Ever since Benjamin Von Wong took a leap of faith and left his successful career as a engineer to persue his artistic passions, he has kept a legion of die hard fans enchanted by his ability to turn the ordinary into epic. Whether it be organizing complicated pyrotechnics, photographing surreal scenes of ultraviolet models, or chaining models to a shipwreck 25 meters below the surface in Bali, Benjamin has never been interested in being ordinary. In his insanely creative mind, his thought process of "If it's not epic, than what's the point?" has led to some of the most memorable photoshoots in the last several years. Lucky for us, Benjamin always has the foresight to put together a team to create a behind-the-scenes video so his fans can see how this master of illusion creates his art.
When SmugMug commissioned Benjamin to fly to San Francisco, California for some of their projects, he had the idea to create a fantasy scene in a fog filled forest. Needing elaborate costumes, he enlisted the services of Kicka Custom Designs and quickly assembled a team of four models and numerous hair and makeup artists to make the long drive from Los Angeles. Fstoppers' very own Jaron Schneider was tapped to shoot video, and being as I was an employee of SmugMug at the time, I was given the responsibility of shooting extra footage for Jaron.
The day was long, cold, and very tiring, but being a part of such a large production, and seeing the energy and enthusiasm Benjamin puts into these shoots was inspiring and educational. I also learned a ton about his lighting styles, which he highlights in great detail in the behind-the-scenes film as well as in the lighting diagrams shown on his blog.
Below are the five photos from the shoot, and as a first hand witness, I can attest that these photos are not created by using Photoshop tricks, but rather creative planning, hard work, and a team of excited assistants who want to be a part of the Von Wong magic.