The Digital Journalist
ca. 2003 --- Naomi Watts Balancing on Hands --- Image by © Ben Watts/Corbis Outline

Naomi Watts on Ben Watts:

By Elodie Mailliet / © Corbis Outline

I don't recall the very first time Ben picked up a camera. Maybe I wasn't there or maybe I was too young to remember. That being said, I have few memories of him without a camera.

Ben's photographic style has always been urban and street-oriented, with a great deal of character and humor. And while those elements are still there, his look has become more diverse over time.

The first time he photographed me professionally was when he did my headshot in the early nineties. I used that headshot for years, and it proved instrumental in David Lynch's decision to cast me in Mulholland Drive.

I love photography. In fact, I have become a bit of a collector recently. I often use it for reference as well as inspiration. However, I don't enjoy being photographed unless I have a great connection with the photographer. When you have history with someone, you are automatically more engaged and open. With Ben, it's instantly comfortable and close. Ben makes me laugh, which makes me more relaxed. Because of our intimate relationship, he is able to capture something that other photographers can't access.

Ben is not trying to make me look sexy. In fact, he hates it if my makeup is too heavy or my hair is too big. He knows me as his free-spirited tomboy sister, and if he captures those elements truthfully, then the shot becomes sexy. I remember really well the day Ben photographed me for The Face. That day, it was as if we had forgotten that he was "Ben the Photographer" shooting "Naomi the Actress." It was simply my brother taking my picture.