Meet Team Less – King and Thieves on non-traditional wedding photography

Meet Team Less – King and Thieves on non-traditional wedding photography
May 14, 2020 Sandra Henri
Ben from Kings and Thieves describes himself as tattooed, pierced with a huge beard and a Scandinavian scowl. He wears dark denim, weighs a hundred kilos, loves to deadlift, and is known to make a mean vegan cheeseburger. He also comes with a rebellious streak, which of course we love here at LSMM. Let’s get to know Ben some more…


Your wedding photography is definitely out of the box…how would you describe your style, and from where do you draw your inspiration? 
It all started with hating wedding photography, and continuing to feed the hate for years on end and to this day. To be quite frank, a lot of the wedding photography out there just doesn’t go deep enough. Think about it. The wedding – one of the most significant days in someone’s life, a proud mark and declaration of their relationship and lives together, stemming from the deepest of deep emotions – is being glossed over by the over-commercialised and trendy ‘wedding porn’ of it all. How dare we play with our fellow humans’ legacies like this. I don’t shoot for the front page, nor for my own portfolio. The work I make is a pure and artful emotional documentation of this day. It’s huge fun and big mood, or bust.



What can couples expect when working with you?
Face warping tears, a hearty appetite for beers, and a lot more laughter than you bargained for.



Tell us about some fave weddings you’ve attended…
  • The one where the wedding reception almost turned into an orgy.
  • The one where the bagpipes started playing and I cried so hard I couldn’t see the shots I was taking during the ceremony.
  • The one where we got completely drenched and my cameras broke down, forcing me to rely on Polaroid and film for the rest of it.
…But really, all of them. Each couple I’ve celebrated with have broadened me as a human and pushed me to new creative highs.




Two truths and a lie: (answer revealed at the bottom of the post!)
  • I spend most nights bingeing Beyonce music videos
  • I was almost murdered by a serial killer
  • I was raised on the high seas



Why is photography so expensive? 
For me, this all goes deeper than ‘meetings before the wedding’ and ‘x amount of hours spent in post-production’. This isn’t a direct trade-off of hours to cash. This is an investment in your legacies together. I put my all into the art we make together so that in a hundred and fifty years when couples look back on their wedding day, they’ll be kicked in the gut with nostalgia and powerful emotion, being transported way back to the feeling and essence of the day. There’s a great quote in Blade Runner 2049, ‘…We recall with our feelings, anything real should be a mess‘. This encapsulates my work completely, and getting these emotionally-packed shots demands peak performance, giving a damn about love, and being prepared to capture the dramatic and anarchic humanity of it all. These photos we make are how they’ll be seen and remembered for generations to come. Shallow posing and trendy editing just doesn’t cut it. We are the guardians of this moment in time, and the camera is our tool for expression. When you invest in good reportage, you’ll feel its effects for generations to come.



If you were to do your wedding over, what would you do differently, if anything? 
Yep, everything. Our wedding was perfect at the time for the people we were back then, but if we were to do it today it would be totally different. An elopement in the Scottish Highlands, with lots of beer! (probably)


What are you passionate about both in regards to the wedding industry and in life? 
Questioning everything, never being complacent with the norms. Complacency is a bore.



What would you like to see more of in the wedding industry?

I’d love for everyone to take a deep breath, hold, and let go. There’s way too much stress in this industry, and life is too short for that. Invest in the things that truly matter for two individuals in a marriage, and focus less on the wedding itself. I think if more vendors truly make this distinction and step out of the wedding box, then our industry will grow with less emphasis on the over-commercialised ‘wedding-porn’ of it all, and be a whole lot more life-affirming.



What does living purposefully mean to you?
Every day, every decision you make, is supercharged with intent. You are the change. Every day gives you a myriad of opportunities to live well and catalyse positive change.


What do you love about the LSMM message?
So many people hardly recognise that you can be a whole lot more of a loving and compassionate human being when planning weddings. I love that LSMM showcases the best in sustainable and vegan vendors in our industry, and empowers couples to take charge of their environmental impact.



What’s on your dream list right now?
Seeing Living Sacrifice play their 30th anniversary show in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Fave book/movie/food?
Write me off for being a nerd, but for the last couple of years I’ve been keeping track of every movie / series I’ve watched, and this year (so far) is a banger. The Lighthouse is my favourite movie of the last five years. Mad Max Fury Road is still up there. I’ll always be in Star Wars’ bed. Anything Paul Thomas Anderson touches turns to gold. All things punk/hardcore/metal. Beyonce is queen. My slutty vegan cheeseburgers are everything, and you need to have one (or four, like me)



The reveal:
  • I spend most nights bingeing Beyonce music videos (truth).
  • I was almost murdered by a serial killer (truth).
  • I was raised on the high seas (lie).

Thanks so much Ben!

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