Dick & Michele Benesh of Brodhead, Wisconsin, seem to have entered the photography business as the latest natural step in the progression of their lives. Both born and raised in small-town Iowa (one northwest, one northeast), they each developed a love of the outdoors and the many opportunities it offers for enjoying the natural environment. Choosing photography as a hobby at a young age seemed to be a natural decision.
Dick has held a variety positions during his adult life, including the military (Air Force Intelligence), high school teacher (German, Russian, English); professor of German at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; and, consultant to several Indian tribes and communities for development of human and economic resources. He is currently teaching German at Beloit Memorial High School.
Michele was a teacher in Iowa and Wisconsin for 33 years after earning her BS and MA degrees from the University of Iowa. Having first taught in "regular education," she was a learning disabilities teacher for the last 28 years, and retired from the School District of Beloit at the end of the 2003-2004 school year.
The Beneshes decided to venture into the photography business because, as they say, "We were taking so many pictures we had to do something to keep us in film!" Self-taught through extensive reading and experimentation, they entered their first art show in early 1991. Since then they have participated in about 30-40 shows a year in the Midwest. They have won many awards at judged shows, including several for "Best of Show" and "1st Place - Photography." Specializing in disappearing Americana, humor, and international subjects, they capture subjects as they see them, without utilizing special lighting, filters, or set-ups. Most images have a "story" behind them. Their goal is to make people smile, and they find that their customers relate personally to the beauty, nostalgia, and/or humor which they see in their work. They do all of their own matting and framing, using conservation materials and creative mat designs.