Tag Archives: interiors

Sydney Workshop Recap

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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!

Workshop – South Africa!

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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:

 

New Work!

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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

New Equipment Video

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:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=15016

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!

 

Qualified Remodeler Magazine

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Pleased to see the photographs I made for my friends at Custom Kitchens in the April issue of Qualified Remodeler, a trade magazine for the home remodeling industry.

Click the image above to see a PDF of the issue (jump to page 20 to see my stuff).

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Turns 26!!!

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Click to preview the opening video from the series!

 

 I allowed an anniversary to go by un-remarked earlier this year, but it’s better late than never: it was 26 months ago last Friday that we launched the groundbreaking Lighting For Real Estate Photography video series — which has become the benchmark for learning to light interiors for photographers all over the world.

I’m extremely proud of this series — filmmaker Malia Campbell and I worked for many months to produce something that would be truly practical and useful for working photographers. We didn’t want it to be just a “hey-look-how-awesome-I-am” piece but rather something that would have a solid, practical, and immediate effect on someone’s else’s work.

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This living room photo from high up in the Oakland, California hills has become the de facto “signature shot” of the entire series.

And the feedback we’ve gotten over the past two years tells me we accomplished this. I get emails almost every day like these:

“Hi Scott,
Just wanted to share with you a $7m home I photographed this past week.
Were it not for you, and your video course, I would have struggled to shoot this.
I’ve gone from Zero to Hero in the span of a few short months …thought you’d enjoy knowing the huge difference that you’ve made with this photographer.  Thank you.”

To everyone who has emailed me, Thank You. And thank you to everyone who just quietly bought the series, too. We went way out on a limb with this, with no guarantee of success, but I can say unequivocally, I’m very glad to have done it, if only to know that I’ve made some small impact to move photography forward a bit.

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Going over the storyboard and cutting fluff.

Make no mistake —  emails like the one above are incredibly gratifying. Compared with the top dollar that many instructional videos command, we’re a bargain at $175. Especially so when you consider the value of your own time — we worked VERY hard to make sure that there is no “fluff” in our series. You won’t hear me droning on and on, repeating myself (which I’m prone to doing; Malia was one harsh editor and forced me to stay on-topic). We carefully sketched out every episode to make sure that it was packed with solid, practical information and not a lot of blah blah blah. The most recent episodes (le Monde Réel) are free-form conversations between myself and other working photographers and are full of the inevitable “Uh’s” and “Umm’s” that come with everyday speech. But the rest of the episodes are tight — every second of footage has a purpose!

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This was one gnarly kitchen! Sunlight, black granite counters, lots of glass….my favorite episode is the one where we shoot this!

I think these videos are still as useful and solid as they were when we launched; even more so with the additional episodes that were added in later. They make a great companion to my book, which is in it’s second edition and which I’m equally proud of. One question I get asked a lot is whether it’s worthwhile to get both — e.g., is one different/better than the other?

I’ve never really known how to answer this; of course I think they’re both good and while there’s overlap, they present the material differently and go off in different directions at various points. The best resource I’ve seen was this discussion thread on Flickr, which I found illuminating.

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One of the more fun photos we did — playing with fire…

If you’ve seen both and have an opinion….do me a favor and chime in in the comments section! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and so would a lot of others!

 

Mulberry San Jose

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Mulberry opened their latest store in San Jose in January, and as usual it presented some killer compositional opportunities. Mulberry puts as much thought into the store designs as they do the fashion merchandise, so these stores are a real pleasure to photograph.

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As usual, we only had a few hours to shoot before the Grand Opening, and building contrast in the otherwise flat lighting was a challenge. We worked with just a couple of strobes to keep things moving fast. Mulberry staff were putting the finishing touches on things at a furious pace even as we shot; there is activity right outside the frame of many of these shots. The excitement is contagious; some of the staff had literally been up all night getting things ready.

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Flipbook: 2013

A little later this year than last….but it’s ready! This edition of my annual flipbook contains images from 5 countries and more cities than I can remember.

Hope you like it!

San Francisco Workshop Recap

PFRE_SF_03Berkeley workshop, to be perfectly accurate, as we changed venues at the last minute to take advantage of a terrific bit of new construction by one of my favorite and longest-term clients, Dogtown Development. Designed by award-winning architect Matt Baran (also my client), this place was outstanding, with plenty of lines and angles, and just challenging enough to keep everyone on their toes.

We built the shot above towards the end of the first day, and liked it so much that we decided to step in and make a group photo out of it! More write-up, and LOTS of photos, click here!

Workshop Update

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That’s the front door of the house we’re shooting in the Bay Area next week – this is an architect-designed bit of urban redevelopment that’s quite cutting edge. Think “clean lines” and “smart compositions”.

The stills workshop is 90% full, meaning there’s room for one more on each day. Video has (I think) one more space as well.

Two more locations that are coming quick — Boston, and Atlanta. Atlanta is clearly going to sell out very soon.

More info, and registration, HERE.

2014 Lighting Workshops Update

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Pictured above is the house we’ll be shooting in Atlanta, in March. Our job will be to improve on this photo…..heh.

As of this writing, the San Francisco workshop is clearly going to be the first to sell out. We’re at about 75% on both days. Atlanta is close behind. If you’re thinking of either of these, I would suggest acting before the holidays.

Boston — you’ve got a little time. Neither day is past the 50% mark, and it may be that this will be the workshop to attend if you want a smaller group size.

Malia Campbell’s video workshops are tracking almost identically. Again, if you’re thinking about the SF workshop, move quick. Atlanta, you’ve got some breathing room but you probably ought to get it together by year’s end. Boston people, you’re safe for the time being.

More info, and registration, HERE.

