Alternative Standards is a San Diego based Creative Direction & Media Production Studio creating strategic visual art via photo & film.

alternative standards


high standards, chill vibes |  visual strategy & creation

origin story →

Nicknamed for her infectious personality, knowledge, professionalism, and ironically, her zodiac sign, Erica “Gem” Benson truly sets the standard for what it means to have both high standards and chill vibes. 

Meet Gem—creator, founder— Vibe Queen.

the alt team

Notable Clients:

explore our services

Alternative Standards is not just a photography and videography studio; we are a creative production powerhouse that sets the new standards for industry leaders, bold entrepreneurs, and spirited brands and creatives. We are known for our signature work that fuses High Standards and Chill Vibes in a professional industry. Our portfolio showcases our innovative approach to visual storytelling, with an emphasis on authenticity and originality. From meticulously crafted photo sessions that capture the unique essence of a brand to compelling video narratives that resonate with audiences, our work is a testament to our high standards of quality and our relaxed, creative approach. Whether we're collaborating with established industry leaders or partnering with emerging creatives, we always strive to push boundaries and redefine norms, resulting in visually stunning (and let's be honest, iconic) content that leaves a lasting impact.

sign  ture work





— angi, lovesick chapel

Not only is Erica a skilled photographer, but she also brings a level of professionalism and passion to her work that is truly inspiring. She was fun as hell to collaborate with! Erica’s enthusiasm for her artistry, ability at “getting the shot” and also nailing our concept for socials and website is nothing short of amazing!! SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE’S DOING!!

— the kurds, hinar cafe

I highly recommend Erica to anyone in search of a photographer, content creator, visionary and all around good time who can bring their vision to life in the most stunning way possible. Thank you, Erica, for your incredible work cannot wait to create more with you!!

— les, spellman performance

She really is magic. There's no other way to encompass her or what she does. It's just who she is & I can't express how grateful we are to just have her eye and brain create art and organization out of what we felt like was chaos in our marketing. Thank you will never be enough. Alternative Standards is iconic. 

Kind Words

inquire now →

Does this sound like your vibe? Then you're in the right place.
Let's Connect.