At the end of January I did a huge photo shoot in Louisiana for a firm based out of Marietta, Ga called AE Design. The location of the project was in Slidell, LA. The building I shot is a new Cancer Treatment Center, for Slidell Memorial Hospital.
The agreement I came to with my client was to shoot the entire building in a 12 hour period. In how I have my fee structure set up that put the shooting time for a day and a half (You can see more about that on my website). The shoot was to document the building inside and out, and I was charged with helping to create iconic shots of the building that the firm, and possibly others, would be able to use for their marketing efforts.
This shoot for me, to date, was the biggest shoot I have been paid to photograph. Not only was I shooting a building that was getting local press on it’s grand opening, but overall it was one of the most significant projects for AE Design in the last few years.
Another first for me on this shoot was the lens I used for 90% of the shots I took. I just recently purchases the Canon 17mm Tilt/Shift lens. The reviews of this lens have been nothing short of amazing and I finally decided I just couldn’t continue my growth as an architectural photographer without it.
My first impressions of the lens? WOW!!! I shot with the lens just a few times before the trip to Slidell. I had a basic understanding of how the shift worked and how it allowed for lens correction. One item I was slightly concerned with was that the lens itself is not auto-focus, but manual focus. My concern of course was that I could easily struggle with nailing my focuses on shots and miss opportunities that I couldn’t go back and shoot again (slidell is a 8 hours drive from Atlanta). To my relief this never was a problem as all my shots were in focus (day time, night time, and interior shots).
After contemplation of this photo shoot several things came out in my own critique of the work I did.
1. I was a bit rushed at times. The client had provided floor plans with marks of every location they wanted to get shots. At times I felt I was pushing to get everything marked on the plan and was concerned I would miss something in the time I had allocated to shoot the project. I felt pretty good about the shots I got and overall felt, in the time frame I had, I was able to capture all of the spaces I was asked to get. A better evaluation of this needs to be taken into account for a project of this size and exposure in the future.
2. Time of day for shooting interior spaces with lots of glass is huge. I had a 3 story space (lobby), with green-ish tinted glass, I had to shoot many shots of. This was the main interior space and it needed to be captured right. I ended up taking way too many shots during the main part of the day, which created too much contrast and too much sunlight piercing into the space. I did get some shots at sundown and that time of the day, or early morning, should have been the time I shot this space.
3. Shooting a building people free. I know, we shoot spaces for people yet all the architecture shots you see in mags have no people in them. Some spaces this works really well. In others it doesn’t and the shot begs for people. In the case of this building I really needed to have it “clean” and free of people. For the most part I did, but what people there were, I had to work around them to get some of the interior shots, and this slowed me down (these were people there working and patience coming in for treatment). I’ve run into this before on other shoots and It is really something I need to try and convince my clients on… shooting the building so I can have free reign and with nobody actually using the building and space.
I really learned alot on this shoot and some of the things I really have started to take notice of I hope will translate, in future shooots, will make a huge difference in my work.
The shots I’m posting here are just a few of the shots I took. At the time of this post I’m still waiting on the complete photograph order from my client and have not finished processing everything I intend to process.