Hunter Douglas Case Study

Summary

Since 2013, I’ve been hired by Hunter Douglas to help them create photography, time-lapse, and video for their dealer books, trade show materials, website, social media, in store display… basically everything. The first time I worked with them, they actually flew out to Portland just to meet me to see if we’d be a good fit. This was such a great idea considering the scope of the project and need to help me understand how they like to work. They work with a very select group of photographers and I needed to be vetted by them. I gave them a tour of the city and showed off some possible locations for the first shoot we did in Oregon. We definitely hit it off in that initial meeting and have had several successful shoots since then. I really enjoy shooting for Hunter Douglas because they are super dedicated to creating quality work. Quality is something I truly value as a person and a photographer/image maker.

For this blog post, I’d like to share a little of what it takes to do this level of production. I’ve spent my whole career getting to a point where I can offer this level of service. I have the experience, the resources, and the fortitude to handle anything that comes my way. This case study will help you get an idea of how working with me can achieve amazing results.

Pre-Production

One of the unique things about shooting for Hunter Douglas is that the shades we shoot are custom made for each location. Their high end product is designed to custom fit to any kind of window, so they have to manufacture them just for the shoot. My producer and I work with a location scout to find homes that fit the art direction for each product on the shot list. Once we’ve narrowed it down to 10-12 locations, the HD team and I come out for 2 day location scout trip. During the site visits, I’m looking for angles at each location and giving my ideas for how we can accomplish the goals for each shot. While we’re there, the installers work on measuring the windows to build the product for the shoot. After the scout, I organize the scouting photos and the HD team selects the final 4-5 locations and then starts manufacturing the product.

Now is when it really kicks in gear for me. Six weeks prior to shoot, we start having weekly pre-pro calls with my producer Heather Smith (www.smithandunion.com), the stylist, and the team at HD. We work with them on finalizing the shot list and help the stylist find resources for props and furniture. We run through all the scenarios and come up with a schedule for the shoot. Since we have to install the product, sometimes getting just one large room set can take half a day. Our last shoot had 15 hero shots and it took 14 days (we shot a lot of details and video, too). Finally, my producer and I hire the best crew, book all the equipment rental, and then find the most delicious food trucks available for catering. That’s right, work with me and you get treated!

The Shoot

I usually start with something easy, like a shot without a lot of prop changes and an easy product to install. I coordinate the HD installers so that they’re always ahead of us and I’m not waiting on them to setup the next shot. After we finish a shot, they then have to take down the product they put up. It’s quite a dance. Especially if we’re doing things like making a living room look like a bedroom.

On these shoots, I’m using a Phase One 100MP Medium Format Digital Back on an Alpa view camera. I love shooting with view cameras because every lens has the movements you need to shoot architecture properly in camera. Plus the lenses a extremely sharp and the level of detail is unparalleled to any DSLR. My photo crew includes a digital tech, a 1st assistant, and a 2nd assistant. Plus the production team has 3 or 4 PAs running around helping all of us move thing around. It’s a lot of fun and I have a great team. All of them working hard to help me create the vision for Hunter Douglas.

Retouching

After the shoot, I send off layered PSDs to HDs preferred retoucher with detailed notes on what needs to be retouched. It’s usually not much other than basic cleanup as I am a firm believer in getting it in camera as much as you can. Sometimes, we’ll make creative decisions that only retouching can solve, but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Results

Once the finals come back, they get put into Hunter Douglas’s image library and then go out to be used for multiple applications including dealer books, social media, sales presentations, and their website. It’s a big job, but my team and I make it come off easy, fun, and deliver the incredible images below.

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Do you need help with your photography project? I would love the opportunity to help you create beautiful images in a timely and stress free way. I’ve made a super easy booking form to get the information I need to get start. Just click the button below:

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Midcentury Modern Shoot Featured on Dwell

A few years back, I shot an incredible midcentury modern remodeled home for my client, Portland, OR based JHL Design. I really loved the shots we got from this shoot and apparently my client and I weren’t the only ones. Dwell.com recently featured the shooton their blog! Here’s a snippet from the before and after article:

An old home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, receives a modern makeover, while keeping its midcentury charm intact.

Oregon–based David Horning of MOA Architecture has joined forces with principal designer Holly Freres of JHL Design to carefully renovate the 1955 three-bedroom dwelling. By using period-appropriate materials, the team has not only restored the property to its original warmth and charm, but also infused a modern, contemporary vibe. To emphasize the home’s tranquil lakeside location, two 10-foot sliding doors have been added to the living room to enable a seamless connection to the outdoors.

Jennifer Baum Lagdameo

Check out the whole article here: https://www.dwell.com/article/before-and-after-a-midcentury-lakeside-home-receives-a-stunning-new-look-fa200630

Here’s a gallery of the “after” shots I took. The space is just stunning!

Shooting Gunlocke’s Saranac Launch and Metta Chair Brochure

A little while back, Rochester, NY based agency Truth Collective reached out to me to shoot for high end furniture maker, Gunlocke. The shoot took place in Buffalo, NY, near the Gunlocke manufacturing facility. They make all their furniture in the US and it’s craftsman quality work. I was really impressed by how passionate the client was about their products. It was a joy to photograph and they were great to work with.

