Meet Photographer, Gray Benko

Spotlight on our friend and photographer, Gray Benko. We asked Gray about how she got to where she is, her style, what inspires her and more. Read the full Q&A below!
1. Where did you grow up / Where do you live now? Grew up in Hilton Head, SC and currently live in Charleston, SC
2. How long have you been taking pictures?  I took my first photography class in high school and never looked back.
3. How did you know you wanted to pursue photography as a career? It was never a question for me. Photography has always been my passion, and so I never really even considered anything else.
4. How would you describe your personal style? How does this affect your work? I love mixing antique finds with more modern finds - and the use of color is hugely important to me.  As a result, my photos tend to be splashed with lots of happy color as well!
5. Describe your most memorable photoshoot so far? My most memorable photoshoot so far was probably the Brothers and Sisters campaign I shot for Zara Kids. It was the first really big brand I was hired to collaborate with and getting to do that, and then see photos of my own children taken by me, not only on Zara’s homepage, but also blown up huge on a screen inside of their store on 5th Avenue in NYC... was a really huge moment for me.
6. What has been your biggest struggle as a photographer/artist? I think, like any artist, I struggle sometimes to stay inspired. When this happens, I try my best to just take a step back, immerse myself in art and in the world around me, until inspiration finds me again.

7. You and your littles have a sweet relationship with Stacey & PC, please tell us how this came to be? We do!  We have always loved Pink Chicken, so when Stacey reached out to me years ago to do a shoot for her, I jumped at the opportunity. Stacey flew down for the shoot and we just loved her.  Several years later, my daughter Farris started a project called @farrisdoesfaces where she paints the faces of inspiring women and interviews them. Stacey was kind enough to let us include her in that project when we were in NYC two summers ago. We loved getting a little peek into what goes on behind the scenes at Pink Chicken while we were there!
8. How did you feel about photographing our Spring ‘21 Collection?  Oh my gosh - I loved it!  Stacey is so talented and I loved getting to put my own spin on showcasing her work. It is SUCH an adorable collection!

9. Your home is decorated so beautifully - please fill us in on your approach to decor and what inspires you most?  Thank you!  Like I said before, I love a mix of antique and modern. Our home is over 200 years old and I am always so inspired when I look at photos of old homes that incorporate a good mix of history, color, and pattern.
10. What does the next year or so look like for you/your family? Any sneak peeks on any upcoming shoots or collaborations?  Oh gosh, who knows!  The last year was certainly not what I expected it to be, so if I have learned anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. We do have some potentially really exciting things on the horizon, but nothing I can talk about just yet. Stay tuned!!
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