You Felt the Roots Grow. BOOK

By Sabine Hess

Book published by Witty Books, 28 pages 22x27 cm Hard cover Design by Nicolas Polli Published in May 2023 In collaboration with Ciao Press

Sabine Hess

USD 50


“I hold your hand and, carefully, try to capture it. Imprint on my brain the texture of your wrinkly skin, the warmth of your touch, the way your fingers wrap around mine.”

After seven years of illness, my father’s battle with his cancer was coming to an end. I was torn between conflicting emotions, as my sister became a mother around the same time my father’s health declined. Watching a new life grow whilst another was weakening redefined my understanding of time – it became clear just how fragile life really is.
At times, when home felt too close, nature gave my mind a safe place to rest. All the while, the forest’s slow growth and decay resembled the illness that was consuming life as I knew it. You Felt the Roots Grow was born in a time between hope and grief. It is my personal experience as a daughter, in which I face the bittersweetness of transience, the poetry within loss and the incompleteness of memory.


Sabine Hess, is a Swiss / German photographer, based between in Switzerland and London. She graduated from London College of Communication, UAL. Sabine is interested in our relationship with nature, intimate stories of life and togetherness.

Alongside her documentary projects, Hess has experience in editorial and portraiture photography. Her work appeared in magazines such as the FT Weekend Magazine, PORT Magazine, M le Magazine du Monde, Il Foglio, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. Her first book You Felt the Roots Grow was shortlisted for the Star Photobook Dummy Award and was published by Ciao Press and Witty Books in 2023. Her second book, “one bed two blankets, seventy-six rules” was created in collaboration with Nicolas Polli in 2023.

Hess was the recipient of the SPM Alumni Scholarship Fund, a finalist for the vfg Young Talent Award and nominated for the C/O Berlin Talent and the Leica Oscar Barnack Newcomer Award. She was exhibited in the  Copeland Gallery in London, IPFO Olten and the Verzasca Foto Festival.

Available worldwide for commissions or creative assistance. Reach out for photography work, prints or assisting.