Miami Travel Photographer | Kate Benson Photography | Sailing with the 50mm 1.2L

I’ve been daydreaming this summer. The lenses I’ve had have served me well but it has been quite a while since I added one to my collection. When I needed a special lens, I rented them from But I have a rule, don’t rent the lens 3 times. So I started lusting for the 50mm 1.2L Canon lens. The Bokeh is untouched (in my opinion). But I could only find the willpower to resist for so long and the lens arrived. As I’ve written about before, I don’t usually shoot while being social. My brain has a hard time switching back and fourth which leaves me in the work mode full time and not always very communicative. But when my husband and I were invited to come along for a moonrise sailing picnic, I couldn’t resist bringing along the new beauty.

Few things in life are as relaxing as sailing on calm waters with light breezes. Add in good company, tasty food, and a few beers, you can imagine the relaxation deepens. As we casual sailed around Biscayne Bay between 79th st causeway and Bal Harbor causeway, I found that the 50mm was everything I hoped it would be. As the light grew dim, the 1.2 f-stop preformed great. The weather did not preform as well forcing me to tuck away my gear and switch out of work mode to relax and chat with good friends. I highly, highly recommend investing in prime lenses as soon as your budget allows. It’s easy to be lazy and just zoom in or out and primes will keep you on your toes will delivering stunning results. Bellow are some of my favorites from the day, a combination of portraits and details. As we sailed, I spotted another photographer with a 600mm chasing another sailboat around to get shots, maybe next time I’ll have to try that. But if he or she knew anything about light, I’m sure that other photographer was not disappointed as the light was truly beautiful.


Miami Product Photographer | Kate Benson Photography | Riide/inc Miami shoot

Two weekends ago I was contacted by my friend who is starting a vintage car/motorcycle restoration company called Riide/inc. He had two vehicles that he needed shot on that weekend as one of the two (the Nissan 280ZX) had already sold and was going to the client Sunday afternoon. We played with different ideas but knew we wanted a location shoot; so we broke out Google Earth and started browsing for the right location (truthfully, we then gave up on Google Earth and I called my friend who works for the Florida Trail Association and he told me where the spot was with everything we wanted). This weekend we’ll be shooting more for Riide/inc as they already have a great inventory of vehicles, but here are a few of my favorite shots from the first round.

Miami Photographer | Kate Benson Photography | Reflecting

You have to admit, it’s a bit amazing. Beautiful images are everywhere. Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, websites dedicated to collecting beautiful images. Recently I heard it mentioned that this has really changed the industry of wedding photography. Brides-to-be collect and fall in love with images of how they want their day to be and be remembered. This becomes an expectation that is passed onto the photographer, pushing them to be better and better. The same is for commercial, business to business photographers. But often, we aren’t being pushed by a client but by ourselves. One of my most loved friends (you know who you are) works for Adidas as an art buyer put it well, “we want to see how creative and exciting the work you do on your own is so our art directors can tell you exactly what to do” (okay, that may not have been the exact quote but it went something like that). This is what my portfolio lacks. I’ve been going through my blog to do some much needed key wording and in full honestly, cringed more than once at what images I posted. In my blog, I post quickly, I think “I liked that shot from today” and write up a little post and publish it. In my portfolio I sit and stare at my images for weeks/months/years and if I still love them after all that time, let is become part of my work that represents me. So naturally, the quality of images on my website blow away those on my blog. As they should. That is what the website is for. It is our portfolio. But the blog still has my name on it and thus, it still important.
So my goal has been (for a couple of years  now) and continues to be, what do I want to shoot for me? Staring for hours and hours at an outstanding image doesn’t mean it is what I want to create. But it does mean that I recognize greatness in a shot (thank you RISD for that). Oh the amazing photo editor I could be (but for the right publication, I couldn’t go through editing pictures of horrific events to find the one that was just the right amount of shock without too much goriness to represent the publication). Once again, those editing skills I can thank RISD for. As I wrote about earlier this week, Mike Brodie really inspired me. But a huge part of starting a project is letting yourself off the hook. It is complete illusion to believe every image you create will sell and will represent you. I have to work really hard to let go of the voice in my head asking “how is this going to market? how is this going to represent me?” and start listening to that other voice, the one that is quieter and yet always there that identifies what I find beautiful. Then, just have a camera with me and shoot. I think by shooting more, constantly, perhaps, I’ll fall into what I love. Around me are amazing people who create beauty everywhere. They create beautiful food, invite me to beautiful places, are just plain beautiful inside and out, and perhaps by not shooting these moments I’m doing them and myself a disservice.

So that is the goal, let’s see if I can stumble upon that thing that I must shoot. Stand bye for hopefully some new images to come!

Kate Benson Photography Miami | Travel Photography | Wallpaper Wednesday

This was taken with my new fancy phone the HTC One. I’ll be honest, it is a really fun camera on that phone. I don’t expect to make the clearest prints in history from a cell phone but the best camera in the world is the one you have on you right? I did drop the photo into Photoshop and just cleaned up some of the noise and background (and added the watermark) but the color editing and everything else was in phone. What I really like about this phone is the camera comes with the ability to view live adjustments on the screen before shooting. So you can experiment with different contrast and color while looking at the image, when you like it, take the shot. Additionally there are other features available for editing after as well. Straighten, being my favorite (amazing how much your off just a tiny bit when you snap a photo with your phone).
Amazing how new toys always become the favorite toys. Of course, this is no substitute for the Canon, but it really is fun!


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