Friday, December 23, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Elias Danner, Our First Intern

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(Elias Danner's studio work. © Elias Danner Productions.)

Back in 2009, I took on an intern from Germany named Elias Danner. He assisted me on a variety of shoots ranging from my model test with Essential Models Inc. to my CD album shoot for Kristina Emmott. Since then, he's made quite a name for himself in Germany. You can see his work at and see more about his internship here.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

PERSPECTIVE: Redco Group Christmas Party

(Employees of The Redco Group enjoying their photo booth session. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

I struck up a friendship with Epic Polymer CEO Greg Fraser earlier this year shortly after shooting his wedding in October. After delivering some of my favourite wedding shots of all time and doing a quick shoot for his personal Christmas cards, he invited me to photograph his company Christmas party with The Redco Group. Intern Lauren Mulcahy and I set up a photo booth and a 4" x 6" on-site printing service for the event, bringing everything from studio lighting to a white backdrop to a SELPHY CP800 capable of producing quick and easy high-quality prints. We're able to do the same for your event at only $10 per 4" x 6" print.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Ashley & Andrew's Wedding

(Ashley and Andrew standing at the altar. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

I remember the exact moment I knew I'd be able to make things work with Ashley and Andrew's wedding. We were holed up in a casual sushi restaurant not far from my apartment and I'd just given them a great deal on account of their wedding being in the off-season. Their gratitude was immediate. They even bought me lunch right then and there, so I knew they wanted amazing photos and were going to do what it took to get them. Like always, I went into this with 100% and followed it through for the weeks to come.

(The only way holy matrimony is supposed to be. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

What came first was the client meeting. I laid out plans for what was to come and planned every facet of the shoot down to the last detail, keeping in mind that unpredictability will always be a factor. Ashley and I went on a location scout around her venue and found the unlikeliest of places to represent her wedding portraits: a parkade. It was under cover, it had great lighting and most of all, it was a place that symbolically represented where she was tying the knot. This wasn't a million-dollar glamour wedding featured in Vogue. This was urban, down-to-earth and humble.

(Ashley and the girls getting their giggle on. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

By keeping the location local and accessible, we were able to spend more time focusing on our clients' personalities. One extremely portable Profoto AcuteB 600 and a reflector piloted by assistant Cynthia was all we needed for lighting. We also scheduled plenty of time for creative exploration of each scene. It's easy to get amazing portraits when you're right in front of your subject, but how about environmental portraiture that employs different angles, unconventional perspective and architecture as design?

(Ashley and Andrew, lost in each other and urban New Westminster. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

With each wedding, we're only getting better. Between me and my main wedding assistant Jonathan Evans, we bring over a decade of photography experience to your wedding. If you want wedding photography that evokes the true spirit of your location, come to us. Destination wedding photography is upcoming as well. For the first time, I'll be shooting in Greece for Summer 2012. Booking for 2012 and 2013 now.

(Ashley and Andrew's first dance as husband and wife. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Thursday, October 13, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Fighting Chance Productions' "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

(Peter Stainton as Senex, surrounded by courtesans. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Early in October, I was tasked with shooting the dress rehearsal of Sondheim's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" by Fighting Chance Productions. My job was to provide them with images they could send out in reviews of their show. I took that to mean I got a free show all to myself with the ability to photograph as I pleased. I still can't believe I'm getting paid for this.

(Cameron Dunster as Hero and Elyse Malloway as Philia. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Reviews from [Re]View From The House and The Georgia Straight can be seen from the links provided. Fighting Chance Productions will remain a repeat client of mine for the next few months, as they hire me again to shoot their production of "The Temperamentals" and possibly promo work for their 2012/13 season. As a closet theatre nerd, I couldn't be more excited.

(Michael Wild as Hysterium and Ryan Mooney as Pseudolus. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Friday, October 7, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: The Best Revenge CD Release

Young Nihilists' Gun Club from thebestrevenge on Vimeo.

