Andie and Chris : CLOSE

Experimental Couple Session / Ben Sasso

Well, I shot a whole couple’s session sitting on the floor of a garage. That’s a first.

I’m working hard this year to prioritize connection in an image. I absolutely love shooting outdoors and nature won’t be leaving my work any time soon but I’ve (admittedly) relied on in too much. The locations I shoot in became safety nets to fall back on when the connection in an image wasn’t strong enough.

That’s just lazy. Lately I’ve been realizing that and I absolutely want to change it. There’s nothing wrong with shooting in epic landscapes (shooting out in the wilderness makes me giddy), but I always want the humanity in an image to be what sticks in someones heart.

That’s what brought me to shoot a couples session in a garage. Peace out, safety net! Sometimes the fastest way to grow is to take away the comfort zone.

All of that to say this: If there’s an aspect of your work you want to change, be active about making it happen. Improvement isn’t passive.


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  1. Reply

    every single one of these kills me. well done you!

  2. Reply

    Wow, I second what Katch said, these are all incredible!

  3. Reply

    Amazing work!! Really love the creaminess paired with that grit/grain!! So inspiring– thank you!!!

  4. Reply

    THese are enchanting. Love

  5. Reply

    These are both awesome & ridiculously inspiring!

  6. Reply

    stop. too good.

  7. Reply


  8. Reply

    Ben, these are stunning. Strong Lennon/Ono vibes too, even though they’re so much more than that!

  9. Reply

    LOVE IT!
    Well Done Ben and Thanks for pointing out again and again how important it is to step out of your comfort zone and showing which awesomeness can be created when you do it <3

  10. Reply

    Fantastic! I love the sublte blur-it all looks so real.

  11. Reply

    I totally agree with you! Ive caught myself being “lazy” during photoshoots too and have wanted to challenge myself in the same way. Your photos turned out phEnomAnal!

  12. Reply

    Just so beautiful!

  13. Reply

    These are all insane. Amazing work!

  14. Reply

    Heck YeaH Man! We love them, had such a good time shooting with you!

  15. Reply

    Amazing! I am also working on making emotion a priority instead of aeshetics… not easy! I would love to hear you talk more about how you direct the couples (i already boUght your classes!)

  16. Reply

    I’m totally in love with these pictures…

  17. Reply

    Wow ben, these are Powerful, yet tender! Thanks for always beIng INSPIRING!

  18. Reply

    I cant express how inspiring these are. Seriously a go to guide for posing with emotion. Thank You for always Thinking out of the box and Always killing it!

  19. Reply

    I totally agree with you. Since a few months, i’Ve been trying to photograph the connection between two lovebirds, more than the environment.. Love all your pictures.

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  21. Reply

    Ben, You are a mother flipping photography genius.

  22. Reply

    WoW tuis id gorgeous, just discovered your work its stunning x

  23. Reply

    Beautiful work and a beautiful couple. I love the style you shot and processed it.
    Very inspiring! Btw, how did you get the reflection in the last one?

  24. Reply

    your work is so inspiring. I absolutely love the close connection you captured here! you and katch are seriously so TALENTED!

  25. Reply

    Ben, Your images are truly stunning. This is one of my absolute favorite sets of yours. I love that you’re not at all afraid to embrace the grain – I’m a huge fan of it. (: I really admire the rawness and organic feel of these pictures, You are such a talented artist. Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise and being down to earth about it. Keep up the awesome work!

  26. Reply

    Those images are absolutely stunning. So beautiful!

  27. Reply

    Good on you for forcing yourself out of your comfort zone, it definitely paid off! These images are beautiful, raw and real. Thank you for sharing this advice!

  28. Reply

    Wow, thanks FOR SHARING!!

  29. Reply

    I love this set, Ben! So good man.

  30. Reply

    Hi Ben! amazing work (as usual) i wonder two things: are they a real couple or professional models? (they are too gorgeous to be true haha) – is this added grain or you shot it film?

    thx best regards from bordeaux 😉

    • Thanks so much Charles! I shot these on digital and got most of that grain by underexposing and then bringing it up in post (I have a Before/After blog post about how to do that) and then I added slightly more in ASE. And they are both haha.

  31. Reply

    Nice shots! the grit/grain treatment definitely works well. I’m curious to know more about the setup though. The even lighting and small slices of background sure do lok like this was done outdoors!

    • Thanks Alex! In the garage I had a canvas backdrop that is set up behind/under them with a small 2×2 ft. window behind the backdrop. That’s it!

  32. Reply

    Absolutely unreal, Ben! It is so inspiring the way you push yourself so hard and so often, and you can really see the results. Freaking Brilliant.

  33. Reply

    Dude how am i just now seeing this, forkin love it. way to try something new.

  34. Reply

    I love the way you’ve captured their emotions and connection. Their love jumps off the screen…

  35. Reply

    Of course i’m dying at the images, the cinnection/intimacy, the processing- but my favorite is Your Dogged pursuit to be touGh on yourself, to keep growing hard. It says so much for Your COMMITMENT to yourself as an artist, to your comminity and to your clients. Thanks for kicking all our butts in love.

  36. Reply

    So amazing! I was smiling with them! Fantastic shots!

  37. Reply

    Every one is absolutely amazing. nice work stepping out as you did.