The shoot had three parts which we shot over three days: an ad campaign with talent, multiple location shots, and a studio day to shoot product shots and details. We also built a set wall to convert an event space into a cool industrial office space.

We had a great crew for the shoot. I worked with local location scouts, assistants, and producer John Takacs. The prop and wardrobe stylist was the great Raina Kattelson out of NYC. And my digital tech, Esteban Aladro, also came up from NYC with lighting gear (thanks Este!). If you’re ever in Buffalo, NY and need a studio, I can’t say enough good things about DPost

We had a tight window to get all this work done and it wouldn’t have been possible without the great art direction of Karrie Gurnow of Truth Collective. She really knew what she wanted and we worked together really well. Super smooth shoot and the client was very happy with the results.

Here’s what I shot for Gunlocke:

Luxe Magazine Cover Feature

2018 has started off great with this amazing cover feature I shot for January’s Pacific Northwest edition of Luxe Interiors + Design. Designed by husband and wife duo Holly Freres (JHL Design) and David Horning (MOA Architecture), this ultra cool coastal getaway was so much fun to shoot. I really admired the contrast of modern architecture and interior design with the natural rugged coastal surroundings. It was very zen and balanced. The whole house felt very cozy and the views stunning. Both Holly and David were there with me to help style the shots and clean the windows (thanks David).

True story: Holly texted me the day she got her copy head over heels that we made the cover. I was so excited for her and very proud to share these spreads with you. The full gallery is available in the WORK section of my website as well.

Oreck Photo Shoot

I’m very excited to share this shoot for Oreck with you for two reasons: one, I really love how the images came out and two, I finally got to partner up with great folks at Wonderful Machine who have listed me on their site for years.

Shooting home goods products on location is something of a specialty for me. I’ve worked for many brands like Rejuvenation, Gunlocke, Hunter Douglas and others to highlight their products being used in a real location. My interior design photography background really compliments this type of work. What was slightly different about the Oreck shoot was the approach. As Oreck’s art director Rybe Henderson showed me, the action to vacuums and air purifiers is ground level. We really had to think outside the box (even mounting my camera upside down at one point) to find these hero angles. We also didn’t want to show off the room too much, so many of these shots are shot with a shallow depth of field. Very different from a typical interior shoot. I’m really happy how the shots came out and you can see them being used currently on Oreck’s website and social media.

The shoot was produced by my good friends at Wonderful Machine. If you’re unfamiliar, they are one of the best places to find a photographer anywhere in the world. They also do production and have worked with lots of their photographers to make shoots happen for all kinds of clientele. Julia Hanley was the on site producer and really went the extra mile to make this such a successful shoot. She organized the talent, hired the stylist Patti Borelli, arranged catering, built furniture, and even made a few Ikea runs for props. The best producers do it all and Julia is a total pro. A great shoot is almost always guaranteed when there’s good art direction combined with great crew. Special thanks to my digital tech Peter Grill and assistant Daniel Clark for working hard to keep the shoot organized and on schedule.

Here are the rest of the images also featured in my WORK section of my website. Thanks for looking!

Country Living – Cloverfield Farm

I have to admit, one of the biggest perks to my editorial shoots is meeting incredible people and spending time in their beautiful homes. Such is the case of Cloverfield Farm recently featured in Country Living Magazine. This stunning rustic barn home is the dream effort of the sweetest couple Jessica & Kevin Carnell. Jessica has a great Instagram feed (@growing_cloverfield_farm) of the whole project from start to finish. They were incredibly hospitable, making us feel very welcome and even cooking some amazing food. Check out this spread on my Instagram feed (@growing_cloverfield_farm). I really enjoyed this shoot and got some wonderful images as well. To see more images from the shoot, visit the Work Section of my website.

Hunter Douglas Beauty Books

I recently added a new Featured Work Gallery for two shoots I did for Hunter Douglas’s Luminette and Nantucket product lines. The photos we created for these shoots were used in their dealer sample books, website, social media, marketing materials, you name it!

Both shoots were HUGE productions. Unlike other architectural product shoots where the product is already in place, we had to find locations with the right type of windows and then Hunter Douglas custom made their window fashions to fit the locations. We did multiple days of location scouting about month before each shoot. Hunter Douglas then fabricated the custom product and shipped them to me for holding; something like 70 boxes, 4 to 10 ft in length, and a foot or so wide. It was quite a logistical challenge to find a place to store them for the shoots. I ended up renting a warehouse for one shoot and a conference room at our hotel for the other.

In addition to my producer, two assistants, and a digital tech, we had a crew of about dozen including a lead stylist, stylist assistants, installers, furniture movers, plus an art director and 3 or 4 clients at a time. Lots of people! On our last shoot in San Diego, we had so many people we just hired a food truck to cater. It was awesome and delicious.

