Product Photography:

Though we primarily shoot architectural images for Hospitality, Architects, Builders and Interior Designers, we do at times get a call to shoot product.

We have a studio within our suite of offices and here we can do head shots, small groups, models, video and product photography for catalogs, ads and cut-sheets.  


We also take assignments on location to photograph product that is too large to easily be transported to our studio.  On these occasions, we set up a temporary studio and shoot onsite.  


Over the years we have photographed everything from jewelry to large industrial motors.  If you find that you need high quality product shots, give us a call.  We would love to help.  

Who can tell me which of these images is shot on film?  

Creative Spotlight: Debby Hill, Director of Design, Key Interiors, Inc.

I had the opportunity this year to shoot a traditional office designed by Debby Hill of Key Interiors, Inc. Debby is one of those amazing designers that can handle any type of design theme and here she clearly demonstrates that.  

As usual with all of Debby's design, form and function are first rate as is the build-out.  The clients were so happy to find someone who could incorporate truly modern features in such a traditional layout.  Below are a few of my favorite shots.

Great Cameras: Sony A850

Announced in late August 2009, the Sony A850 was a variant of the top-of-the-line Sony A900.  The cameras are essentially identical with the A850 having the software image buffer-rate programed slower than the A900.  Translation, it will only shoot 3fps, whereas the A900 will shoot 5fps. (You can actually have your camera repairman load in the A900 software and then the cameras are identical).   

The other advertised difference is the view finder coverage.
  The A900 is advertised as 100%, and the A850 is 98%.  When they were released, I held both in my hands and looked through each view finder.  I couldn't see one bit of difference.  Neither could the salesman.  We chalked it up to marketing.

In any event, the camera boasted a stellar 24.6-megapixel full frame image sensor and delivered the best images I had ever seen from a digital camera.  They are phenomenal images!  Not being a 'sports' photographer, we selected the A850 over the A900 as I could care less about shooting a rapid secession of images and neither was particularly fast anyway.  

The A850 is one of the most over-built cameras I have ever used.  It is exceptionally strong and robust. The all-metal frame construction is evident in the feel of the camera.  You don't have to be especially gentle with it either.  It's made to endure heavy use.   The weight is substantial, you know you are handling a very serious camera when you pick it up.  

Lens selection is incredible.  You can use all of the very fine Minolta A series lenses, Sony's A series lenses including the Grand Master and Carl Zeiss A series as well.  Of course, there are a host of lenses from third party manufacturers  like,  Vivitar, Tokina, Tamron, Sigma, Cosina and adaptors to let you mount Canon, Nikon and Lecia's lenses.  

This is without question my favorite DSLR.  Everything is logically laid out.  The menus are super easy to understand and navigate.  The controls all have a solid-well-made feel to them.  They turn with positive actions and detents.  The camera body is extremely well sealed against wet environments.  


The Sony A850 is always in my camera bag and is my camera of choice when shooting Architectural, Lifestyle and Product photography.   I am constantly comparing the images from the A850 with the newer cameras that come our way.  I have yet to see better.  

As a working professional who shoots every day, the Sony A850 has just been perfect.  I have two A850 bodies.  One stays in the camera bag, the other in the studio.  My main A850 is nearly 13 years old and has well over 150,000 clicks without ever giving me a problem.  That’s serious build quality. Exactly what you want from a professional camera.

Staging the Scene:

One cannot say enough about the effect that proper staging can have on a photoshoot. Case in point; we were asked to photograph a fantastic custom home in Michigan on the lake.  The homeowners were away for a few days, which provided the opportunity to stage the shots that the client wanted. 

This custom home was built by Schmidke Construction & Contracting a family-owned business headed up by master craftsman Joshua Schmidke and his wife Brianne.  Brianne as it turns out could start a second career in home staging.  This is no easy task as one has to remove most of the homeowners' personal belongings and transform a lived-in home to one staged for photography and then of course put everything back so that it appears that we were never there.  


The objective of fine architectural photography for a custom home builder is to accentuate the fine aspects of the build.  Therefore, one has to use substantial restraint when staging a scene for photography.  You want to add just the right detail to complement the room.  A splash of color here, a warm accent there, a stack of books, a bottle of wine etc., setting the scene to make the viewer want to step into the photo and enjoy the space.  Brianne hit this one out of the park!  The rooms were all perfectly set and never took away from the incredible floor plan, vaulted ceilings, or meticulous craftsmanship.   


If you are looking to build a custom home in Michigan, give Joshua and Brianne a call.  You can't do better.  Below are a few of my favorites.

Great Cameras: Sony A700

 I often get asked about what gear I use, both in the field and studio.  Many are surprised when they peak into my camera bag and see a Sony A700.

The Sony A700 isn't my primary camera, but I never go to a job without it.  Released in 2007, it  had a jaw dropping 12.1 megapixel crop frame sensor, and all the features that a professional needed.

Nice big bright viewfinder, optional vertical grip, ISO ranges from 100-6400, shutter speeds up to 1/8000sec, Exposure modes included Program, AE/AP/SP/M, multi patterned center weighted metering, super clear bright 3.0in LCD display, 5 fps shooting, video output and USB transfer as well as wireless remote shutter release and a cast body sealed from moisture.  Fully packed for a DSLR from 2007.   How good was the camera?  Outstanding!  Many of our award-winning images have been shot using this camera.  The 12.1 megapixel sensor will give me an image that I can easily output to a 20x30 wall art.

Many don't realize that the Nikon D3 of the same period used the exact same image sensor which was manufactured by SONY.

My A700 pictured here has seen 15 years of hard use.  I have no idea how many images I have shot with it, but it has to be in the high six-figure range.  

Using the A700 is a real joy.  Everything is just where it should be.  Controls and menus are logically laid out.  It feels good and substantial in your hands.  Shutter release is very smooth and quiet.   

 When asked why I still use such an 'old' camera the answer is obvious.  Just look at the images it produces.