Last week my portrait of King Charles Impersonators, Ian Lieber, left, and Charles Haslett was published on the front cover of The New York Times [Cover Story 29.03.23 PRINT + ONLINE] - “For Impersonators of a Prince, It’s Good to Finally be The King”
Words Jenny Gross
Photography Hayley Benoit
Commissioned Eve Edelheit
Assistant Pim Van Baalen
Location Sunset Studios
For the full article click on the link here: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/28/world/europe/king-charles-look-alikes-impersonators.html
Last week The Luupe posted an amazing article “Thirty-Six Black Women and Non-Binary Photographers to Hire This Year” and I’m pleased to share that made number 31 on the list.
Last week Foto Femme United featured me in one of their articles, for the full article please check it out here.
WRITER: AFONWY DUFF
DATE PUBLISHED: JANUARY 15, 2023
Welcome to the sumptuous world of Hayley Benoit (@hayleybenoit). Her delightful and decorated work has graced numerous galleries and near-countless pages of print. With just over a decade of experience under her belt, Benoit has amassed clients of a calibre most commercial practitioners could only dream of, including: I-d Magazine, Disney, Nike, the BBC, Lucasfilm, and The British Journal of Photography. Benoit’s easy and eclectic approach is highlighted within her diverse portfolio that, no doubt, affords her the option to pursue an array of impressive and exciting opportunities.
Amongst her vast clientele is Olive Magazine, a British food magazine with a laid-back approach akin to that of Benoit. The magazine focuses on accessible, and achievable cooking with a broad target demographic. Benoit’s work sits splendidly within this brief due her delicate balance of stylisation and simplicity. It is impossible to dislike her images, which fold-in visual trends with a sufficiently recognisable house-style. The latter ingredient containing enough subtle signifiers to remain commercially viable, yet still spare us the crumbs of cliche.
So as not to decontextualise past the point of deliciousness, Benoit’s work combines technical lighting with casual staging to separate precision from pretention. Benoit’s imagery is digitally sharpened to create a pop art-esque abstraction of the otherwise banal subject matter. The use of bold colour, segmentational staging, and exaggeration of dark outlines flirts with the concept of retro-style restaurant art whilst grainier, more muted renditions harken to something slightly more personal. It is upon the scraped plaster and creased linens of her latter work that we see the familiar forms of home-cooked dishes torn from the dry, matte paper of mum’s old cookbooks. With just a pinch of noise, Benoit’s apt approach communicates a deep, rounded, richness that offers comfort alongside creativity.
Using flash on food is no small feat, too little and you’re underexposed, but too much can truly turn the dauphinoise into the dog’s dinner. In short, harshly shadowed, high contrast confections come off uncanny. Continuous lighting is often preferred within the genre for it’s more forgiving nature. Conversely, Benoit defies convention and dares to demonstrate the effective nature of hard lighting in regard to both texture and form. How else could we distinguish each crack and crevice of a corn on the cob: equal parts buttery and grill-burnt?
Indeed, in the age of ‘personal branding’ in which we find ourselves, a portfolio that spans all, or as many commercial disciplines is essential. Benoit exhibits the rare ability to construct corporate imagery with humility and genuine relatability. It takes and incredibly skilled director to illicit a relaxed and natural impression within such technically rigid work. When we observe her wider portfolio, we see an empathy that can only allude to the integrity of Benoit’s character. Her work highlights the importance of perspective and personality within the commercial sphere. It appears that she has mastered the perfect recipe of purpose, praxis, and positivity.
Hayley Benoit (b.1988) is a London based photographer specialising in Portrait, food and lifestyle editorials for social and branded content. She has worked on film, tv and commercial productions; including a feature film at Lucasfilm and Disney where she worked as a Unit Stills and Portrait Gallery Photographer.
In September I was commissioned by Travel + Leisure magazine to shoot their front cover story for their Nov/Dec issue for the opening of Gleneagles Townhouse - I had the amazing opportunity to visit Edinburgh for the week and shoot/stay in some really amazing hotels and shoot/eat some delicious food. The assignment itself was one of my favorites so far and I was even more chuffed that my image made the front cover. Check out the full article here beautifully written by Peter Terzian.
GREAT NEWS: I’ve been selected to share my work-in-progress project for feedback and review at The Photographers Gallery this Friday 7th, 6-8 pm for Photo Scratch’s first in-person event since 2020.
I’ll be sharing my work with some photographers, including;
Hasna Charley Tayyar
Photo Scratch at
The Photographers’ Gallery
Friday 7th October 2022
Click here to book.
last month, I was a guest judge for the BBC Three’s TV show “Hungry For It” (S1/E7) in this particular episode, I worked with the contestants to create a stylised shoot, shooting the food that they baked and advising them how to create a “Social Media Stopper” image so that people could stop on socials and be inspired. As a result, the contestant who styled the best shoot on the day would then win a one-on-one masterclass with me. The contestants created some really impressive work, which can be seen in my previous post here, however, the winner of this Food Photography challenge was Amelia Ng - with this shot below.
I worked with Amelia after the episode at Backgrounds Studio as part of her prize I shared with her some insights into Food Photography and went over the steps of how to produce a food editorial-styled photo from start to finish. We drafted a mood board together with ideas of food, colours, props and the overall mood of the image. We decided to go with a Pop “Sweet Treats” theme as you can see. Amelia baked all the food prior to the shoot day so that we had time to focus on the props and styling of the set. Once we were happy with where the story was going, we then went to Backgrounds and picked props out for our shoot prior to the shoot day, so we had a fair idea of what we wanted to shoot ahead of time. Here are the photos that we shot on the day.
Below are some personal photos of us at Backgrounds Studio and on the shoot.
Earlier this year, I was commissioned by Faber and Faber to shoot a portrait for one of their authors Will Ashon for the release of his new book the passengers. The image was shot in my popup studio at the Faber and Faber HQ in London.
It was lovely to appear as a Guest Judge on BBC Three’s latest TV show “Hungry for It” this yesterday which can be seen in my previous post. Here are the photos that I shot with the contestants on the day, as part of their challenge. Congratulations to Amelia Ng for winning this challenge, I’m looking forward to working with Amelia in future and having a one-on-one marterclass session as part of her prize.