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

 

04/8/15

Miami Jewelry Photographer Kate Benson | Arme de L’amour Jewelry Shoot

Last week, I worked with Arme de L’amour, a jewelry company planning to launch their website soon. They had a few ideas in mind as inspiration, so we worked to create a similar style while making their pieces look as fabulous in photos as they do in person.

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Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Working with the designer to style the shot. Photo: Kristin Stickels

It was a great day of shooting their wonderful pieces.

More work by Miami Jewelry Photographer Kate Benson.

03/25/15
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Product Photographer Miami Kate Benson | Jewelry Billboard in Miami

A few months ago, DiModolo hired me to shoot their e-commerce product shots for their website. The client liked the photos so much that they ended up using one for a billboard here in Miami.

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Follow this link for more work by Miami Product Photographer Kate Benson.

03/11/15
The wind was difficult at times, but we were flexible and moved inside for some shots.

Zacasha On Model Shoot

On Monday we had an on-model shoot for Zacasha, fabulously elegant bohemian necklace and bracelets. The shoot went really well. Jennifer, the designer, and her team had put together some great wardrobe choices for the carefully selected pieces we were to shoot. The models were fantastic and the weather was great (except for a little too much wind). We shot on location at the beach in Hollywood, and then at a private residence nearby. Here are some of the behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot.

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The early morning sun was gorgeous and provided us with some fantastic light.

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We took advantage of some of the unique parts of Hollywood Beach.

Shooting Laura and Ailidh together .

Shooting Laura and Eilie together .

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The wind was difficult at times, but we were flexible and moved inside for some shots.

The wind was difficult at times, but we were flexible and moved inside for some shots.

Having talented models is always a plus.

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Laying down was one way to beat the wind.

The private residence had a wide variety of areas to shoot in.

The private residence had an amazing backyard with a lot of variety.

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Melanie and Eilie.

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The tiki hut was a beautiful place to shoot.

It was a great day and we have loads of amazing photos to sort through. We’ll share some when we finish processing them.

A huge thanks to everyone who made it run so smoothly:
Jennifer – the designer
Melanie – her assistant who also modeled for us
Leah – Jennifer’s daughter who also modeled for us
Robin – the owner of the restaurant we used as our “home base” at the beach and the private residence
Alex – our “gopher”
Marina – our intern
Laura and Eilie – the models

03/9/15
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Miami Product Photographer | Photoshop – A Useful Tool, Not Divine Intervention

Post-production of photos is extremely important in product photography. In this blog, we will examine Photoshop and its uses and misconceptions.

What Photoshop is NOT: Photoshop is not divine intervention to airbrush your photo and make it suddenly incredible. There is a common misunderstanding that by using Photoshop, any photo can magically become amazing. This is most definitely not true.

What Photoshop IS: Photoshop is a wonderful tool that can help make great photos even better by modifying certain facets of the photo.

It is crucial to begin the post-production with an effective photo that conveys a compelling story relevant to the product. The old saying “garbage in – garbage out” is a very basic way of saying that if you begin with a poor photo, no amount of Photoshop in the world will be able to make that photo great. As a photographer, I do not cut corners during the shoot. I take my time and focus my energy to create the best photo possible. I am then able to enhance this photo with the various tools available in Photoshop.

Here is a list of things that Photoshop cannot fix, taken from the blog “Six Things You Can’t Fix in Photoshop,” by Shutterfinger:

  1. Camera position – if the camera is too close to the product, it is impossible to “back it up” in post-production
  2. Lighting direction and quality
  3. Focus
  4. Blurred image due to motion of the camera or subject
  5. Lost data
  6. Lack of creativity/spark/intent
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Here is an example of a jewelry shoot I did and then enhanced with Photoshop.

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Here is an example of necklaces that were not conscientiously shot and therefore would be difficult to improve with Photoshop (and certainly not cost-effective).

 



Click here for more info on Miami Product Photographer Kate Benson

03/6/15

Miami Product Photographer | Raw Image Files – Better Known as “Digital Negatives”

The term “raw file” is often mistaken or misunderstood. Nowadays, with everyone taking photos on their phone and sharing them with the world, the idea of a digital photo seems relatively straightforward and easy to comprehend. But that is not really the case. If you don’t fully understand the difference between a raw file, a processed file and a retouched file, don’t worry, you are not alone! This is a common issue that I hope to clarify here.

It is essential to distinguish between these three terms (raw files, processed files, and retouched files) in order to get exactly what you need and can use from a photo shoot. Sometimes clients will ask me for the raw files from the shoot when they actually meant to ask for the processed files (they want files that have not yet been retouched, but that are in a format that they can use).

