deCroce blog of photography

Architectural Photographers

Interior and Architectural Photography Denver

Architectural photographers make pictures of human designed structures. They are charged with creating a single image that fulfills a multitude of qualities. The desired effect of each image is to convey an aesthetic essence while depicting an accurate representation of the structure.

Commissioned to create a portfolio of commercial images for Gateway Office Furniture recently, I designed a single photograph that I simply fell in love with. From the moment I conceived the idea, I knew this was a special moment. What makes this image captivating is the light –– so many various angles of reflected light shimmering off adjacent windows. The architects who created the space did so with architectural photographers in mind. From Greek (loosely translated) photo means light while graphia means panting. The Greeks would be envious to see this light.

At first, I worked closely with each item following the shot-list provided by art direction. Then I wanted to see it from above. The aerial perspective in this picture was not shot from my drone, a helicopter or hot air balloon. It’s pretty easy to see, I shot it looking out of an office window about 6 or 7 floors above. The outdoor patio furniture was positioned with attention to detail in the atrium space. And while the image is compelling on its own, it’s better with added human figure. The woman in blue sundress completed the concept.

Architectural photographers Denver created compelling interior image for office furniture company
Created for office furniture company, outdoor patio furniture was positioned with attention to detail in the atrium space. The image, compelling on its own, is better with added woman in blue sundress, completing the concept.

Seeing Slowly

Being professional photographer for over 40 years teaches a person how to act quickly and see slowly. Whenever possible, I like to pause for a long minute when I create a considered image. Lessons from experience have taught that small adjustments make a big difference. By seeing slowly, I mean extremely slow –– like stop-motion slow. Allowing a scene to seep in, gives a new view, a bigger picture, maybe even a visual epiphany of sorts. And that’s what professional photographers and other image makers live to create. 

Sometimes professional photographers go to great lengths planning and waiting days for just the right light. Sometimes we use my ninja-like quick skills to capture our story in pictures as it happens. And sometimes we just get lucky. But hey, being in the right place at just the right time is a skill too, right? Maybe professional photographers develop a sixth sense after a lifetime of developing pictures. After all, the old fashion term “develop” is still used in modern digital Lightroom. 

Before starting to making my own pictures professionally, I loved making snapshots on my little camera. As a pre-teen, I snapped thousands of pics on Forest Parkway in Denver with my trusty little image-recorder. We played dodgeball and climbed on top of each other for human pyramids while I recorded it all my “Instamatic”. The original point and shoot hand-sized camera was produced by the once-giant company –– Kodak. A cartage of film gave me 12 shots. Funny to think now, if my digital card has 100 shots or less, I change it for a fresh one. But back in 1963, the Instamatic was queen of easy picture making.

Friends & Architectural Photographers

Immersed in photography, as I was growing up, didn’t feel strange or unusual to me. It was what I knew. My parents operated a portrait photography studio and probably the majority of their house guests were in the business too. Quite a few architectural photographers stopped by for Sunday dinners along with photojournalists, portrait and commercial photographers. They all seemed to compete for a chance to tell each other how great or knowledgable they were about the latest breakthroughs in the world of photography. Each one was a prima donna in their own way. 

There was pipe smoking debonair Hal Gould who lived nearby. He and his wife Joanie came often for dinners and parties. Although Hal seemed stodgy and stiff to us kids, his wife was quite the opposite –– fun and lively. At one New Year’s Eve party, my best friend Eric and I were staring at her figure in that skimpy 60’s style dress. Just when Eric said “what if her dress suddenly fell off?” Joan smiled and asked “What are you boys giggling about?” Hal’s business was called The House of Photography located just east of Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Although Hal continued to make exquisite portraits, he’s probably best known for his Camera Obscura Gallery in Downtown Denver.

One of the architectural photographers I knew while growing up was just 10 years older than me. He still is;-) Nicholas DeScoise sometimes worked for my dad before he rose to the top of the commercial and advertising photography world. His perseverance and attention to detail were influential in my early years. Nick, as we called him back then, continues to create incredible inspiring works.   

Among the architectural photographers who impressed me more than others was a unique man from China. He was quiet and reserved and his works were stunning. As a teenager, I was taken with the work and personality of Wayne Thom. I met him at a photography seminar. My dad traveled the country (and eventually the world) teaching his special style of portrait story-telling photography. While accompanying him on one of those seminars, I had the great honor to meet one of the great architectural photographers of the era, Wayne Thom. From him, I learned that a photographer can command and direct while maintaining humility.  

That is a lesson I strive to live both professional and personally.    

Architectural photographers create stunning industrial imagery.
Architectural photographers seek interesting light to illuminate their imagery.
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