2013 Miami Photographer “That’s a Wrap!”

Congratulations on making it through another year! 2013 was a great year of working with long-standing clients and some awesome new ones too! Thank you to everyone who used Kate Benson Photography in 2013 and I hope that 2014 proves to be one of your best years yet.
In 2013, I photographed all kinds of things. Excitedly at the start of the year there were ad campaigns, lots of portraits, and products, while at the end of the year a big e-commerce photography push came in which really kept me busy. So during 2014, my resolution is to use my time as wisely as possible. Update my website (a frighteningly overdue project that keeps getting pushed to the back of my to do list), blog with at least a little more regularity, and shoot some personal work are all on my list. Seriously, I think some of those were on my 2013 resolution list as well. Does anyone ever do their resolutions? I’ll have to find out in 2014 I guess!

Stay tuned for a great 2014~



Gregory Crewdson Movie: Brief Encounters Update

A few months ago I posted a trailer for Ben Shapiro’s movie Brief Encounters about Gregory Crewdson and I’m happy to let everyone know that the movie has premiered this month (visit GregoryCrewdsonMovie.com for theaters near you).
Gregory Crewdson is one of my favorite photographers, and as I mentioned in the first post, left me with the impression of being a real awesome person. The evolution of his photography is a wonderful display of how an artists mind works. From what inspires him, to how he came to create images like he does, I’m sure that Brief Encounters will be just like Crewdson’s own work, stunning.

Florida theaters and show dates are:

Mos’ Art Theatre in Lake Park, FL: Nov 16-22

O Cinema in Miami, FL: Nov 16-21 (this one is around the corner from me, so I’ll be going one of these nights, let me know if you want to join!)

Miami Beach Cinematheque, Miami Beach, FL: Nov 14-18


I was so excited to learn that Ben Shapiro made this movie and I’m even more excited to see it! Hope you have the chance to catch it too!

Here is the official description:

“Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t just “take” his images, he creates them, through elaborate days and weeks of invention, design, and set-up. The epic production of these movie-like images is both intensely personal and highly public: they begin in Crewdson’s deepest desires and memories, but come to life on streets and soundstages in the hills towns of Western Massachusetts. In his decade-long project “Beneath the Roses” he uses light, color and character to conjure arresting images, managing a crew of 60 amidst seemingly countless logistical and creative obstacles.

Filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of his images. It also reveals the life-story behind the work—through frank reflections on his life and career, including the formative influences of his psychologist father and his childhood fascination with the work of Diane Arbus. Childhood fears and ideals, adult anxieties and desires, the influences of pop-culture all combine to form who we are, and for Crewdson, motivate his work.

There is no specific backstory, no before-and-after to Gregory Crewdson’s images, simply the moment that lends itself to mystery and intrigue. Hundreds of movie lights combine with the setting sun in a perfect moment of illumination.”

Producer, Director and Cinematographer
Ben Shapiro


The Clatter about Klamar

For those of you who aren’t big into the photo world, lately a particular group of pictures has created quite a buzz. Joe Klamar, a photographer with an incredibly successful 20 year career may have just taken the worst pictures of his life. So who cares, right? Photographers have off days and take bad shots every now and again. But when the job on the table is photographing the US Olympic Athletes, you don’t screw it up.
So I’ve been reading all the comments (and making plenty of my own) about the images. If you go to the guys website you can see, he doesn’t suck. But it looks like he sent an intern in to this gig, photographing some of the most accomplished Americans. What is blowing everyone’s minds is how could this photographer shoot people who have worked so hard their entire lives for this moment like bad senior portraits?

Here is the Kate Take: This is not what he shoots. If you go to Klamar’s website to view his award winning, internationally published, work you don’t see ANYTHING like this. To be well rounded in photography you have to shoot everything all the time. That is just not the way this industry works. What we are taught to do, conditioned by art buyers, agents, producers, etc, is to master one look. Make it synonymous with our names and success will come. So if you call a photographer at the top of his or her game, make sure you are calling because what you need is a shot that they take.

The AFP decided to send in one of their top guys to this. They thought, “hey! Let’s send Joe! He’s amazing!” they didn’t think, “which of our photographers is going to roll with the punches and be prepared for anything” since they clearly didn’t have the right idea of what this event was (as was made clear by Joe’s statements post-shoot, “I was under the impression that I was going to be photographing athletes on a stage or during press conference where I would take their head shots for our archives,” he explained. “I really had no idea that there would be a possibility for setting up a studio.” It was the first time AFP had been invited to participate in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Media Summit) this is a miscommunication that destroyed a photographers reputation.

The article the AFP put out for their damage control made it even more clear, using the pitch “we love these photos…. they are just what we wanted… yup! We’re very happy!!” I hate to be Debbie Downer here but no, I’m sure the AFP isn’t happy. But I’m sure Joe is even more upset. As a photographer, we know when we take crap pictures. Joe is the one who has to live with this. I didn’t know who he was until I saw these shots, many others are in the same boat. We only know him as the photographer who took the worst portraits of Olympians ever. He knows that is what we are all thinking.

Joe is a master of his shot, which now, I have to wonder, is he just getting lucky? Because of these images, a photographer I otherwise would have thought had a great eye I know think gets lucky. I think he puts the biggest CF card he has in that camera and holds the shutter down taking as many pictures as he can before the camera has to process it. One must be good, right? How else can we excuse the way he doesn’t look through the lens and see how horrid the angles he is shooting are? That there is ZERO connection between subject and photographer?

In my imagination, I see a photographer showing up unprepared and trying to fake it till he makes it. Jumping around, making a big production about how he is shooting and paying no attention to what he is shooting. Bravo for taking risks but if the angles don’t work, try another!

So form your own thoughts… take a look at these images and let me know, do you think this is just breaking the mold brilliance or are they crap pictures? This is the first page Google Images search…

Retouching for news, a big no-no

Looks like you still can’t get away with post production on news images. NPR published an article about a retouched image from Kim Jong Il’s funeral which had been retouched. Personally I think it’s a small edit on the image, not like they were trying to make the masses of mourners bigger for North Korea’s recently passed leader Kim Jong Il or anything… just straightening them up in a more orderly way. We all know how those North Koreans like to have things straight and orderly after all….
Check out the article and pictures here.

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