I was a founding member of The Best Revenge before I departed in 2010 to pursue other projects. Many of the drum parts were ones I wrote. They're releasing their first album Young Nihilists' Gun Club at The Railway Club on October 14th, 2011. This is their promo video.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Friday, September 9, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Janell & Aniket's Wedding

(Janell and Aniket, photographed at Eagles Estate in Burnaby, BC. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

One of the many reasons I love what I do is that I get to meet interesting and lovable people all the time. Janell and Aniket are prime examples of that. As animators based in France, I knew their artistic eye would be tough to please, but I was ready to rise to the challenge. I first met the couple over breakfast with Janell's family and it was immediately obvious that there were real connections between them. Their family was so tight-knit and so caring that sitting elbow-to-elbow with them and asking them to pass the potatoes felt natural. I struggle to recall another time when I felt so welcomed.

(Janell cozying up to Aniket at Burnaby Art Gallery. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Because Janell and Aniket were in France leading up to the wedding, most of the planning I did was with Janell's mom, Amandah. In an extensive preproduction phase, we worked out schedules, shot lists, locations, etc. Armed with all the information I needed, this turned into one of the few weddings I've shot that actually ran on time. It's for exactly this reason we now request an information package from our wedding clients to keep as on schedule as possible.

(The wedding party channelling their inner rocker. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Janell and Aniket were one of my favourite couples to shoot in 2011. Affectionate, playful and goofy, we were able to capture something really special of both their personalities. And unlike most relationships where one person clearly wears the pants, Janell and Aniket came across as real equals, friends before lovers. There is no doubt in my mind they'll be happy together for a very long time. I wish them the best for a bright and hopeful future. Besides, I may need a couch to crash on if I ever wind up in France again.

(Janell and Aniket taking their first steps together as husband and wife. © 2011 Jonathan Evans, Benjamin Luk Photography.)

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Friday, August 5, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Amber & Lindsay's Wedding

Benjamin Luk Photography
(Amber and Lindsay chose to signify their vows by quite literally tying the knot. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Amber and Lindsay are an unconventional couple, not because they were entering into a same-sex union, but because their love of all things weird and geeky led them to throw a wedding with references to Final Fantasy, Charlie the Unicorn, and Lord of the Rings. In one of my first meetings with them, they told me upfront that if I wanted reference images to see what they were going for, I should look up The Tudors. I think it was that moment I knew that I loved these guys, and also that I'd add to the event by coaxing assistant Jonathan Evans and intern Lauren Mulcahy into showing up in full medieval costume.

(Amber and Lindsay with their decked-out wedding party. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

On the day, as the schedule ran long (as is not uncommon with weddings), we came to face some difficult decisions about the direction of the wedding photography. With the light quickly fading, did we want to capture the conventional wedding portraits, or did we want to embrace an edgier, more Tudors-esque mentality? Did we want more shots of Amber and Lindsay kissing and holding each other, or did we want to bust out the swords? I think we all know what happened here. These aren't your typical wedding shots, but we never intended them to be. With Tyler Branston's expert post-production help as I dive headfirst into the 2011 wedding season, I'm proud to say we can stand behind our work, difficulties and conventionality be damned. I hope you like what you see.

(Amber with her dad and great-grandmother. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Monday, August 1, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Lauren Mulcahy, Intern

(New intern, Lauren Mulcahy. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

In the past few months of our wildest wedding season yet, there have been people working behind the scenes to make sure everything at Benjamin Luk Photography runs smoothly. One of those people is our latest intern, Lauren Mulcahy. In addition to putting up with my requests for personal chauffeuring, she's also been involved in promotional work, equipment testing, post-production and photo assisting. In return, I'm helping her along to become a successful professional photographer on her own terms. If you've hired us recently, know that Lauren has been integral in making sure you receive the best product we can provide.

Check Lauren out at her website here and follow her on Twitter at @PandaAteMyFace.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Monday, March 21, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Fighting Chance Productions' "The Awesome 80s Prom"

(Girls love cozying up to exchange student Feng Schwey. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Fighting Chance Productions has always been a great supporter of Benjamin Luk Photography and vice versa. You may remember them donating an entire season's worth of tickets to BLP Christmas 2010. Their production of The Awesome 80s Prom was a chance to finally collaborate and create some art together. In the previous two months this has been going on, myself and assistant Colten Warne have been running their photo booth.

