05/3/16

Charleston Fashion Photographer | Kate Benson | Collaborating with Alexandra Styles

Do you know what is wonderful? Finding a team in Charleston, SC who can produce greatness in front of a camera with me. On a locals beach on Sullivan’s Island, the week before last (wow, time flies) I collaborated with a fantastic stylist Alexandra Munzel for Alexandra Styles (check out this fantastic Charleston Stylist‘s Instagram for some of her most recent work).

Alexandra conceptualized the shoot (stripes), did a fantastic pull, and primarily produced the shoot. She then was the first one ready on set. So to all my Miami (and beyond) followers/readers, take note. These are the beaches in Charleston (and I’m pretty beach bias shooting in Miami the last 9 years). This was all shot with local talent. Our model Maribeth, is represented by Directions USA and a local Carolina girl. Hair and makeup is by Emily Allyson, also local.

So bravo to the team. I’m happy with this and it is the first time in YEARS I shot fashion for fun and not work. I’m looking forward to having this group, especially Alexandra, on set again soon.

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03/24/16

Charleston Commercial Photographer | Dear Sleep,

Dear Sleep,

I have really missed you lately. Between flying to Miami, Dallas, and Miami again this month, it’s been busy. Let’s add to that, Sam traveling “literally” (shout out to you Miami) every other business day that I wasn’t away, has made it even more crazy. So it’s been on the road, getting home to single working mom life, the back on the road, repeat. But this morning, I slept until 7:15am. A number that used to be missed by me because I slept through it. A number that lately, over the last few years, I see after hours of being awake.

So as I noticed myself with a bundle of energy (headed to the gym in a bit), I also noticed as I responded to my emails a different tone. Everyone is my buddy. When responding to quote requests it’s all smile emoji this, wink emoji that, and lots of over exaggerated exclamation points. “Oh, my email went into the wrong folder and did the shoot with someone else and wish it had been me? NO WORRIES!!! 🙂 🙂 Maybe next time! Hope the shoot went well!!!” And that crazy part, I actually feel this way. It’s been so long, so so so long, since I had a full night of sleep.

One of my best friends Marisol used to be a client. She would always tease me because I have the WORST customer service (okay, maybe it isn’t the worst, but it is usually all business and getting straight to the point). A few years ago, my agent at the time told me I wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone without actually physically smiling because it came across in my voice (a quick note, I never had any idea I could possibly be coming across badly! I always have had a lot of respect for everyone and try and be really good about that to anyone reaching out). So as I’m writing my overly friendly emails this morning, responding to quote requests, I just started laughing. Turns out, all along, the only thing stopping me from being “all business” and “overly friendly” was just a bit more sleep. There is a balance in here somewhere I’m sure.

 

And on that note, it’s off to be super productive (hopefully).

 

02/11/16

Starting over, sort of. | Charleston, SC Photographer, whhhhaattt?

Yup. Charleston. South Carolina. Funny story about this, I went to a psychic years and years ago (Okay, I LOVE that kind of thing, now you know I’m a nerd too). I wanted to get out of Miami so badly it hurt. She told me that it would happen and when it did I was going to move somewhere I never in a million years would decide to move. She said when I visited this place, Sam and I would both just know it was where we were supposed to be. That was like, 6 years ago. 6 YEARS. So she was completely right. No offense, but I’m a Yankee girl from NH who moved to the capital of Latin America (Miami, hello) for 9 years. Let’s just say, I didn’t expect our politics to match and that people would like this left wing, immigrant lover, civil rights supporter who can’t and won’t keep her mouth shut about things she believes in. But here we are. And we are so head over heels in love with this place.

Now you also know why I’ve been completely silent on the blog front for so many months. Last summer, work was going crazy. I was so busy that my team of girls and I were all pushing 40+ hours a week to complete all the projects coming in. Then in October, Sam go the offer we couldn’t refuse. Not only was it a great company asking him to come, but they flew me out with him for the interview so I could see Charleston, and boom, fireworks. We were smitten. So he had to start by the end of the month. That gave us about 3 weeks to pack our house, find a new home, and move. Did I mention this is all with a toddler running around?

