New House in Sonoma

Here’s a project we photographed recently for Leff Construction. We decided to photograph the exterior at dusk since there was no real landscaping and we thought we could emphasize the drama of the house without the emphasizing the landscaping or lack thereof. We had the homeowner mow the weeds, which resulted in a illusion of a green front lawn. In a month this is likely to be brown dried weeds. Is our success serendipity or the result of good planning? The photo shoot involved photographing both interior spaces as well as exterior. We started at noon since we wanted to have the sun high in the sky for some of the interior shots. After photographing the interior we took a nice break for dinner and then proceeded with the exterior photography.

What does it Take to Capture a Great Photo?


Camera setup for an interior shoot
Camera setup for an interior shoot with Marco capturing the scene on a camera phone.

We were on a photo shoot not too long ago and the client was surprised at how much time it took to set up an execute a shoot. He seemed to be thinking we would walk in, set up a camera, take a shot and be done. It isn’t uncommon that we can spend half a day or more photographing a kitchen. Creating a great photograph takes some time and preparation, and the experience. It’s as much about the experience we bring to the scene as it is about equipment. Perhaps we can do a better job of educating our clients and home owners about what to expect on a photo shoot, but in the end what you get when you hire a pro is experience and skill.

Best of Houzz Service Award 2016!

Another Best of Houzz Service Award for 2016. Have we helped achieve your marketing goals this past year? Write about your experience and review us on Houzz! Plus, check out our updated Houzz profile and follow our work!

Enter Treve Johnson Photography in Berkeley, CA for a review




On the River

Hokulane. A Carver Yacht

We recently had the opportunity to photograph a boat on the Petaluma River. This is a job that came to use through an interior designer we’ve worked with, Jenny Ildefonso of Jentry McGraw Design. ( What made this photo shoot work was the planning we did ahead of time and the styling. I made a visit to the boat a week before the shoot in order to determine what might be involved. I met with the owner, and the interior designer. I decided at that time that we would conduct the interior shots in the late afternoon while the boat was at the dock, and then close to dusk we would head down the river to a location where we could photograph the boat on the water with some color in the sky and with a less distracting background than the marina. Needless to say, Jenny’s selection of props for styling and her attention to detail really helped the interior photos come to life. I think you’ll agree that the styling and the planning made this project work. Hokulane. A Carver Yacht

San Jose Earthquake’s Avaya Stadium

We recently had the opportunity to photograph the San Jose Earthquake’s Avaya Stadium for a client Reliable Concepts Corporation and Brilliant General Maintenance Inc. We were there on Friday February 27, the day before the stadium opened. We had a limited time window, so the challenge was to pick a point of view that would show off the stadium without some of the last minute construction items that I consider to be visual liabilities. The lighting turned out to be a bit contrast-y since we were shooting in the late morning with the sun at a high angle. We used a multiple exposure technique, called HDR to help bring out the details in the shadows while reducing the brightness of the highlights. Fortunately we had some interesting clouds to add some drama to the images. The team was actually on the field practicing when we captured this image. At the clients request we removed the players in post-production.


Clients Win Regional CotY Awards!

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) just announce regional awards for their Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards. Two of our clients won awards. HDR Remodeling won an award for the Residential Kitchen $30,000-$60,000 and Podesta Construction, Inc. won an award for Entire House $500,001-$750,000. Congratulations! We’d like to think that the high quality photos we provided for both of these projects was a factor in winning the awards.
Whole house remodel in BurlingameAbove: Podesta Construction
Residential  kitchen remodel Above: HDR Remodeling

Another Project in Marin



Once again we were back in Marin, photographing another project for Studio Green. The house was built for Gordon Blanding around 1931 as a guest house. Designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan. If you notice the diamond tiles on the pool deck, these came from the same source as tile used in Hearst Castle. We have a busy week ahead, returning to Tiburon this evening, Belvedere again tomorrow evening, Mill Valley Monday evening, and San Francisco on Tuesday. We’ll be working the holiday weekend to get caught up on a post-production backlog. We may be looking for help soon. If you know anybody that can help with administrative work, Lightroom and Photoshop post-production and social marketing speak up. Business is good. Let’s keep it going!


Keep Your Ears Warm


We don’t promote product photography but last week we got a call from a graphic designer, Wendy Fisher with Moxie Marketing & Design, LLC. that was desperate to have photos of some products for a catalog. We quickly set up a table top studio to photograph 30 knit caps. This one was the most playful, and we thought it would be good to illustrate that we can do more than just photograph buildings. We’ll continue to promote the business of creating award winning architectural images but sometimes it’s fun to have a project that’s out of our norm.