I’ve spent this past year focusing on two things: Creating work that has personal meaning, and learning to create unique, solid work that doesn’t rely on a beautiful landscape (which I’ve done in the past).

I love nature as much as most squirrels but I don’t want it to be a crutch that props up my work. This year, I’ve been actively working against that (you may remember that I shot a couple session in a garage). This session below is the most recent of about 5 sessions that I’ve shot in the same apartment parking lot and each one has forced me to get more creative with light, compositions, and shooting techniques than I ever have been when shooting out in whatever beauty nature has to offer. This parking lot session in particular felt like home to me. After a few that I struggled through, this one felt more like walking with the wind than against it. Hells yes to sticking with that foreign feeling long enough to feel like you could live in it.

Side note: I don’t judge anyone who uses nature as a main focus in their work (in fact, I follow them), but I do think it’s important and massively beneficial to learn how to work with it, and without it.

Edited with my Heck Yeah Presets!




















Don't be afraid to crop! Some of these closer shots were originally a bit wider. I shot them as close as I could focus, and then cropped in to the exact composition I wanted. Some were even cropped down to 800px wide. When I crop lower than about 2000px or so, I use a program called ON1 Resize 10 to make the file larger. It does an amazing job at it and it allows me to create work how I want to, instead of worrying about all of the technical-pixel-mumbo-jumbo.
  1. Reply

    i feel like every new set you do becomes one of my favorites of yours. keep going!

  2. Reply

    LovinG all of your recent portrait work lately!! Such an inspiration and I love the detail eveN though everything feels so soft. Well done

  3. Reply

    I’m following the same path. I used to rely on the landscapes around to build my photographs, and since last year I decided to go back to the basics: the light, the pose, the composition, and most important, the emotion.
    This set is very inspiring! i’m in love with so many images of it!
    keep doing the great work!

  4. Reply

    each article is more beautiful than the previous one. Continue in this way!

  5. Reply

    sooo inspiring. love your creativity!

  6. Reply

    Such a beautiful set

  7. Reply

    Soo good! I’m not really into cropping, but this post inspired me. What lens did you use for these? Thanks in advance!

  8. Reply

    nevermind, found it on your instagram! 😀 keep up the good work and thanks for being awesome and inspiring

  9. Reply

    Gorgeous, love the tight crops!

  10. Reply

    This set is so inspiring! I love how you have created mystery and her personality is in every image. The freedom in your images is everything!

  11. Reply

    damn. loving your new goal, ben. so inspiring. always appreciate your honesty and openness to share tips too! thank you!

  12. Reply

    Every one is good! It’s unimportant that some are a little better than others with this quality.

  13. Reply

    Love this sooo much Ben! You are a great inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Reply

    I love, love, loooove your work!

  15. Reply

    my man you never fail to inspire. I love this set!!! I so relate to what you were saying about relying on an epic background as a crutch. i did the same for a very long time. i went to slightly narrower lens and really focused on my subjects, and i love my work more than ever. kudos my man for getting wierd!!! haha can’t wait for the next post.

  16. Reply

    I used to be scared of shadows on my work. then i smacked myself in the face and said shadows are part of real life! Now I can love my subject in the photos more than some “perfect lighting.” so freeing! love your “duh” pointers ben!

  17. Reply

    The lipstick treatment was so smart with her. So was the Madonna pic. Do more with that way of seeing.
    Hold back on double exp for a while. That can go further in time.

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