Monthly Archives: July 2014

Behind The Scenes


A few weeks ago, I posted the photo above with the caption “We’re going to move some furniture on this one…”

A lot of people wanted to see what we ended up with , so I’m posting it below. The great Arnold Newman said, “Photography is 1% talent, and 99% moving furniture,” and when it comes to architectural work, truer words have never been spoken! We move furniture on every shot we make. Sometimes it’s extreme, like above, sometimes it’s minor, but I’d be hard pressed to remember a shot where something didn’t get moved. Furniture arrangements that are symmetrical and common-sense in “real life” often look really weird from the camera’s two-dimensional perspective, so we move things into positions that make no sense at all to those of us with bifocal vision, but which make perfect sense to the camera. Often, we’re scouring the surroundings for props to fill in a room that’s not really looking quite right. Other times, it’s a matter of removing the majority of the crap that’s filtering out our beautiful photo

So, click the link to see the room as I arranged it. Which reminds me, I still have an outstanding $50 bet as to whether the management ultimately adopted my floor plan! Click for lots of photos…




A Pair of (Custom) Kitchens


In late June I spent a day with Custom Kitchens in Oakland, and Kensington, California shooting a pair of recently competed projects. These kitchens are typical of Custom Kitchens designs — practical, rooted in traditional materials and layout, but not “cookie-cutter”. Lead Designer Joy Wilkins and her team are great at bringing a unique vision (and often) the homeowner’s existing needs and even hardware into the equation. The results are kitchens that are both beautiful and approachable. You can easily imagine yourself wandering in here in your bathrobe, pouring some coffee, and reading the paper.


The gorgeous center island featured here is by Bentwood Kitchens, based in Lancaster Texas. We left the louvered doors open at rear to show the washer-dryer – this sort of remodel feature matters a lot to older clients!


Our second location was even more traditional:




I’ve been shooting a lot of cool  projects this summer — much more to come!

Phycodurus eques


From maybe a year ago….
Amazingly, this is iPhone!



Post-Production Blues….

Also, New Belgium “Snapshot” is my new favorite summer beer!

Los Altos Traditional, by Brownhouse Design


I loved this scene from the moment I first scouted this shoot. The mirrored grid pattern of the floor/ceiling, the arched doorways, and the swirling swooping sweeping curve of the staircase make for a very dynamic composition! We used blackout cloth to kill the daylight coming in from camera left, and re-lit the stairs from above with continuous light “boomed” out over the risers. Strobes in the adjoining spaces maintain good color and draw the eye into the living room.

More design happiness from Julie Brown, principal of Brownhouse Design. Here’s a Los Altos Traditional done by Julie and her team that we photographed back in May. Built by Matt Komo at MJK Homes, this place was TIGHT.


Other than removing some electrical outlets, this is straight out of the camera. We more or less emptied the lighting cases for this shot! But the real challenge of a complex space like this is the styling.

More photos, and behind-the-scenes, click here!