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Bridgeport's Ben Queen Takes Next Professional Step in Photography Journey with MLB Gig on Friday

By Jeff Toquinto on June 13, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Back in 2007, when he was a seventh grade student at Bridgeport Middle School, Ben Queen was still more of a photo enthusiast as opposed to a professional photographer. That all changed when he had his first photo published in 2007 in The Bridgeport News.
 
“It was a photo from a Bridgeport High School football game,” said Queen. “It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really not.”
 
Flash forward to 2018. Queen is still shooting. He runs the successful benqueenphotography.com Web site. He shoots for Connect-Bridgeport. And he also shoots West Virginia University sports for USA Today.
 
During those 11 years of work, Queen has traveled all across the state shooting BHS sports and other community related events. And he’s been in Morgantown hundreds of times shooting West Virginia University football, basketball and baseball as well as occasionally shooting football games at Marshall University.
 
The biggest?
 
“The Orange Bowl was pretty special,” said Queen of the Mountaineers 70-33 win against Clemson in 200.
 
One thing he hasn’t done is shoot professional sports. On Friday, that’s going to change.
 
Ben Queen will be in the photo bullpen in Pittsburgh shooting the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’ll be doing the work on behalf of USA Today.
 
“I’m filling in for the normal USA Today Pirates photographer. I’m one of their closest workers in the regions and asked if I wanted to shoot and I jumped at the opportunity,” said Queen.
 
Queen will be taking shots as the Pirates battle the Cincinnati Reds at 7:05 p.m.
 
“This is a really big stage. Even though I feel I’m a pretty good shooter in a small pond here, the name Ben Queen doesn’t mean anything to the photo bullpen there,” said Queen. “Those photographers, some whom I know, are the best of the best. They’re professionals who do it full time and my worked will be judged with their work as well as all photos across Major League baseball whether it’s the Pirates and the Reds or the Yankees and Red Sox.
 
Queen is still young for the photography game at 23. What’s amazing is he done a lot of work as a teenager and even as a middle and high school student.
 
“The big deal, particularly when I was younger, was getting access and Bridgeport High School has always given me access. I started there with the football team and it’s what I get most excited for,” said Queen. “My girlfriend and my family know that, hopefully, I’m going to be tied up for 14 Fridays each year.”
 
While getting access as a 12-year-old and later to BHS events is one thing, Queen was actively shooting WVU sports in high school and through his time as a student at West Virginia University. He said he’s thankful to everyone that gave him that access.
 
“That’s really been important and today it’s important because I have people like (BHS football) Coach (John) Cole who give me access to the locker room to get that unique shot,” said Queen. “Access is so important. I just can’t show up at the Pirates game Friday night without being a representative of USA Today and ask to be let in. You have to have access.”
 
That access through USA Today has allowed Queen’s photos to be downloaded by those who pay for the service more than 11,000 times. His work is seen worldwide on Web site and newspapers such as ESPN, CBS Sports and the New York Times. MetroNews, a USA Today subscriber, also utilizes his work on occasion.
 
“It’s still exciting to see your work used and I still love what I’m doing,” said Queen. “I’ve enjoyed every moment behind the camera and it’s been a great opportunity. Not everyone gets to say they’re doing something different every single day. Friday will definitely be something different and I’m looking forward to it.”


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