2019 Year in Review

January 09, 2020  •  1 Comment

2019 Year in Review


Slot Canyon I visited on one of my many trips to Palo Duro Canyon State Park this year.

The year 2019 was a huge year for me and my photography. I got to visit and photograph many amazing places, met awesome people, and see my work displayed in new and exciting ways. 2019 brought many changes to my personal life as well. Towards the end of 2018 my vehicle started to crap out on me and left me immobile during the 2018 storm season, as well as my weekly hiking trips to the Wichita Mountains. At the end of 2018 I was able to purchase a different vehicle and one that was more suited to my rugged lifestyle.

Perhaps the biggest change of them all was me finding a wonderful, amazing, and beautiful woman to share in some of these adventures. I am talking, of course, of my girlfriend, Ashlee Madden. It has been quite the adventure with her, and no longer did I have to trek the wilderness alone. Not only does she love being outside, but she is a photographer too which means our hobbies overlap and we don’t have to sacrifice our time in nature for each other. It has been a blessing to find someone as passionate about nature as I am. I love her very much!

Ashlee and I sitting in thistle trying to get a couples portrait with fireflies darting around us. We may have gotten eaten alive by mosquitoes, but the photo was well worth it!

At the beginning of 2019 I set out some goals for myself to help grow myself and my photography as a brand. Some of those goals were met, some fell just short, and other’s were ones I never even could have even imagined. For 2019 I wanted to have 1,000 followers on Instagram and 2,000 page likes on Facebook. How did I do? Well, unfortunately these were some of the goals that fell short. Currently, my Facebook page is sitting at 1,839 likes. My Instagram was closer with 991 followers—so close! I wanted to be more consistent posting on my website and blog (oops). I also had a big project I really wanted to start working on, and while I dipped my toe in this new avenue, I never fully submerged myself in it. I’m hoping to make that change for 2020.

That’s enough with the missed goals of 2019, lets talk about the goals I did achieve. First, I set a goal to hike 100 miles in 2019. This goal was met, but my stats unfortunately don’t reflect that. My second to last hike was only halfway recorded. But for all intents and purposes this goal was completed. Another goal I wanted to achieve in 2019 was to get another publication. Thankfully, Texas Parks and Wildlife ran an article that featured one of my night images in December of 2019. I was so glad to have checked that particular box! I think the most significant goal was to get my printed work out more. I furnished prints for a few local businesses and was even a featured artist at a gallery opening in Amarillo. But the biggest thing would have to be the MSU murals. Three of these giant prints have been installed. The largest is around 6ft x 9ft. There will be more coming once they finish the renovations on the bottom floor. I have truly left my mark on Wichita Falls.

Perseid RainPerseid RainThis image was published in the December 2019 edition of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine



Standing next to one of the MSU murals on the second floor of the Moffet Library.

Although, I did not travel as much as I wanted, I visited Indiana with my family, and I came back with some great images. All my other adventures this year took place in Texas and Oklahoma. I visited some incredible locations and came back with several portfolio-worthy images.


Canyon Falls at McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer, IN.

So, what can you expect from me in 2020? Well, I’m setting a goal to launch my big project by March this year. I’m very excited about this and I’m hoping you will enjoy it when it is released. I am stepping up my hiking game and setting a goal for 250 miles of hiking this year. I would like to travel out of state more in 2020. Maybe New Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas? I’m also going to start exploring the idea of teaching some local workshops. With a whole year ahead, I am more than excited at the prospect of new photography adventures. Let’s see what 2020 bring us!



Garrett Heyns(non-registered)
Great work all year Ben! Looking forward to what you will produce in 2020!
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