Jill Layton
February 26, 2015 9:00 am

Having a fear of heights is pretty common — indeed, 7.5% of human people have the fear and we totally get it. I mean, who hasn’t felt that jelly-leg feeling when looking out the window of a tall building? As humans, we’re naturally fearful of things that make us feel threatened or as if we’re in danger — and there totally is something about being up high that just makes us feel like things are scary.

Well one of our very favorite super-adventurous photographers, Benjamin Von Wong, convinced a group of regular people to allow him to photograph them as they stood on the ledge of a skyscraper overlooking San Francisco. He recruited a handful of SmugMug employees who had to overcome their primal fear of heights to make the photos work. Von Wong didn’t want to use a green screen or cheesy special effects — he wanted to capture the fearlessness of regular people. The whole idea of the project being to turn ordinary people into superheroes. And that’s exactly what he did.

This real people turned super-human is obviously a theme Von Wong is into. We previously covered a shoot of his that turned real-people into mega-incredible athletes.

On his website, he explains his inspiration for this fear of heights shoot:

Von Wong and his team rigged a heavy-duty triple riser steel boom stand (like a selfie stick, but way more high-tech) with a camera, which they were able to control wirelessly to achieve the vertigo-inducing effect they were going for.

Even though the models wore safety harnesses, standing on the ledge of a building is still serious business. In fact, we have anxiety just looking at the pictures, and we’re not currently standing on the ledge of anything. The willingness of the models to be as brave as this shoot required is inspiring, and we feel super proud of all of them.

Von Wong explains:

Check out the photos that are just as beautiful as the story behind them and check out the rest of the images on Von Wong’s site:

And a behind-the-scenes video to sneak a look at how Von Wong and his team pulled it off.

Featured image via 

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