Anytime I get to photograph a 30 million dollar, 22,000 square foot oceanfront estate, a couple things come immediately to mind:
1. There’s going to be some great fodder for my portfolio.
2. It’s probably going to be a little more difficult to shoot than say, an 800 sq ft 2 bedroom apartment.
3. The quality expected by my client is going to be extraordinarily high.
4. I sure as hell hope I don’t break anything.
I mean, that weird-looking statue type thing in the corner could be worth 1500 bucks. Or… it could be a one-of-a-kind masterpiece on loan from the Lourve from some sculptor I’ve never heard of that’s worth 2.75 million dollars. There’s really just no way to know for sure…
In either case, I don’t really have the money to replace it. So I’ll happily take a couple extra minutes to make sure my light stand doesn’t fall over on the thing.
Anyway… as I predicted, thoughts #1-3 proved to be quite true and fortunately, #4 worked out perfectly as well.
This place is a MONSTER. A breath-taking monster… but a monster nonetheless. Mostly because just about every room I photographed was completely NON-conducive to simple photography. Dark wooden walls, dark murals or hand-finished copper on the ceiling, and bright, must-see views out the windows all added up to me having to pull out every trick I know.
The most difficult shot I faced all day is the one of the library. I experimented with a few different lighting techniques and placements. But in reality, the room is so dark, the window is so bright, and nowhere to really hide lights with the composition we needed, I had no choice but to resort to photoshop alchemy. The final image you see here is really a composite of three separate frames. The first frame has two strobes over each of my shoulders firing through white satin umbrellas. The next frame has the light, stand, umbrella, and orange extension cords on the right side of the room about half way down in crystal-clear full view of the camera… It’s job is to light the back-left side of the room. The third frame is a mirror of the second one so the back-right side of the room gets lit. The three frames were masked and blended in photoshop to get rid of the perfectly obvious light stands and the result is what you see below in the first image.
Great fodder for my portfolio? You better believe it…
Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and questions. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
This 22,000 sq ft, 9 bedroom, 12 1/2 bath beauty is offered by Heidi Wicky of Linda A. Gary Real Estate for $22,900,000.