The initial communications with a new prospective client usually leaves me with a feeling, a gut feeling you could say. That gut feeling doesn’t always pan out as you hope or envision and sometimes you realize you were way off course, but those that do hold true are filed away in the old hard drive of the brain. I recall speaking with Andrea Browning of Model Design on a late afternoon in November, clicking the phone off and thinking, “I want to work with Model Design”. Andrea an interior designer and her husband, Jeff Browning, an architect; reminded me of my wife, Jennifer, and I, both photographers. Married and working together, to me always seemed like a perfect fit. I was surprised when people inquired how we could manage to handle that situation? I learned not everyone sees it as a perfect fit, so its refreshing when you do meet a prospective client you share something so integral in your professional and personal life. Andrea and I agreed to follow up again in the new year after the hectic holiday season was complete.
In January we reconnected to discuss the photography needs for Model Design, the new architecture and design company created by Andrea and Jeff. I made a trip north to scout and discuss projects so that I could produce an estimate for the scope of work. The three of us hit it off, a number of commonalities, from surfing to husband and wife work team to the kicker, Jeff has an Uncle Chip, yep, thanks Mom and Dad, the name seals the deal. As they were really beginning their marketing as a company, there was a substantial volume of work in need of documentation. Their work is outstanding, their projects illustrate their creativity as artists and their passion for their work. Once again the voice in my head, “I want to work with Model Design”.
There was one particular project that grabbed my attention. A renovation in San Pedro, a typical 1950’s ranch style home turned into a comfortable modern interior with sparkling iridescent glass tile. I have another client, Oceanside Glasstile, and I inquired with Andrea about her source for the glass tile, sure enough, Oceanside. Oceanside Glasstile is another client that is just tremendous, wonderful to work with and their glass tiles are exquisite. A perfect opportunity arose for Oceanside Glasstile, Model Design and myself, the opportunity to co-op on the photography of this unique project. I love to bring clients together for cooperative efforts for a number of reasons, one, why wouldn’t you want to improve your team by adding another star player and secondly, its a terrific opportunity to provide my clients with an even greater return on their photography investment. Shared costs and increased marketing exposure, its a no brainer. All the estimates approved and photography scheduled, I was looking forward to working with a talented creative team and capturing images.
This project was scheduled to be the final project on the first day of photography as it lent itself to the late afternoon and evening. The project held some challenges due to the financial meltdown and frozen lending markets. As a result, the project was not 100% complete, but the focus of photography, master bathroom and kitchen were 90% there, the remaining 10% would be completed by the construction company Adobe, aka Photoshop. They provide some terrific tools, but the end result is determined by the individual holding the tools. The other challenge confronted was the need for some elbow grease cleanup. The entire team, photographer, assistant, designer all rolled up the sleeves and went to work. I have tremendous respect for clients that dive into the malaise of cleanup and prep when the project requires, its all about a team, which is stronger than an individual. Once the focus turned to capturing the imagery, everything went as planned, the perfect project to complete the first day of Model Design photography.
The completed images represent the team, it begins with Oceanside Glasstile producing the finest glass tile available, the design vision of Model Design implementing the tile into their overall design and lastly the photographer brings their vision to an photographic image encompassing all the talent and artistry involved. That gut feeling, yep, it was nails on this assessment. I think the question/statement by my assistant after a long 12 hour day says it all, “How do you find these types of client? Because you’ve got the coolest clients”. My response, “I absolutely do”.