Claire Benoist was born in Northern California, and raised by scientists in the Alsace region of France. She came to the East Coast at 16 and to New York at 22. While her accent is mostly gone, her upbringing left her with a sense of wanderlust, a taste for wine, and a scientific precision to her work, which emphasizes detailed lighting, texture, composition, and vivid color. She maintains a studio in Chelsea where when not shooting or testing, she can be found taking on all comers at her foosball table.