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!

 


E-commerce Photographer Miami | Kate Benson | Client Feedback

After our shoot with Jennifer Belcourt, the owner and designer of Zacasha, I received a wonderful email thanking me. Jennifer had previously expressed to me how difficult it was at times to convey her wide-ranging ideas and how sometimes people became frustrated with her because she is an extremely artistic thinker.

This is an excerpt from her email:

 “Shooting with both of you was honestly a real moment of pleasure, in total peaceful creative harmony between us! Even though, when it comes to my artistic way of expression, I am so crooked in my mind and often scaring or annoying people around me, I never had this feeling with you. Thank you so much. I respect your work a lot and that you commit heart and soul to your shooting with us. Even committed your arm muscles, Lol! You totally dedicate yourself to your work and have an amazing balance between creating and staying focused!!!!
Thank you so much , I am so glad we met! I love your pictures !!!!

Big big kisses,
Jennifer”

It was a true pleasure working with Jennifer and translating her ideas to beautiful photos. We are thrilled that she was so happy with how well the shoot went.

 

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Click here for more info on Miami E-Commerce Photographer Kate Benson


Miami Product Photographer | Kate Benson| Christian Roth Eyewear Composites

One of the best parts about shooting e-commerce photography is seeing how much more clients can do with the images I deliver! My client Christian Roth has fabulous eyewear! I’ve posted about it a few times because I really just love shooting it so much! A few weeks ago, Christian and Eric posted on their Instagram these incredibly creative composites. I had to grab a few screen shots of them and reshare. My personal favorite is the sunglasses set. If you think this is cool, you should see their website!

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Naturally, I have a pair that I wear every. single. day.

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Miami Product Photographer | Kate Benson | Cosabella and FX’s The Americans Team Up!

Recently, my client Cosabella has teamed up with FX to collaborate on a project for their show The Americans. In the cross promotion, they needed some sexy still life shots of a few of their signature pieces. The still life was designed out with FX to go along with window displays and other in store cross overs. It was a bit last minute when they called for the shots because everything needed to happen fast enough for FX to have time to do design work on the shots but we made it work! As always, I had a blast shooting for Cosabella!

Here are a few of my shots in use on Cosabella’s website and email blast:

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For a bit more info, check out Cosabella’s blog post on “The Official Curated Collection for Fx’s The Americans

 


E-Commerce Photographer South Florida | Website Product Photographer

Last week, the on-model images that I shot for Cosabella’s Fall 2014 debuted on their website. This shoot is a great example of the synthesis of product photography in still life e-commerce and on-model photos. In this photo you can see both types of images.

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Pajamas are certainly not easy to shoot due to their “comfortable” nature. There is a lot of material to work with and the structure is often boxy, which doesn’t give much shape to the garment. Here you can see the difference between the still life photos of the pajamas and the on-model shots. The still life images show the important details of the garment and the on-model shots convey a lifestyle image to the consumer.

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Still life photos show details of the garment.

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On-model shots convey a lifestyle image to the consumer.

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In addition, two of my still life shots were used in email blasts. For these particular still life images, you can see how there had to be some foresight as to the placement of graphic design or text which might be inserted into the frame, so I purposely left space in the photo to allow for this.

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As you can see, by elevating the photography for your website, you’ve elevated your brand.


E-Commerce Photographer South Florida | Photography Studio South Florida

Last week I moved into a fabulous new studio space. Although my old studio is extremely functional, I was quickly outgrowing it and was quite happy to find this new, larger space. It is an industrial-style studio in Fort Lauderdale’s Art District so the neighborhood is fun and funky and the space has a “New York” feel to it.

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Photo Credit: Gary James

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Photo Credit: Gary James

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Photo Credit: Gary James

Our first shoot took place last Saturday and was quite successful. In fact, all the little details of the studio space helped contribute to the shoot. From the rustic wood tables to the vintage 1913 letterpress to the old fashioned tools decorating the place, all the charm of the studio ended up being perfect as additional features we used in the shoot.

The client was Crown & Buckle, a watch band manufacturer with products made from gorgeous leather and nylon. We had an ambitious list with 35 shots on it which included on-model shots as well as still-life photos. Our mission was to shoot their online marketing imagery that would be used as intro shots, banner shots, e-commerce shots and product shots, as well as for social media and email blasts, so we had a variety of tasks for the day.

The studio has an east-facing glass door that brings in the most spectacular golden morning light. We took advantage of the light as much as possible, shooting the watch bands on the letterpress and the conference table, which were near the east wall. We also did some of the on-model shots there as well.

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As shown on Crown & Buckle’s Instagram page, the morning sun gave us incredible lighting.                          Photo credit: Taffney Lathrop

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The natural wood conference table made an excellent background for our shots. Photo credit: Kristin Stickels

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The natural lighting was useful for the on-model shots as well. Photo credit: Kristin Stickels

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Making decisions with the clients and stylist. Photo credit: Kristin Stickels

The owners of the company had brought quite a few props for us to use for the shoot. Old-style American flags, Christmas lights, their tools, a papier maché mounted deer head, a mounted deer head made of cardboard, scraps of leather, and they even had snippets of evergreen trees Fed Exed down from Wisconsin (because we don’t really have pine trees in South Florida). One of the best lines of the day came from Taffney as she opened the Fed Ex package and got a whiff of the contents. “It’s like Christmas in a box!” she exclaimed.

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Using the evergreens as a festive prop. Photo credit: Kristin Stickels

Motto is the branding agency based in South Carolina that had recommended me to the client. While they were not physically present at the shoot, we were able to send them batches of photos from the shoot for their instant feedback. The studio also had two flat screen televisions with Apple TV, so I was able to immediately show the client the shots I took on my camera from my computer.

All in all it was a great day at the new studio and we loved getting to know the people at Crown & Buckle and Motto.

For the moment, I am testing out the new studio space for a month to see if it is going to fit my needs, but so far so good. I will be sharing the space with The Guild 5 Forty Five members Gary James, photographer, and Kim Grijalva, creative director.