Imagine growing up around pictures…
lots of pictures, everywhere, all the time. Being allowed to play and learn in the basement darkroom. In fact, “picture yourself” as the lifelong photographic subject of a mom with a camera she’s not afraid to use! I’m Kimberly Benfield of KBenfield Photography… and that’s a big part of my story. And it’s a big part of what’s inspired me to become a professional photographic artist, and to help you tell your story through the images of beauty that live inside each of us, just waiting to be captured in a magical moment.
Growing up, I was the “artsy” one in the family.
I did a lot of painting… a lot of drawing… and then, one day, I realized I could (and must!) put this artistic predisposition to good use with my camera. It was later in life before I decided on a photographic profession… and by then, I realized I may have missed some of the best photos I could’ve taken of my own kids. But the walls of my house are full of pictures of my children anyway. Simple snapshots… but they’re important to me. These days, I think a lot about how I can cover the walls of my clients’ homes with GREAT pictures that are important to them!
I’m largely self-taught on the technical side of things.
One thing you should know about me is that I’m a life learner – I never stop trying to learn new methods, new techniques – and I’m not too proud to think I know it all. I love learning, and I’m not afraid of technology. (After a decade as the “tech person” at a local elementary school, I better not be afraid of the techie stuff!) I muck around online, and collaborate with other photographers, always looking for a new technique or a new idea or methodology to get the best out of my equipment. I want my technical know-how to serve the artistry of my photography (not the other way around).
Speaking of artistry, I absolutely love the immediate gratification of finding a way to get the beauty out of my subjects right away…
in a way a painter or sculptor, who has to patiently wait for a piece to develop, can’t do. For me, a photoshoot is a collaboration. Almost like a dance, or like an extemporaneous work of improvisational theatre my client and I create together, in the moment. Cranking out the “expected” photographs – the images you or I had in mind to begin with – doesn’t appeal to me; and I find it holds little appeal for my clients. I want your input, in the moment… that’s the exciting part for me! I love those “magical moments” – like when you’re working with kids or animals, who don’t have some kind of pre-conceived idea of what’s supposed to happen in a photo session. You never know WHAT’S going to happen… and that makes me happy. I’ve learned to always expect the unexpected… to wait for it… and then, when it comes, to get every ounce of art out of it that I can.
A great photoshoot is truly like improv theatre.
Improv actors have an expression: The answer is never “No,” but rather “Yes, and…”. So much of the unexpected magic that happens during a photoshoot is truly beautiful, and it works. I always try to think “Yes, and…” during a session. Say I’m working with a family, or a mom and her small child. Whatever the kid does, believe me, we can do something cool with it. If she wants to be shy and hide behind her mom? There’s a wonderful photo in there, if you know what to look for. When a person gets goofy and playful? That’s a terrific “hidden” side of them that can be amazing and beautiful, too. It’s never “No.” It’s always “Yes, and…”.
Celebrating Beauty… Capturing You… Because You’re Beautiful