Photographing Homes for Architects

Architects are themselves artists. They are artists with a very special responsibility. They create their multi-dimensional space sensitive to the needs of human beings who will populate that space. These home designs must function technically of course, but the best of architects will have great concern for the visual; for the impact on the eye inside and outside a home. These two goals, functionality and artistry, can often strain against each other. The successful architect will have blended these two efforts in a positive way, one in which a project well performs its function and at the same time presents an artistic, well-balanced, three dimensional composition of mass and space. It’s a serious goal for the architect. And the photographer’s duty is to capture the interaction of these oft competing drives. Dan Forer has worked for over four decades of his photographic career to do this: render a three dimensional story in the two dimensional confines of photographs.

When an architect contacts a photographer for a residential assignment, the first step is a conversation about the architect’s original goals; what were his conversations with the homeowners like? What did they express as their wishes and special needs? The photographer needs to place himself back into the moments when those conversations began to become design solutions. Finally, he learns how the architect translated these into a concrete plan that satisfied the homeowners and left room for the architect to express his own design philosophy, his artistry. By placing himself back at the beginning stages, the photographer can better understand the reasons the design took the shape that it did. Then, his goal is to create a list of shots that tells the story but that can be executed within a time-table that the economics of the assignment requires.

The more prepared he is, the better he’s able to complete an assignment that tells the whole story with a minimum number of shots. He stays within his budget and the architect’s message, his artistry is made publishable and accessible to a wide viewing audience.

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