Lighting Interiors – 2nd Edition is Live!

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Almost a year in the making…it’s here! I’ve given “The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors” a vigorous overhaul, doubling the page count (277 pages…yikes!) and adding four new chapters as well as a bonus section at the end.

If you’re not familiar with it, this is an eBook (PDF download, click here to buy it) that covers lighting techniques for interiors photography, with a strong bent towards real estate photography. Small flash is used throughout, and the photos are shot and presented with either zero photoshopping, or extremely minimal re-touching (which gets discussed every time). My philosophy with photography, and especially for real estate photography, is to make a deliverable photo entirely on location, so that I can produce a JPG with absolutely minimal RAW adjustments  — or maybe none at all — the least time spent in post-production possible.

Details, photos, and a sample page, click here!

Wood, Windows & Weflections – A New LFRE Video is Live!

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In the latest addition to the “Le Monde Réel” section of my 28-part video series “Lighting For Real Estate Photography”, we talk with Brandon, who shot a kitchen that I’d wager 95% of real estate photographers deal with on a regular basis.

We talk through the issues, how Brandon lit his (pretty darned good) photo, and then discuss different strategies that could have been employed in that situation. Good times, for lighting nerds.

If you’re already a subscriber to LFRE, then head back over and hit the “Le Monde Réel” link – you’ll find the new video at the bottom of the page. If you’re not a subscriber….get over there and register! Lots of good stuff waiting for you….

Wood, Windows & Weflections – A New LFRE Video is Live!

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In the latest addition to the “Le Monde Réel” section of my 28-part video series “Lighting For Real Estate Photography”, we talk with Brandon, who shot a kitchen that I’d wager 95% of real estate photographers deal with on a regular basis.

We talk through the issues, how Brandon lit his (pretty darned good) photo, and then discuss different strategies that could have been employed in that situation. Good times, for lighting nerds.

If you’re already a subscriber to LFRE, then head back over and hit the “Le Monde Réel” link – you’ll find the new video at the bottom of the page. If you’re not a subscriber….get over there and register! Lots of good stuff waiting for you….

Lake Tahoe Home by Shelterwerkes

Kitchen by Shelterwerkes

We used no fewer than 6 or 7 lights (strobe, and continuous) to bring out the warmth and details in this kitchen.

On a weekend in July, I drove up to Truckee, California to shoot a Lake Tahoe-style project by Shelterwerkes Architecture. We made a long day of it on Saturday, and wrapped up Sunday morning (just in time for me to catch a flight out of Reno for LA).

Full write-up, lots of photos, and lighting notes…after the jump!

New Work: Summer 2013

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This late-summer portfolio features images from the following:

Handel Architects  •  Building Lab  •  Shelterwerkes Architecture  •  Atria Senior Living  •  Kelly Scanlon Interiors   •  Dogtown Development  •  Baran Studio Architects

Thanks for producing such amazing material for me to photograph!

Le Monde Réel

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I’ve been working on a new set of videos to add on to the Lighting For Real Estate Photography series, and I’m happy to announce that we’re about to release the first one!

Last fall, I asked for submissions of “problem” images — photos that people found particularly challenging to compose and light. We got some great stuff, and out of those came the six new episodes we’re calling “Le Monde Reèl” (The Real World).

We’ll be releasing them one at a time, as they come out of the editing process. Look for the first one this Friday – April 5th! The rest will follow, about one every week or 10 days.

These are free-form discussions with the photographers themselves, in which we dissect the image, identify the challenges, and propose solutions to each specific problem. I think it’ll be a nice addition to the 22 episodes already up.

If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll be getting an email each time a new episode goes live. But I know half of you signed up with bogus emails, so I’ll be posting something here, too.  😉

SF Kitchen by Folio Design

folio03Catching up on Fall projects, and first up is a kitchen I shot for Folio Design back on October.

Designer Erin McGilvery, with whom I’ve worked before, really nailed it with this contemporary/country design. The first thing that caught my eye was the raised panels on the end of the island and the cabinet doors. This millwork was outstanding, and we knew we had to make sure the texture showed in the photos.

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Erin is always fun to work with – and we had a good time styling this room!

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Law Firm Reception – by Dumican Mosey Architects

A few weeks ago I spent a few hours with Dumican Mosey Architects, with whom I’ve worked before, shooting the newly completed lobby of a San Francisco law firm. (Note to AT&T: 28 floors up in San Francisco’s Financial District…and no cell service? Really?)

I had scouted this a week earlier, and so I knew pretty much what we would have to contend with. Getting detail on that deep navy blue wall was going to be a challenge! I brought every light I own, and most of them got used on the shot above. There are 6 heads firing, almost as many hotlights, and even a Nikon SB-80! We averaged 2 hours per shot, but the results were worth it, I think.

Alan starts setting up the lights.

More photos after the jump!

San Francisco HighRise by Muratore

I first became acquainted with Muratore when I was shooting last fall for MB Jessee, capturing Matt’s outstanding venetian plaster work in a newly finished residence. I was impressed with their work, and when I got a call from designer Cindy Bayon to shoot two more units in the same building (San Francisco’s Millenium Tower), I jumped.

We shot through two days and got some killer stuff. The Millenium Tower is a premium address, and the typical resident likes a “certain style”, so there’s no lack of great material to work with! Cindy was awesome to work with, and it took no small amount of coordination to make everything happen. In addition to working with 2 homeowners for access, I was making images for not only Muratore, but also MB Jessee, and Vantage/BTicino, as well. Not everyone’s needs overlapped, but everyone got what they were looking for, and I’m thinking that one or two of these will find their way into my portfolio…..so I’m calling this one a win. See the rest of the photos – Click Here!