Kate Benson Photography | Miami Fine Art Photographer | Everglades B&W

Opportunity, for a photographer, comes in many forms. In the beginning of my career, I wanted to take the camera everywhere. Today I know myself well enough to balance shooting. Professional photography, feels like it uses a different part of my brain than recreational photography did. Years ago, I read a study on professional athletes. The study had monitored their vitals while they worked out and observed that as soon as the athlete barely started to work out, sometimes just stepped onto a treadmill, their heart rates went up, their bodies started preparing for the workout before it started. Is it odd to say that is what it feels like to have my camera with me? I can do things but if I have my camera on hand, I am always a photographer. If my camera is within reach, I’m almost obsessively thinking about everything I see, asking, “is it worth getting my camera out for this moment?” But always, it isn’t till the camera is out that I know if it was worth it or not. When the camera is in my hand, I think differently. I’m organizing every angle of light, the world outside my lens blurs, my speaking, like my thinking, is concise, to the exact point. My husband, friends and family sometimes say I’m bossy. But the truth is, my brain just doesn’t work the same and it’s all about the shot. Not about anyone’s feelings, not about dangers, it’s about the light, the exposures, colors, compositions, it’s shooting. So I am careful. Recreationally, I rarely take my camera. I like that my friends and family like me and I don’t want them to disappear when I am making memories with them. Funny how a photo, recreationally captures a memory, but professionally it tells a story (true or not).
So a few weeks ago when I signed up to go on this amazing hike in the Everglades hosted by my friend Christopher (who works for the Florida Trail Association, which I joined, and highly recommend joining)! We would head a few miles south on one trail then due East, through the Everglades following not a trail but an old logging railroad until it met up with the Florida Trail a few miles later. Then we would head a bit more South to Roberts Lake (off trail but easier to find) hike around the lake, then back to the Florida Trail and a few more miles then back at the start. Confusing? How is this, we hiked a big Q shape where the bottom of the Q wasn’t on a trail. And I decided to bring my camera. The best shooting of the day was around Roberts Lake. The ground there, unlike most of the hike, was covered in water, and the swamp was just that, swamp. Yes there were alligators. And yes, snakes too. And a wonderful collection of other animals and plants. And yes, it was kind of scary to be walking around in the Everglades swamp, not being able to see what you were going to step on, or how deep you may sink into the mud and water, but it was beautiful.

I don’t know that I made any new friends on the trip. Holding my camera by default makes me way more serious. But fortunately most of the hikers were already friends (and family) that I know and love (and know me without a camera in my hand). So I believe they probably forgave me for any of my bossy/me first behavior that may have happened, and I suspect the hikers I didn’t know yet were perhaps distracted themselves by the beauty of the Everglades, or the direction of the compass when off course, or their cameras themselves. Some of these shots will likely show up as Wallpaper Wednesdays. But for the moment, here are two shots from around Roberts Lake, showing off the serious beauty of this giant park.


Kate Benson Photography Miami | Portrait Photographer | Fine art shots between looks

One of my goals, year after year is to shoot more fine art work. In a seminar I helped ASMP South Florida host this year on pricing and marketing your work, it was mentioned that if the genre of photography doesn’t make up a certain percent of your income, don’t focus on it. That said, I agree that maybe on your website you don’t focus on it, but when you are inspired to shoot something, whatever it is, shoot it. So that is what I did last week.  I had a portrait session I was shooting at the beach. Usually, in the time while people change, I am busy reviewing shots, making quick edits, etc. However on Thursday I decided to do some shooting for those moments. I dropped them on my computer and really loved some of them. This is one of my favorite shots!

Update on the fine art prints for Imoto, Palm Beach

My prints for the Palm Beach new restaurant Imoto were due to be finished today, I drove down to Color House in Miami to do one last quality control and two of the three prints looked great. But the third print was a little off (they caught the mistake before I got there but this is why you have to check over everything you do) they had already started removing it from the plexi mounting. There is a  reason they tell you it is a permanent adhesion to the Plexiglas when you frame this way. Removing the print completely ruins it and takes 3 guys. It was awesome. This was one of the rare times I actually had my point and shoot Panasonic Lumix with me and so I grabbed some photo’s and a little video of the process to show how messy it is.

Share worthy.

Andreas Gursky, Rhein II (1/6)

From The Online Photographers post yesterday, this was too good to not share (thanks to Dana for sending it along to me).

We have a new winner in the “$12 Million Shark Sweepstakes.” In a smack down of the piker owner of the paltry $3.89 million Cindy Sherman picture that held the record for mere months (since May), a German collector sold one of six copies of Andreas Gursky’s 1999 work “Rhein II” at Christie’s yesterday for $4,338,500 (including buyer’s premium).

And by the way, it’s a Photoshopped pic—there were elements in the scene Gursky didn’t like, so, in his words, “I decided to digitalize the pictures and leave out the elements that bothered me.”* (A. Gursky quoted in A. Ltgens, “Shrines and Ornaments: A Look into the Display Cabinet,” Andreas Gursky: Fotografien 1994–1998, p. xvi). “Like the painter, Gursky constructs his composition, removing all small arbitrary details interrupting his clean horizon.” (Peter Galassi, MoMA.)

It’s now the most expensive photograph ever. Of course, the clock is ticking—for how many months will this record last? Be afraid, Herr G., be very afraid….

—Mike, who’s definitely in the wrong end of this business
(Thanks to Howard French)”

Can I just say there is something to be said for a digital, photoshopped, unarchival image setting the record for highest price ever paid for a photograph? Imagine what a photo that would last more than 50 years would bring in!

The comments were hilarious, here are a few of my favorites:

Featured Comment by Jenny: “The level to which I don’t understand things has been brought to a record height.”

Featured Comment by Will Whitaker: “Gursky who?? Nevermind.

Kate Benson in The Light of Florida Exhibition, and other arty things to do this weekend.

In Florida, our summers are rough, let’s be honest. Photo shoots turn into games of dodge the thunderstorm/shoot before the sweat seeps through the model’s clothes or heat exhaustion sets in. So December is when we get our BBQs, beaches, basically we get outside back. Art is synonymous with December here in Miami. We have our wonderful Art Basel at the beginning of the month. So if this summer has felt a little long to you and you want to pretend it is December…. (or maybe this is just a really long winded lead into my plug). This weekend is perfect! We have Saturday night art walk in Wynwood where you can stroll through galleries sipping wine and discussing the artists intentions (museums, are you listening? wine + art = awesome). Tonight at Bakehouse an amazingly talented artist ENRIQUE SENDRA, has a solo exhibition opening (you may have read about it in the Miami Herald last Sunday, my good friend Matt wrote and photographed the article). Or if your residing in the north, The Light of Florida (an ASMP sponsored show) is up at the Mark K. Wheeler Gallery at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale -featuring a piece from yours truly.
Hope to see you at one of these stops this weekend!


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