Not seen since January of this year…the latest collection of new work! Click the link above to see it all. Enjoy!
This one was a long time coming. I first scouted this project at least three years ago, while it was still a raw construction site. Located on the 45th floor of the San Francisco Millennium Tower, it was already clear that this Bayon Design Studio project was going to be special.
Designer Cindy Bayon and I visited it several times over the next couple of years while we photographed other projects of hers in the same building. She held weekly design meetings with her client and they left no detail to chance. Some major items, like the wooden Japaneses soaking tub, took months to work out.
Finally, last April, we scheduled 2 (long) days to shoot. Thanks to Bellcore Construction (builder), Defauw Design (metal fabrication), Heather Menegat (styling), and of course Cindy (everything else) for providing such an awesome project for me to photograph!
On the last day of May, I traveled to Sydney, to work with photographers at Campaigntrack, an Australian marketing firm specializing in real estate. We shot for 4 days, in 6 different houses ranging from the big and beautiful (see lead image, above) to the small and ordinary.
Campaigntrack was looking for a way to differentiate themselves and create a more upscale, sophisticated image that would stand out from the typical Aussie real estate photo. As they saw it, composition and styling were key components that they could work on…and I agreed. Usually, when I teach real estate photography, it’s all about lighting technique, so this was a terrific chance for me to focus entirely on composition and the “feel” of a photo — two things that are at least as important but which often get short shrift.
Having a variety of houses to work in was great, too – we got to play around in a gorgeous country villa, but we also spent time in houses that are much more typical. Campaigntrack photographers aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and move furniture, and frankly I was a bit shocked at the lengths they’re willing to go to make a room show at it’s best. We did 3 shoots a day, punctuated by one-hour sessions in a conference room dissecting the images on the big screen, and reviewing existing Campaigntrack work as well as that of their competitors.
And, like every time I’ve visited Oz, I was treated to an overwhelming display of hospitality. Thanks to Paul Gal, Nolan Metcalf, Tim Dean, Jori Scobie, and the entire CT team of photographers, videographers, copywriters, retouchers, and stuffidontevenknowabout!
Here are a few highlights from the week — thanks much to Nolan Metcalf for the behind-the-scenes photos!
Anytime I can work with Cindy Bayon and Heather Menegat from Bayon Design Studio it’s going to be a good day, and I know we’re going to make some great photos. Last summer we shot this (almost) new construction in Atherton, California, and the trend held — this is great design, and with Heather’s un-beatable touch for styling and creativity, we got some terrific photos (at least, I like ’em!).
My favorite part of the house was the chain-mail hall table. Weighing in at around 400lbs (about 180kg) that’s a lot of steel, and required more than just your average shelf support. This (along with much of the house) was Heather’s design, and we had a good time photographing it. Another of Heather’s design elements was the abstract wall graphic in the upstairs gym.
We’re just out of post-production on yet another Bayon Design project, and there are more lined up for the first half of 2016….so stay tuned!
Mark your calendar for October 10th and 11th — those are the dates for my Interiors Photography Workshop in South Africa! We’ll be in Cape Town, and possibly Johannesburg, and it looks like we’ve got some good venues lined up to shoot in.
Tuition is $350US and includes a full day of shooting — and when I say a “full day” I mean I’m not leaving until you’re DONE. We’ll cover everything I know how to do, whether that’s fast-paced real estate photography or the slower, more nuanced interior design work, or the composition-driven architectural photography.
If you’re interested — email me and I’ll get you on the roster! And here’s a sampling of photos from past workshops, worldwide:
Abu Dhabi, UAE
I’ve been lazy this summer and my “New Work” schedule kind of fell by the wayside….which made it extra-hard to edit this collection! I had too many photos from too many great projects and had to cut to the bone to keep the numbers reasonable. Click the image above to see the gallery in all it’s full-screen glory!
