Saturday, September 15, 2012

PERSPECTIVE: 12x12 Vancouver Photo Marathon B&W Edition

(12x12 brainchild Morten Rand-Hendriksen in a test shot before the official mugshots were taken. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

For the past four years, it's been one of my greatest privileges to be a 12x12YVR committee member. In a film competition that challenges pros and amateurs alike to create 12 stunning images over 12 hours from 12 abstract themes, it's a unique opportunity for Vancouver photographers to strut their stuff. With only one exposure per theme to capture their vision, can they do it?

(A group photo taken before 2012's 12x12YVR competition. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

These are some of the 60 competitors for 2012, the long-awaited B&W edition. For more information, visit 12x12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and Vancouver Is Awesome, where you can find more information about competing next year. You can see this year's exhibit at the Salt Building on September 22nd at 6 PM. More info can be found here. To help donate, click here and help fund Vancouver arts. We're some of the best photographers in the city. Care to join us?

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at

Friday, September 14, 2012

PERSPECTIVE: James & Tory's Wedding

(James and Tory got married in Santorini on June 9th, 2012. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

Sometimes I get assignments that seem too good to be true. Most of these involve travel. And though I've technically shot in Hong Kong and San Francisco, this opportunity to travel to Greece and stay there for a week getting to know the couple I'd be photographing on their wedding day was far too good to pass up. So flights were booked, hotels called and bags packed. I set off on May 31st for the adventure of a lifetime.

(One of our locations was Atlantis Books, located in the small Greek town of Oia. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

After a short engagement session at the Acropolis and numerous days of drunken misadventures (where we learned exactly what the best man's alcohol tolerance was and why you shouldn't be standing on a national treasure during a hangover), we took a ferry over to the majestic island of Santorini. It was picture perfect. Beautiful blue skies, crystal clear water and cold craft beer awaited us. Moussaka and gyros greeted us at every turn. And my camera practically never left my side.

(One of the many beautiful doorways and alcoves in Santorini. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

Then the wedding day came. Since our budget couldn't accommodate an assistant, it was up to me to wrangle the 22 pounds of gear I bring to every shoot. Rushing from the hostel we were all staying at in Kamari up to the peak of Oia, I had my first encounter with every destination photographer's worst nightmare: heat stroke. With the ceremony only minutes away and fighting back waves of nausea, I hydrated as quickly as I could and carried on. This first kiss photo is proof I survived and stayed at the top of my game.

(The best 'first kiss' photo I've ever shot. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

I stayed for dinner and the post-wedding party at Dom (where I snapped many an inappropriate first dance photo), but took off the next day for a flight back into Athens where I stayed for two more nights. Not ready to end my adventuring yet, I found my way to Paris before heading back home to edit. These five photos you see here are only the tiniest percentage of gorgeous shots I got while in Greece. For the real deal, you'll want to book a private appointment with me to see more and talk to me about your upcoming wedding.

(Sunset on Santorini. © 2012 Benjamin Luk.)

Benjamin Luk Photography is available for assignment at