Douglas Benton

Photo of Douglas Benton

Courses I Teach


After graduating from the Professional Photography program at Hawkeye Institute of Technology in the mid eighties, Douglas Benton began his dream of being a commercial photographer, starting out by doing some time in a lab in Omaha, then a stint in a portrait studio sales room, with the occasional freelance gig thrown in, but mostly there was a lot of driving to strangers’ houses with pizza in his car.

It was 1990 when Doug first got to go to work every day as a commercial photographer for French Studios in Marion, Iowa. By 1998 he was ready to do his own thing, but not on his own. So he got together with the closest two photographers named Mike and started fisheye in Hiawatha, Iowa, eventually inviting a competitor named John, to join them, making fisheye the largest studio in the market, with a client list that included Rockwell Collins, John Deere, Ertl Toys, University of Iowa Sports, Mercy Medical Center, St Lukes Hospital, the University of Iowa Healthcare, Kinze Manufacturing, Simply Organic, The Hawk Shop, George Washington University, KCRG and KGAN, as well as most of the advertising agencies in the area.

Over nearly three decades, Doug has gotten to shoot a lot of different stuff, a lot of different ways, for a lot of different reasons, on a lot of different kinds of cameras, using a lot of different types of lighting, and working with a lot of talented and creative people to create a lot of good work, winning a lot of awards that seemed important at the time.  All of which uniquely positioned him for his next challenge.

In 2008 Doug left fisheye to replace one of his professors at Hawkeye, and is currently teaching classes in both analog and digital photography.

Even though diversity in subject matter has defined both his photography and teaching careers, there is one consistent thread woven through it all. Light.

Learning how it works. Knowing how to control it. Understanding how to use it. Having always been his favorite challenge in the photographic process it’s no surprise that lighting is Doug’s favorite subject to teach.

Back to top