CoStar Group Architectural Photographer - Orange County, CA
REQUIREMENT: Have a minimum of 5 years practical experience as an Architectural Photographer // Have a full understanding of best practices for Architectural Photography, demonstrating artistic vision and creativity // Capture and edit beautiful interior and exterior property videos and photos
I have been photographing architecture since 2002-2003, so around 16 years. It all started when I took an elective architecture class on a whim. In that class as one of our big projects in between the midterm and the final, we were tasked with writing a book (complete with photographs, drawings, or other images) on an architectural style or idea of choice. My book was focused on the idea of the sublime in architecture, for which I focused on LA’s skyscrapers and their majesty as they rise out of a fairly tiny swath of land on a hill in Downton Los Angeles. Walking around Downtown LA for days capturing just the right images for the project ended up really inspiring me. It also helped that the professor was so impressed by my work that she had my book (and a couple of other top performers) placed on display at the UCLA Arts Library for the remainder of the year.
In any event, when I began photographing architecture, I mostly focused on abstract shots and unique, minimalist angles, and that kind of thing. It was the kind of work that gets you followers on Instagram (or DeviantArt at the time) but doesn’t really have a lot of commercial appeal.
As I began growing weary of my job as an attorney, I started researching alternative careers based on what I was passionate about. Architectural photography topped the list of options and, over the past several years, I progressed into a more commercial style—though I do still like to shoot abstract from time to time.
These days, most of my work comes from interior design, real estate, and vacation home photography with a handful of commercial builder assignments thrown in for good measure. Though my work with clients, I’ve developed an eye for finding the best interior and exterior angles, a mastery for challenging one point perspective shots, and a creative eye when it comes to not only capturing the scene on site, but bringing out the most of an image in post processing as well.
REQUIREMENT: Be an experienced Drone Photographer with a FAA Part 107 License/Certification
I am an FAA licensed remote pilot under Part 107 (Certificate Number 4293747). While I have only been flying quadcopters since August, I have picked up the most common techniques and I am confident that I can put together a solid video of any property including pull in and pull out shots, orbits, and various other commonly used cinematic drone moves. You can see a short video reel below of some of the techniques I can bring to CoStar’s listing videos.
REQUIREMENT: Demonstrate full understanding of manual camera settings and lighting (natural and studio)
This is a tough requirement to spell out in text, so I’ve included some before and after images below.
When it comes to photographing spaces, I am very skilled at using either natural ambient light or strobes and I have found that I get the best results when I combine flash and natural light in post processing. The natural light helps a space look as though it does to the eye of a person standing in the space while the pops of flash help balance out the colors and can add a little extra interest on parts of the space that may need to be highlighted.
I currently use a mix of small speedlite style flashes, small 200ws strobes, and larger 600ws strobes. As for camera settings, I always photograph in manual mode (unless I’m on vacation and just need to get a shot quickly, in which case I use aperture priority).
REQUIREMENT: Demonstrate expert knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, IE: PhotoShop, Lightroom, Bridge, Premiere Pro, Capture One // Be knowledgeable of MAC OS and MS Office
Photoshop has been my go-to photo editing program for at least 15 years, so I have a very solid grasp on how to squeeze the most out of the app when editing my photos. I could probably teach a class on how to retouch architectural photos in Photoshop.
My experience with Lightroom is much the same, and I have been using it for at least ten years (with a year or two break when I switched over to Apple’s Aperture briefly).
Frankly, Bridge is not a program I am particularly familiar with since I rely so heavily on Lightroom for my asset management. That said, I know it shares a lot of similarity with Lightroom and if necessary, I could certainly pick it up quickly.
Premiere Pro is a program that I do not have much experience with. My current preferred video editing programs are DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro—mostly because they both work much better on my Mac than Premiere does. That said, most NLE video editing programs are pretty similar and I don’t have any doubts that I could quickly learn the ins and outs of Premiere Pro to edit drone and walkthrough videos.
Capture One is a program that I have experimented with and know the basics of, though I do not currently use it.
Mac OS has been my operating system of choice for the last 10 years and I know it well. I can even do a few things with the command line when necessary.
While I do not currently use MS Office, I have used it regularly enough that I can create and modify Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and create presentations in Powerpoint with relative ease.
REQUIREMENT: Demonstrate an interest in the commercial real estate industry // Be able to develop strong personal relationships with key contacts at assigned companies
Unlike (probably all) of the other applications you may have received for this Architectural Photographer position, I have a very unique background when it comes to commercial real estate. As I alluded to above, in addition to working as a photographer, I am also a licensed attorney who—when I was working in a law firm—dedicated a fairly substantial portion of my work to real estate clients. It was a natural fit for me since I graduated from law school with an emphasis in Environmental, Land Use & Real Estate law.
In the seven years I practiced, I worked with a number of both commercial landlord and commercial tenant clients on matters from leasing to tenant improvements and build-outs to commercial unlawful detainers. Most of these were smaller businesses like restaurants, music stores, dentists, and office space lessees in Class B or C buildings. As a result, it built a real interest and passion for commercial real estate, along with helping me work seamlessly with commercial real estate clients.