Northern California Hospitality

A few weeks ago I spent a couple of (long) days with Cox Concepts, in the tiny seaside village of Mendocino, way up on the Northern California coast. We were producing material for the launch of a new bed & breakfast, slated to open soon.

I drove up with PA Ellis Au on Tuesday evening, and met with Creative Director (and president of the company) Jim Cox, who had flown in earlier that day. We did a quick night-time walk-through of the place, and then headed out to a late dinner to go over shot lists and logistics. Our hosts had arranged housing in their other B&B’s, so we were living in luxury! I’m normally a Comfort-Inn kind of guy, so a room with a feather comforter and a working fireplace is definitely a step up.

Over the course of the next two days, we shot, and shot, and shot. We got started pre-dawn and made twilight exteriors (see above), or else headed out to the nearby redwood forests looking for fog-free scenic “approach” shots:

Mid-day was working through a long list of interior shots, each with its own styling and lighting challenge. The inn-keepers had spent BANK remodeling this place with a very refined aesthetic – vaguely modern, but very Victorian, and were walking a fine line between “clean” and “bare”. I was glad to see that they avoided anything approaching kitsch, but it was often a challenge to present the rooms in a warm attractive way given the monochromatic styling. It helped that they had great taste, and the look was consistent throughout, which also helped. Once we figured out what worked, we stuck with it.

As evening approached, we’d head out to pick up more scenics — each day finished with me shivering (it gets COLD on the Northern California coast!) and I was pretty happy about that fireplace in my room! I’d stay up until midnight working through the day’s take, and hit the rack for a few hours of sleep before the alarm went off at Oh-dark-thirty next day.

You can see some behind-the-scenes photos from this project HERE.

And here’s a few of the results:

Capturing scenics like this one was a continual challenge as we dodged the fog.

8 responses to “Northern California Hospitality

  1. Looks really nice. Shooting resorts is kinda fun, almost like a mini vaca, well, except for the dawn to dusk work, then working till midnight on the puter…

  2. Beautiful work Scott! You really captured the “feel” of the place which is super important.

  3. Nice work! It is so difficult to have to travel to such “rugged locations” and put up with all the hardships that it entails.

  4. Hi Scott, do you actually know that you have the best job in the world? You do such amazing work.

  5. Thanks, everyone! David, that means a lot, given your background with this sort of thing!
    Klaus – Good to hear from you! And you are absolutely right….

  6. Great shoot. Awesome pictures.

  7. Hey Scott -the downers never last when you have more dreams than memories, your images keep me dreaming about the photographer I want to become.
    May Santa shower you with more happiness too, for 2012

  8. Scott, these are beautiful! This is my home town and I used to go trick or treating at this house, you captured it perfectly.

Don't just sit there....say something!