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.
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 🙂
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.
I love my job. I love the work I do and I love the clients I work with. And every shoot is fun because of its inherit challenges: technical, logistical, creative. That being said, I love shooting personal work and it’s not often you get hired to shoot personal work for a commercial client.
That’s just what Owen Jones & Partners asked me to do for their client Prometheus Real Estate Group. Though I have shot architecturally for Prometheus, art director Craig Skinner and producer Michelle Majeski wanted me to approach the little life moments that happen around the Prometheus properties. To get a variety of feelings and mood, we shot in Portland, Seattle, and the Bay Area of California over the course of 4 days. In the end, I delivered 75 shots for their image library and 4 still life shots that are being used on the home page Promethues’s website.