Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Vision: Nissa Benjamin

Nissa Benjamin is a photojournalist for the Miami Herald. She is a recent graduate of the University of Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a concentration in photojournalism and design.

Nissa specializes in documentary and feature photography. She has worked at four major newspapers, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Daily News, and The Myrtle Beach Sun News, as well at the University of Florida News Bureau.

Nissa was born in Hollywood, Fl., and has been obsessed with the camera for as long as she could remember. Her obsession turned into a passion during her summer internship with The South Florida Sun-Sentinel in tenth grade. Since then, she has balanced school with internship opportunities to deepen her passion and develop her art.

The definition of photojournalism to Nissa is the power to change. If an impression, view, or thought was changed through one of her images, she has succeeded. She strives to make images that are clean and minimal yet impactful.

Lately, she has been the telling stories of men of color and their passions. Like Max Citrin, an amateur body builder who dropped out of medical school to pursue a professional career. His journey of discipline and structure leading up to his first professional competition left little time for moments of serenity. Also, Chris “Contak” Saunders, a striving rapper originally from Boston but is trying to finish a degree at the University of Florida. His tattoo is Latin for “Let them hate, so long as they fear”, is a motto he bases his life and music around.

Nissa has just completed a portrait series on the many sides of Hip-Hop culture in the younger society of Gainesville. She wanted to show the difference from the culture seen on television and the traditions being kept alive by people who were not born when it began. The photograph of Sauders is also apart of this series This project will be featured in the University of Florida’s gallery this November.

Always looking for new experiences to grow as a photojournalist and person, Nissa is driven by the opportunity to tell stories through images.

Nissa Benjamin
The Miami Herald
University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications Alumni,
Web site: