Monthly Archives: July 2012

Crane & Canopy

Back in February I shot the “launch collection” of designer duvet covers and bedding for start-up Crane & Canopy. They launched earlier this month, with a snazzy website full of my photos.

It was a really fun few days. We were on location in Atherton, CA, and the crew assembled “bedrooms” in various places all over the house…and outdoors, too. Some the action got chronicled here. Click Here for more photos

Crane & Canopy

Back in February I shot the “launch collection” of designer duvet covers and bedding for start-up Crane & Canopy. They launched earlier this month, with a snazzy website full of my photos.

It was a really fun few days. We were on location in Atherton, CA, and the crew assembled “bedrooms” in various places all over the house…and outdoors, too. Some the action got chronicled here. Click Here for more photos

Embrace The Dark Side

The image above prompted more than a few questions (some in the comments) about how I controlled the reflection of the tub in the glass door of the shower stall. So here’s the scoop on what was going on in this shot.

Unfortunately, I was working fast, so I don’t have much in the way of BTS or setup shots. But follow along with me and I’ll describe things as best I can. /full write-up after the jump!

iPhone Photo of the Day

On location with Martin Perri Interiors, in San Ramon California!

Seomra Folctha by Tom Coll

Seomra Folctha means “Bathroom” in Irish, for those of you who don’t know. Tom Coll is from County Donegal in the Auld Sod, and built this bathroom as part of a remodel in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks neighborhood.

I loved the way he used rough-edged material to create a luxurious feel but with an authentic, hand-hewn look.

I tried to create photographs that captured the same feeling of fine craftsmanship within the rough-hewn material. In the bedroom shot, I used the old-fashioned luggage to mirror the pattern of the alcoves in the wall.

Question is….are you leaving on a long journey, or just arriving home?

iPhone Photo of the Day

On location in Oakland, California. Alan shows how to light wood cabinetry.

And the final rig:

iPhone Photo of the Day

iPhone Photo of the Day

iPhone Photo of the Day

Location scouting with Dumican Mosey Architects, at the Berkeley Tennis Club….under the historic Claremont Hotel.

Mulberry San Francisco

I’m used to doing maybe 10 photos in a day, tops, over an 8 or 9-hour shoot…..so when I got an assignment last month from Mulberry of London to shoot their new store in San Francisco’s Union Square I was a little shocked to learn that I would need to come up with 15 or 20 views, interior and exterior, in about 4 hours.

Yikes!

This is where having a background in real estate photography comes in really handy. I showed up at 5:30am, and met Donna Lesh, the Visual Merchandising Manager for Mulberry US. In fog so thick I had to wipe off the lens for each shot (yeah…summer in San Francisco), we did the exteriors, then moved inside. The store was slated for it’s Grand Opening at 10:00am, so we had no time to lose.

Donna had been pulling 20-hour days all week, and had been on-site since about 4:00am, so coffee became an integral part of the shoot.

I had identified the key areas of the store during a chaotic, mid-construction walkthrough with Donna earlier in the week. I started with wide establishing shots, and then drilled in tighter, working my way from the front of the store to the back, and then upstairs.

Donna was sharp as a tack, despite fatigue. I’d adjust a handbag, and she’d be right there: “We don’t display handbags at an angle,” she’d say, putting it back to within a millimeter of where it had been. I’d show her the laptop and point out the compositional issue I was trying to resolve, and she’d re-style an entire table for me. It was awesome.

It would have been tons of fun to have people in these shots, but that idea got nixed very early in the process (although I snuck one in anyway….not sure if anyone’s noticed it yet.)

By 9:45 I was getting phone calls from the marketing manager, in London. “We need 2 hero shots, STAT,” she said. We negotiated on that one for a couple minutes and agreed that I’d cut the shot list a little, and use the store Wifi to upload 2 photos from my laptop, by 11:00am local.

Literally as the doors opened and customers walked in, I slipped upstairs to the still-barren office area, sat on the floor, and prepped an exterior and interior shot, and uploaded them. I pushed the equipment cart out the delivery door and onto a now-sunny Grant Street at 11:00am, sharp — Mission Accomplished!

Jackie in the marketing office wasn’t fooling around — the images have seen some serious play, everywhere from SFGate to Dwell, Refinery29, and Haute Living. And a zillion more places. If the pictures on those sites look a little warm, well  — its why we try not to edit in a hurry, on a laptop!!

iPhone Photo of the Day

On location in Twin Peaks, SF

Kitchen & Bath by Dianna V. Interiors

A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon with Dianna V. Interiors, documenting some of her past work in Piedmont, California. Dianna is gearing up to launch a new website and needed some good photography to get things started.

I really like Dianna’s clean lines and understated use of color. As we were looking around for stuff to use in styling the shot above, I spotted the homeowner’s kid’s goldfish on a table…and that became my favorite part of the photo!

With the kitchen done, we moved to the next location and got a couple of angles on this small bathroom:

….and called it a wrap!

Kitchen & Bath by Dianna V. Interiors

A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon with Dianna V. Interiors, documenting some of her past work in Piedmont, California. Dianna is gearing up to launch a new website and needed some good photography to get things started.

I really like Dianna’s clean lines and understated use of color. As we were looking around for stuff to use in styling the shot above, I spotted the homeowner’s kid’s goldfish on a table…and that became my favorite part of the photo!

With the kitchen done, we moved to the next location and got a couple of angles on this small bathroom:

….and called it a wrap!

Call For Submissions

Well, we’re coming up on 6 months since the release of Lighting For Real Estate Photography, my 21-part video series that details the techniques that I use to light real estate photos so they require little or no post processing. And today I’m announcing that there’s a 22nd episode in the works.

The series launched on February 10th, and we got buried in positive feedback pretty  much immediately. And it hasn’t stopped — I still get emails like this one several times a week:

“These videos are the best photography investment I have made in a long, long time. Thank you so much…for creating and teaching the invaluable and exciting profession.”

NEW EPISODE WILL ADDRESS REAL-LIFE “CASE STUDIES”

That person also wrote with a very specific question about a very specific lighting situation. I get a bunch of those emails, too. So many, that I’ve decided to create a new video that addresses a few “case studies” – real-live lighting situations that people have encountered and struggled with. And that’s where you come in – I need your photos! I’m looking for real-world images that present a particular challenge: a truly hard-to-avoid reflection, or a weird color-balancing problem, or any of the myriad things that make us scratch our heads! I’ll choose the ones that I think have the broadest appeal, and address them individually in a new video that will be added to the series. While we’re at it, I need ideas for a good title!

If you’ve got a good, gnarly lighting challenge  — send the photo! I’ll get back to you and see if we can figure out the solution. Email a low-res photo and a description of what the challenge was to: info@lightingforrealestatephotography.com.

Hope your summer shooting is going well!