Epic Week With Von Wong – Photography, Photoshop And Fun!

To view other parts of this blog series, click the links below:
Part 1 – The Surprise!
Part 3 – The Rodeo
Part 4 – Canoeing, The Fetish Club And The Conference
Part 5 – The Final Days

Day 2

The Morning

All of a sudden, after a night of little seep it was Wednesday morning! I was still in a little bit of shock about what happened a little under 24 hours earlier when my favourite photographer Benjamin Von Wong surprised me by showing up on my doorstep, although I had calmed down quite a bit and unlike the day before I could form coherent sentences..most of the time!

I noticed at about 6am that the article that we were interviewed for the day before had gone live on The Border Mail’s website. I was super happy with the article! I have been in a couple of newspaper articles before and they have got half the information wrong, however there was none of that in this article!
The photo was also awesome! I really want to thank Tara Goonan from The Border Mail for the photo which is at the top of this blog post!
No one else was up yet, and it was still too early to go and get a physical copy of the paper, so I waited until about 7:30 and then headed out on a little walk to a corner store about 500 meters away and got attempted to get a copy of the newspaper, but they hadn’t been delivered to that corner store yet, so I had to head back home and wait a little longer!

Mum got up at about 8:30, and while Ben was Skyping with his agent, she drove down and got us a couple of copies of the paper. One for us and one for Ben!
When she got home and I picked up the paper I was shocked once again! We had made it onto both the front cover of the newspaper AND page 2! Ben and I were really excited! He took a photo of the front cover to show his agent and here is that photo! Albury Photographer Tyler Grace and Benjamin Von Wong on the front page of The Border Mail

Here is a photo of the actual article as well, although if you can’t read it properly, you can click here to check out the online version of the article!

Newspaper article of Albury Photographer Tyler Grace and Benjamin Von Wong

Scouting And Going Downtown

We had decided that today we were going to go out scouting for locations for a photo shoot and Ben was going to create some of his wonderful imagery with Bianca and I as the subjects! I was so incredibly excited! I honestly never thought I would ever get my photo taken by Ben Von Wong!
We waited for Bianca, Dad, Sam and Silvia to arrive and they ended up getting to our place by about 10:30. It took Ben and I a while to get ready,, but we headed out around an hour later.

We drove to the Hume Weir to see if there were any locations near there that would suit the sort of idea we had in mind, which was inspired by a photo that another one of my favourite photographers Rob Woodcox took, with the young man and woman standing in the lake facing away from the camera.
We weren’t searching for long when Ben and I jumped and said “We need to go down there!”. I think that Mum, Dad and Bianca thought we were mad. It was the strangest location that we could have chosen, but it ended up being perfect for the shot we wanted to get! It was a location out near the water where there was a deep ravine and lots of mud and dirt!
We decided that we were definitely going to come back and do the shoot there at sunset!

After that, we went into Bellbridge to get some drinks and then came all the way back into Downtown Albury. We randomly decided to go for a walk down the main street to see if anyone recognised us from the newspaper that morning!
We didn’t get recognized until we walked into a very particular shop, a shop that probably won’t surprise any of you…Camera House!

After we finished our little walk, we went into West End Plaza and had our lunch. Ben ended up having a giant Kebab! I have never seen a kebab the size of the one he had, and I have no idea how he managed to eat every last bit of it!
After that we headed home and rested for a few hours! Ben was still pretty jetlagged, so he went to bed while I just hung out with Mum, Bianca, Sam and Silvia!

The Photo Shoot

A little while before sunset, Dad came and picked all of us up except Mum. Mum decided to wait until we got home to see the results of the shoot!
We drove right back out to the shoot location, and the next hour or so is an hour I will never forget!
Ben had both Bianca and I trekking though the extremely deep mud, and it hurt so incredibly much, but in the end, it was so worth the pain!
My body was completely destroyed about 10 minutes into the shoot and we had to somehow find a way out. I ended up having to slowly pull my legs out of the knee high mud I don’t know how I managed to get out of it, but I know that I would have been helped out everyone if I couldn’t make it out myself!
I completely love the image and I can’t thank Ben enough for taking it!
Here is a behind the scenes shot from the video, which you can watch if you click here.Behind The Scenes shot of our shoot with Von Wong just outside of Albury

After the shoot was done, we trekked all the way back up to the car, which was a steep and very tiring climb!

We decided to get pizza for dinner on the way home and while everyone else had gone to get the pizza, Silvia and I stayed in the car and had a really nice chat! It was the first time I had been able to speak to Silvia one on one and it was really great to be able to do that! She is a wonderful, kind woman and I really hope that one day our paths cross again!

We arrived home, had out dinner and then Ben brought the photos up on his laptop.
The photo shows Bianca and I walking through the mud with me in obvious pain and her holding my hand and helping me through it, which symbolizes our relationship perfectly! Bianca is always there for me and I am always there for her. We get through things together! We are not only brother and sister. We are best friends!
Add that with the river and mountains as the background and an absolutely amazing sunset to top it off! It is just.. I can’t really even begin to describe how perfect it is!
Mum even loved the images so much she started crying!

Here is the full version of the final image, which you can see part of up on the top of the page!The final photo from Von Wong

It wasn’t long after that that everyone left and we decided to call it a night and head to bed.

Day 3

Thursday was a pretty quiet day. I spent most of the day watching Ben edit the photos of Bianca and I as well as a few photos from his other recent shoots, such as his latest photos of the band called “The Agonist” and some of his incredibly popular fire images! He taught me a lot more than I think he realizes. Watching him do Frequency Separation made it so much simpler for me to do! I had no idea why it never worked for me and he unknowingly showed me the mistakes I was making and how I can avoid those mistakes!
There were also a lot of other little things along the way which have helped me immensely.

At about 11am, we got to have a Skype video call with Jen Brook, who is an extremely talented model based in the UK and one of my favourite models of all time! I was so excited to be chatting to her! It was quite a hilarious chat! We could see her on video, but she couldn’t actually speak to us using her voice, as her parents were asleep and if she did talk she would wake them! So we were talking to her while she was typing to us!
The call lasted about 20 minutes and I am really glad that I got a chance to chat with her! I hope that one day, when she comes back to Australia, I can do a photo shoot with her! She is one of the very few models who I really want to work with to create some awesome images!

In the late afternoon, Bianca came over for a bit and we, along with Ben decided to go and gather some food supplies for our 5 day road trip! After we finished, we came home and relaxed for the rest of the day. I got to use Ben’s Wacom Tablet which was pretty awesome! I had never used one before so it was a completely new experience for me, and it was thanks to that experience that I bought my own Wacom Tablet a few weeks later!

During the day, Ben asked me if I would like to do a little speech about being a chronically ill photography at his “Anatomy Of An Epic Photograph” conference in Melbourne on Sunday! I jumped at the chance to do it! I am not the best at public speaking and I have severe social anxiety, so I really wanted to do it to see if facing my fears could help me overcome them.

Late in the evening, Ben received a phone call, and it was from the owner of a Fetish Club in Melbourne!
He had invited us to go and check it out on the Saturday night and take a few photos there! Ben and I decided to go and I will tell you all about it in future installments of this blog series!

That’s all for now!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far and as always, keep smiling everyone! 🙂

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