by Christian Scully
That old phrase, "the children are our future," became more than an idea this past year when The Harley School in Rochester, New York opened the doors of its newest building, The Commons. This "living building" sets a new bar for sustainability in education, seeking to reach a net-zero balance of its resources. Not only was the structure designed to have a low environmental impact, but the responsibility of its operation is being placed directly in the hands of its own inhabitants: the students.
Young learners will measure, track and test the energy systems throughout The Commons, and collaborate in achieving minimum consumption and waste of precious resources. Constructed mainly from a recycled 100 year old dairy barn, building systems include a solar chimney, a green wall, rainwater collection, a geothermal system, solar panels, systems for carbon sequestering and a solar hot water heating system. By working first hand with these technologies and evaluating the causes of energy creation and consumption, the students will gain a greater appreciation for environmental awareness and hopefully take these experiences with them long after graduation.
We had the great honor of documenting the finished construction of the The Commons for the architect, 9x30 Design, Architecture, the lead designer, Tom Johnson, Nichols Construction Team and The Harley School communications department. With collaborative creative direction, Design Imaging Studios Associate Photographer, Rich Paprocki, skillfully took to the camera for this unique project, translating the beautiful design into a series of clean and cohesive photographs. After completing artistic and detailed post-production, we are very excited to reveal the resulting images.
The Commons is another innovative building constructed during period of exciting progress in Rochester. According to this article from Architectural Record, there are $755 million of projects underway in downtown Rochester alone. We at Design Imaging Studios are excited to have the opportunity to document some of the foundations in the uplifting revival of a great New York city.
To view more of the images from this shoot and other projects we have photographed, visit our updated portfolio. And wherever you may roam in the world of social media follow us on ï»¿Facebookï»¿, LinkedIn and Tumblr to stay tuned to current projects, industry news and helpful insight into the value of professional architectural and interior photography.
Thank you to 9x30 Design, The Harley School, Tom Johnson, and Nichols Construction Team for the fantastic opportunity.
Keywords: the harley school, rochester ny, 9x30 design architecture, nichols construction team, tom johnson designer, design imaging studios, sustainable architecture, green design, environment, the commons, chesonis commons, architectural and interior photography, professional design photography, sustainability, LEED
by Christian Scully
I must admit, I do love when wood is both featured and left in its natural finish. If I can then have strong angles, ample natural light and and two-story stone fireplace? Yes, please. Count me in.
When Leona Piro of Act Two Home Staging and Leona Piro Interiors approached me to photograph a home staging job she had completed at a large modern home in Rochester, NY, I was all ears. The family that owned the home was preparing to sell, and had contracted Leona to make the space appear comfortable, while not overshadowing the architectural details. A few iPhone snapshots later to give me a sense of the space, we were booking a date for the shoot.
So if she did not design the space itself, why would she want professional photographs? What use is professional photography to a home staging business?
Well this is a perfect example of successful entrepreneur who understands the importance of brand image. Leona sells and provides a high level of quality whether she is designing or staging, and thus understands the best way to prove that is by displaying the highest quality herself. The better her images look, the better her website looks, the better her print ads and marketing materials look, the higher quality projects she will earn as a result. It is a great bonus that she is such a pleasure to work with.
It doesn't matter if it is architecture, interior design, home staging, construction, real estate or really anything under the sun. If you are putting your time and effort into any project, don't miss an opportunity to create beautiful photographs that display your hard work. You are likely to attract more business if people see your work in the best light. Sure, its an investment; we'd love to show you the value in that investment.
You can view before and afters of the staging project and more of the images HERE.
Keywords: act two home staging, leona piro interiors, rochester ny, photography, architectural and interior photography, home staging, professional interior photographer, new york photographer, modern home, wood, design imaging studios, large windows, natural light, interior photography
by Christian Scully
Whether I am on a shoot, in a meeting or portfolio showing, at a design show or making cold calls to potential clients, I try and always find out if a designer has worked with a professional photographer in the past, and if so, what went wrong. As I meet more and more talented designers letting their projects go un-photographed, I find I receive the same answers. Here are the top 5 reasons I have been given for not hiring a professional architectural or interiors photographer, and my response to how Design Imaging Studios can help:
1. "The cost of professional photography is just too high."
It's not surprising that this is the number one reason designers don't hire a professional photographer. And I completely understand why. The way most professional commercial photographers price their service makes it very difficult for a small design firm to take advantage of that resource. Let's face it, most interior designers are not working with million dollar budgets. So how can a one or two person firm afford to spend $1500 or more up front every time they finish a project? Most projects might only be a one room remodel, not an entire home. But if a project does not get photographed, a designer might miss out on so much more in potential business that those images could have attracted. Now that $1500 doesn't seem so high, but it doesn't change the fact that it is difficult to afford in the short term.
At Design Imaging Studios, we are changing the way interior designers are able to pay for and invest in professional interior photography, by seeking to grow a designer's portfolio over a career, not just photograph one project. We create custom packages that make our photography affordable in the short term, not just the long term, and give designers the freedom to schedule a shoot when they need it, without the pressure of cost distracting them from the long term benefits of professional photography.