The Awesome 80s Prom is an interactive theatre event much like Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. However, instead of an Italian-American wedding reception, guests are treated to Prom Night 1989 at Wanaget High. Prom characters like spaz Kerrie Kowalski or Asian exchange student Feng Schwey wander amongst the audience, interacting with improvisational gusto. If you haven't been yet, it's quite the experience. Dates left include Friday, April 1st, Saturday, April 2nd, Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th.

All our photo booth shots are photographed on a 21.1 MP Canon EOS 5D Mark II. A disc of all your images can be purchased for $20 CAD and will be sent to you by mail within one to two weeks. I look forward to seeing you at the prom.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: "Talk to the Pro" at Van Tech

(Guest lecturing for a bunch of high school students at Van Tech. © 2011 Benjamin Luk Photography.)

Kids have mad talent. In fact, both pictures you see here were shot on my camera by students at Vancouver Technical Secondary School during my guest lecture two Thursdays ago on March 3rd, 2011. Assistant Colten Warne and I showed up with our gear, gave a short presentation, then answered questions from the small but enthusiastic after-school group. Some were keen on me teaching them the basics of composition and settings. Others were interested in internship. It didn't take much to get the students excited about photography as a legitimate career option. All I had to do was mention the possibility of world travel, getting paid thousands at a time to create art, and how fulfilling a life of creativity really is.

(Assistant Colten Warne examining a student's black-and-white negatives. © 2011 Benjamin Luk Photography.)

From what I saw of them during my brief presentation, it wouldn't surprise me if there were at least one future professional photographer in the group I lectured. If any of them are reading right now, I offer mentorship programs for youth and, in the future, hope to establish a charity foundation to develop photography programs in elementary and secondary schools. I look forward to making that dream a reality.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Saturday, February 19, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Kris & Ellen's Wedding

(Ellen and Kris, photographed at Swan-e-set Bay Resort and Country Club, Pitt Meadows. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

I first met Ellen and Kris in a coffee shop in New Westminster some months ago. Though they were very casual in demeanour, it became immediately apparent they knew exactly what they wanted and would settle for nothing less. I took that as a challenge. I knew my team and I would be ready to rise to the task.

(Ellen admiring her dress while her sister looks on in the background. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

On a brisk weekend morning in January, my teammates Patrick Leung and Winona Lee piled up our cars with the gear we needed for our shoot. We had five camera bodies, an extensive selection of zooms and primes, a number of Speedlites and a Profoto AcuteB 600 on site. Even though we had three locations to cover, two of them during the same time, our preparation beforehand ensured perfect photojournalistic coverage.

(Our signature Reservoir Dogs homage with Kris and his groomsmen. © 2011 Winona Lee, Benjamin Luk Photography.)

We captured the ceremony from a variety of angles, delivering the standard close-ups and wide shots, but we also got great coverage of the moments a less trained photographer may have missed: reaction shots of the parents, the tears and laughter that only happen once, etc. Over the many weddings we've shot over the past three years, we've managed to hone our craft to become some of the best in the business.

(Ellen and Kris' first kiss as husband and wife. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

From 2,300+ captures, post-production assistant Tyler Branston brought it down to 528 selected images for delivery. However, because we feel we can stand behind our work, we're also sending them all their other shots at no additional charge. We've also included a small video portion in our delivery for the very first time. The disc is currently en route to Ellen and Kris in Denwood, AB.

(We had a lot of fun the moment we found the bar at Swan-e-set. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Saturday, January 22, 2011

PERSPECTIVE: Memewar Magazine Issue #12

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(The cover of Memewar Magazine Issue #12: Children. © 2010 Memewar Magazine.)

I've been featured on the back cover of Memewar Magazine before, back in Issue #8: Gods & Idols with my shot of Canadian musician, Matthew Good. However, I'd never been offered a front cover before for such a reputable literary magazine. It was named "Best Free Literary Magazine" in The Georgia Straight's 2008 Best of Vancouver issue. I immediately took on the project, no questions asked. What followed was a quick photo shoot at an editor's residence with two models; an older gentleman and a toddler, both of them blowing bubbles towards the camera.

The final cover photo was achieved with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens and a Profoto AcuteB 600 with softbox attachment.

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at