Photographer shares passion of capturing the beauty of golf courses

You may not know his name, but you've probably seen his pictures. Channing Benjamin is one of the world's top golf course photographers.
Posted at 9:12 PM, Apr 03, 2023

It's rare that your hobby and what you're passionate about come together for work. Channing Benjamin has managed to do both — you might even say he's aced his career. "That's the fun part, right?," said Benjamin, gazing down at the monitor of his  video drone remote-controller.

Being Channing Benjamin is a lot of fun. "People tell me all the time, I'm the best kept secret in the golf photography business. I like to hide."

You may not know his name, but you've probably seen his pictures. Channing Benjamin is one of the world's top golf course photographers, working exclusively for golf courses, publishers, and private clubs, creating iconic images of signature holes.

"When you're out on the golf course and you see views like this and you get good lighting, it's kind of natural to pick up a camera and take photos," Benjamin said. 

Photographer Corky Lee takes photographs at the 54th Chinese American Citizens Alliance National Convention.

How One Photographer Captured Asians In American History

For 45 years, Corky Lee has taken pictures of Asian-Americans to showcase their contributions to U.S. history.


And that instinct is exactly what spurred Benjamin's eye almost 30 years ago when he picked us the game of golf in his downtime as a video director for music venues.

"The dew on the ground, the grass, just the whole vibe of being outdoors ... I would capture that with my cell phone" Benjamin said. 

Whenever Benjamin posted one of his images to social media, likes would pour in from around the world. He said, "People started reaching out, going, are you available for hire, you know what you're doing. My fear was always, I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't. What I do know is what I want to shoot." 

So, he took a shot at being a professional golf course photographer. It didn't take long before his work would be published in Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and dozens of other publications, earning him access to some of the nation's most coveted courses.

"There are only five of us in the world licensed to photograph and sell images from Pebble Beach. That's a big deal for me. It's a nice feather in the cap, but it's also a breakthrough thing too, because there's none of us there," he said, referring to his being an African American. 

At 51 years old, Benjamin's focus is to build the community of golf through photography. When he's not shooting high profile exclusive country clubs in America, he's teaching fellow amateur golfers and photographers how to capture iconic images on the course. He tells us his reason is simple: "I did it to try to bring like-minded individuals together who love golf and love photography."