2. "I don't have the energy to make sure the photographer capture's my designs correctly."
Negotiating the cost and parameters of shoot, scheduling between the homeowner and photographer, purchasing accessories, and then the shoot itself... Professional interior photography can be a lot of work. The more effort you put in, the better the resulting images are. But you shouldn't have to worry about choosing which angle of a kitchen works best for the camera. You shouldn't have to worry about making sure there is no glare on the counter you spent months searching for and having shipped in from Italy. You shouldn't be thinking about how the paint colors are going to translate on a computer screen. I have heard countless stories about designers hiring a photographer, then also being responsible for making sure the right photo is taken, just to be disappointed by the poor results.
There are definitely certain types of people that aren't able to work together. Some personalities just don't mix. Your relationship with a photographer should be one of positive collaboration. But a photographer should not be hired just to press the camera shutter. You should be hiring a photographer for their talent, for their creative eye for composition, for their ability to display colors accurately. I want a designer to make a space that they are proud of and excited about. Then I take that space and translate it into a photograph that I feel will capture the attention of viewers and potential customers. Both the designer and I have skills and creative vision, and together we can create something wonderful. It takes team work.
3. "Professional photography takes too long, I simply don't have the time."
This one I have some difficulty understanding. I photograph interior projects that have taken anywhere from two months to two years to design and build. That is two months or more of time and energy, effort and care, pressure and production. We can then photograph it in one day...
I understand that we live in a very fast paced society, and things are constantly moving. But if you don't take one day out of your schedule to document the last two months of your hard work, you have nothing to show for it, and you miss out of the opportunity to show that off to the world. You won't get business from impressive images on your website or marketing materials. You won't be published in any quality magazine. Now all you are relying on for marketing is word-of-mouth, customer referrals. Don't get me wrong, that is very important. But there is so much more you can do! The potential is so great! If you just take one day...
4. "I don't need to. I have a friend or family member that enjoys taking pictures."
Well this post is not going to be about hiring a professional over an amateur, we'll save that discussion for another time. But the bottom line is you are a talented professional running a business with your heart and soul. You might have one chance to get into a home after you complete a project. Do you want someone who has experience, talent, knows what to do and will create the best possible images of your work? Or do you want your friend or family member just to take a few snapshots and go out for lunch after. What do you you want to achieve with the images, what are your goals? Make the best decision for your business.
5. "I haven't hired a photographer in the past, why start now?"
You might have been working 10 years, 15 years, even 20 years or more and never have professionally photographed a project. So why do you need to do it now? I believe growth is important in business, learning new things, adapting to change and a more competitive industry and finding ways to stay current. Try photographing one of your newest favorite projects and see how much you love showing those images off. Then look back at your years of completed work, and the quick snapshots you took of them. It's never too late to make a change, especially when it can become such an asset to your business.
To learn more about how Design Imaging Studios can help grow your interior design business, and make professional photography a more affordable investment, send us an email or give us a call.
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by Christian Scully
In the snowy aftermath of the most recent inconvenient weather pattern to grace our presence, we at Design Imaging Studios remember an early morning autumn sunrise in Fairport, New York, the moon still lingering in the sky, and the smell of toasted foliage flowing through the air. The sun rose over the horizon and painted Lollypop Farm in golden tones, while the fall breeze gently danced around the perched American flag.
This beautiful setting is home to hundreds of animals being served daily by those dedicated to principles of environmental responsibility and universal compassion. Domesticated animals, farm animals, strays and rescues, healthy pets and those burdened by sickness or neglect, fill the spaces inside and out. The Humane Society needed more space for educational classes, animal training exercises, offices and in-house veterinarian facilities, and we were fortunate to get a closer look.
The exterior of the new addition maintained the style of the existing structure, resembling a modern two story barn. Connected via an large open handicap accessible foyer, featuring a layered stone wall, the first floor holds the animal training and presentation room, a large open space, easily separated and formed as needed with built-in room dividers. There is ample natural light from plenty of windows, and florescent ceiling lighting when needed. Leash holders can be found bolted into the walls every few feet, for convenience and safety while training dogs. A large stainless steel industrial kitchen is adjacent to the training space. Up the staircase to the second floor can be found cubicle divided office space, a board room, meeting space and storage. Windows allow second floor employees and visitors to enjoy views of farm animals on grounds outside.
The new cattery was built inside the existing building. This spacious area holds individual multiple level cages, animal meeting rooms, play rooms and even exterior screened in sun rooms equipped with chairs and benches for visitors. The design is clean and modern, providing a comfortable amount of space for felines to relax while waiting for their lucky new human friends to discover them. We can say the same for the veterinarian facilities: clean, open, and modern.
The furry friends-in-waiting at the shelter were almost impossible to leave. (Having already adopted a Lollypop rescued kitten two years earlier, I forced myself to resist!) It was a fantastic photo-shoot resulting in many great images displaying the possibilities in modern animal shelter design.
Stephen Jensen, AIA, of Blue Sky Animal Care Architecture was responsible for the design while LeChase Construction took care of the new construction.
To view more examples of what Design Imaging Studios can do with your architecture, interior design, or business location, click below:
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