If You're Afraid Of Heights, Look Away From This Portrait Shoot

Photographer 'jumps' off a skyscraper to capture shots where people, quite literally, are walking on air.

|  Portraits and People
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Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


Hanging off a building 30-stories up in the air isn't a situation most photographers find themselves in but this is exactly where photographer Benjamin Von Wong found himself on a moring back in July. 

Why? Well, shoe-brand Nike sent him a card which said: "Dear Ben, what would you do if you could walk on air?" and not one to walk away from a challenge, Ben said: "I want to showcase everyday people defying gravity 1000 feet up in the air." And so, a shoot was born. 

Now, on paper, the idea sounds exciting and rather cool but putting it into practice was, as you can imagine, a lot more difficult. 


Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


"There was no rulebook on 'how to hang people from skyscrapers' or 'what equipment to use' and suddenly I found myself locked in a battle between what I wanted to create in my mind… and what was actually doable," says Ben.

The challenge was also made slightly harder as instead of using stuntmen/women who are used to dangling off buildings, Ben wanted to use, in his words, 'social entrepreneurs that were making the world a better place.'


Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


After weeks of planning, shoot day arrived and people were up as early as 4 am constructing scaffolding, hosting up wires on winches and ensuring the harnesses were ready to go. Lights had to be placed in mid-air, Ben had to hang off the side of the building with his camera kit and then models, who had hardly any experience in front of the camera, had to also be placed, safely, in mid-air 30-stories above the ground (for those afraid of heights, there was a slightly lower building used that was 7-stories off the ground but even so, it's still a long way up!).

"Over and over my newly trained models would leap out – pushing themselves and contorting into dynamic positions that would fit the camera’s perspective," said Ben. 


Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


When you look at the final images below, you might be wondering why Ben didn't Photoshop out the wires and cables and the man himself has actually answered this question over on his blog where he says: "The story is the most important part… and editing the wires out, take away from the story. By showcasing everyday people doing extraordinary things, I hope that viewers will feel empowered to challenge themselves, support others and to pursue amazing life experiences of their own."

To see more of Benjamin Von Wong's awesome projects, which includes a bite-sized heroes shoot and a mad max themed project, take a look at his website

You can also get a behind-the-scenes look in the video below. 



Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper


Shooting portraits from the side of a skyscraper

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richshep 17 11 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2017 7:39PM

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