It is a special privilege to be asked to share the biggest day of someone’s life. But being the photographer in charge of capturing the most special moments and memorialising them is a big responsibility! Ben Yew, who travels all over the world photographing destination weddings shares with us what it’s like to be the person behind the lens.
IN THE BEGINNING
I have been a wedding photographer for about nine years, but it was only four years ago that I started doing it full-time. When I first completed my degree in business, I worked for a few companies and ended up starting a business specialising in servers and network connectivity. It was all go- ing fine until I found out that I really loved photography... I was spending all my spare time taking pictures and investing more and more money into my photography kit. It was my wife who finally suggested I start photographing a few weddings to fund my obsession!
THE MAGIC OF THE DAY
I enjoy capturing the amazing connection between the couple and their family and friends. The whole day is such an adrenalin rush; I love the magnificent wedding cere- mony and reception venue, the emotional walk down the aisle, the beautiful dresses and the heartfelt speeches. I also really love seeing the couple’s smiling faces when they receive the wedding images. The most important element in my photography is without a doubt the couple. You can be in the most amazing location, but if the cou- ple feel uncomfortable and awkward you can’t take a good picture at all. So I often take time to make sure the couple feel re- laxed and comfortable around me before I do anything else.
Occasionally, I meet couples before the wedding but most of the time we just speak via email and phone conversations. I like to work closely with client’s expectations by planning and discussing everything from the very early stages. By doing so, I get to know what the clients love in regards to style, lighting and detail. I always do my best to accommodate the couples’ requirements because I believe they should always come first on their big day. Understanding the theme is also very important. Besides the style I shoot, the details I incorporate must be consistent within the bridal theme. When my photographs are printed, I like the wedding’s theme, style inspiration and to shine through to the viewer — after all, that is what the couple wants to portray to their family and friends.
To mentally prepare for the wedding, I like to watch a movie and spend time with my family before heading off to the destination: sometimes for a day or two, sometimes a week or more. I am also very paranoid when it comes to my photography gear and being prepared: I prepare back ups for back ups! If I only need five memory cards, I will take fifteen. If I need three batteries, I pack five. Before every wedding, I check my camera and tools multiple times to make sure everything is in order. I always take these precautions because for most weddings, I can’t just go home and pick things up if there’s a problem.