So let’s start with the basics. First of all, it is important to know what a raw file is. Believe it or not, raw is not necessarily what you think it is. Many people think that “raw”simply means that it hasn’t been re-touched or edited using Photoshop or a similar program. This is not the case. To clarify, a raw file means “camera raw.” But what does this mean exactly?

Consider this: years ago when you wanted to shoot photos, you had a roll of Kodak film, for example. You placed the roll of film in your camera and began shooting. After you shot all 24 or 36 photos on the roll, you would typically take the roll of film to a photo center to have it processed. The roll itself was no good to you until it was processed. What you got back from the photo center was the developed film (as negatives or slides) and prints (if you opted to print them). In terms of the digital world of photography, think of the raw files as the undeveloped roll of film that has been shot, the processed files as the developed film and the retouched files as the prints that you would get.

Part of the reason we shoot tethered (with the camera attached to the computer by a cable in order to send the files directly to the computer) is so that we can show the client a preview of a processed file that doesn’t actually exist in reality yet. It hasn’t been processed at this point, but it can be viewed as if it were. Shooting tethered is a great way to give the client a general idea of what the photo is going to look like when it is processed. If I were shooting to a CD or memory card, you would not be seeing the hypothetical version of the image. You would be seeing the raw version which is hard to understand unless you know how to read them.

So, after the raw images are shot, they need to be processed. Clients hire me because they like my work and part of that work is file processing. It is the part of post-production that occurs after the shoot, where I make sure that when I give you the files, they look exactly like they are supposed to. In the past, when using film, photographers would shoot photos with the idea in mind of how we were going to process it. Pushing or pulling the film during the development process was a way to adjust what we shot in order to create the best image possible. Now, with digital images, this is done in the “digital darkroom” or in the processing phase of post-production. Some of the things that can be done during processing are (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format):

  • decoding – image data of raw files are typically encoded for compression purpose, but also often for
    obfuscation purpose
  • defective pixel removal – replacing data in known bad locations with interpolations from nearby locations
  • white balancing – accounting for color temperature of the light that was used to take the photograph
  • demosaicing – interpolating the partial raw data received from the color-filtered image sensor into a matrix of colored pixels.
  • noise reduction – trading off detail for smoothness by removing small fluctuations
  • color translation – converting from the camera native color space defined by the spectral sensitivities of the image sensor to an output color space (typically sRGB for JPEG)
  • tone reproduction – the scene luminance captured by the camera sensors and stored in the raw file needs to be rendered for pleasing effect and correct viewing on low-dynamic-range monitors or prints
  • compression – for example JPEG compression
  • removal of systematic noise – bias frame subtraction and flat-field correction
  • dark frame subtraction
  • optical correction – lens distortion correction, vignetting correction, and color fringing correction
  • contrast enhancement
  • increasing visual acuity by unsharp masking
  • dynamic range compression – lighten shadow regions without blowing out highlight regions

And after the images are processed, they are typically retouched.  Retouching is a digital way to make your photo look even better. Sometimes, in order to produce the best shot, you have to shoot multiple images and put these images together into one photo. This would occur in the retouching phase of the post production work. Jewelry photography is an excellent example of this.

So, as you can see, just as in the days of “old school” film, digital photography involves multiple steps that all lead up to the final, usable image. And hopefully this clears up the difference between a raw file, a processed file and a retouched file.

If you are still a little confused, here is another photographer’s explanation

Click here for more info on Miami Product Photographer Kate Benson

03/4/15

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

02/2/15

Miami E-commerce Photographer | Zacasha jewelry

Over the course of a week, we worked for Zacasha, a prominent jewelry designer with necklaces and bracelets at upscale stores. Our team consisted of Kate, Kristin (her assistant), Jennifer (the designer), and Jennifer’s daughter. Together, we worked to create the story of this gorgeous jewelry.

The pieces have an elegant Bohemian feel to them. The beads and tassels are so unique, and yet they work really well in groups. We decided it was best to tell the story in groups and develop a dreamcatcher effect.

We were lucky enough to get a few of the fabulous pieces. We wear it everywhere and everyone loves it! We get constant compliments on the necklaces and bracelets, with questions about where to get them.

These are some of the photos used on Zacasha’s website (http://www.zacasha.com/)

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In-house we decided to experiment and play around with the backgrounds to really make them pop. This is what we came up with:

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Here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot:

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Kate shooting Zacasha.

Photo: Kristin Stickels

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Working with Jennifer to style the product.

Photo: Kristin Stickels

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We took advantage of the studio space for organizing all the necklaces.

Photo: Kristin Stickels

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A closeup of some of the jewelry we were about to shoot.

Photo: Kate Benson