If you’ve ever seen the work of Benjamin Von Wong, you’ll agree that he does far more than just press the shutter. When Von Wong creates an image, you can tell that much thought and planning was involved to pull the final images together. Whether it’s the simple use of a sprinkler to make rain for a fitness shoot or exploring the depths of the Earth in a toxic underwater cenote, all of Von Wong’s shoots can be described by the oft-overused term ‘epic’.
So how can you take your images to the level of ‘epic-ness’ typically seen in his work? In the latest Cooperative of Photography (COOPH) video, Ben gives some ideas and actionable tips to help in taking your images from ordinary to extraordinary, and makes it sound easy. He gives examples and the following four steps for you to take your imagery to the next level, as well as a ton of creative ideas using every day items. Here’s the basic structure of novel image creation:
Step 1: Draw Out Your Ideas
If you’ve read any of our articles about Von Wong’s work, you note that he spends a ton of time planning and envisioning the final image. He draws it out on paper, mapping exactly how he sees the image in his head and then figures out how to create it.
Step 2: Find All The Ingredients You’ll Need
In the first part of the video, you’ll see the simple tools he uses to create extraordinary results. Examples he gave were every day items such as flour or a garden house; he even suggested purchasing a UV light and using highlighters.
Step 3: Surround Yourself With People Who Can Help You Make It Happen
In all of Von Wong’s projects, he talks about the people he’s collaborated with. Typically, he will post something on social media and people will connect him to other people and even items he needs, such as organising an ambulance for this shoot. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people; you’ll never know who would be willing to help you with your project.
Step 4: Trial and Error
Maybe your first few attempts look like they belong on the Pinterest Fail Tumblr page, so what? “Keep experimenting, never give up,” says Wong. If you’re always playing it safe with your photography, always afraid to try something new, you’ll never take your images to the next level. Benjamin Von Wong’s work is remarkable because he thinks outside of the box and he isn’t afraid to keep trying until he creates that epic image.