Epic Week With Von Wong – Day 1 | Tyler Grace Photography | Albury Photographer

Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Behind The Scenes, Everything, Life, Thoughts | 6 comments

To read more about the epic adventure, please visit these links:
Part 2 – Newspaper Articles, A Photo Shoot And More!
Part 3 - Searching For Wild Kangaroos And The Rodeo!
Part 4 - Canoeing, Fetish Clubs and The Conference!
Part 5 - Photo Shoots, Exploring Melbourne and Goodbye!
To read Ben’s thoughts on the trip, please click here

Day 1

The week had started out like any other. Nothing interesting, nothing special, all I had done was rest and recover from my last big trip to Melbourne .

My Grandparents came over at 9:30am on the Tuesday to sort out details for my 21st Birthday Party and then just as we were about to leave there was a knock on the door.

And so the most epic and amazing week of my life begins!

I open the door and I see my sister Bianca. Next to her I see a box with it’s top cut off and some familiar hair sticking out from the top. My mind and heart were racing and I was thinking “Is it really him? Is it really him?!”. All of a sudden the humanoid figure with the familiar hair jumps out from the box..

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Ben said as he jumped out of the box.

My heart stopped for a second. It was him! It was really him! Benjamin Von Wong!
Ben is my favourite photographer, my inspiration, my idol. I could not believe what was happening!
I was in complete shock. I had no idea what to do, what to say or what to think. It was the most surreal, exciting and amazing moment of my life!

My first words to him were “Holy F***?!”, then “Can I hug you?!” (Maybe not in that order). I honestly never thought I would ever get to meet him let alone have him come to my house to  meet me! We live half a world apart. Me in little old  Albury, Australia and him all the way over in Canada! I had no idea what to do!

All of a sudden I noticed that there were multiple people with cameras filming me and that my Dad was behind Bianca. At this point I still had no idea what was happening.

After the initial shock and surprise we went inside and I was introduced properly to Ben and his assistants at the time Sam and Silvia. It was then that I learned that Ben was going to be staying at our place for the next 3 nights and then we were heading off on an adventure around Victoria for the next 4 days after that which included going to a rodeo in Kyabram, going to a conference that Ben was holding in Melbourne, a huge photo shoot and a lot more. They were also going to be documenting the whole trip on video which Ben will be putting up on his channel on YouTube! The next thing I was told is that the local newspaper The Border Mail was coming to interview us in a matter of hours!

In between the surprise and the girls from the Border Mail coming, my Grandparents left and Ben, Sam, Silvia , my Mum, Dad and my sister Bianca just hung out and got to know each other. Dad left about half an hour after my Grandparents did. About an hour and a half before the Border Mail came, Ben got me to do my first interview on camera. It went for about 40 minutes and I was extremely nervous throughout the whole thing, but I guess we will find out how I did when the video comes out!

The Border Mail arrived at about 3pm and that interview went really well! They just asked questions about what was happening and then we went out and did a little photo shoot just out the front of my house and along the footpath on the side of the street!

After we finished the interview and the girls from the Border Mail left, we just had fun hanging out for a while. At about 5 o’clock I needed to go out on a walk to process everything and try and clear my head so I could think straight. My best friend Tom came along on the walk with me and I was able to tell him about everything that had happened. Like me, he couldn’t believe that it actually happened either. I had to send him a photo of me and Ben just so he could process that it was real. We had talked about Ben so much and Tom really liked his work as well so it was just as completely crazy to him that Ben would turn up on my doorstep like that!
After we had a little walk, Mum called to see where I was and i mentioned I was with Tom and she said “Bring him in to meet Ben! Ben is interviewing Bianca right now so be extra quiet..if it’s possible with Tom..when you come in.” We were pretty much right outside my house, so we crept in and Tom got to meet Ben, Sam and Silvia and he hung out with us for about an hour and a half! It was really awesome!

At around 6:30 Nan, Gar and Dad showed up again because we were having a big barbeque dinner with snags (sausages for you non-Aussies), steak and other yummy stuff! The night went on and we just all chatted and had a heap of fun. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves which was really, really good! And the food was delicious as well which was an extra bonus! Although Gar is an excellent cook. He never fails to cook us up a good meal!

The dinner/get together lasted until about 10 o’clock and then everyone left. Dad, Bianca and my Grandparents went back to their place and Sam and Silvia went to Sam’s friends place (Sam happened to have a friend who lived in Albury, which is pretty crazy. As the song goes..”It’s a small world after all!”)

One thing I almost forgot to mention is that during the day, I posted on the once secret “Von Wong In Melbourne” group n Facebook thanking them all for keeping it a secret and how incredibly happy I was, and I got a comment from Simon Pollock from Think Tank Photo who offered to give me any camera backpack of my choice from their range of backpacks! I ended up choosing the Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive which comes at a value of around $270 in Australian currency and I ended up getting that on Sunday at Ben’s conference in Melbourne, but that’s a story for another time and I will also be doing a review on the backpack very soon!
Thank you so much for the Backpack Simon and Think Tank! You guys are beyond amazing!

The next blog will be about the second and third days of the Epic Week with Von Wong which includes Ben doing a photo shoot of Bianca and I and a day of editing, which was basically a master class!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far and as always, catch you all next time! :)

Albury Photographer Tyler Grace with Montreal Photographer Benjamin Von Wong

 

I am an Albury Photographer who specialises in conceptual, glamour, fashion, family, landscape and commercial photography. I also service Melbourne. For any enqurires, please contact me at tyler@tylergracephotography.com

 

6 Comments

  1. Tyler,,, what an awesome story! The more I read of Ben’s adventures, the more I love this guy. I had the good fortune to meet him thru a fire breather friend (André Das) and got to work with him on several shoots. He is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. Not only for his photographic artistry, but because of things like this. He not only lives life to the fullest for himself, but gives life and inspiration in every way he can. I’m so happy for you and wish you the best with your health and photography endeavors.
    Sky

    • TylerGracePhotography

      Same here! He is one of the most awesome guys I have ever met! I never thought I would ever meet him let alone be surprised by him and have this whole experience with him, and for him to do something like this for just a random chronically ill fan like me is beyond amazing! I respected him a lot before I met him but now I respect him so much more! And more than that, I’m so happy to now call him a friend rather than just my idol or favourite photographer! :)
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and commenting! I think you are the first person to ever comment here on my blog! :)

  2. Congratulations Tyler, your story is inspirational! Wishing you all the best with your photography and also the best outcomes possible with your health. I am trying to find my way around my first SLR, and have some appreciation of how much there is to learn about photography so am in awe of your achievements! All good wishes, Andrea, UK

    • TylerGracePhotography

      Thank you so much Andrea! I still have so much to learn myself. All we have to do is keep learning and keep trying new things and most importantly never give up!

  3. This is so inspirational – not just the story of your epic week with Ben, but YOUR story in whole!
    We all have our struggles and it is adventures like this that gives people strength to not give in. I wish the best of luck to both your photo career and health, Tyler!

    Cheers from Sweden,
    Patrik

    • TylerGracePhotography

      Thank you so much Patrik! I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week! :)

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