Benj Haisch is a wedding photographer based in Tacoma, Washington focusing on documenting authentic moments and relationships between his couples. With a love for the outdoors, which becomes clearly evident when you click through to his social media profiles, Benj can be found photographing weddings, elopements, and more in scenic locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, and also travels widely on assignments across the world. He is active on Instagram, beautifully documenting the people and places he encounters on a daily basis, and also showcasing some of the amazing gear that he uses for work and play.
Benj carries the Leather Bowery in Antique Cognac.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
BH: I took a trip to India in 2005 with an organization called YWAM to do some missionary work and to try and find some direction for my life. In those three months, I carried a little point-and-shoot camera that my parents had bought me for Christmas that year and just fell in love with documenting things through photography. The next time that I took a trip, I bought a little Canon Rebel and posted those photos on Facebook. When I got back a few friends and family asked me to take photos of them and someone even asked me to fill in as their wedding photographer last minute. Things basically snowballed from there from a not-serious hobby to a full-time job within a year or two.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
BH: I shoot with too many cameras right now, but my main ones are Canon 5D Mark III’s, Leica M9, and my iPhone. 35mm is my favorite focal length so I’m usually shooting with my Canon 35mm f/1.4L or the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 II.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? What is your dream project?
BH: As a wedding photographer, I feel like the best thing I can do is draw inspiration from my clients and the environment that they’re getting married in. My dream project is just documenting amazing couples in incredible locations. But I’ll take a couple who is madly in love and it shows getting married in a dirty alleyway over a couple who is just getting married for the heck of it in an amazing location any day. I would LOVE to photograph weddings in the Lofoten Islands and fjords of Norway, a spot accessible by helicopter in New Zealand, basically any wedding in Antarctica, a cultural wedding in India, or on safari in Africa, though. Those five spots are currently at the top of my wish list.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
BH: The hardest thing I’ve found about being a photographer is balancing work and life. With social media and owning/running your own business, it can be hard to disconnect and actually take time off.
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
BH: I’d love to think that my style is very natural and environmental as well. I document a lot of elopements where I’m often one of five people there total and my goal always is for friends and family to be able to look through the photographs and feel what it would have been like to be there and witness it firsthand.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
BH: Shoot a ton, try to learn something from every shoot, and make a goal to do something better at every shoot.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
BH: I saw the post on your blog about my friends Dylan and Sara and knew I had to get an ONA.
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