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Smart Phones Can Take Unbelievable Portrait Photos Too

Photographer Benjamin Von Wong has captured a series of rather stunning fire-inspired portraits with a Smart Phone and here we take a behind the scenes look at the shoot.

|  Portraits and People
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Fire Angel

© VonWong2015 -


Photographer Benjamin Von Wong enjoys a challenge so when his agent, Suzy Johnston said: "You won’t believe the call that just came in." Naturally, he was rather intrigued. 

The call was from Huawei who wanted Benjamin to shoot their global launch campaign on the new Huawei P8 Smart Phone: "They want you to create the craziest photograph you possibly can... Oh, and it gets better. They want you to use fire!" said Suzy.

Despite liking challenges, Benjamin was a little worried about two things: number one, the camera type and two, fire! Fire's not only dangerous, it's tricky to photograph and when it came to camera choices, Benjamin's more accustomed to a high-end model such as a Mamiya Leaf Credo 80 for creating images, not a Smart Phone. However, after a test shoot one cold evening in Shanghai using stand-in models and some simple ND filters, Benjamin was ready for the actual shoot day. 

Test shots

Above: Test shots using the Huawei P8 with flames from Starlight Alchemy.


"Lighting for the set was carefully designed to make the pillars and backdrop stand out without hitting our model. Light spills during a long exposure, would mean that our gorgeous model would come out looking blurry," said Benjamin. "To light the model without blur, a single tightly controlled Broncolor flash boomed overhead contained within barndoors were used which were manually triggered by hand." 


Starlight Alchemy making Natalia’s wings.

Photo by Sean Sim: Starlight Alchemy making Natalia’s wings.


A fire performance team added the fiery shapes to the scene, surrounding the model in fire as requested by the Executive Creative Director Sean Sim. 

"Once the lighting was set, creating these photos was almost like synchronizing a dance," said Benjamin.



Images © VonWong2015 -


The final images from the shoot are shown below and at the top of the article. You can also check out Benjamin's feature from the shoot on


Fire portrait

© VonWong2015 -


For those wondering how the fiery shapes were captured, the P8 can take multiple images over an unlimited amount of time which it compares, stacks and blends to create one image, meaning a large amount of noise doesn't spoil the shot as it would usually when a camera with a smaller sensor is used to capture a long exposure. Benjamin captured the portraits with the phone's light painting function, as requested by Sean Sim. 

(Via F Stoppers

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ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2015 12:24PM
You too can create stunning images with a smartphone! All you need is the Huawei P8.

A beautiful model. Costume and makeup crew. A fire performance team. Broncolour strobe and perhaps a few years experience in setting up complex sets and timed exposures.

Got to gets me one of them phones.
themak 7 1.0k Scotland
28 Apr 2015 4:45PM
I tried exactly the same on my phone and all I got was this.

ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2015 1:32PM
I'm baffled by how you got the train to look so small with the passengers outside of it! Amazing - is there an App on the phone for that?
themak 7 1.0k Scotland
29 Apr 2015 2:05PM
No app, just it
Quote:was almost like synchronizing a dance

My phone was, of course,
Quote:manually triggered by hand.

ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2015 4:25PM
My phone was, of course,
Quote:manually triggered by hand.

I missed that - must be where I've been going wrong all these years.

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