Ashley Klinger & Co. sat down with our newest addition: food, lifestyle, and travel photographer Sidney Bensimon, to ask her about her background, where she finds her inspiration, and her dream project!
AK&Co.: Can you tell me a little bit about where you’re from and your background?
SB: Yes, I was born in Paris, France and grew up there until the age of 14. My family and I then briefly moved to NYC for a year, to then settle in Atlanta, GA for all my schooling years. My mom is French and my dad is French-Moroccan from Casa. I lived in LA after school for 5 years to then settle in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I am building a house in Mid-coast Maine and planning on sharing my time between Maine and NYC whenever I can.
AK&Co.: What first drew you to photography?
SB: My dad wanted to be a photographer, so I grew up with cameras and being photographed by him. He is a hairdresser and worked in the fashion world while we lived in Paris, so I was surrounded with that industry. My mom loves painting- needless to say both my parents have a creative mind and that was a very big part of my education growing up. I had a polaroid camera growing up and found it intriguing.
AK&Co.: When did you realize it could go from just being an interest to a career?
SB: When I went to grad school at the Portfolio Center in Georgia, I vividly remember my first photography class. I stepped out of the classroom and went straight to the director’s office telling him I wanted to change all my classes for the quarter to photography. I started crying. I knew then that there was nothing else I wanted to do. Photography is my passion, my life, and there is nothing else I would rather struggle for, and learn to master for the rest of my life.
AK&Co.: What do you do to have fun and unwind, now that your hobby is your job?
SB: I sail with the sailing collective and cook on boats a couple of times a year. In the winter I like making ceramics. I practice yoga and meditations every day.
SB: I really like the variety, it keeps me on my toes and I never get bored that way. It doesn’t matter the subject, my job is to create or observe light on objects, and the emotion that comes with it and capture it. It can be a face, a sandwich, a pair of shoes or a bustling market in a small town… my work remains the same.
AK&Co.: How do you maintain your unique style throughout your work, regardless of the subject diversity?
SB: I just keep on putting in the work and stay as authentic to myself as possible.
AK&Co.: Where did your interest in food photography come from?
SB: I have always loved cookbooks and cooking, especially baking. Shooting food was a natural progression for me.
AK&Co.: You’ve worked every job on a shoot – from photographer to PA to styling - how has that influenced your career?
SB: It makes me grateful for each position and if something goes wrong, as a director, I know how to step in and create what is lacking if needed. Hopefully that doesn’t happen though!
AK&Co.: Do you have any dream projects or clients?
SB: Yes! Of course. I always say that if I shoot for Roxy on a beach Maui I’m going to tell myself: I made it :)
I thrive on being immersed in a culture that is not mine, see how other people live, what is important to them, what they eat for breakfast, what there rituals are. Shooting a travel story that highlights these characteristics would be amazing. I do this myself every year, but shooting it for a client would be awesome. I am really into motion right now, so telling a story with motion and stills would be a dream! Also I love what Goop mag is doing, so goop, call me ;)
AK&Co.: Your travel photos give the impression that you’ve been everywhere! Is there anywhere specifically that’s on your wish list, either for work or just for fun and experience?
SB: I minored in Japanese and it’s one of my favorite food groups so I would love to go to there ….also New Zealand, Tasmania, Montana, British Columbia, Sri Lanka, Oaxaca, Nepal, Rome, Berlin … too much?
AK&Co.: Not at all! From where do you draw your inspiration?
SB: 80 percent of my inspiration comes from nature, 20 percent comes from other photo work. I am building a house in Maine, I love going to the marinas and just stare at the sailboats and the ocean and be still. Then I’m like … I want to shoot this! And go there, and do that!
AK&Co.: What other photo work has inspired you?
SB: People inspire me, here is a list: Henri Cartier Bresson, Paolo Roversi, Nan golden, Stephen Shore, Irving Penn, Godart, Marylin Monroe, Naomi Watts, Wendy Polish, and Anandamayi Ma.
AK&Co.: Is there any piece of advice you’d give an aspiring photographer?
SB: Yes, if photography and telling stories is your way of communicating: Never give up! Forget about ‘making it’, practice, practice, practice, nature will support you, it’s inevitable.
