Architectural photography is an amazingly challenging type of photography to learn and offer as a core service. You have to do your best to properly show the artistry of the architect’s intent as much or even more so than the actual execution. We honestly treat every single Charleston architectural photography shoot as an opportunity to add something different to our portfolio. To create something special for our clients, and to archive a place and space artistically and respectfully.
When Goff D’Antonio asked if we could shoot the Hotel Bella Grace project on Calhoun Street we said yes before we really even knew what we were shooting. 6+ hours of shooting and 20 hours+ of editing later we got it where we thought it could be. Removing the powerlines, trees, mixed lighting, etcetera etcetera. The final images is a composite of several images from 5 shoots on 3 different days. We had to tie a bungee cord around some limbs on a tree in the foreground… and the buildings ONLY get sun on the front façade for about 35-45m at sunset… in the winter. It was as if every single thing that could be challenging existed in this one shot. One of my other largest architectural clients literally did not recognize me and honked at me because I was standing in the street on a LONG exposure. Instead of calling my client and reneging on the gig (would have been a first!)… I made some green tea, brought a bluetooth speaker, a ladder, and hung out on the steps of Mother Emanuel… cursing passersby, hostesses who kept placing the menu back on the street…. I paid some valet guy $5 to hide the valet stand’s umbrella for a couple minutes. I had to come back several times and the other valet guys were not as nice. They just saw a weird guy dancing across the street cursing at passersby. When it was all said and done… my client was happy and one of the 2 images was chosen for the front cover of Jim Heid’s book for the Urban Land Institute:
Building Small: A Toolkit for Real Estate Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders, and Great Communities
The Delaney Restaurant from The Neighborhood Dining Group on the right is a typical Charleston home design. It has what some of us call that Charleston Lean. I went crazy shooting this building because I did not realize one building was high tight and the other had that cool Charleston Lean meaning they would never truly line up architecturally correct. So instead of fighting it I used it to my advantage showcasing new versus classic Charleston architecture. A lot of luck, but in the end it is an interesting snippet of Charleston architecture.