Charleston Fashion Photographer | Kate Benson | Zacasha 2016 Boho

How do I talk about Zacasha? Do I write about the designs that you can’t help but want to collect all of? Do I talk about how fascinating a business Jennifer created and how it just exploded into something bigger and better than anyone ever imagined?

I guess you have to know Jennifer the owner and designer to know what Zacasha really is. Working with her free spirit and creative mind is like chasing genius. You can try and follow along as best you can but will never catch up. She works and reworks everything she contacts and you can’t help but be swept up in the spirit of this creative process and applaud the art it produces.

I shot their 2015 campaign and this spring (yes, it’s taken that long to write about it) I photographed the 2016 campaign. Jennifer had 2 days of shooting, a Boho day and a 1920’s day. These are a few of my favorite images from the Boho day.

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The colorful free feeling of the boho shoot mirrored Jennifer’s spirit. It was such a privilege to work together again. Jennifer on top of being a very talented designer and business woman also is a fantastic stylist and art director.

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I have to start with those shots of Tamara from Elite Miami. Tamara really got excited at the casting, her boho energy matched the brands, and on set, she moved and danced in the true spirit of the shoot. She chameleons into the character you give her and won the hearts of everyone on set.

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Our second model was the gorgeous Jade from Wilhelmina. Her exotic beauty was a perfect canvas for both our shoot days.

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There were way too many beautiful shots to choose from, I shot close to 2,000 photographs that day. So as you can imagine, the idea of going through them all and choosing favorites has been overwhelming!

So here are just a few more, and maybe, with any luck, I’ll get to go through these later and find my true favorites. In the meantime, let me know which of these is yours. I’ll take any help I can get editing this batch!

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This last shot really captures how I feel trying to pick a favorite.


Charleston Fashion Photographer | Beija Flor Jeans shoot | Kate Benson Photography

If you saw my post with my new business card designs (or my Instagram), you may spot a familiar shot or two here. These were shot for Beija Flor Jeans and the product is truly great. I’m anxiously waiting for it to cool down so I can wear my 3 new pairs (yes, 3!!). These flatter your behind like nothing I’ve seen before, and who doesn’t want that (sure beats that time I bought Burberry Jeans a size too small so my booty would look awesome and broke the zipper)?

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I was on set in Miami when they called to discuss a new add campaign. They wanted to do something in the Charleston area but were still playing with ideas. Ironically, when they first suggested jeans on a boat, I was not on board (pun intended). However, the mother/daughter team behind Beija Flor patiently discussed the in’s and out’s of the brand with me so I could help conceptualize the project. There was no formal art director on this shoot so I wanted to make sure that I could deliver the company’s vision and energy. What came across to me clearly was that these jeans were something women had been waiting for. The cuts lifted and accentuated all the right curves and the waistline was high enough to move around in without being restrictive. The product is great and I identified with it quickly!

Nice jean cuts can make your behind look like that!

Nice jean cuts can make your behind look like that!

Part of what the ladies emphasized were their colors. Blues and whites dominated the brand’s palate and soon it became clear that a boat was exactly where to shoot.

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Early morning I joined our model Brittany Harvey (with Directions USA), makeup artist Pamela Lesch (with Prime Time Pretty), and the Beija Flor Jeans team, Kathy, Emilie, and Anna at the hotel and then headed over to our fishing yacht.

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Throughout the day, the rain held off and gave us some beautiful light. Brittany looked amazing in the jeans and did a fantastic job modeling. She really embraced the energy that fit the brand.

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As always, I’m so excited to have new work to share and am really happy to have met and worked with Beija Flor Jeans. I love being a based in Charleston fashion photographer!


Charleston Product Photographer | Amazing Amazon Photography

It may not be common knowledge but I have a second business and website that I’ve been building called Product Photo Lab (PPL for short). The website is still in the works, but there is some basic content up there. Finding openings in my schedule to fix and revise the work in progress that is PPL is really tough.

Recently though, despite the website not being as ready as I would like it to be, I’ve been getting contacted and doing some work through it. This isn’t my usual work, as you already may have guessed by the title of this blog post, but I’m really excited that the website is starting to generate some calls, and therefore enthusiastically making time to do the work.

One of the unexpected places that I’ve been contacted to produce images for is Amazon listings. These shoots are usually pretty quick but the clients are looking for something a bit more refined to help their products stand out and hopefully get that coveted number 1 ranking on Amazon.

I’ve learned quite a few of tips on how images sell on Amazon in this process. Products in environments and in use will generally outsell those that are just plain white shots. Additionally, Amazon does require the first shot to be on an all pure white background (which has some specifics to it as well, most of my readers already know what “pure white” is but if you don’t, it’s is a rating of 255 in all color channels). So this has presented interesting challenges (which I love). One client, had a glass water bottle that he sold as a set of 6 and single. Here was what the bottle started with:

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Photographing a clear empty bottle isn’t very flattering. So I filled it with water letting the light gradient throughout the inside (trick one).

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Then we put very carefully selected liquids into the bottles so the colors wouldn’t get dark and murky (trick two).

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Lastly, I asked how he felt about fresh plants in the bottles, which he seemed willing to entertain, and viola!

