Ben Tanzer


One morning, while getting ready for school, I was playing Super Mario World and wiggling my loose tooth with my tongue in a demonstration of unrivaled concentration. It was one of the Special Zone levels—“Way Cool” for those who are familiar—and I had died quite a few times at a particular jump. You have to dangle from a motorized rope that takes you through an infestation of black, fuzzy enemies with the grins of madmen to the safe platform on the other side of the abyss. I’d be doing great, my adrenaline building, and the growing sensation that this time was different would bubble up from my gut; I could make this jump!

And then I’d fall.

That black screen with Mario's face would pop up, the life counter would go down a notch, and the process would start again. Now, layer in the fact that I needed to beat this level before school and you have a veritable powder keg of tension. I was so frustrated that one particular time I actually jumped with Mario, knowing, as all 6 year-olds do, that I was giving Mario the extra help he needed. Lo and behold, as I landed on the blue carpet of my room, Mario landed onto the green and white platform. And, as though in a slow-motion ending to a 1990's action sequence, that loose tooth came flying out of my mouth; all before school started.


20+ later, I've taken that tooth-losing level of passion and commitment in my pursuits and applied it to my career.

I'm currently on a major quest traveling the world with my wonderful husband, taking photos and looking for opportunities to grow.


Shooting with a Canon 5d Mark iv.

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