Kings & Thieves are husband and wife team Benjamin and Carisse Urquhart and are based in the beautiful Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. While specialising in shooting elopements and intimate weddings, Benjamin and Carisse are just as adept at shooting fashion and portraits. We are featuring a selection of recent images from their portfolio that really demonstrates this versatility…
Why do you photograph? What is it about this medium that appeals to you most?
Okay, here’s a two-part answer; simply put, we like to keep the soul hungry. It definitely adds to the appeal of it all – you know, when you see a photograph or hear a song or watch a film that hits you deep and leaves you wanting more – it is life changing. And its like that, the more we shoot the hungrier we get. We love having the ability to literally pause a moment in life, from our vantage point. It’s a huge blessing to be given the gift of creativity – in whatever capacity – and to apply it toward making an impact in people’s lives. Seriously, this all blows us away.
Your folio covers weddings, portraits and model shoots; you guys are clearly very much about recording people and capturing emotions but how would you define your own style?
Real, grit-loving, raw, naked, angsty, gnarly, moody, emotional, candid, real – capturing real passion is number one. If you’re reading this and you’re booked to shoot with us soon, take note: forget we’re there shooting you guys and keep a steely focus on each other. Let that fire rage and we’ll have no problem capturing it.
It’s a huge blessing to be given the gift of creativity – in whatever capacity – and to apply it toward making an impact in people’s lives. Seriously, this all blows us away.
What are the most challenging aspects of shooting weddings and, conversely, what are the most rewarding parts?
The challenging: full day coverage, uncles with cameras, keeping store of as much introverted energy as possible.
The rewarding: full day coverage (challenging, but super rewarding – there’s no way we could ever compromise on the story), editing the photos and feeling the couple’s true connection.
So we’re both totally excited (and completely dreading) our first wedding bender but, to hell with it, bring it on!
Do you carry a lot of equipment when shooting? Talk us through your standard kit.
Not at all; we’re huge fans of using and mastering the equipment we have. The last thing we want to be doing is swapping gear or lenses around, or spending yonks setting up gear, only to have a cliched or crappy result. We’re also into breathing new life into old gear. Most of our kit is either vintage or secondhand, with the exception of our camera bodies.
Our kit for pretty much everything: Canon 6D with 24-70 f/2.8 lens, Fujifilm X100s (this doubles as our vlogging camera). Seldom flash. Never tripod or lens hood.
Our kit for fun: Pentax K1000, Pentax P series (both passed down from our Grandads), Pentax Zoom compact camera (found at a garage sale – awesome for nostalgia value). The film for these cameras varies depending on whatever we’re keen on trying. We want these analog shots to have souls of their own, and so we never really try to match the digital shots.
There’s something subtle and eerie about B&W; the images seem to have this magical ability to transport you further into the image, into that moment…
Your folio is predominantly in B&W; why do you favour this over colour?
Lately seeing our images in black and white has given us more of a rush. There’s something subtle and eerie about B&W; the images seem to have this magical ability to transport you further into the image, into that moment… Sometimes the hit is so unspeakable we never want to shoot colour again. We’ve published some great colour pics, but they seldom appear on our site so we can keep our aesthetic clean. Really though, we have nothing against colour – we’re just sick of the norm. We’re so done with scrolling through feeds and watching people go wild for totally cliched and cheesy photography. That’s where the heart of our photography is. Maybe people will never go wild for what we do, but we’re okay with that – it means we’re headed in the right direction.
What has been the best advice that you have been given about your photography?
Shoot what you love. Capture everything you see no matter what. Never miss out on a moment just because you didn’t feel like it or it didn’t seem worth it. It’s all worth it.
Money aside, what would be your dream photography job or assignment?
Living life in the Scottish Highlands shooting lovers, and to spend a day with Cara Delevingne (duh).
Are you working on any new projects at the moment that you can tell us about?
Raising a child! Our girl Phoebe Rey was born in May. She’s a heartbreaker and a wild child.
We’re working on a few things to expand what we’re doing in Kings & Thieves. We have a bunch of crazy ideas. Stay tuned.
See more of Benjamin and Carisse’s work at:
All images copyright Benjamin and Carisse Urquhart – Kings & Thieves.