This is a sunrise exterior as opposed to my normal twilight exterior. The client wanted to get as few people as possible in the images so we started super early in the morning as opposed to the evening. This is especially challenging because the light is changing so fast and you have to act very quickly. I replaced the sky in post production using a sky image from my extensive library.
Just wrapped up this amazing commercial project of the Jacksonville State University Fitness Center for Turner Construction and Moody Nolan Architects. It was a great project with so many unique challenges and opportunities!
If you want to be an architectural photographer you can forget any notion of 9 to 5 and Monday through Friday. You have to be willing and able to start shooting early in the morning, evening, or late at night to accommodate the needs of the client or the requirements of the project. This one is a great example of that. Because of the sensitive nature of photographing people in a public place, especially people in less than glamorous work out attire, the facility wanted to minimize the number of people in the space. Since it is open 24/7 this means getting in at a low volume time. This means getting started at 0 Dark 30. My assistant, Chris, and I spent the night at a hotel so we could get there at 4:00 am to start shooting. While there were some people already working out, it wasn’t crowded and we wanted to have some blurred people in some of the images, just not too many. We had to be efficient and move quickly, since the longer we were there, the more people came in to work out.
Being quick and efficient was especially important when it came to the “twilight” exteriors. We were there and shooting before sunrise. I knew from my sun tracker app when the sunrise was scheduled and where the sun would be in relation to the building. So I made sure I was in position and set up when the light started to change. Morning twilights are tougher than their evening counterparts because the light is changing faster and in reverse from what you’re used to. In the evening you can open the camera’s shutter longer and longer and still get basically the same look so long as some light remains. This isn’t the case with sunrise. You have to get it right straight away and fast. I think from the results that we pulled it off but there wasn’t a minute to spare!
For some of the interior images we used talent to get the action looks we were going for. This was especially the case for the rock climbing wall. We had models climbing up and down the wall to get various action looks. They not only got to be models but also got in quite the workout too!
My assistant, Chris, got this little behind the scenes capture of me getting the exterior.
Color accuracy is critical to architectural and interiors photography. It can be especially challenging with mixed color temperature light sources. We use a calibration target in each lighting condition to use as a reference in post production. We also use calibration profiles for each camera and lens combination in inventory and work on calibrated monitors. All to ensure that the colors the architect or designer specified are accurately represented in the final images we deliver.
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The pool was still closed so I had to hop the fence to get to it. Of course this means it hasn’t been cleaned yet either. I always prefer to “fix it in real life” as opposed to “fixing it in photoshop” but sometimes there’s just no other way to get the shot.
Loved having talent involved in this project, especially for the climbing wall! Used a slow shutter speed to convey motion as the models climbed.
The architect really wanted to emphasize the lighting in the studio spaces. I can really see why, these ring lights were very impressive! The color can be changed to whatever you want them to be.
Twilight Exterior of the front- I actually came back a week later to get the exterior from the interior. One of our frequent late after noon thunderstorms struck and kept on striking for the several days that followed. Finally last Friday it looked like we would catch a break and I rushed out there. The light was absolutely perfect and I was able to get this just before ANOTHER thunderstorm hit that evening. Weather plays a big part in what I do and sometimes you just have to be ready to move quickly or be flexible.
Loading Gear into the Car for a Residential Shoot - YouTube
My daughter did a little behind the scenes video of me loading all of my gear in the back of the car for this shoot. People are always amazed at how much is involved in putting a project together.
My oldest daughter, Aanae, is a great photographer in her own right. She wanted to assist me on this shoot. Little did she know, cleaning is a big part of residential interiors photography! I carry a cleaning kit with specialty cleaners for wood, stainless steel, acrylic, glass, stone, and flooring. It's much better to fix it in real life than to "fix it in Photoshop".
A lot more goes into the creation of an image than pointing a camera and pressing a button. When it comes to architectural and interiors photography color accuracy is especially critical. Architects, designers, and builders use my images to market their services but also as design consultation tools with clients. It's vitally important that the images accurately reflect the paint and material colors. I use a color reference chart with each scene to use in post production. I have a calibrated monitor, use colored gels on my lights to match ambient light color temperature, and have a calibration profile for each lens and camera combination I own. All of this combined helps me create images with the most accurate color possible.
The final image is a composite of multiple shots. I use Gobos (the large blackout cloth on the background stand) to control reflections in glass. That way you can actually see the amazing tile in the shower instead a big white square from the window light.
A house doesn’t have to be big to be a great home. This recent project I photographed for Willow Homes, Willow Design Studios, and Triton Stone Group in Homewood, epitomizes that idea.
Like other projects from Willow, this three bed, two and a half bath house, fits in perfectly with its historic Homewood neighborhood. It blends a timeless style with modern functionality and quality. I especially love the look of the white painted brick with the rough exposed beams on the front porch. On the inside, the kitchen is just phenomenal. The exposed brick wall looks like it was taken from a hundred year old downtown loft. All the materials, combined with open shelves, and well designed layout, make for a kitchen that will always look great!
Twilight exterior of the rear and pool. This is one of the most extensive remodel projects I've ever seen. Hard to comprehend the before with the after!
So much amazingness in this project!
This was a remodel in Mountain Brook of a truly epic nature. My client, Adams & Gerndt Architecture in Homewood, did a truly phenomenal job transforming this home. The before images are truly mind blowing. It’s hard to believe that it is the same house.
Of course I was totally excited when I walked through the door to see this modern creation inside. I don’t see very many like this in the Birmingham area. In the living room, a huge wall of windows flooded the space with amazing natural light. The kitchen featured an amazing kitchen with clean lines, bright cabinets, and one of the coolest looking islands I’ve ever seen. I knew this would be a special project for sure!
It turns out that Birmingham Magazine thought so too. They featured my image of the living room on the cover of the 2018 Home and Garden Issue with a six page article!
Birmingham Magazine Home and Garden Issue 2018
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Twilight Exterior of Susan Gordon's Homewood Alabama home. It won best in Show in the Greater Birmingam Homebuilders Association Remodel competition.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this project for quite some time! I photographed this project (the remodeled home of the famous Susan Gordon of Susan Gordon Pottery) back in February. I had to hold off posting about it until the article about it was published this month in Birmingham Magazine. Although it won Best in Show for the 2018 Greater Birmingham Homebuilders Association remodeling competition and was published in their quarterly magazine, it’s customary to hold off posting about a project when there’s a pending article on it.
There was so much awesomeness in this project that it’s no surprise that it won awards and much acclaim. It was a joint project with Willow Homes, Willow Design Studio (Katherine Bailey Designer), Chickadee Interiors, and of course, the amazingly talented Susan Gordon herself. I especially loved the kitchen.The open space with the living and dining rooms with the kitchen provided some fun challenges but I think we captured the essence of the space well. I especially loved the combination of traditional cabinetry with the open shelves that showcased Susan’s craftwork. I employed nearly every technique in my arsenal to control and enhance the natural light in the space to capture the feeling of being there. I’m very proud of that my images helped Willow Homes and Willow Design capture the Best in Show award for the remodeling competition. Ultimately my job is to help my clients showcase their hard work with the highest possible quality images. That it was award winning and showcased by Alabama Homebuilder and Birmingham Magazine only validates all that went into creating those images.
I’m honored to have been a part of capturing this amazing remodel and proud of my clients, and my team for all of their hard work!