Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ashley & Andrew's Wedding - October 22nd, 2011

(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 Weddings is available for assignment at

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kashka & Kathleen's Wedding - August 19th, 2011

(Kashka and Kathleen, photographed moments before wreaking havoc with pump-action water guns. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Saying I've known Kathleen a long time is an understatement. What I recall most is spending Math class with her in Grade 9. We were both approximately 4' 11" and had our whole lives ahead of us. To guess that I'd be photographing her wedding over a decade later would've been insanity. That having been said, I consider having done so a great privilege. On a side note, Kathleen is now a tattoo artist and I happily gave her a price cut on the condition she give me a tattoo. I'll be remembering this wedding for the rest of my life.

(The humble gazebo where the ceremony took place, plus guests. © 2011 Jonathan Evans, Benjamin Luk Photography.)

The ceremony took place in an unassuming rose garden in New Westminster's Queen's Park. Words were exchanged about past generations' challenges with same-sex unions and the guests applauded that they were able to witness one today. Bridesmaids teared up during the exchange of vows. Kashka held Kathleen tightly during their first kiss as life partners. We were able to capture it all.

(A moment captured on the bus ride to our portrait location. © 2011 Jonathan Evans, Benjamin Luk Photography.)

The bus we took to our portrait location may or may not have been outfitted with stripper poles. Kathleen's brother may or may not have performed a full-blown striptease complete with standard acrobatics. Jonathan's expertise with event photography ensured that not a moment was missed and I can safely say this may have been one of the wildest weddings of our entire career. To see the full slideshow, book an appointment with us and see the whole thing. We're currently booking for 2012 and 2013.

(Smooching tends to happen at weddings. © 2011 Benjamin Luk.)

Benjamin Luk Photography Weddings is available for assignment at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Janell & Aniket's Wedding - July 16th, 2011

(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 Weddings is available for assignment at

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kris & Ellen's Wedding - January 8th, 2011

(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 Weddings is available for assignment at