With the help of the most amazing girls in the world (who I miss everyday), we made it here. The next few months became a spiral of flights back and forth from Miami, unpacking and house hunting, finding childcare and learning our way around, making friends, hosting visitors, and working like crazy. To pretend this has calmed down is a lie. It’s still a whirlwind of chaos. But I do have some organization to it. I have a space here I shoot in. It’s not my ideal studio yet so once we do buy a house I can start searching for my studio. I kept my Miami studio (well, Fort Lauderdale one) and so when I fly back I have that space for shooting which is great. Turns out Jetblue has just started direct flights from Charleston to Fort Lauderdale, which are about 1.5 hours long, how great is that! So it’s let me keep running the business in Miami that I need to and still do smaller jobs here. Most clients are shipping me everything unless it is on model and then I have been flying down. It is working out incredibly well.

So there you have it. The reason I’m off the grid for so long and you aren’t seeing me around anywhere. For all my clients, thank you for still working with me even though it is a little more production now to get me there! I love you all so much!! And of course, if anyone fancies a trip to Charleston, you are always welcome! And I’m not really starting over because I am still in South Florida, I’m just ALSO in Charleston now. 😉

With that, I’ll show a few personal shots (aka, cell phone, facebook captures) of life here so far, so I can share how amazing it has already been!

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06/29/15
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Miami Product Photographer Kate Benson | Down on The Ranch

A few weeks ago, I did a two-day shoot at a ranch in Davie, Florida. This was the beginning of a busy eight full days of shooting for two different clients. This particular shoot was for Cosabella, whose team is wonderful to work with. The location had pastures, horse corrals, a cabin and working windmill, barns, a true western town and an authentic saloon. They also had all kinds of animals including horses, cows, goats, sheep, donkeys and even camels. The baby animals were adorable. It was fun exploring our various options for shooting all around the ranch.

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The western town provided a great background for our shots. Photo: Kristin Stickels

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The camels were certainly entertaining. Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Photo: Kristin Stickels

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We fell in love with the baby goat named Ice Cream. Photo: Amelia

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I had a little friend following me around. I think he wanted my bagel. Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Mabel the baby calf was so cute. Photo: Kristin Stickels

Thanks to the wonderful Cosabella team and Livestock for Reel for a successful shoot.

More work by Miami Still Life Photographer Kate Benson.

06/26/15

E-Commerce Photography Terms Defined | Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson

As a still life and product photographer, I realized that there are a lot of terms used in the industry that might not be entirely clear. So, I thought I would define them here and explain how my team and I can help you get the right photos for your needs.

e-commerce images:  These are photos of your product that customers click on to purchase the product. These shots may be photographed on model or as a still life of just the product alone and can be resized to fit dimensions that your web designer requires. E-commerce images can further be broken into two categories: catalog page images and product images. Catalog page images are the library or the main page that people go to which shows an overview of the products available. The product image is the single image of the product which may show the item from various angles.

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An example of catalog page images.

 

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An example of a product image.

 

Banners and intro images: These are photos that are used as headers and on home pages for websites, like a mini ad, to draw customers in. They can be still life, on location, or on model and use a variety of ways to incorporate imagery.

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An example of an intro shot on a website.

 

Advertising images: These are photos that you might need for trade show posters, magazine ads, billboard ads, etc.

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An example of an advertising image. Photo: Marina Peniza

 

Wholesale images:  These are photos for use on sites such as Amazon, Belks, Macy’s, etc. Simply send us the guidelines that are requested by the site and we will cater your photos to these needs.

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An example of a wholesale image

 

Social Media images: These are photos for use on sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Using the guidelines from these sites and your brand’s image, we create photos to promote your products on social media.

