photography

Case Study: Gallaudet Deaf Residence Hall for Dangermond Keane Architects

One of my greatest joys as a photographer is seeing my pictures help clients succeed. Just last week, I learned that my clients at Dangermond Keane Architects (DKa) were recognized by the AIA DC with the 2018 Presidential Citation in Universal Design for their work on the Gallaudet University Model Secondary School for the Deaf Residence Hall.

I shot this project for DKa during an icy cold snap in January of 2017. When we started with the dusk exteriors, it was a frigid 10° outside and – to add insult to injury – my laptop battery died within 20 minutes of shooting. Thankfully, we managed to have just enough juice to capture the shots we needed.

I actually set up two cameras to capture simultaneous dusk exposures from distinct angles. Bringing two cameras to shoots is a staple of mine, particularly beneficial during timely shots like these. After all, we only have a few minutes to get the perfect dusk shot and there’s never enough time to reset the camera. With two cameras going at once, I can easily double the effort.

The most interesting thing we needed to capture on this shoot was the DeafSpace principles used in the hall’s design. In essence, the spaces are tailor-made for visual conversation. From Gallaudet’s website:

“When deaf people congregate the group customarily works together to rearrange furnishings into a ‘conversation circle’ to allow clear sightlines so everyone can participate in the visual conversation.  Gatherings often begin with participants adjusting window shades, lighting and seating to optimize conditions for visual communication that minimize eyestrain. Deaf homeowners often cut new openings in walls, place mirrors and lights in strategic locations to extend their sensory awareness and maintain visual connection between family members.

These practical acts of making a DeafSpace are long-held cultural traditions that, while never-before formally recognized, are the basic elements of an architectural expression unique to deaf experiences. The study of DeafSpace offers valuable insights about the interrelationship between the senses, the ways we construct the built environment and cultural identity from which society at large has much to learn.”

DKa designed the common areas with clear lines of sight for visual communication (i.e. sign language). I worked with Chris Keane on the shoot to carefully set up the shots so that they would illustrate their technical understanding of DeafSpace. In addition, we had real students participating so there was an added challenge of communicating through an interpreter. I couldn’t just yell, “Hey – move over to left!” Instead, I was constantly running around set, doing my best to explain where I wanted them to be and what actions I wanted them to take. Through it all, the students were extremely cooperative, and working with them was a genuinely incredible experience.

Together, we produced some impressive work that I’m extremely proud of, and I’m elated to hear that DKa is (deservedly!) getting noticed for their efforts. Kudos to all!

What are the Four Types of Photographers

The other day, my barber asked me: “So what do you do?”

I told him I was a photographer, so he proceeded to tell me all about his buddy who shoots weddings. And while I wanted to relate on this shared commonality, I had to be honest with myself: shooting weddings is extremely different from shooting commercially.

As I was searching for a way to explain the difference, it dawned on me: All service-based businesses use similar “tools” in their jobs, but how they use the tools varies wildly.

For example: a plumber and a mechanic both use a wrench, yes, but would you hire your plumber to fix your car? Tools are just that: Tools.

In that same vein, just because a photographer carries around a camera doesn’t mean he or she possesses the necessary skill set to approach each assignment with the same level of expertise. As for me, I’m primarily an Architectural Photographer. Over the past two decades, I’ve filled my toolbox with the knowledge required to approach each assignment with care and consideration. If you need me to beautifully photograph a building with expert technical precision, I’m your man. If you need me to shoot your daughter’s senior portrait, I’m going to pass; frankly, I don’t know the first thing about shooting a teenager’s portrait.

To break it down, I feel there are four basic types of professional photographers, each of which can be very general or very niche. So, before you hire a photographer for your next project, take note of the following.

Commercial Photographer

Photo from my last shoot for Hunter Douglas

Commercial photographers are B2B. They know how to work with other businesses, collaborate in teams, and acquire the resources needed to pull off complex shoots with detailed creative briefs.

Need to secure a location permit and close down a street?! A commercial photographer knows a guy who knows a guy. But if you ask that commercial photographer to shoot your wedding, he’s going to overthink it and probably have you walk down the aisle repeatedly to get the shot just right.

