Ben Yew first caught Chandelle’s eye because she was drawn to the way he captured more candid moments with natural lighting. For Yew, it was a no-brainer: the bride was planning a wedding at groom Joel’s sister’s farm in Capel, Western Australia—and the 100-acre plot of land has a river running through it and dotted with 750 orange trees—complete with a tractor, chickens, outdoor fireplace, food truck dining, a casual reception and a scavenger hunt.
“She also informed me that Joel is a little shy and may need some guidance for their bridal portraits, and I assured her that I would find ways to make everyone feel relaxed in front of the camera, have lots of fun along the way,” Yew says. As it turned out, the bride as well as the groomsmen were able to help Joel come out of his shell in front of the lens.
“I have shot many weddings at different wineries and even apple orchards, but this is the first time I shot at an orange orchard,” the photographer says. He and the couple took full advantage of this scenery, even peeling and eating the oranges. “The point isn’t to get shots of them eating but just to get them to do have some fun with each other,” he says, adding, “and the fact that they were hungry as well worked for everyone.”
His favorite shot of the day: the one of Chandelle walking into the orchard with her head turned slightly toward Yew, as the sun’s rays came pouring in (above). “It feels dreamy, like a fairy tale,” he says. “And catching the chickens—it was fun watching Joel and Chandelle chasing them around.”
Other than the sheer beauty of the place, Yew says the location was also incredibly ideal because all of the day’s events took place within close proximity of one another; Chandelle’s and Joel’s getting-ready spots were fairly close to the ceremony and reception, and, as Yew says, there was “lots of lots of space.” He could move around freely, moving around the various activities and events of the day without worrying about missing key moments.
“I loved working around the orchard area,” he says, “and even the tractor was there for us to use for photos. Nearing sunset, we moved toward the other part of the farm where the strips of light looked amazing coming through the tall trees.”
If this sounds impossibly perfect, Yew did encounter the all-too-familiar wedding photography challenge: time. “Because this is a large block of land, it takes a bit of time to travel from point A to be B, then to C and back,” he explains. “I’m glad they had a pick-up truck to drive us back to the venue and give us some extra time for the sunset shots.”
And because the marriage officiant was standing in front of a fence during the ceremony, Yew had to do some tricky maneuvering to get shots from multiple angles and rely on his second shooter to help him out with capturing the reading of the vows, exchange of rings and first kiss.
Luckily the challenges Yew encountered throughout the day were met with some relatively straightforward solutions, such as the tractor kiss shot he had envisioned—with the groom sitting on the tractor, he was too high for the bride to reach, until they found a milk crate for her to inconspicuously stand on.
Ben Yew’s Wedding-Day Gear
Cameras: Nikon D750 (main) and Nikon D800 (second in command)
Lenses: Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC