In an effort to help my clients better understand what I do, I decided a “Before and After” gallery would showcase this the best. My ultimate goal for your images is to make them magazine worthy. My process begins by looking at multiple angles in a space and determining what is the best angle to show everything we need to show in a room. During a hotel or architectural shoot I do this in conjunction with an iPad, so you, the client can see what I see. During this time we can talk specifically about what you want from the shoot. Getting a great composition that my clients like is paramount. There are some who want to show as much space as humanly possible, which is understandable, but not accurate for the given room most of the time. This has become very common in some real estate markets where the photographer is made to shoot extremely wide resulting in walls that are not straight, and creating a disconnect between the elements of the space, and the space itself. I try to find the balance between the two. Bringing the elements of the space to the front helps create a bit more mood, and tends to show the space more accurately. When you look at Architectural Digest, or Interior Design Magazine, this is the type of work that you will often see, and this is more in line with my style and how I like to capture a space. Obviously there are compromises to be made, and we take that on a shot by shot basis, all along showing you examples of options available.
“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” – Aldo Gucci.
My shooting process combines capturing the natural light in a space and accenting with light that I add via powered “hot” lights or flash strobes. The effect is usually subtle, and I’ve found that without a client seeing the “before” image they may never actually know what goes into creating and lighting an image for a space. I feel it’s important to show as it can showcase the benefit of working with someone who knows and understands lighting. Someone who knows when to keep it subtle and when to light everything. A better understanding of what is involved also helps a client better understand the time and costs to make the image. On average an image will take anywhere from 15 minuets to an hour or more to shoot, and another hour on average in post production to polish up and make worthy of delivery. This varies from image to image, as I’ve spent 15 hours on 1 image, but generally that is the timeline. Smaller architectural and real estate shoots are typically completed faster. The “before” images can also stand for what happens when someone is taking snap shots of your house, and how hiring a professional can take it to the next level. With most images the time consuming part is the setup, we move furniture, tables, lamps, anything we need, sometimes just inches to get it just right and looking amazing.
An image generally starts with 1 base natural light image that is exposing for as much of the scene as possible, and then I take 2 darker, and 2 lighter natural light images to be able to use if needed for brightening or darkening select area’s. Next comes lighting images. These can be any number of images where I actually walk through the scene and light individual elements, and add fill light where it’s needed. A common photography term for this is called “light painting”, adding in strokes to accent the scene or fill it with more light, all the while keeping the final image in mind and balancing my lighting with the natural lighting in both strength and color.
The image below is comprised of 1 Base “before” image, and then 1 image for the sky, and about 25 lighting images to make the final “after” image. We used 1000watt lights to accent light the building a little to help it pop from the blue sky as it is a blue building. Day shots are always easier of an exterior (and cheaper) than my twilight dusk shots, however these have a much more pleasing look, and will generally show a sexier side of any given space, or exterior. They are without a doubt one of my most popular services offered. It is important to know that many base images are exposed a little darker on purpose. With Hotel exteriors we get to take some creative freedoms by adding light, and you will find with interiors it’s a lot more subtle, and as our eyes always see a lot more than a camera can I always shoot, add light and edit, with a picture in my head of what I actually saw with my eyes.
The next image below is comprised a 1 base image, 1 sky image, and 50+ lighting images as well as a separate shot shifted down to pick up more of the courtyard in front of the hotel. This image took about 3 1/2 hours of post production, but as you can see it makes a world of difference.
A residential exterior. 1 Base image, one sky image, and approximately 25 lighting images
Next we have a residential interior shot below, where the lighting we added was more broad and subtle. This was 1 base image, and about 8 lighting images, including some brighter natural light images.
Second dining area…
The next image is a hotel room shot in Hawaii. I usually like to keep a very natural light feel to my hotel room images, as I feel we all like bright inviting hotel rooms, and it also is a very close representation of a space how our eyes will see it when we walk in. Also, the views for these rooms are actual and unaltered. Given that position in the room and that is what you would see, also very important to most of my hotel clients. You can also notice subtle accent lighting to the desk chair, flowers, and lounge bringing them a bit more to life without making it look unnatural.
This next Shot below is a favorite of mine, and surprisingly most of the lighting work I did was already there I just helped it along, there are some elements I lit that were not there, but overall a very subtle looking result. This is one base image, I purposely made a bit darker to account for overhead lighting brightness, and then about 20 lighting layers, as well as 2 ambient light images. I corrected some blue color cast on the ceiling and removed some distracting elements.
Below is a good example of balancing daylight and indoor light. The blue on the chairs in the “before” image is daylight coming in, the camera is set to record the colors accurately for the inside in this particular shot giving a blue hue to daylight which we color corrected out, we added about 25 lighting images to simulate more of the overhead lighting, accent the silver chairs, and fill in some shadows and darker area’s allowing your eye to wander through the scene.