The duo behind Kings & Thieves have set themselves the mighty challenge of giving each couple photos that will remain their favourite for an entire lifetime! Luckily they’ve got the skills to deliver. Meet Benjamin and Carisse, photographers of emotional elopements and weddings. Strongly supporting marriage and gender equality, and love in all forms.
Plus, mention that you found them through WedShed, when you enquire directly through their profile here for a free engagement shoot. How good is that?!
Tell us a bit about what you do.
What’s good! We’re ex photographers of Benjamin & Carisse, humans in love. We’re Blue Mountains based emotional wedding photographers, shooting locally and abroad.
What is the main advantage for couples who work with you?
We put you first. We want you to have the best-damned wedding photos this lifetime has to offer, so we put a lot into preparing for your day, getting to know you on a deeper level, and soaking in inspiration so that we’re primed and ready for all that your day has to throw out into existence. We’re certainly not ones to simply rock up on the day and just hope for the best. You’re worth more than that.
Can you share some of the things that go on behind the scenes?
A lot! I’ll take right now as an example. I’m typing this on my Macbook Pro, listening to Hans Zimmer scores, glancing at the cameras and journals spread all over my desk and Polaroid photos of my family on the wall in front of me. Behind me, my two daughters are watching Spirit on Netflix, and my wife Carisse is video calling with grandma.
But on any given day this could all be different. Besides doing the work of a photographer (shooting, editing, connecting with people, all the things I’m personally very passionate about), there’s also a tonne of business to take care of, including marketing, following up on emails, accounts, client meetings, etc. (which, really, I kinda love doing too). Having kids and a flexible work schedule means I’m able to spend a lot more time with family and close friends, which is something I’ve wanted since leaving my last career. Loving life!
Do you think there are any preconceptions about the wedding industry?
I think one of the bigger preconceptions about getting hitched is that you need to have a big traditional affair, one that Aunt Gladys would approve of. Nah, there’s no rules here. Aunt Gladys ain’t the one getting hitched (you are!) We’ve met with couples who prefer a small, intimate wedding and others who have always wanted a big fancy one. More power to them (and you)! Your day is YOUR day, no one else’s. You shouldn’t feel like you “have” to do something for tradition’s sake or to keep Aunt Gladys happy.
Our advice? Grab a journal (we’ll send you one of ours when you book with us), and write down all the possibilities for your wedding. No idea is too nuts. On another page, write down all the things you definitely don’t want. This will be your guide, your own wedding bible. So go ahead. Have no cake or the biggest cake you can think of. Play Slipknot when you walk down the aisle. Drink too much and dance your heart away from 3pm ’til 3am. Celebrate the way you think your love should be celebrated.
What are some of the main questions couples ask you? And what are the answers?
‘Do you shoot family photos too?’ – YEP. And we’ll do it in a way where you’re simply hanging with ’em, having a good old laugh together. There’s always an opportunity to forge new and fun memories.
Can you describe what sets your business apart?
Hopefully a lot of things. We never want to fall victim to what’s trending, and we constantly question everything we do, so we can keep forging our own path. You won’t see us with top buttons done up, wearing broad-rimmed hats and listening to that obscure band that sounds like an amalgamation of every Triple J artist, editing with the hottest new presets and arranging you into trendy (soon to be cheesy) poses. We want our artistry to stay unique. And, more so, we want to give you photos that showcase you, your partner, and the ways you love. It’s real easy to document the physical, and way harder to shoot what’s within. We aim to shoot your spirits, your strong human emotions, so that in fifty years from now you’ll look at your wedding photography and truly feel the way you did on that day. Powerful, emotional frames. The biggest of love, always. We’re pretty down to earth, but we’re passionate about what we do.
What’s your next predicted wedding trend?
Short notice, tiny elopements. A lot of our enquiries lately are like this. Couples who have been engaged for a while, and just want to tie the knot already. We love these ones!
What would you love to see more couples do at weddings?
Sing at the top of their lungs, dance like nobody’s watching, have genuine, unbridled fun. A lot of us live guarded. Let your shields down and emote freely.
And finally, what the best piece of advice you can share with anyone planning their wedding?
Never settle for plans you’re not keen on. Grab that journal, make that list, and plan for what you really want. If you do this right, it’ll be the best day of your lives.