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Hidden Gems: Meet Benjamin Starks of Starks Management LLC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Benjamin Starks.

Hi Benjamin, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
In 2018 with a pregnant wife, I decided that I’d learn enough about photography that I wouldn’t have to pay photographers to take pictures of our new arrival constantly. I would sometimes walk around my city to practice and improve and ask folks if I could take their picture. I happened to bump into a local musician named Sincerely S.P.A.D.E., complimented his outfit, and asked to take his picture. He agreed, and soon we became friends, and I began managing his music career while doing all of his promo photos and videos. Those first few videos were pretty terrible, but as time passed, I learned, and we worked hard, which resulted in him winning the PA Music Hall of Fame ward for best HipHop artist in 2019.  I started my business Starks Management LLC with my former boss from my days in the Army, which currently uses the DBA (does business as) B-Roll Benny.  B Roll Benny as a brand now aspires to help other junior photographers and videographers learn the art of content creation.  I’ve recently launched a YouTube channel that focuses on very short, digestible how to videos that can teach someone just like my 2018 self how to get started in a career in multimedia

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Photography and video have always been a side hustle for me. The struggle has always been within the confines of social media platforms, the algorithms, how they change, how to best utilize them to your advantage, and ultimately having a budget that can help you get out of the pit of zero engagement. So any bumps in the road have always been manageable.  However, there will always be challenges.  Mitigating your challenges in multimedia is 1 part skill, 1 part luck, and 10 parts never quit.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Starks Management L.L.C.?
We started life managing up-and-coming musicians. The money to keep the business running wasn’t there, so I decided to branch out and start utilizing the skills I had developed to make music videos in a new way: Advertisements for local businesses. Now, coupled with music video directing, I create local advertisements for businesses that might not have had a full-fledged budget to work with a big production house. My work is 95% as polished as the big houses, but at a fraction of the cost.  The Starks Management brand is really an umbrella LLC for things to come, like the B Roll Benny brand that will focus more on the tutorials, guides, and the things that don’t get talked about often enough, like how to actually turn leads into clients.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
The most surprising thing I think when people find out, is that I served in the military…twice.  I joined the Navy in 1997 and served in the intelligence field and got out in 2003.  When the market crashed in 2008 times got very tough, the job market seemed nonexistent, so in 2011 well into my 30s I joined the Army reserve and served in a Sapper company.  I was required to complete Army basic training, which was sort of interesting in my 30s.  I’ve been out since 2015 and really enjoy the added family time, but I’m glad to have had the honor to serve.  I now try to serve my community by mentoring folks, both within the multimedia industry, and outside of it.  Service to others is incredibly important to me

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