Each shot requires a lot of set up. Just installing the product can take half a day. Once the product is up, we then compose, style, and light each shot. We’re maybe getting 1 to 2 hero shots done in a day at each location.

Gear wise, I used the ALPA Max and Alpa XY with the Phase One IQ250 Digital Back. I won’t geek out too much on gear here, but if you’re interested check out the links above.

It’s been a great brand to shoot for and the people I work for are just awesome. For as big as these shoots were, both went off without a hitch and the client was super happy with results. It must be going well, because they’re having me out again this year for a 10 day shoot in June.

High Fives to all the folks I’ve worked with on these shoots, especially Karen Beck, Heather Smith, Bergren Rameson, Mike Grippi, Ben Canales, Kennett Morhman, and Garrett Priddy. Love you all!

Check out the full gallery of images here: https://www.lincolnbarbour.com/work/hunter-douglas/

Thanks!

New Work for Prometheus Real Estate Group

For the past two years, I’ve been flying out to sunny Silicon Valley to shoot architectural lifestyle for a truly great client: Prometheus Real Estate Group. The luxury apartment brand has a huge presence in the Bay Area as well as a growing number of properties in Portland and Seattle. I’ve shot ten properties for them so far and have lined up to do six more this year. The shoots have been primarily focused on the amazing amenities they feature at each of their locations like clubhouses, theater rooms, fitness centers, amazing pools, fire pits, and even bocce courts (my personal favorite pastime).

Each property we shoot gets the royal treatment. Working with producer Heather Smith of Smith X Union, we cast models, shop wardrobe, have hair and makeup on set, and do the prop styling as well. Each shot is meticulously planned and carried out by a crew including a digital tech, two dedicated photo assistants, and handful of PAs. It’s a lot of work, but we’re able to get so much done in a day and the end results are something I’m very proud of.

Please check out their featured gallery in my updated Work portfolio section  www.lincolnbarbour.com/work/prometheus 

Credits:

Production: Heather Smith – Smith X Union
Wardrobe & Prop Styling: Ashley Montague
Hair & Makeup: Erin Svalsted, Jen Budner

2016 in Review

Wow, where does the time go! This is my first “Year in Review” since 2011. Why the long drought? Well, the biggest change was that we welcomed our firstborn, Odin, in December of 2012. Two years later, came his sister Teagan in December of 2014. Three short months later, we moved back to Virginia to be closer to family. Yeah, it’s been a little busy.

2016 was my first full year back on the East Coast and it was a really good year for my business. It did come with some sacrifice though. Now that I’m based in a small town, I have to travel a lot more than I did when I was based in Portland. Of the 35 shoots I did last year, only 4 were in Charlottesville and just 16 in Virginia. I’ve flown more miles for work in the last two years than I did in the last 5 years I lived in Portland. I’ve had shoots in Buffalo, New York City, The Hamptons, LA, Silicon Valley, DC, Ohio, Maryland, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, San Diego, and have been back to Portland, OR 3 times. I was on the road or flying for 57 days in 2016 with one shoot lasting almost two weeks.

I really have to thank my wonderful wife, Lauren, and our family in Virginia for their support and help with our young family during this time of transition. I feel very grateful to have them so that I can do something I love for a living and that it’s able to help support a family of 4 (7 if you count our three cats 🙂

On to the work. I have a lot of images to share and I’ll give a brief comment what each shoot was for. Coming soon will be a big update to my portfolios featuring work I’ve shot for Hunter Douglas, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Prometheus Real Estate Group, and many more. Thanks for visiting and looking forward to an even better 2017.

Country Living Cover Feature – I actually shot this in 2015, but it wasn’t published until January of 2016. A cover feature is a really nice way to start the year. Shot in Franklin, TN (near Nashville), I had a great time on this shoot because it was a beautiful home to photograph and, more importantly, the owners were so friendly. They had that true Southern Charm that just makes you feel like you’ve known them for years.

One of my trips back to Portland included doing a shoot of Jessica Helgerson’s new office space in downtown. It’s amazing open space and the front lobby is used a gallery. When I shot it, the installation I HAVE LOVE IN MY HEART AS A THIEF HAS RICHES by Mike Rathbun was truly something to behold.

Continue reading “2016 in Review” »

Country Living Cover Feature January 2016

Country_LivingJan2015_Cover

2016 is off to a great start with this cover feature for Country Living. I didn’t know it was going to be the cover when I shot last year and found out shortly before it went to press. After 14 years of shooting and getting published, it’s still very rewarding to see your work in print on a newsstand.

I had a great time at this shoot. I was in Franklin, TN for two full days of shooting. The charming rustic look of the house was really fun to photograph. Jami Supsic, Style Director for Country Livingbrilliantly staged the shots and was super helpful in art direction, too. The homeowners, Mandy and Randy Reeves, were so friendly and hospitable. They didn’t even mind when we rearranged their living room for the cover try. Southern Charm at it’s best.

These kinds of shoots are team efforts and when you have a great team, the end results are fantastic. Here are the spreads from the feature story. Click to enlarge and enjoy!