A FEW YEARS BACK WE COULD ONLY DREAM OF DRONES .... now you can buy them at TARGET. This is at Lexington County Rec center. The company that makes the Shade Sails saw our website and contacted us about photographing this installation.

They wanted drone ( type ) shots but they wanted very high quality images for enlargement at trade shows and high quality catalog pages. Well, the relative quality of a drone shot is no where close to a professional camera not in the sensor resolution nor the optical resolution. It takes 10K dollars to buy a drone capable of lifting and controlling a professional camera.

We decided to use a telescoping pole we built to get us up to 24 ft for these shots, With a wide angle lens we were able to get good High Quality photos. We have a drone but use it when we need low aerials and when the quality of the final image does not need to be as high.

Managing the 24' pole and the 10 ft ladder ... on steps no less ... and pulling the sail over to line up correctly in the frame left me with only my teeth to activate the shutter. Whatever it takes ......

Whether to WEATHER ....

It is truly at the center of what we do .... we must watch the weather every single day. Not just rain or shine but the CONDITIONS. The time of day ...  the time of the year. It all adds up to understanding the subject and the Design of the image session.

We were commissioned to photograph the new USC INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITY for our longtime clients Watson Tate Savory Architects in Columbia. WTS also were designers ( among other disciplines ) that delivered the really wonderful "new" Williams Brice Stadium last year. 

This year as we worked to determine a game plan we realized that with Fall comes really "skitzo" weather .... every conceivable weather condition is possible in Columbia in the late summer/fall. We watched the morning of the shoot as the clouds hung over with that humid haze we get. 

We decided to go anyway and late in the afternoon things burned off and we got great conditions for this time of year. A great afternoon glow with the humid haze burned off as it cooled off this was shot from the upper deck of the Stadium itself ..... 


Arch photography has changed in many ways over the years. One of those ways is how people are used in the composition. It used to be that they were included as a prop to show scale and of course as a styling element . It was once thought that people ( in many compositions ) were a distraction to the image of architecture.

Things are different today. People are a desired element in many compositions and for a variety of reasons. Showing the space as it is intended to be used is main among those reasons. Perhaps we have come far enough to be able to use people in more artistic images to convey a variety of things .... it increases the palette for the artist/photographer and helps the designer communicate something in a non verbal way.

The trouble is .......

We have worked in many places where potential models were everywhere ..... but so many are unwilling and for a variety of reasons. They claim they fear a security risk ... they are not dressed for being photographed .... they are late for another class ... some of them deliver dirty looks and others just run ........ 

This has created a new challenge for photographers. We have used professional models and that will almost always solve the "model" problem but it creates a few few other challenges. What you do get is a group of people ... attractive, both gender and ethnically correct ... we'll groomed and dressed. But .... it's expensive.

What to do? Most shoots don't have  that in the budget leaving the photographer now referred to as Art Director/Casting Director  to ...... improvise in what ever way may be necessary to encourage participation from this largely unwilling group. In SHORT it adds a day to a "day shoot" ... or more.

Looking back at this it is easy to see how much more interesting and appealing the images are when people are added ... the right people .... and in the right place .... and dressed well ..... and having been charmed properly are smiling ! ? It is a challenge though. In many places we also are now required to meet with site personnel and submit forms and releases for every person who may be captured in an image. Oh boy ..... we also blur faces to remove the possibility of the person being identified. It just adds time. 

We have also decided to add a few dollars to the next shoot in the form of Starbucks Cards so at least we have something to offer the willing participants. 

The image above is what happens when all else fails ....... the photographer must again transfer himself/herself into as many characters as you might imagine when you were in school ... I saw a few people I had hoped not to see again .... how about you ?


We have been fortunate over the years to have been on the cover of The Magazine a couple of times ... it is humbling to see your work presented there. We would not have the honor without the great work our clients design. In this case Watson Tate Savory. We have been working together for 20 years. We love working with them and helping them show their work.

Barbie Hair

When asked what shape our pool was we said "barbie hair". I admit it is a bit silly but what would you call it ? I do wonder how it came about originally .... " you want it what shape " ... Here can you draw that for me" ? This was one of those rare occasions when it snowed in Columbia the constant snow helped to give this mage a surreal quality. So many wonderful things happened on  Forest Drive .