Photojournalist

Photo from Leah Nash’s series about Asperger Syndrome – www.leahnash.com

Photojournalists prime responsibilities include reporting on the news and shooting documentary photo essays. The ones I’ve met are some of the most talented, hardworking, and dedicated people with a camera.

But if you want them to shoot an architectural project, photojournalists are going to approach it like a war zone: “Shoot first, ask questions later.” They also probably wouldn’t even retouch it because to them, it would be unethical.

Retail Photographer (Weddings, Portraits, B2C)

Jen Fariello Photography – www.jenfariello.com

Wedding & Portrait photographers are typically B2C: they get hired by brides and grooms, families, pet owners – basically, the whole gamut of consumers. Some W&P photographers will also dabble in commercial work like headshots for businesses. But their core specialty is the consumer and they are great one-on-one, just like a boutique business should be.

However, if you have an ad campaign to shoot, a wedding photographer is probably not going to have the resources to find a producer, cast talent, and pull permits for locations. I’m sure they know a really killer band and a wonderful caterer though.

Art Photographer

Photo from Holly Andres series “Fieldcrest Drive” www.hollyandres.com

Even though photography is an art form, not all photographers are what I would call “artists”. In fact, I would consider most photographers to be craftsmen – myself included. They dedicate their careers to perfecting the craft and creating photographs for others’ use. Art photographers, on the other hand, shoot purely to create some of the meaning for themselves. Their work is an expression of their feelings. If you hire an art photographer to shoot your ad campaign, you’re letting them lead the vision and direct the creative. But, if you already have a clear creative vision in mind, then you’re better off finding a commercial photographer who can execute it properly.

Next Steps: Vet the Photographer

Now that you know the four types of photographers, you’ll be much better off finding the right person (or studio) for your next shoot. But before making your hire, you should ask them some questions to find out if they’re a pro or an amateur.

Questions like:

  • Can I see a full shoot (proofs and final images)?
  • Do you carry liability insurance?
  • Do you shoot RAW or JPEG?
  • How do you backup files from your shoot?
  • What can expect before, during, and after the shoot?
  • Have you shot this kind of job before?
  • How much retouching do you do?

How can I help you?

Do you have an upcoming commercial photography project you need help on? Contact me today and I will gladly help you out. If I’m not a good fit, I have some great recommendations for you. Click here to go to my contact page.

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

Fall Update: Odin Gets Bigger, New Website & Portfolios, And…

Odin at 7 Months

What a year it’s been! As you know, my wife and I had our first baby last December. Becoming Odin’s Dad has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  It’s been a slight period of adjustment finding a balance between work and my new family life. So, that’s why I am seriously behind on my blogging. But we’re in a good grove right now and I’ve got lots of cool things to share with you other than photos of my son (he’s pretty cute, huh?).

First Off: A Brand New Website

About a year ago, I embarked on creating a scalable version of my website, optimized for high resolution monitors. It’s taken a while because, well, it’s busy with a baby and running your own business. I also really wanted something unique to me and not just another template. I’d really like to thank WerkPress for helping me with this redesign. I asked for a lot and they delivered. I liked the previous look & feel and this new site is not too far removed from what I had before. What’s improved most are the Portfolio and Work galleries. My photography is all about the details and these super sized images really help show off the quality of the photographs I create.  Plus it makes my food work look life-sized and you just might want to eat your screen.

Voodoo Doughnuts

Secondly: New Portfolios

All of my portfolios have been refreshed: Homes /  Décor, Life (formally lifestyle), Food / Beverage, Architectural. I’ve also added two new portfolios highlighting Travel / Landscape and Workspaces. In the WORK section, I’ve broken out my tearsheets into two separate galleries: One highlighting magazine articles I’ve been published in and the other showcasing advertising assignments for print and web. I’m also highlighting work published in Dwell and Martha Stewart Living. Some  new client work includes a great shoot I did for Northwest Pipe Company creating an image library for their marketing and advertising material. It was such a blast to fly all over the country and shoot lots of sparks, steel, and massively big machines making pipes of shapes and sizes.

Pleasant Grove - Northwest Pipe Company

Finally: Shoots Galore!