We're so excited to welcome Sidney to the Ashley Klinger & Co. team! She's already beloved by some amazing clients like Stella Artois, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and Martha Stewart - now we can't wait to share her with all of you!
British magazine Shortlist picked the perfect photographer to shoot the reimagined BLT! David Sykes is never one to shy away from the creative side of still life and food photography, and this is no exception. Each unique sandwich looks tastier than the next, thanks to David's punchy lighting and relationship with color, and we're ready to try them all!
To see more of David's food photography, click here.
David Sykes, on his most recent personal project:
"While I was prepping and researching this project I realised how expensive the individual food Items I was shooting had become. On researching this further I was surprised to see food prices had risen by 4% last year alone. This project not only represents an arresting visual representation of the food in our basket but also acts as a physical time capsule, freezing the Jan 2018 price of each food item as a future point of reference."
Click here to see more of David's conceptual still life work.
We love when our artists work together! Photographer Debi Treloar and prop stylist Hans Blomquist teamed up for the Anthropologie House + Home Spring 2018 catalog (including the cover!), and the results are dreamy. Hans' styling is perfect for Anthropologie - beautiful, chic, and aspirational. Debi's lighting style is both ethereal and natural, like the perfect spring morning.
Marcus Nilsson shot the cover of the March 2018 issue of Family Circle, plus a fun breakfast feature! Global breakfasts, originating from Southeast Asia, Australia, Germany, Russia and Israel, inspire creative ideas to spice up your boring morning routine. The pops of color and Marcus' signature punchy lighting make this feature extra fun - the most important meal of the day just became the most anticipated!
Food + Wine called on Marcus Nilsson to photograph the colorful aisles of beloved Korean supermarket chain H Mart in Yonkers, NY for a recent feature. Deuki Hong, San Francisco chef and collaborator on H-Mart's new food court, joined the party to share some of his favorite recipes and Korean ingredient picks. The market's bright packaging and trendy vibe was a perfect match with Marcus’ punchy style.
You can find more of Marcus' editorial work here.
Debi Treloar teamed up with DFS UK to shoot some beautiful lifestyle interiors! The spaces look especially inviting with their soft textiles, natural light, and the talent's authentic energy. Debi's sense of light is always apparent and effortless, but it's a true delight to see her genuine connection with people through her lifestyle work.
Marcus Nilsson had the amazing opportunity to travel to Barbados for Travel + Leisure - where summer is endless. With a perfect combination of breathtaking landscapes, expressive portraits, and mouthwatering food, Marcus' work is travel photography at its best. With the turn of a page, we're immediately transported to 80 degreee weather, cold beer in hand, casually keeping our eyes peeled in hopes of a Rihanna sighting.
You can find more of Marcus' travel photography here!
Soup's on! Ryan Liebe teamed up with Hannaford Market's magazine "Fresh" to shoot their cover story about the best way to warm up your winter - soups, stews, and chowders. With careful propping and a warm, natural light, Ryan captures the uniqueness of each dish expertly.
Debi Treloar teamed up with Ashley Klinger & Co. stylist Hans Blomquist and H&M to create the perfect vacation spot, without ever walking out your front door. We love when our artists work together, especially when they do it as seamlessly as Debi and Hans. Hans' eye for detail and Debi's ethereal lighting and selective focus deliver the perfect mood for an at-home getaway.
Google, Bon Appetit, and Marcus Nilsson all teamed up for a really fun advertising campaign! Shot entirely on the Google Pixel 2, Marcus proved yet again that he can work outside the box with nothing but success. The campaign involves potraits and creative food photography, featuring three different online influencer chefs.
Click here to see more of Marcus' advertising work!
The January/February 2018 cover of Eating Well is all about self-improvement and following your resolutions. Ryan Liebe shot some delicious chicken and collard green spring rolls for the occasion- a helpful recipe in a feature about ending unnecessary food waste. Let's start 2018 off right!
Marcus Nilsson photographed a romantic Valentine's Day dinner feature for the most recent issue of Family Circle! The story provides helpful tips and recipes for two so you can avoid the hassle of restaurant reservations while still celebrating with your significant other- and, after seeing Marcus' mouth-watering photos, we are fully sold on this alternative set of plans.
You can find more of Marcus' food photography here!