  38. Reply

    Session on the floor of a garage new word in the photo world =)

  39. Reply

    Such good vibes. Great connection captured!

  40. Reply

    Killer pics, Ben! I’m curious what you say and do to elicit the expressions you captured.

    • Hey Adam! I actually have a full Posing & Directing class that covers everything I do for that (if it was a quick trick, I’d write it out here haha). I do have plenty of tips spread through my facebook, pinterest, and instagram that might be worth looking through too!

  41. Reply

    Without Mother Nature, all you see is the couple and their connection. Bravo!

  42. Reply

    Where is the pull back? I want to see it. The connection in these images couldn’t be more powerful.

  43. Reply

    Now I just need a garage… 😉 Awesome set Ben!

  44. Reply

    Stellar job as always! Looks like I need to find a garage. Oh wait. There it is… :d

  45. Reply

    I LOVE SESSIONS WHERE YOU’RE ABLE TO MAKE BIG THINGS HAPPEN IN THE MOST UNUSUAL (OR EVEN UGLY) SPACES. DO YOU HAVE An unadulterated PHOTO OF THE GARAGE space where you did this session? Would love to see:)!! Awesome Work!

  46. Reply

    Wow! Why does it look like they’re in a field next to a forest?! I need to try this. Did you have a mirror or window for that last shot?

    • Hey Lauren! I did use a mirror for that one, held right up against the lens.

  47. Reply

    Nice and great job. Lovely.

  48. Reply

    So inspiring Ben!

  49. Reply

    These are amazing!

  50. Reply

    Good heavens what an amazing looking couple! Wow! And yes, you obviously made them feel as if they were the inly two people in the room

  51. Reply

    Hi Ben! I always wonder and question a lot about how to get great close ups. /would you say using a 50mm lens and then cropping? what would you recommend? thank you!

    • Hi Maria! Honestly it just depends on the look you’re after! You could use extension tubes (which turn your normal lenses into macro lenses) or use the lenses you have with no modifiers and crop in post. For these, I crop in post past 100% and then up-res the images (which fits what I want conceptually as well as visually).

  52. Reply

    Wow, Just wow! It makes me wanna retire my camera and do SOMETHING else! Lol! I’m kidding, it makes me wanna work harder. What an INSPIRING work! Thank you for sharing!

  53. Reply

    These are fantastic and so intimate, even i fell in love With the clients.

  54. Reply

    Stunning photography ben! I love these!!!

  55. Reply

    man, this is awesome ! @_@

  56. Reply

    ABSOLUTELY ADORE this shoot!! Loving the crop of the images too.

  57. Reply

    These are so beautiful. I love how your style is evolving, yet still is UNMISTAKABLY recognizable as your work.

  58. Reply

    great variety and connection from a few simple poses/scenarios 🙂

  59. Reply

    Ben these are just amazingly perfect, my favourite set yet i think. I would give anything to be able to capture connections like you do.

  60. Reply

    These are gorgeous. So much emotion. Now can you make a poSt on how you brought out that? 😉 also do you always pose them? Your subjects appear so smitten with ont another always. Maybe i jUst dont have all those lovey dovey couples.

  61. Reply

    Beautiful…..Just beautiful!
    My kinda style! Doesn’t matter where you shoot when your couple is the main focus and their energy and love is so “right on”

  62. Reply

    I like the obvious happiness. Great job Ben!

  63. Reply

    These are incredible. You are such an inspiration Dude. Thanks! x

  64. Reply

    awesome connection in every.single image! How do you get your couples relax like this? Do you let them do their thing or do you guide them into a specific pose?

    • Thanks Nina! It’s a good mix. Some of these moments come from me directing them into them (creating a way for them to have a genuine interaction), and some come from the little in between moments. I have a few articles about posing spread out on my blog as well as a full Posing & directing class if you want to dig in more!

  65. Reply

    HI! This is so beautiful. Can litera feel the emotion. Wonder how do they not get conscious even in ones where they are looking straight into the camera. And the treatment, the Grading is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.

  66. Reply

    A very natural session, I like it

  67. Reply

    Thank you for this !!!

  68. Reply

    Awesome! I’m also bad about, “if it’s slightly out of focus, it doens’t get picked”, and in some cases that may be okay (landscape, product, etc) but when there’s people and emotion, it’s good to say, this is a great shot and it’s okay to have a little blur, a little out of focus because of the other content!

    It may be in a garage, but looks to be with painted cloth backdrop?

  69. Reply

    Gah!! So true. Well done on you for working on it.

  70. Reply

    These are amazing! Id love to see a pull back from this sessIon!

  71. Reply

    Hi ben! ThanKs for sharing, it s very inspiring! Great job! I was wonDering How did uoi light the scene? Did you ise natural light or strobes? Thanks a lot!

  72. Reply

    These are so Freakin amazing!!! YOu killed it. did you use a fan or did a gust of wind come into the garage? also what was your camera set up? i love how everything is in focus and its close up. your work is beautiful and i DEFIANTLY feel the connection.

  73. Reply

    What lighting did you use for these?

  74. Reply

    these swept me away…so pretty and so pure.

  75. Reply

    Thaths gorgeous i need you to improve my work

  76. Reply

    These are just beyond gorgeous…and connected! Love.

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