*Shooting a residential project for the ELK Collective

ELK Collective Design

Interior design is something I rarely thought about until I started dating my wife years back.  Her eye, attention to detail, intentional purchases regarding furniture and design elements as well as a desire to shift everything in our home around on a regular basis has led me to gain a better understanding of the importance of personal space.  We spend so much time in very few places, which for most of us are our homes, offices and the like.  Mrs Squeeze’s ability to build a continuity of style in our home has allowed me to recognize nuances and features in other’s homes now as well.  My friend and fellow ELK Collective collaborator Megan and I spent a day documenting a residential project she has worked on over the last couple years.  It is a modern, warm and inviting space that balances linear design with an asymmetrical balance that certainly proves both fashionable and functional for a young family.  C’mon in to see more…

ELK Collective Design Panorama

Technical photo-nerd mumbo jumbo: This pano is a series of three vertical frames of 7 exposures each.  Because I wanted to get the 180 degree view from left to right showing the full run of the open main floor, I needed to use an ultra wide angle which resulted in the bowing of the beam lines after stitching.

An open floor plan is broken up by passthrough shelves and pocket doors allowing a free flowing movement throughout the space.

ELK Collective Design

The design is continued through the home’s three floors with personal tie ins integrating the collective history of the family living in the space.

ELK Collective Design

ELK Collective Design

Space is personal, and in my opinion should be designed as such.  When you bring in a designer to help complete a personal vision, it is important to connect with the designer in a way that allows the lines of communication to flow freely.  Someone who can communicate your ideas into professional design.

ELK Collective Design

Spending a day in this space, getting to see the home anew, allowed me to take in the feel of the space from multiple angles.  It was evident that the space truly fit the family that lived within its walls.

I’m no expert on interior design, but I know what I like and don’t like.  A good professional designer can take the ideas and visions of their customers and translate them to a finished, beautiful end design.  Being able to have personal input into elemental integration is important to feeling connected with your space, and a good designer knows how to balance their customer’s desires with reality and continuity.  Megan did this wonderfully in this space in my opinion.

ELK Collective Design

It’s nice getting connected up with a group of designers that are so good at what they do.  It makes it so much easier to take pictures of spaces when those spaces are visually intriguing and provide a harmonious vision.

ELK Collective Design

Shooting these types of projects have been very educational for me.  I never thought I’d end up in an architectural documentation role photographically.  While I learn best on my feet, I think the biggest things I’ve figured out is in terms of pre-visualization.  With digital, the experimentation costs far less, allows for some unconventional approaches, and really for me has led to some of my favorite shots while others have been complete failures.  All of which, I’ve learned a great deal from.  The second side of this is post production.  Obviously, a good workflow balances getting it right in camera and fine tuning in post.  Certain optical needs aren’t available in all situations, especially when wanting to shoot spaces as you’ll often find yourself running out of room.  While many interior photographers use added light, I tend to stack and process exposures through HDR Software like Photomatix (read about my HDR processing here), and on this particular shoot, I’d have been remarkably challenged without the help from DxO Viewpoint which helped correct for parallax, and general optical issues.

Thanks for the read and stay tuned for more ELK Collective projects!

Cheers and happy shooting,


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