Ben Schuyler’s Local Guide to Seattle in Seattle, Washington
I really enjoy the simple views and secret getaways Seattle has to offer. Often the things that catch my eyes are reflections on cars, light breaking through clouds, city parks and the Puget Sound. I’ve never been drawn to the incredibly popular tourist spots, and thus my views aren’t the conventional images you’d expect. I don’t think Seattle is an incredibly conventional city; we’re particular about doing things different. I hope that’s what I captured when shooting my city.
Occupation: Coffee shop manager and photographer.
Place you live: Seattle
Can you sum up Seattle? I once heard a friend compare Seattle to brackish water. Like brackish water is a meeting place of fresh and salt water, Seattle is a place where natural beauty meets thriving city life. I love that thought. It’s a place where you are never too far from the mountains or water, while also being close to some of the greatest restaurants and retail shops in the world.
Can you sum up the people of Seattle? The people of Seattle are full of vision and have a zest for life. Seattleites often come from all over the country because of the exciting business growth in our city, as well as all its cultural offerings. They love community and enjoy life’s simple pleasures: hiking, good food and beer, and great music. I really believe that the people of Seattle enjoy life in a different way than a lot of folks in other cities. We’re more interested in relaxing and building community than surrendering to networking and rat racing.
What are the three best viewpoints in Seattle? Discovery Park has some of my favorite views in all of the city. It’s really a gem of a park. I also love the view looking back at the city from the Bainbridge Ferry. Finally, there’s nothing quite like heading down I-5 south and looking westward to the city from Ship Canal Bridge. It’s always this awe-inspiring welcome when driving into the city.
What was the experience like shooting for a campaign to promote Seattle to the world? I definitely enjoy being reminded of how great Seattle is. Like anything, I think we can take for granted what’s familiar to us. I’m a born and raised Seattleite, so getting to be intentional about capturing my city in the way that I see it was really a special treat.
Describe a perfect day in Seattle: A perfect day in Seattle involves lazily waking up on an overcast Sunday morning and hitting my neighborhood coffee shop, Slate Coffee Bar. After enjoying their rotating pour over, I’d head down to the Ballard Farmers Market for a lunch of roasted vegetable quesadillas and pork tamales, and then go visit my friends at The Palm Room. The store offers a very well curated selection of indoor plants, and the folks who work there are great. From there I’d head over to Elliott Bay Bookstore for a new book, and then sit down and read while enjoying a light snack at Oddfellows. Ask any friend of mine and they’ll tell you that my favorite restaurant in Seattle is Delancey. They serve the best pizza you’ll ever taste. I’d head there for dinner with some friends, follow it up with some handcrafted cocktails from Percy’s, and then see a show at the Tractor Tavern.
What do you love about Seattle? I love the different personalities of each neighborhood. West Seattle feels like a beach town. Ballard is a medley of salty dogs and foodies. Capitol Hill is full of energy. Phinney Ridge and Queen Anne tend to be a little bit more quiet. Everywhere is different, yet it all works so well together.
What would be surprising about Seattle to an outsider? Summer and fall here are incredible. You’d be hard pressed to find anywhere prettier.
If Seattle was a person or character who would it be? That smart and charming kid in your class who’s unassumingly handsome and has a bunch of secret talents and passions. I may or may not also be referring to myself. (Let me take you to coffee, ladies.)
Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Challenge yourself to think creatively, get out and explore, engage with people, and post what you enjoy.