Chances are, you haven't seen much of my real estate photography. The reason being? I don't really do much of it. Ever.
In the highly competitive world of photography, we, as artists, tend to find one or two niche areas which to work in.
Personally, I have developed an affinity towards shooting people and food, the two things I love the most.
Now, this is not to say I haven't worked outside my scope of practice. Beyond the headshot, environmental portrait or commercial food photography, I've been known to explore to some extent, the world of landscape, product and as I am sharing with you today, a real estate/interior/furniture, hell, I'm so immersed in my other work that I don't even know how to officially label this type of work. Likely, all of the above would suffice.
Bottom line? Call it taboo in this line of work but I would be as bold as to say I'm a generalist.
Look my homies, across the board, all photographic principles are the same. An f-stop is an f-stop. The rule of thirds is the rule of thirds. Composition to light, shutter to strobes, the shit's all relative. It's the attack that's different.
Each discipline, be it food or people, real estate or landscape has their own special techniques or pieces of gear that these specialists hold dear to their hearts.
I'm no camera-smith in the world of interior design by any means but with a developed eye for deconstructing or reverse engineering a photograph, there are a number of variables I can deduce by examining a photograph in say, I don't know, a Restoration Hardware catalog (I love that effing store).
The big notice. And please, my friends, let's get interactive. Before we continue, run to your nearest bathroom and find the catalogs, yes, in the place where you likely read them most. Hey, I just call it like I see it. Call me gross but I'm sure that 95% of the people reading are smiling in guilt. I'm just as guilty. My bathrooms have hidden stashes of B&H catalogs and old editions of Pro Photo Magazine.
Take a look at your furniture catalog and you will notice a similarity. Sure, some compositional styles may differ dependent upon each photographic style but what holds true across the board, 99.9% of the time, the light.
The light is ALWAYS, big, enormous, beautiful, shadowless and in many ways, perfect. Trust me, I've drooled at many an RH catalog and said, "holy crap!" My reverse engineering skills are put to the test. I mean jeez, they gotta be using a dozen Arri 12K Arrisun heads, working at f/70.71, ISO 12.5 at a modest 1/250. I mean, right?! Oh, almost forgot, each of those 12 Arri heads are pumping their nuclear particles and waves into some custom built Bron Para 700s. NASA has also provided some top secret, unknown, translucent material, that alters the speed and properties of light, slowing it to a gentle 65 miles per hour as it perfectly aligns itself with the universe and then blankets the entire set in photographic perfection.
Actually, they use the same gear as you and I. It's all in the attack, the technique.
Well, my friends, I decided to crush their technique. It may be clean and perfect but shit, it's so friggin' sterile. I mean, where's the character!?
I'm breaking the law people!
West Elm Would Be Hiring A Hit Man Right Now
As you may or may not know, Bruno, the wife and myself had recently moved. Transplanting from Rittenhouse to Fishtown was an awesome decision. This neighborhood is exploding with artists, cafes, bars and wonderful food. It's home.
It's common knowledge that when you move into a new home, you gotta spend lots of money on new stuff. Vague statement? You bet but everyone of you know what I mean.
As each room in our new digs is slowly developed, one by one, the house is slowly but surely becoming a home.
Last week, Stefanie, my wife, decided we needed new "stuff" for our bed. You know, lots and lots of decorative pillows, big decorative pillows the ones you aren't allowed to sleep on. New sheets and most importantly a new duvet cover was "needed." Hey, I'm understanding of a woman's needs. We agreed upon a style and in seconds she was in her Mini Cooper and on her way to West Elm. Why no internet order? She needed that shit NOW, not tomorrow but NOW. Understood.
There weren't any intentions to shoot the new bedspread until one day following the redesign. I was on my way to the master's en suite when, walking down the hall, when my photographic eye took a different look at the new room. I saw the need for creation.
Although I believe I was on my way to browse the latest B&H, those attentions were diverted. Instead, I ran for the gear, not leaving any chance that this spark of creativity would exit my brain.
Without getting too gear oriented, I'll break it down rather quickly.
- Feisol carbon fiber tripod system
- Nikon D4
- Nikkor 24-70 2.8
- Vivitar 285HV X2
- Pocketwizard Plus ii transceivers X3