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Kat Benzova captured the hearts of top talented artists. Game changing focus with the blink of an eye.

Posted: May 18, 2023

An excellent photo or eye for taking photo’s is easy to market. Every cell phone brand or camera will convince you, that you can be a photographer. There are hundreds of apps, or applications that will fix your mistakes. Filters, lighting adjustments, backgrounds will make anyone look like they have experience with photography. However, this is only to the untrained eye. Photographers, graphic designers, and editors will be able to identify the “weekend photographer” with those who live and breathe photography.

Great photography is better than that first cup of coffee in the morning. As a professional who requires certain guidelines for images, I can immediately identify if a photo is usable. If I receive images that are sub-par, it is enough for me to discard any project I am working on. It doesn’t matter who the artist is, or the brand that I am working with. Every professional that represents themselves or brand with photos, must recognize the importance of a photo shoot. Keep in mind, that not every professional photographer knows what they are doing. Composing the right shot for a photo is a delicate situation. It should be regarded with a high level of responsibility. Even accountability.

It is safe to say, that price is the determining factor for choosing a photographer. If you are on a budget, than plan ahead. Invest in a photographer that is going to represent you or your brand in the best possible way.

It is possible, that you have a photographer. The images supplied to you have been posted everywhere. In fact, you are getting all types of positive feedback. Except from those that really know what they are looking at. If I am not working with someone, than I will hold back from providing feedback. There is enough negativity in this world already. However, if I am working with you on a project, than we need to get down and dirty about the subject. If an artist was to provide outstanding images for a magazine they will be in, I may select them to be on the cover. If an artist represents my brand with providing high quality images, that will be a game changer. This is how important photos are to me, and my brand Guitar Thrills Magazine.

This is my minute to express myself about this topic. Let’s hear from a professional photographer. She doesn’t need an introduction. In fact she is well-known for her work throughout the entertainment industry. Her name is Kat Benzova.

 

ABOUT KAT BENZOVA

After a decade working around the globe as a fashion model, the ambitions of Katarina Benzova finally outgrew the runway, prompting a deeper need to rediscover both herself and the rest of the world from the other side of the lens.

Kat started her professional career in photography as the tour photographer for Guns N’ Roses in 2010, and has since become one of the most sought after rock photographers in the world, working with legendary musicians, including AC/DC, Aerosmith, KISS, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Anthony Kiedis, Courtney Love,

Recently named Leica’s newest Ambassador, Kat has presented her work in numerous exhibitions worldwide including at Cannes Film Festival, and in the KISS exhibition alongside legends Neil Preston, Bob Gruen, and Lynn Goldsmith. Her fine art prints are available through the legendary Morrison Hotel Gallery and The Rock Photography Museum.

She has devoted her time and creativity to a number of worthy causes, and in 2017 established her own foundation, MISSION 11, which produces photographic campaigns & services for charitable organizations including Animals Asia, Janie’s Fund, The Wolf Conservation Center, and DoVE Project. These campaigns have featured star talent from Jason Momoa and Axl Rose, to Simon Le Bon, Matt Lucas, and Steve O, amongst many others.

Her work can be seen in ads for Maserati, Gibson Guitars, Fender, Monster Energy, Leica Camera, Live Nation, and Hard Rock Hotels, and in some of the most prominent publications including LIFE Magazine, Rolling Stone, Vogue and Billboard.

Kat is based in Los Angeles, but can usually be found traveling the globe for work.

Guitar Thrills Magazine - “I’m trying to capture musicians when they are like lighting rods receiving and transmitting the energy of the universe for all to hear. There are moments that happen on stage, moments of sheer bliss that transcend all. Where the music is flowing through the musicians and connects with the audience in an incredibly transcendental way, capturing those spiritual high points and artists at the perfect moment when their souls are completely exposed.”

 

INTERVIEW WITH KAT BENZOVA AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: Call me opinionated, or frustrated. Either term would be appropriate for this interview. However, it is valid. This is a topic that should be considered objectively and with a passion.

Hello Kat. Thank you for joining us today. It is privilege to talk to an expert that sees eye to eye. No pun intended. Ok, maybe there was. However, I always want to get insight from those that are highly regarded in their line of expertise. Undoubtedly you quality. Thankfully. To start, I have to mention that you have extraordinary perception on what is considered art. In form of photography, you really are amazing. How did it all get started? When did you know you had an interest in photography?

Kat: It all started when I left home at pretty early age of 14. Modeling career took me around the world and as the nowadays technology was still in diapers, the only way to show my family all the places I traveled to was through photographs. I had a film camera and one or two rolls of film per trip. So I was really limited with the amount of frames I could take and that really helped me in the future as I learned how to wait for the right moment instead of shooting away in hopes that something will stick.

