Bert Behnke is a second generation photographer with almost forty years in the business. He has been awarded his Masters, Craftsman, and Honorary Masters degrees from PPA as well as numerous other recognitions and awards. He and his wife Cindy, who is also an award-wining photographer, have taught thousands of photographers nationally and in Europe. Bert specializes in portraiture, really loving to do groups of all kinds, from two to thirty or more people, he relishes the challenge. He credits his past instructors, his peers and the newest photographers as his mentors and feels as if he is not constantly learning, his work shows it. That is really why he loves the energy and opportunities at AfterDark.
You will see Bert demonstrate his group posing in one segment, using traditional methods that make him a living, then head out with one light into the night to create something entirely different. AfterDark allows him to teach what he does, then turn around and have fun with his fellow attendees! For those of you newer to the AD experience, hit us up with your questions anytime, this opportunity is what he feels is the biggest benefit to the attendees, total immersion with no barriers.
St. Louis will be Bert’s eighth AfterDark and each one of them have been memorable. He has photographed the Romaguera family in a suite in New Orleans, headed out to the Las Vegas Strip with Carl Caylor and one light at midnight, only to find about thirty attendees following them. He laid in goose poop in Charlotte while photographing a family (not intentional) and took off on a night shoot in Kansas City using only available light for some shots.
Bert swears by his Canon gear and Larson reflectors! Throw in a few Photogenic or video lights and he will try anything. His business specializes in family pphotography, which for Bert means anything his clients (families) need. It could be the group, it could be the daughters engagement or a newborn. If his clients need corporate work done, they call him and when a special event is happening, they call him too.
A.D. asks us what our top five skills are, well Bert feels you need to learn everything well so you don’t even have to think about it. Know your lighting, posing, exposure, white balance, business, marketing and all that stuff, but the one thing you REALLY need to know is creating a relationship with your clients. That is what he feels is his number one skill, and with that, he can create portraits for his clients that they cherish and enjoy for a lifetime.