, cook and beauty and will always take a nap if given the chance. We have four kids. Arthur is 15 — a juggler, deep thinker, mountain biker. Then there's 13-year-old Lewis — lover of hugs, D&D and all things gay pride. And finally our 11-year-old twins Bailey and Netta. They were born identical but have grown into their own. Bailey is now a boy, loves a good back tickle, telling great stories and is the only kid who doesn't get bored on my fishing boat. And Netta is an animal loving tomboy who keeps our family grounded with her wisdom, honesty and love of beautiful music.
We all live together — along with two chickens, two cats and our long dog Moby — in south Minneapolis near Lake Nokomis.