FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING ARCHITECTURE ?
I formally started the business back in 2000 but occasionally shot projects for some of the architectural and design firms I worked at prior to that.
HOW DO YOU START THE PROCESS ?
I am old school so a phone call or email initially is a great way to start. From chatting to you I can work out how best to proceed but generally I like a set of PDF plans, any renders of the project or up to date site photos taken by someone to give me an idea of size, orientation, complexity etc. Once I have reviewed these I like to organise a meeting to discuss your scope, intended outcomes from the shoot, your budget, deadlines etc prior to sending through my proposal.
DO YOU DO SITE VISITS ?
Site visits with the scope of works in mind is an essential part of my process. By having the client give me a guided tour I am able to forsee any challenges we may face prior to the shoot, point out any additional opportunities for image creation, ascertain the right time of year to shoot the work, access issues, contextual constraints etc that all have an impact on the final photography process.
WHAT DO YOU CHARGE FOR A SHOOT ?
My photoshoots are purpose built around the client’s expected deliverables and scope. Obviously the larger the scope the more expensive a shoot will be. Generally though I charge on a half or a full day scenario plus additional expenses such as travel, assistants if needed, equipment hire etc. My photography rates include the actual photoshoot as well as any Digital post-processing required in the studio to deliver files to clients.
HOW MANY PHOTOS CAN I EXPECT FROM A SHOOT AND WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE ?
Unfortunately that is an open ended question and is all dependant on the size and complexity of the project, the scope of works and whether there are other factors throughout the day that will affect workflow such as having to clean or style, wait for unwanted items to move on eg traffic, changing weather or just shifting shot locations with equipment. Typically I would create approx 25 images from a day shoot but this may be more if there are no delays.
I deliver all image files in high resolution 300dpi and low resolution 72dpi formats via electronic transfer. Each image is professionally edited and curated to ensure optimal image output for all electronic and publishing opportunities. I apply basic photoshop touchups and corrections such as small item removal, cleaning etc. More involved image manipulation is available upon request.
WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE AND WHY ?
I currently capture most of my architectural and interior images on a Phase One IQ back connected to a technical camera frame. This gear is unquestionably the best image taking system available in the world at present and is a reflection of how I approach my work for clients. A technical camera system also allows me to create imagery that other DLSR systems with TS lenses can not achieve. To shoot and compose architectural scenes properly you need to control scale, proportion, perceptive and scene depth. It is this subconscious approach that designers also employ in their work and therefor should be used within imagery. Plus my camera system is 100% manual as I just love the ability to work out scene exposure with my eyes, manually focus and the final audible whirr of the camera shutter.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE LICENCING ?
Copyright is retained by me for all photoshoots I undertake ( unless of course the client enters into a special agreement at the time of scope discussions ). I licence the imagery for specific uses such as websites, social media, awards entries, corporate print marketing, publishing, editorial submissions.
DO YOU SHARE THE COSTS OF A SHOOT ?
Of course and this is one of the topics that should be raised during the initial briefing. My final proposal will depend on how many parties are wanting access to the images. I can also licence individual images to those participants who only need one or two images.
TRAVEL ASSIGNMENTS AND COSTS ?
I have worked all over the world for clients wanting a very specific suite of images that they know I can produce. A large percentage of my work these days is throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific regions but I have also worked in other countries / cultures previously. And to be honest who doesn’t love an international shoot commission.
The biggest asset I provide for clients commissioning me this way is that they know I can deliver time and time again, giving them 100% confidence in knowing the project will be done right the first time, especially if we only get one chance to shoot it prior to hand over tho the client. All travel costs are itemised separately on my proposals outlining what has been allowed for. I also have various clauses in my terms and Conditions about delays such as weather, site access etc.
DO YOU SHOOT ALONE OR WITH ASSISTANTS ?
For large projects outhouse that require a lot of staying / furniture moving etc I will always include an assistant in my proposals. Having an assistant with me allows the shoot to progress very smoothly and provides me with more time behind the camera rather than out in front cleaning, shifting etc. More time behind the camera means a few more frames can be created for clients.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE ISSUE AROUND PRIVACY IN YOUR IMAGES ?
Personal privacy today is a big issue and there are many rules to navigate when it comes to having images populated with people. Most occasions I will utilise staff from the clients office to stand in and help out with scene activation. Other projects will require model releases to be organised ahead of time so that there are no issues with using the images moving forward. Most of the time I like to shoot ‘live’ scenes where people are just going about their daily business, doing what they would normally do and creating a very natural setting within the image. This way identities can be more easily obscured. At the end of the day I like to have a certain degree of movement and activity within my images. It allows me to demonstrate scale or design intent and sometimes a little humour goes a long way as well.
IS ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING IMPORTANT ?
Shooting architecture and interiors is different from shooting in-studio. A lot of the time natural light plays a very big part of the final design outcome so most of my images are naturally lit and shot at a time of the day that best explains why certain facade elements or spaces were created the way they were. However there are times when additional lighting is used to reinforce a surface texture or colour when natural light is not available.
DO YOU USE A DRONE ?
No but there are plenty of available operators out there. They are definitely another tool to be used by photographers and have essentially replaced the use of a humble scissor lift on site. But I shoot all my true aerial images out of a helicopter. Drones have their operating limits such as height, distance, flight restrictions and quality of camera attached. I use helicopters as they have full control over what airspace they can operate in, they allow me to use the same high quality gear that I would use on the ground, I can shoot from vast heights and distances which is important in creating context and scene compression in images and I have the ability to shoot multiple sites from the one charter unlike a drone operator who has to pack / unpack, setup on each site and then travel to each location.
Plus I also invite clients along with me in the helicopter for the shoot. Come on who wouldn’t love to tag along with me up in the air.
WHAT TYPES OF CLIENTS DO YOU WORK FOR ?
Most of my clients are design professionals such as architects, interior designers and landscape architects. But I also work with high end developer clients, large constructions companies, educational organisations, large property investment companies, property management companies and building material / furniture suppliers. My main focus of work is commercial and interiors. I do residential work occasionally but that is only for a few selected clients who love the type of approach I take and what I produce for them.