Before I landed this dream job of Photo Editor at Junebug Weddings, I tried my hand at wedding photography a time or two and quickly realized how insanely difficult it is to create gorgeous and peaceful work under the pressure and time-constraints of the wedding day (I’ll stick with fine art photography, thank you very much)! That’s why amazing wedding photographers like Australia based Ben Yew Photography + Film are a bit like rock stars to me. In this interview, I loved getting to hear about Ben’s journey into wedding photography but most of all, I was just in heaven gazing at his luminous and emotive photos. Take a look!
Junebug: How did you get into wedding photography?
Ben Yew: When I bought my first DSLR I tried to capture everything – from commercial, events, portraits and landscapes. Then I received a request about photographing a wedding taking place in about 6 months time. As I had no previous experience with weddings, I did have some concerns. However, my wife secured me some weddings as an assistant photographer, and the experience I gained from that gave me the confidence to take up the challenge, and it took off from there.
Junebug: What is your favorite moment or tradition at weddings?
Ben Yew: The moment when the bride is fully dressed and ready to head to the ceremony. We only have a short time to capture bridal portraits, and despite being nervous, the bride is getting support from bridesmaids and parents. She looks amazing and the adrenaline rush and genuine flow of emotions make it a precious moment. The genuine emotions of excitement is what I love most.
Junebug: What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you cry? Makes you laugh?
Ben Yew: Reception speeches always move me, especially if there is a moving love story about how the couple got together, and stories about the challenges they have faced to get to this day.
Junebug: Favorite camera and lens?
Ben Yew: Nikon D800 & 50mm 1.4 is my favourite combination. It’s light and produces excellent results.
Junebug: What are your favorite wedding locations in your area?
Ben Yew: The farms and vineyards are my favourite wedding locations in my area. I love the greens and large spaces to work with.
Junebug: Where do you want to shoot next?
Ben Yew: I enjoy new cultural experiences and would love to shoot a traditional wedding in Tibet.
Junebug: Describe your wedding photography style in less than 6 adjectives.
Ben Yew: Luminous, soft, evocative and intimate.
Junebug: What three photographers do you admire or who has inspired you, either in the past or right now?
Junebug: Favorite image of yourself?
Ben Yew: The ones taken by my wife. She says I look slimmer in these photos.
Junebug: Favorite image you’ve taken lately?
Ben Yew: The image below is one of my favourites because I feel that sometimes images don’t need to be too clear to portray something beautiful – a little ambiguity works well for me.
Junebug: Favorite trick to capture images of reluctant subjects? (kids, grandparents, nervous-in-front-of-the-camera-types)
Ben Yew: I like to relax my subjects by using conversation, get them talking comfortably, and then I can get my portrait shots.
Junebug: Best advice you’ve ever received about being an artist?
Ben Yew: Don’t forget to have fun or play!
Junebug: What is the best possible/your favorite reaction from a client when you deliver their images?
Ben Yew: “O..M..G!” and just speechless.
Junebug: How do you know you’ve done a great job for your wedding clients?
Ben Yew: When they start referring all their friends and relatives who are getting married soon.
Junebug: What are looking forward to most right now?
Ben Yew: Going on a holiday with my family and spending more quality time with them.