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I was able to product a collection of photographs for him where the shots met Amazon’s specifics but the shots had enough color and vibrancy to pop off the page when compared to other bottles! Happily, he is already on page 1 for his requested search terms and selling like crazy! After discussing what the client needed, I composited 6 of these shots together to create his opening image on Amazon. Here is a look at what he sent me for art direction (also what the competition happens to be showing).

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This is what his listing looks like this today:

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As I mentioned before, I’ve worked with quite a few Amazon clients lately. Here are a few more shots just to give you an idea what being a product photographer in Charleston is keeping busy with!

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This client wanted in environment and shots with a model using the product:

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Product Photographer Charlotte and Charleston | From Dallas with Love | Crown & Buckle with Motto

 

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Flash Back Friday today bringing you the final product photography for Crown & Buckle’s new Black Label line. I shot this earlier this year on studio location in Dallas TX. Thomas, proud owner and visionaire behind Crown & Buckle teamed up with superstar branding agency Motto to bring me in on this shoot. Sunny and Ashleigh from Motto had a strong vision for the sleek and sophisticated images that needed to be incorporated into the launching of Black Label. Crown & Buckle makes beautiful watch straps and we wanted to make sure that the photography for this line illustrated the quality of these products.

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I’ve had the pleasure of working remotely with Motto before but this was the first time we were able to all get together on set. It’s great that I can work with clients from almost anywhere in the country without having to be there in person, but this shoot Motto wanted to be on set for and they really brought their vision with them. It was a great day!

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Since the product C&B sells is straps (not watch faces) we had the intriguing challenge of making sure the straps were the star of the shots. As a product photographer, I always hope to get to do this kind of work because it is equally challenging and rewarding to do.

That day, as well as within a short time after (back in Charleston), I photographed images on brand for their website and social media pages. This is the final product:

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For more Charleston product photographer work, visit my site katebenson.com!


Fashion and Product Photographer | Charleston, SC | New Business Cards

As you can imagine, as is true every time a lull in my photo blog comes, I’ve been quite a busy bee lately (So you can be busy as a South Carolina Product Photographer)! A small preview of the time transpired since my last post in May is this: I bought a house (yay!!), moved, shot thousands of pieces of clothing and more than a few pretty cool products, travel to Miami a few times, met and photographed lots of beautiful models (in both Miami and Charleston) and somehow, finished a book. A single book. Since May. Because life is a spin of working and mom-ing with a bit of sleep and food here and there right now. So as I sit in my new office with boxes still very packed around me, I sit to type another overdue blog post. The boxes will have to wait.

A quick preview of some of my new photography comes to light in my new business cards. Last week on an impromptu road trip around South and North Carolinas to meet with some of the people based here that I’ve started working with (or would love to have the chance to work with), I was rather embarrassed as I handed out my very old, desperate for an update, business cards (I sit shaking my head as I write this). Let’s just say, they did not match my work at this point. So off to Moo.com I went and with the help of some restrictions (yes, I HAD to have gold foil on mine and no, there was no room in the budget for custom placement, so the templates were inevitable) I created a few pretty new cards to introduce my brand.

The cards will have 4 different images on the front, 2 fashion, one lifestyle and one product. Being a versatile product photographer and enjoying the crossing of thresholds that let me still play and explore creativity, I wanted cards that could be specific to the needs of each client. So without further adieu, here are 3 of my 4 designs (one will be shown and given out after the images release).

Besos!

First, a shot from a recent shoot in Charleston for Beija Flor Jeans:

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Next, a favorite of mine from a photoshoot for Boca Terry:

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Third, a sophisticated still life for Crown & Buckle:

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Lastly and not nearly as exciting, my contact info:

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As always, head on over to my website for more based in Miami and Charleston product photographer work!


Fashion Photographer | Kate Benson | Cosabella Summer 2016

It is hard to stay on top of when and where my work is printed. My genre is complex since I shoot products and have no bias as to on what or how. I just think deeply and explore products visually with my camera. So despite being a product photographer, I often lean towards more of a fashion photographer. It is logical, many of the products I shoot are fashion products and often brands who start working with me one way, trust and ask me to shoot their products other ways. Cosabella is a great example of where working together small lead to much bigger shoots. This was shot last fall and has just released. Fashion_Photographer_Kate_Benson_Advertising_Photographer014

You can imagine it is hard for me to track down my work when the time between shooting and printing is so long. Cosabella is really awesome about it though and they often sneak me a catalogue way before it is seen by anyone else. It is a small but very appreciated gift to get to see the shots finalized months before they go live. This season has some of my favorite lingerie to date, btw. I’ll take one of each of the above, thanks.

Also on their homepage was another shot from that day, the Align Shoot. Cosabella has some fantastic (and super stylish) activewear.

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What I wasn’t expecting to find was a shot we took last month for maternity! This sweet and beautiful model was sandwiched between two shots from over half a year ago! Fashion_Photographer_Kate_Benson_Advertising_Photographer015

Cosabella is just about the only place that makes really cute maternity. I wish I had known when I was pregnant! Somewhere, I scanned some more shots from the new Summer 2016 catalog and will share here when I find them! For now, enjoy!

 


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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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).

 


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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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.