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An example of a social media shot

 

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Another example of a shot used on social media. This one was used as the cover photo on Facebook.

 

Lookbook images: These are photos for use in a company’s catalog that portray the “feel” of the product. Catalogs are mailed to clients and serve as a widespread way to promote the products.

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An example of a lookbook shot

 

Line sheet images: These are photos that are basic and to-the-point which give facts for use in helping retail buyers place orders of your product.

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An example of a line sheet image

Whatever your product photo needs are, we can work with you to develop images that are right for your company.

More work by Miami Product Photographer Kate Benson.

05/29/15
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Miami Fashion Photographer |Kate Benson | Double Exposure

Last week I photographed two beautiful girls for Windsor Avenue Jewelry. From that point on it has been a very busy time for my team and I at Kate Benson Photography! That said, with the help of my girls, we wrapped up early today (well almost, just waiting for one more client to get me a retouching list). So I took the time to snap some images out around my home and play with double exposure. I’ve loved the look of double exposure for a while and really wanted to do something with it. So here it is, be sure to let me know which of these is your favorite!

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05/22/15

Miami Advertising Photographer Kate Benson | Light Test for Cosabella’s Upcoming Campaign

Cosabella, a client I frequently work with, hired me to shoot their “resort wear” campaign. Their inspiration shots showed some fairly intricate lighting involving colored gels, which I knew would need to be tested out prior to the actual shoot day. So, instead of waiting until the first day of the shoot to nail down the exact lighting that they were aiming for, I spent some time testing out various light set-ups beforehand. This way, on the day of the shoot we would know exactly what the set-up was and would have it all ready so that the models could simply walk onto the set and we could begin shooting without delays.

We worked with Felipe, a local lighting technician and gaffer, to get an additional perspective on the lighting that Cosabella was looking for. His expertise was invaluable, as he had ideas that ended up being quite beneficial to the test. My assistant Kristin was the stand-in for the model and after each shot we examined the shadows and colors for precision.

When were certain we had the lighting exactly as we needed it, I took careful notes in order to be able to replicate the set-up for the actual shoot days.

Taking notes on the lighting set-up. Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Noting down the gel colors we used on each light. Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Comparing the inspiration shots with the actual shots. Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Studying our set-up. Photo: Kristin Stickels

 

05/20/15

Miami Product Photographer Kate Benson | Making an Impact with Your Photos for Email Blasts

As a product photographer, I shoot quite a bit of e-commerce shots which are used for various things such as websites, ad campaigns, and on-model photos for look books. I also shoot social media shots for clients’ Instagram and Facebook pages. In addition, many clients need photos for their email blasts as well. One option is to shoot photos specifically for these email blasts. Another option is to use photos that we have previously shot for e-commerce. Either way, I can help you to create the photos you need to make a positive lasting impression in your email blasts.

Here are a few examples of photos that were originally shot on-model for Cosabella’s look book but were included in some recent email blasts:

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Here are a few examples of still life product shots that were originally shot for Cosabella’s look book and were then included in their recent email blasts:

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And lastly, here are examples of photos that were originally shot as e-commerce photos for Donald J Pliner’s website, but were also included in their email blast:

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More work by Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson.

05/11/15

Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson | Donald J Pliner

Donald J Pliner, one of my steady e-commerce clients, recently sent out an e-blast with my photos promoting their men’s driving loafers and women’s summer favorites.

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And they also updated their website with a compilation of my shots as their intro for their men’s and women’s best sellers as well as their summer “must-haves.”

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More work by Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson.

05/7/15

Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson | Cosabella’s Mother’s Day Promotion

Recently, my client Cosabella teamed up with Dana’s bakery to collaborate on a Mother’s Day promotion. For this, they needed some still life shots of a few of Cosabella’s signature pieces with some of Dana’s Bakery’s tasty macarons. It’s always a blast shooting for Cosabella!

Here are a few of the photos they used in their e-blasts as well as on their Facebook page.

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More work by Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson.