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The Short Version: Many couples plan destination weddings so they can have a picturesque backdrop for their nuptials. Professional photographer Ben Yew specializes in capturing those special moments. Ben, who is based in Australia, has worked with couples in stunning settings around the world and creates artful images with light, texture, and emotion that highlight the beauty of each moment. For capturing cherished memories for couples, Ben Yew has earned our Editor’s Choice Award.
According to TripSavvy, destination weddings are a popular trend, with a quarter of all couples traveling to locations around the world to recite their vows.
Some destination weddings are elopements, but many others are meticulously planned with friends and family in mind. On average, 48 guests attend a destination wedding, and couples often extend the good times with a private honeymoon afterward.
Few people are as knowledgeable about destination weddings as Ben Yew, an international travel photographer who works primarily with couples.
Ben said it took some time to understand the most critical elements involved in producing the perfect images for memorable destination weddings or travel experiences.
“When I first started capturing traveling couples and destination weddings, I was focusing on the destination. Then I realized that the destination may be the objective or goal, but appreciating and enjoying the journey is even more important,” he told us. “The more I travel, and the more elopements or destination weddings I capture, the more excited I get for the next one. It just keeps getting better, and it shows in my work.”
Finding the perfect photographer to capture the ethereal joy of wedding preparation, vows, and reception is an important decision, and those who want to hold their nuptials at an exotic location can find an experienced, passionate photographer in Ben Yew.
His expertise translates into a relaxed relationship with clients that results in beautiful, artistic images that will be cherished for the rest of their lives.
Ben’s unique style is less a mix between photography and fine art, as he infuses his images with dreamy qualities through a blend of light and texture. He uses different exposures, focuses, and frames to create moods and capture emotions that other professionals may miss.
His business has grown dramatically due to the many word-of-mouth referrals he receives from clients around the world.
“Most couples get to know me either from referrals, past clients, and, occasionally, from publications and social media,” he said. “They are drawn to me because they love the combination of dreamy and natural beauty and real moments with a hint of quirkiness.”
Ben’s unique personality also shines through in his images. He loves to find the energy between two people, and many of his photographs convey that spark of joy couples feel on their special days.
He said that couples want to work with him not only because of his style but also because they feel a connection with him — which also makes them more comfortable in front of the camera.
“It’s not about one award-winning capture. It’s the storytelling throughout the day that makes the images timeless,” he said. “Timelessness and artistic creativity are also important.”
Ben said being a part of a wedding is an honor, and it always inspires him to do his best. While each wedding and each destination is unique, the connections with the couple are what makes his work especially powerful.
Ben has traveled to many destinations over the years, including France, Australia, Bali, Italy, Thailand, Malaysia, and New Zealand. He typically works alone, although he occasionally brings along a second photographer for larger weddings to ensure he captures as many moments as possible.
Often, couples start their search for a destination wedding photographer by looking for someone who lives at the location to which they plan to travel. But the most beautiful places in the world don’t always have the most seasoned professionals to capture the big day. Instead, it makes more sense for couples to find a photographer who has the style that resonates with them, according to Ben.
“For me, the most important thing is to connect with the couple,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how good the photographer is if he or she does not connect well with the couple. That connection brings out the best in the photographer and the couple on the day of the shoot or the wedding.”
Ben also records his thoughts about some of his travel thoughts and observations in an online journal. One post discusses how timeless black and white images can be for travel, portraiture, or weddings. Ben said he often likes to incorporate black and white photography along with color because the mix of vibrancy and distraction-free work can provide the right combination for memories.
“I would like to inspire others to appreciate life and all the moments,” he said. “My goal is simple: To inspire people and keep getting inspired in return — and appreciate and embrace the journey.”
Most couples who hire Ben love travel, the outdoors, and being surrounded by natural beauty. Ben said he joins them in sharing an appreciation of raw and real emotions and moments. Seeing the connection that couples share with their friends and family is also special, he said.
Ben said that weddings often get emotional when couples look at each other lovingly, or when they think about family members or friends who couldn’t share in the special day. That’s why he strives to capture images of the couple with friends and family members at the ceremony.
“Looking back at wedding images can bring you back sweet memories and even help a couple through challenges in life,” he said. “It’s something we pass down from generation to generation for kids, grandkids, or even great-grandkids to appreciate. Images freeze the moment for you to look back long after that particular moment is gone.”
He knows how important those memories are, and that’s what makes him so passionate about his work. His clients recognize that passion in the final product, and they share their gratitude through testimonials.
“You have produced the most incredible and detailed photographs that really define true love,’ one client wrote.
Another client added, “You know how girls get super-excited about their dress, so they go and look at it, ‘Well, you’re my dress.'”
Yet another client said that she cried when she saw the photos because they brought back such beautiful memories of the special day.
“(I’m) really speechless, these are so beautiful,” the client wrote. “Above and beyond already very high expectations!”
Ben said he looks forward to working with couples in Australia and around the world in 2020, and he’s also working on some personal projects that he’ll be sharing soon.
“I love the energy, fun, connection, and happiness of the wedding day, and I capture them artistically,” he said. “I am motivated by my passion to produce the best I can for each one.”