Von Wong Jumps out of a Box to Surprise a Fan

Noted conceptual photographer Benjamin Von Wong has been captivating his audience for years with his imaginative imagery. So when Von Wong showed up to Australia gift-wrapped in box to surprise one of his biggest fans for their birthday, was it really so strange? Nevertheless, the tale of how Von Wong ended up meeting his super fan Tyler Grace is actually more thoughtful and heartfelt than one might expect.

A year ago, Grace reached out to Von Wong with a comment detailing his ongoing struggle with chronic illnesses that constantly has him visiting the hospital. As an aspiring photographer, Grace was compelled to let Von Wong know just how much of an inspiration he and his images were. “Even on the days when I can’t get out of bed or am stuck at the hospital/doctors appointments I am planning out my next shoots and this again is all thanks to you!” Grace wrote.

Tyler Grace's Facebook Comment to Von Wong Fan Page

With Grace’s 21st birthday approaching in early March, his sister contacted Von Wong about possibly meeting Tyler as the ultimate gift. Unfortunately, it seemed that their meeting would have to be limited to the form of a personalized video message. But when it struck Von Wong that it was in the realm of possibilities to actually fly over to meet Grace in person, he set out to make it happen. Watch the video above and see Grace’s stunned reaction to meeting Von Wong at his front door:

You can read more about the set up and the time they spent together on the blogs of Von Wong and Tyler Grace.

Images used with permission.

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Peter House's picture

Oh darn.....I've got something in my eye....

Von Wong's picture

Thanks for the share :)

Andrew Pantaleon's picture

You are an amazing person, you love to share what you know and you love to meet your fans and truly make peoples, dare I say months, years, decades, who knows. I know I look up to your stuff for inspiration, especially in a recent shoot I did, and as an inspiration on how to give back to others. There is no sense in hiding what you do or how you do it, it's about community and friends. I'd love to even have the chance to pass you in the street one day just to have the split second chance to shake your hand and thank you for being you and thank you on behalf of myself and anyone who has drawn inspiration from you and who could not be there to shake your hand.

Von Wong's picture

Well hey I travel all the time and I go to a lot of trade shows so perhaps there?

In the meantime...

Sven Uckermann's picture

You made my day yesterday with the video and today with this pic ;) lol :)

Andrew Pantaleon's picture

I'll try to keep an eye out for trade shows you might be at and I try to keep an eye posted to see if you are ever coming to Miami or the near by areas!

Pleasure to e-shake your hand!

Bert McLendon's picture

Someone must be cutting an onion in the house... weird. Ben just gained 1,000,000xp in the "Awesome Human" skill. Nice job Von Wong!

Bob Bell's picture

Great story :))

Kristi Woody's picture

What a fantastic story. Kudos to everyone involved in giving this guy the best birthday ever! Always admired Ben's work, and I'm glad to see such a great display of generosity and kindness.

Willis Lim's picture

Fantastic. Very touching and amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us Ben!

John Skinner's picture

Makes a guy proud to be Canadian.

This guy is one of the good souls.

David Justice's picture

Tyler is actually a pretty great photographer. Especially for picking it up like a year ago.

Mario Gonzalez's picture

Amazing guy

Neil Hartley's picture

Its truly awesome that you made time for someone to make their dreams into a reality :)

Christian Berens's picture

Wow!! Touching story and amazing to see the power of photography! And we'll just add this as another HUGEEEE reason Von Wong is one of my favorites!! Great skills and a great heart! Tyler's stuff is great as well, his landscapes are amazing!

Brian Reese's picture

What a freaken super star this dude... I'd rather meet Ben than a Hollywood actor.

LEVARWEST Benjamin's picture

////FR : Très beau geste !
////ENG : Very nice deed !

Ajith Pran's picture

Thanks for sharing :)