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!

Wallpaper Wednesday

A quirky wallpaper this week. Sort of reminds me of when I was a student at Rhode Island School of Design. I like the way it feels like a shot you would take when you first picked up a camera and started exploring. This was with my little point and shoot Lumix while I was at the barn my sister-in-law keeps her horse at. It was a great morning hanging with my niece and nephew as well. So one of these days I’ll get a chance to show some previews of all the work I’ve been doing! Three days into the week and I’ve photographed a singer, 3 models, and shoes already! Tomorrow and the next day are some much needed retouching days! Which means I’d love a friendly phone call from anyone to talk away the hours with me, any takers? anyone? no? Come on!!

The Great Scott

One of the best parts of my job is knowing that I’ve given images to a client that they’ve never expected. Because I love that moment so much it is not unusual for me to prime clients with a slightly lower expectation that what I know I can deliver (I know, a bad idea). So I listen to the needs they describe and then tell them where there will be trouble meeting those needs (if any) maybe make a few extra suggestions on how we could improve even more on those ideas and then strive to blow their minds with the final images. Of course after hiring me a few times that surprise goes away but when someone comes who just needs photos once it is my chance to do this all over again. It makes being a photographer worthwhile for me. A week ago I photographed Scott. He needed a collection of portraits for print and online usage (all personal). Scott was a great sport and really trusted me. I knew we had some really awesome photos that day and with his permission, here is one of my favorites:

Wallpaper Wednesday

There was almost no internet where I was this week. Considering that remember, there are only so many emails you can respond to while typing on your phone (sweet, sweet, computer keyboard… I’ve missed you). So only getting to the few emails that couldn’t possibly wait I’ve been catching up all afternoon. North Carolina in June is beautiful, but you’ll have to wait till next week to see some of it. I just don’t have any shots I can have ready in time for today’s wallpaper. So instead, here is a shot from a few trips ago of the California coastline (you could pretend that lighthouse is on the Outer Banks if you like). Enjoy!

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