Brotherly Lost blogger Ben Wong mines Philly's forgotten neighborhoods for his vibrant visuals.
Temple University-taught cameraman Ben Wong would rather photograph a dilapidated warehouse than Dilworth Park any day. With an audience of over 15k on his Instagram, @BrotherlyLost, Wong’s brand is urban living served straight-up: an abandoned cathedral at dusk, an unremarkable corner laundromat, a dimly lit SEPTA platform.
“I always aim to show that the city has more to offer aesthetically than statues and cobblestone,” he says. Through capturing Philadelphia’s underbelly on his dual blog and Instagram, Wong found that his weekend passion project, started in 2014, really resonated with city residents. “I tend to wander around the more offbeat neighborhoods, areas more familiar to locals,” says Wong. “I’ve always had a thing for the grittier parts of the city—I definitely have an eye for the unusual.”
Wong says he accumulated several years’ worth of photos while studying film at Temple, during which time many of his travels led him and his camera to North Philly. Lately, Wong is zooming in on other themes, like live music and portraits, but the city as subject matter remains his wide-angle focus. “I’m attracted to small pockets throughout Philly that contrast nature and urban life,” he says. “Everywhere I go I’m looking at things as if through a lens, even without a camera in hand.”