Stare at that river.



1. A friendly idea knocks at my door, and asks me to follow along as it takes me where it wants to go. I follow.

2. Desperate to create, but without any guiding ideas, I open my door and blindly stumble forward hoping to arrive to where an idea might have led me.

(Option 1 always leads to fulfilling work. Option 2 only does 50% of the time, and sucks.)

This is why experiencing things is so important as an artist. Every time you soak in whatever it is that inspires you, you’re filling up a tank that gives life to the ideas that might knock on your door.

Read that book.
Go to that museum.
Have that conversation.
Study that painter.
Buy that photo book.
Question that belief.
Watch that movie.
Analyze those lyrics.
Stare at that river.
Take that trip.
Do that thing.

If you want great work to come out, put great work in.



Tons of hard (that's what she said) light in this set! Taking portraits in little slivers of light creates a bit of mystery and lends itself to curiosity of what's hidden in the shadows. It also creates super harsh highlights and shadows. If you want a cleaner look in hard light like this, try lowering the contrast (a butt-ton, sometimes all the way), and the saturation (images shot in hard light will have more saturation than those shot in soft light), and the clarity (this can soften everything up, including skin, by softening the hard lines in the image). Ok bye.
  1. Reply

    This is brilliant. I Really enjoy what you create and the raw passion you display in your art work. It doesn’t go without notice.

  2. Reply

    So breathtaking, as always. Which presets did you use for the close up image of the eyes?

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    Ben! This set is my favorite of all your sets. Your play with light is inspiring. I also appreciate your embrace of distortion that comes with shooting wide. Beautiful work.

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    my niche is births and babies so i don’t often get the chance to be super out of the box but you inspire me to shoot at least one thing for myself in each session, knowing my clients probably won’t buy it but it makes me happy and keeps my creative brain fueled. love the slivers of light and the use of shadows in these! they’ve got me all excited to try something new. thanks for sharing the images and the tip!

    • Thank you Emily! I think there’s room to step outside of the box in any genre! The more you do and the more of that weirder work you have to show, the more people will recognize it as your style :).

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    Hey! Wonderful work. Thanks for giving us a peek behind the curtain again. Just wondering if you underexposed To retain detail in the highlights or if you metered accurately and managed to keep detail when bringing down contrast in post?

    • Thanks Rebecca. I always meter for the brightest part of the image that I want to keep texture in, and underexpose that slightly!

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    Thanks a lot for this present!! I enjoy every class and it inspire me a lot the bad days and good ones too.

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    Great timing … was on the fence about going to see a new artist tonight and this reaffirmed my idea to go because her music captivates me.
    thanks! (brilliant images, as usual)

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    This was great advice. ThaNks, Ben! I’d love to see you write an editorial of some sort (personal or for a publication) and put some images, like these, to your written piece. I love seeing a seRies of images ACCOMPANIED by a good story; it’s better than Netflix!

  10. Reply

    Love the miX of film and digital in this work. Id love to see you work with that medium mOre . Get it ben!

  11. Reply

    Very nice! And thanks so much for the tip 😉

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    Into the backdrop! Where did you find it?

  13. Reply

    LOVE this set!!!! You always inspire, but this is particularly intriguing. Thanks!

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    beautiful girl, modern set, almost futuristic. Can’t wait to see more of your shots.


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    incredible! i just want to say that over a year ago, you inspired me to start shooting in hard light and it’s now my favorite type of light to shoot in. thanks!!

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    Love all the hard light and unique poses!!

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    LOve this . All the process is to respect the inspiration when it comes from and where it takes you.

    Were these edited with your preset colors? love them all.

  19. Reply

    Damn, that’s so good!

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