I was recently asked by a new client why I pre-scout shoots, and was told it was very rare. Maybe it's because I entered this field after having practiced Interior Design for 16 years and during that time would never have created anything with out first drafting a sketch and then a plan for which to build from. Though I think there is more to it than that. So since I haven't blogged in over four months, here we go...
When a great painter sets out to produce a masterpiece, they might typically start with a sketch which evolves into a study. The study is primarily used to work out an important element of the larger painting. When I photograph an Architectural Project, I first start with a scouting visit. I do this primarily because it allows me to discover great compositions without the hinderance of the tripod or the limitations of shooting a certain amount of images in an allotted time. Moving through a home with the camera in hand, provides a tremendous amount of freedom to allow my eye to wander and discover truly great photographs. Architectural photography is very different than say how a photo journalist might approach a composition. With a journalist the magic of a great image is the culmination of being at the right place at the right time and having the innate ability to anticipate what might happen and of course being ready to capture that fleeting moment in just the right light. For them their world is in a constant flux, while an Architectural photographers world never moves. It is the photographer that is moving to precisely align that balance of Architecture and Design into an image that inspires and transmits the experience felt within that space, that Design narrative.
If you've ever watched the behind the scenes of an Annie Lebovitz shoot or any sort of commercial shoot with an expected outcome you'll notice the tremendous amount of forethought and control that goes into creating great photographs. Imagine a photographer working for a commercial client and just running around shooting willy nilly (always wanted to use that phrase).
I've been asked to give a talk about this approach to Architectural Photography during Boston Design Week and take you behind the scenes in the making of truly great photographs that grace the pages of major market Design Magazines. So for a more in depth discussion, please join me on March 26th at Jill Goldberg's Hudson in the South End. Please follow the link below to RSVP as space is limited.