Thanks as always to my awesome clients for designing and building such incredible spaces:
Bayon Design Studio • Holly Bender Interiors • building Lab • Jeff King & Co. • Dogtown Development • Leslie Arnold Architect • Ian Birchall & Associates • Bleu Leman Interiors • Brownhouse Design • Regan Baker Interiors • Kimberley Harrison Interiors
Back in March I spent two day with Cindy Bayon, Heather Menegat, and Muratore Corp. shooting this beautifully minimalist single family residence in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood.
Cindy, who is now under her own nameplate, Bayon Design Studio, went with white-on-white and tons of diffused natural light. Working closely with Heather Menegat, who also styled the photoshoot, this home is nothing short of startling. One of the challenges with a space like this is creating depth and controlling color casts; we worked quite hard on some of these shots to keep things true to the actual feel of being in the space itself. In the case of the staircase shot above, we actually made this photo twice — the first attempt was close, but lacked that special “thing” I wanted. On the second day, things came together beautifully. Many thanks go to the talented Molly Mahar, who helped style as well as modeling in the photos!
We worked our butts off on this one – but had a good time, too. Here’s a few BTS shots — everyone wanted to take a turn on the rope swing in the home office, myself included!
Heather styled this closet from top to bottom — that’s a lot of shoes, folks! The entire thing took her nearly two hours, start to finish.
Tight quarters in the dressing room meant no room for fancy tripods….so I improvised with a bean bag, some kleenex, and stabilized everything with 5lbs of sand.
It’s hard to complain when your view of the Transamerica Pyramid is so close you can’t fit the entire tower in the window. We photographed this traditional high rise condo atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill a few weeks ago, and the images are already up on Muratore’s shiny new website. I love the way Heather prefaces each project with a black-and-white image; I often find myself converting images to B&W while shooting as it helps me focus on the composition and lines, rather than getting distracted by details.
I’m also proud that Muratore’s website is essentially a portfolio of my work; 14 of the 15 projects listed were shot by me!
Here’s a few more from this shoot — enjoy!
Venetian plaster in a delicate cool gray-green tone, with rococo fixtures. My goal with venetian plaster is always to make sure the pattern shows up clearly.
Capturing floor details is harder than it looks! Lots of lens movement shenanigans, here.
Muratore does it’s own custom millwork, so these photos are designed to show off craftsmanship.
Another floor detail. We wanted the texture and flowing lines to show clearly, and relate to the pattern in the marble tub enclosure.
Units in this building have a “fire door” in the living room that leads to an outdoor stairwell. Concealing that door is a major design feature.
This was fun to shoot — creating layers with light so the monochromatic marble slabs don’t just blend together.
Another feature of older buildings are the radiators. Dealing with them from a design standpoint is difficult; Muratore always finds a solution that stays true to the building’s origins but works with the new interior, as well. And photographing them is unbelievably fun!
When I started shooting interiors, in 2006, I was doing it with a Canon 20D, a couple of Nikon SB-24s, and a homemade, fifty-foot sync cable. Those were the days!
UPDATE: www.the-digital-picture.com, a photography blog, has itemized the equipment I show, with link:
Thanks, guys! We now return to the original blog post….
These days, the equipment roster has gotten a little bigger. You asked for it, here it is: the new, up-to-date equipment video. I tried to make it quick, but it’s 7 cases of stuff and then some, so get some popcorn and plan to settle in for about 17 minutes.
This is everything I use to create my photos. This gear comes with me on every job, from the little ones to the big ones (I never know what I’m going to need, so it all comes, every time.) We fly with it, drive with it, carry it up flights of stairs. Some jobs, all we use is a single strobe, or a small hotlight. Others, we empty every case and wish we had more.
This video was shot in my studio on a 5dMiii, and a Fuji X-100s. Took me a couple of tries, but I got through it with only one major gaffe and a couple of stutters. Enjoy!
It’s that time.…I’ve updated the website with a new collection of images from recent assignments. Check it out HERE, and while you’re browsing, be sure to check out the new “Fine Art Prints” gallery (to which I’m adding new stuff all the time), as well.
