Ben Kelway grew up in Baildon and studied the Art & Design Foundation course at Bradford College from 1995 to 1996. He became a fashion photographer and is now a leading art director for clients including Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Top Shop and Nicole Farhi.
Ben said, “I remember my time at the College very fondly. Having long been obsessed with magazines such as The Face and i-D, Bradford College was the first time I’d really explored photography and learned to print black and white, thanks to the tutor at the time, Dave Rowling. As the foundation course progressed, I specialised more and in photography and applied to several degree courses. I was accepted by Edinburgh College of Art who only took ten people a year in those days so was thrilled.” He graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1999.
Ben continued, “Following the degree, I moved to London as soon as I could and quickly found work at a photographic studio, which led to freelance assisting work then shooting my own commissions for various magazines and commercial clients including The Face, i-D, ArenaHomme +, Dazed and Confused, Paul Smith, Nike and Channel 4.”
In 2003, when Ben won £1000 plus publication of his work in The Independent/ American Express fashion photography competition judged by fashion industry experts including designer Alexander McQueen, Dave Rowlings was thrilled to hear of his protégé’s success. Dave,
now retired from College, commented, “I will always remember Ben. He was a student who worked extremely hard and I knew he would be successful. He was always the first in and last out and he had real commitment. He had very clear intentions and was always very professional and positive.” Ian Taylor, another of his former tutors remembered Ben as a talented lad and supplied us with his College photograph from 1995.
Ben’s work continued to flourish. He said, “After several years, I got the opportunity to work with David Sims which I did for about eight years in various roles. I left a few years ago and set up my own art direction company ATLAS in 2012.” The company works with prestigious clients in the fashion, art and music industries including Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Topshop and Nicole Farhi.