What's new and who are you? Part 2


Wow, July has come and gone in a flash! It’s been a busy and interesting month, in all respects. Thankfully not breakneck busy. It was still hard to catch my breath a lot of the time.

Once again, it was a month of learning. I have normally always been commissioned to shoot single family homes or commercial buildings. This month, I got my first request to shoot a condo. I expected it to be somehow different, though it turned out to need a meld of my single family and commercial experience. Particularly in shooting the grounds of the condo building. With the signs and common facilities, I had to call on my commercial experience to either make them blend in or disappear altogether. Another fun part was shooting the parking area off the laundry room. A rather ordinary shot, right? Hardly! While editing the image in Lightroom, my mind kept coming back to every parking lot scene I had ever seen in movies. My preferred image settings always tend towards the theatrical anyhow. I nudged things over a little more this time, anyhow. Now you have an underground tandem parking area, very sellable AND an inspiration, if the prospective buyer is of that bent! I shot this one at the beginning of the month and it’s already under contract. Is it all to do with me? Nope. A major credit goes to the listing agent, once again Joel Vendette. It’s always a joy to be invited to team up with him to help sell a home!

On this shoot, I also happened to meet a new colleague of his, John T. Acklen Jr. John joins John Aaroe Group and the LA real estate business from the music industry, having worked as a creative agent. After that initial meeting, John commissioned me to do his realtor headshot. I had a blast getting to know him more and shooting his portrait. John is very obliging and willing to make sure you get what you came for, even if he’s the one hiring you! A very warm welcome, John!

Now, what got me shooting architecture and loving it. As I said in last month’s entry, the seed was planted that day at my mum’s client’s home. From then on, I never failed to stop and study any building that caught my eye, much to Mum’s amusement. The interest, however, didn’t really take proper hold until 2007 while ensconced at Art Center College of Design. There was one particular old Victorian on the way up Lida St to campus which always made me drive by at about 5 mph, traffic be damned. I had always dreamt of shooting the place, but the owners had already been renting it out to productions for some time. With my student budget, I doubted they’d want anything to do with it. I continued shooting buildings that caught my fancy, just for myself. I also took the one Architectural Photo course Art Center offered at the time, which woke up the nerd in me. After graduation in December 2008, I picked up a couple realtor commissions, the first for Lynnell Woodward of Dilbeck Realtors in La Crescenta. She is still a valued friend and client, having moved on to Keller Williams in Burbank. A friend had been shooting a column for Pasadena Weekly and recommended me when she had to move on. This was my first time working with Joel, in his capacity at the time of Art Director. With his guidance and continued commissions, I upgraded my skills to cover all manner of buildings from residential to commercial.

Over the years, I’ve also developed a philosophical view of my work. Especially after buying my own home, I realized that a basic human need and right is a secure place to exist. We all want somewhere to call our own, on which to put our stamp. My role as a photographer helps people. Realtors and architects get buildings sold, buyers get to see what they’re potentially buying before setting foot there. Helping people and buildings find each other? Yeah, pretty fulfilling!


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