Every image on the site is available as a signed print.
Lots of shoots lately – which means lots of proofs to review. This is a fun part of the process, until I spot a flaw and experience a “face-palm” moment. These images are looking pretty good, so far. I’ll be removing a lot of electrical outlets from walls, and a few dust bunnies from the floors, but overall we did well!
Last month, I spend 2 and a half days with the team at Brownhouse Design, documenting three recently completed projects in and around “Silicon Valley” – a loose geographic term that encompasses the area around Mountain View California. Lots of household names within a few miles of these places — Google, Apple, & Facebook to name the obvious ones.
Here are a few of the best shots we made — thanks to Kathy, Rachel, Alan and everyone else who contributed to this project!
I got an email recently from a photography student who had a short list of questions about architectural photography. I sent back some answers, which led to a follow-up, which led to another question, and in the end I realized this was probably good stuff for general consumption. So: Thanks, Meagan, for getting me back into writing mode!
Click here for the full Q & A!
While scouting shoots in San Francisco…came upon this little vignette.
My client Custom Kitchens doesn’t just do kitchens…their full name is “Custom Kitchens & Baths by John Wilkins”, after all!
Last week we spent a day shooting a guest suite and a master bath – here’s the results! Custom Kitchens just won 2 Gold Awards at the Remmies (with my photos…ahem) and these will be surely be contenders next year.
I’ve shot a string of jobs over the past 3 months that haven’t gotten full write-ups here. But here’s a gallery of work I’ve pulled from many different projects that have kept me occupied since July.
Lots of new work happening! I’m excited to be working on several large projects for clients, as well as no fewer than three personal projects that are well under way. It’s good to stay busy!
W Design • MJK Homes • Design Image • Atria Senior Living • Custom Kitchens by John Wilkins • Brownhouse Design • building Lab • Muratore Corp • Kelly Scanlon Interior Design • Douglah Design
(Still) on Market Street, San Francisco. Morning commute in full swing, looking for some good swooshy taillights!
Remodeling Magazine announced the 2014 Design Award winners last week and I’m pleased to see that the building Lab remodel of an historic Eichler home is the Grand Prize winner! Congrats to Stephen and the team at building Lab!
Note this is not the Regionals (where I have a 5-year streak of photographing winning projects) but the Nationals…this is the big leagues! In addition to a Grand Prize, there are 17 “Merit Awards” given, and building Lab garnered one of those too, again with my photographs. Not a bad day when more than 10% of a national award roster is mine!
It’s important to note that the awards are for the design work, and not specifically the photography. Still, it’s hard to tell the story of great design without compelling and insightful photography. I’m granting myself a pat on the back today.
And now…..the photos:
EICHLER REMODEL- GRAND PRIZE
BATH REMODEL – MERIT AWARD
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged architecture, award, bathroom, building lab, contest, eichler, house, interior design, photography, remodeling magazine, WIN!
We wanted to relate the gorgeous art-deco grill covers to the (gorgeous) art-deco Golden Gate Bridge….but the fog did not cooperate! We watched all day and shot this when things were best, but still no bridge… Still: how do you not plant a human being in that chair?! Had to do it! The biggest lighting challenge with this shot was making sure the chrome features of the grill “popped” appropriately, which meant giving them something bright to reflect.
We’ve shot several projects with Muratore this summer, so here’s another; this art-deco inspired condo atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill.
I loved the way the aggressively patterned floor carried through to the grid of the San Francisco streets far below.
Maple burlwood veneer coupled with black granite countertops (and black acrylic cabinets) make for a dramatic yet inviting kitchen.
We couldn’t resist this hallway shot, featuring the astonishing Egyptian-motif doors! The “Indiana Jones” fedora was a last-minute addition…
Client: Muratore Corp.
Interior Design: Tammi Bates
Styling: Heather Menegat
Photo Assist: Alan Vance