In the world of fashion I was surrounded by creative, talented people every day, watching them work in the studios, working their equipment and observing the creative process from the birth of the idea to final product. That inspired me to move forwards with photography and after I shot my first concert I knew what I wanted to do.

 

GT: Every artist will claim they were inspired by someone that came before them. Was there a photographer or artist that helped with your perspective?

Kat: Absolutely. The awesome thing about music photography is that the photographers work can inspire you, but you can’t recreate it as that moment happens only once. Thats why a lot of music photographs become iconic. You can learn the technique and angles, but you can never recreate the moment and the relationship and trust the photographer had with the artist he photographed . I definitely get inspired by the energy and the possibilities one can create. A work of a lot of incredible female photographers inspired me to keep going in this industry like Annie Leibovitz and Lynn Goldsmith . I’m getting more inspired by other peoples art now then I did in the past as I’m creating more album art work and promo shoots and instead of capturing what’s happening, I’m making it happen 🙂 I’m inspired by many great artist and their art.

 

GT: What are some of the images, or photos from history or modern times that you consider astonishing? Please explain.

Kat: Any photograph that makes me feel something or inspires me. I can’t pinpoint just few as there is way more then that. I’m always moved by documentary , nature and music photography.

 

GT: What is a favorite photo that you have taken?

Kat: Most of the photographs I have taken as they all have a different story and feeling. They mean
something else to me then to someone else and create a different emotion. Even if one might not be my favorite now, it might become later as we change, see and feel differently over time. It happened to me many times and I revisit my older work and always find something that I didn’t like before and now I’m all over it. haha

 

GT: I have viewed many of your images. I am impressed with your work. You shoot many of your photos if not all of them, in black and white. Is there a particular reason for that?

Kat: I actually shoot both in color & monochrome equally. But when it comes to music and fine art
photography I love shooting in B&W especially when I shoot rock bands. Monochrome creates that calm silence in the middle of chaos that color can sometimes create and you can concentrate on the motion and emotions of the artist that is being photographed. It’s more intimate and expressive. I also recently became an Ambassador for Leica M11 Monochrom camera that only shoots in monochrome 🙂 But when I shoot commercial stuff that’s mostly color.

 

GT: How do you define the perfect image?

Kat: Perfect image means something else for different people. It can be photograph with perfect timing, perfect composition, lighting or a perfect situation. For me it’s an image that moves me.

 

GT: I have heard from photographers that isn’t any money to be made in photography. The reason, is because everyone relies upon their mobile devices for photos. Any photo that doesn’t turn out right, can always be edited with so?ware. What is your response to someone who relies upon their mobile device to take photos?

Kat: There is nothing wrong with phone photography if it’s in the right hands. Even professional
photography gear doesn’t make you a good photographer . So it’s not about the tool, but the person that is using it. It’s the talent , expertise and years of experience that you’re buying when hiring a professional photographer for your project.

 

GT: What is the selling point for you, when talking to clients about using your services?

Kat: I usually don’t have to use any selling points as the clients that reached out to me know my work and
are looking for the style of photography I produce or want to work with me on their idea. But if I’m the one reaching out to clients that I would like to work with, the selling point its usually my portfolio and past clientele. It helps if you worked with world renown brands and artists. It gives you credibility and trust that you can deliver the quality what your clients are paying for. Your personality is also really important and that can get you future jobs with the clients you already worked with or from their recommendations. You should always have your A game on and be as professional on low budget shoot for local brand as on giant set shooting a worldwide campaign.

 

GT: When you work in an industry that relies upon branding, quality, persona, design and PR images are extremely important. We try to convey to arDsts that we work with, that the mom and pop shop down the road is not who you want to hire. Especially for projects that require an aNenDon to detail. It can’t be as simple as “you get what you pay for”. What can you convey to arDsts, consumers, professionals that would persuade them not to be focused on budget?

Kat: Artist image is extremely important and always has been, especially in entertainment industry. A lot
of times people see your image before they hear your music and that can create the first impression. I would definitely think of it as a good investment, the same way as investing into your equipment or recording an album. A good photographer will help you bring out the version of you, that you want the world to see and can guide you to bring your ideas into reality.

 

GT: Excellent response. I get that not everyone has the budget for professional photos. Though, some are ready to spend top dollar on other services, that don’t provide lasDng results. I am glad that I had the opportunity to introduce you to our readers. I would like for you to come back and provide some more insight into the world of photography. How does that sound to you?

Kat: Absolutely. Thank you for having me and would love to be back and answer any questions that artists might have when choosing a photographer to work with.

 

GT: Awesome. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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