Recently I was asked why I often show my light fixtures illuminated. This caused me to think deeply about why this is. Below is the best answer I can offer...
I don’t always show illuminated light fixtures, but I generally prefer to do so.
At the beginning of my career, back in the 1980’s I was taught that photography is all about light and lighting and that developing skill in how to control the illumination of my subject in regard to quantity, color and quality is required to be a professional photographer. I continue to control the lighting of my images because the quality of the lighting, my own and the designers is as important to interpreting the designers vision as the texture of the fabrics, the form of the furnishing and color of the walls.
Interior designers and architects recognize the value of the quality of light to their projects and work to integrate that dimension of creativity into their work. If an architect, or designer has invested time, displayed talent or developed skill in regard to manipulating the light they are adding to their compositions I feel it’s important to showcase this dimension of their design.
Designers of light fixtures do not design them to be static accoutrements sitting upon a shelf or table. They are intended to be active design elements, helping to create mood and enhance the atmosphere of the spaces, just like my supplemental lighting.
Form follows function: I believe that you cannot capture and communicate the essence of a light fixture unless it is shown illuminated thereby realizing it’s intended purpose as both a mechanical fixture of our lives and as an active design element.
“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” – Alfred Stieglitz
It's all about communicating ideas, telling a stories. That's what makes interior and architecture photography in the early part of the 21st century exciting.
I love photographing architecture and interiors. That's why I've made it my life.
When I photograph architecture I work to both share my experience of the building and my interpretation of the designers intent. My perception of architecture as interactive sculpture helps me grasp and communicate the design concept.
Interior design is an art form. I approach it as art, and I present it as art because interior design is emotive, and almost musical in nature.
Dean Birinyi is an interior and architecture photographer based in San Francisco, CA. Dean has twenty-six years specialized experience photographing residential and commercial interiors and architecture. In this time Dean has photographed commercial offices, food service, restaurant, industrial, healthcare, civic, libraries, retail, low income, middle class and luxury homes. Dean's approach when photographing interiors is to create spectacular images that share his experience of the design and communicate the mood, character and emotional qualities of the project in its social and psychological context.
For thirty years I have photographed interior design and architecture exclusively. Prior to this I worked with my father as an upholsterer and cabinet maker to the trade.
So often it seems that, for me pre-production is the most exciting part of a photo shoot. That is when my imagination can run wild and free. Anything is possible and everything opens new doors to opportunity.
I love working on commercial projects because the scale and scope of the projects is so challenging. I love a challenge.
To excel as a photographer it is important that we be more than good photoshop technicians. We must be masters of composition as well as masters, not just of lighting but of light.
I tell stories with my photographs. I strive to go beyond showing what a space or structure looks like and share my experience of the design.
This impacts shot selection, styling, scheduling and composition. My visual story telling has always been one of my greatest strengths.
I work with my client as a part of a creative team, most often I am the team leader because I have the best overall picture of our strategic goals and am in charge of the tactics employed to achieve them. My experience in the US Navy, decades of experience as a team leader and career long commitment to professional development of my leadership skills have proven themselves to be invaluable on photo shoots time and time again.
Looking back on my career I find that the images of which I am most proud are the ones that presented me with the greatest technical challenges. I love a challenge.