Kaiser Permanente Lobby
Oakland, CA
Photographed for Polytech Associates of San Francisco, CA.  

I try to make use of the geometry of the spaces and structures I photograph. A shot such as this lobby with a wealth of square forms cries out for a symmetrical presentation. It’s a strong image because I found the strength of the design.

When you’re photographing architecture and interior design it’s helpful to see things as abstract forms rather than distinct items. When you look at a the lobby above you can see how I perceived the space not as a seating area and reception desk but as a three dimensional grouping of square forms. I then positioned the camera to maximize the impact of the symmetry and dimensionality of the arrangement of those forms.

It can be very challenging to reduce a space that your experiencing to it’s essential elements in your own mind. When I began my career as an architectural photographer twenty-five years what I would do is tour the project, twice. I would then construct a three dimensional mental model similar to the wire forms our software creates today.

Using only my mental model of the project removed the majority of detail and I would pre-visualize my photographs “seeing” only the elements that made an impact on my perceptions of the project. After twenty-five years practice I can do this with little effort while I’m experiencing the project.

When you’re planning your photographs try turning your back on the subject and image what it looks like and how it might look best. Imagine how it might look if you took a step or two to the right or left or even moved to the other side of the room. Engaging your imagination is the best way to get great photographs of architecture and interior design.