It’s been a super busy summer and I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to shoot some really fantastic assignments. Here’s a quick run down and some pics.

Ad shoot for Food in Bloom. Mmmm…. pork. Styled by Kevin Ward.
Food in Bloom

Cover and Feature Story in Portland Bride & Groom (blog post coming soon)
Portland Bride & Groom

Very cool office with a killer view by Risa Boyer Architecture
Goldstar Office

Huge image library shoot of food and restaurant lifestyle for Andina. My assistant and I tried to eat at least a little bit of everything we shot. I was full for days…
Andina Food

Super fun lifestyle shoot for Columbia Credit Union used in their home loan promotions in store, direct mail, and online.
Home Loan Campaign - Columbia Credit Union

Highest of High End – Library House designed by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design and built by The Works.
Library House

Does it get any better than this? Alhambra Kitchen, also by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.
Alhambra Kitchen

Kick back a few beers and take in a Hillsboro Hops game, courtesy of SRG Partnership
Hillsboro Hops Ballpark - SRG Partnership

This might be the most amazing loft I’ve photographed to date. Designed by Emerick Architects. Blog post coming soon!
Division Loft - Emerick Architects

More work on the way! Just waiting for some things to get published. Subscribe now and stay in the loop!

WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign

Lincoln Barbour - WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign

Speaking of GRAY Magazine, I am currently running this sweet ad campaign to promote my architecture/interior photography business to the Pacific Northwest. The campaign was brilliantly written, art directed, and designed by my friend Craig Skinner. I first met Craig when he was at Owen Jones & Partners and art directed the I Am Home shoot we did for Prometheus Real Estate. We really hit it off and later that summer he joined my kickball team. We’ve been friends ever since. Craig is now over at Razorfish where he is a senior art director and has done superb work for clients like Microsoft, Bing, and New Zealand Tourism.

I love the direction Craig went with these ads. I feel it really speaks to the power of good photography in advertising and marketing. The ads are meant to show that even if your message fails (in this case deliberately), strong visuals can carry your brand and your audience will still connect to it. And also you should probably hire me to create those awesome visuals for you. I have to say, I’m lucky to have a friend like Craig.

Also, have to give a big thanks to Tim Kamerer for the updated logo and style guide we used for the ad. I’m working on a new website and brand refresh and I’ll have another post about Tim’s skills soon.

Here are the other ads that a running over 3 issues of GRAY December through May.

Lincoln Barbour - WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign 

Lincoln Barbour - WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign

 

Portfolio Refresh & New Work Section

I don’t usually make big changes to my portfolios halfway through the year, but after some soul searching and various feedback, I realized I needed help in refining my vision. It’s easy to get personally attached to your own work and lose site of it’s marketability. After reading and listening to many photo marketing experts, I decided it was time to ask someone who really knows the business.

Enter Suzanne Sease. I’ve known about Suzanne for many years and always respected her opinions and advice. She was an Art Buyer at The Martin Agency (GEICO, Hanes, PING, etc.). She helped my mentor refine his portfolio years ago. And she’s a featured contributor to A Photo Editor. She also helped me bid on a job for Diet Dr. Pepper and which I would have been lost without her guidance.

As a photographer, I’ve always considered myself a generalist with a unique style, rather than specialist. I like shooting lots of different subjects, but I shoot them all in a way that’s my own vision. I gave Suzanne over 800 images to weed through. I included my current portfolios as well. When she edited this massive collection, she reorganized it in a way that identified one trait I had never thought of: product. Lots of my work has product in it, though it’s not a product shot per say. It’s interiors with furniture. It’s people with ice cream. It’s ingredients in food. The products in place are natural and real. Something you can identify with. When her edits of my portfolios came to me, I saw this new trait right away and was amazed that I missed it before. Now I have a focus and now I know who I should be marketing to. If you need help with your portfolio, I highly recommend Suzanne Sease.

In addition to new portfolios, Suzanne suggested I create a Work section to highlight projects I’ve shot for clients and tearsheets. Though many of these are on my blog already, this puts it front and center and easy to find. This is my new favorite addition to the site.

So, what are you waiting for?

Click Here for New Portfolios or Click Here to See Some Work!