At some point in your career—probably on your first major photo shoot, for that matter—everything that can go wrong… will. It’s inevitable. You can plan and plan and plan, but circumstances will change, props will get stuck in customs, lights will break, or the weather won’t cooperate.

This, ironically enough, is your time to shine. When most people would pack up and leave, you stick around, make it work, and “do it anyway.” This is the story and lesson behind Benjamin Von Wong‘s latest photo shoot.

This image and its counterparts, believe it or not, are the result of all Ben’s plans falling through. The result of a shipping error that meant changing the whole game plan and calling a massive audible. The result of gear that would not cooperate mixed with a never-give-up attitude.

As Ben explains in the in-depth breakdown on his blog:

Just a couple days before my photoshoot, I learned from Posh that we had a tiny little problem. A miscommunication between the shipping company and her meant the very headpieces that the entire project had been designed around, weren’t going to arrive in time.

This meant two choices: I could either cancel the entire project, disappoint my team ready to drive from up to 7 hours away to help assist, and twiddle my thumbs… or try to find a solution and shoot regardless.

I opted for the latter.


In the course of telling this story, Ben reveals the impetus behind his never-give-up attitude: a mix of fear and determination. “Disappointing people has always been one of my greatest fears,” he writes… but fear is tempered with desire.

Every time I put together a project, I make it my priority to not just capture great images but to offer everyone involved a great experience.

As a result, the first thing I did upon realizing that the entire shoot was in jeopardy was to notify everyone that nothing we had planned was going to happen but that I was going to try and make something work regardless.

And then he did something special: he actually made it work. He didn’t just try, he did. He made Yoda proud and created some kick-ass work in the process.


You can get all the details about how these shots were captured by reading Ben’s 2,000-word blog post about the shoot. Find out everything that went wrong, why a shutter lag difference of just 0.12 seconds can cause real problems, and how they made due with what they had. Plus, you’ll find the BTS video at that link.

It’s an incredible story worth reading, and one best read from Ben’s own perspective. But before we let you go, we leave you with one final word from Ben:

Although I didn’t get the shots that I had initially set out to do, I did come out with a great story, nice images, new friends and an amazing experience—all of the reasons I do photography in the first place.

Challenge yourself, you never know what might come out of it.