Our First Aerial Gig

On Monday, March 4 we put the drone in the air for our first commercial client. We photographed a property in San Francisco for Marcus & Millichap. Having jumped through the hoops to obtain FAA certification and lined up insurance and such, we’re now in the air.

December AIA Newsletter

One of our clients, Levitch Associates, Inc. is featured in the December East Bay AIA ARCHNews. The article describes the challenges of a residential remodeling project in East Bay city of Albany. The article includes several photos we captured of the project including the kitchen and bath. We’ve photographed over three dozen projects for Levitch in the past three years, with projects ranging from residential remodels to salon and restaurant remodels. The Levitch website features much of our work. We’ll be photographing more work for Levitch in 2019.

Tricks of the Trade – Part 2

Back in the days of film most photographers would use  lights to solve lighting problems. Adding light via artificial lights was called additive lighting. Many photographers still use lights. And a skilled photographer can get stunning results with effective use of lights.

I like to use subtractive lighting when it’s appropriate. Taking away the natural light when it’s creating problems. Here’s an example of how that works. Notice in the following image there is a bright highlight at the foot of the door cast by the sun coming through the overhead skylight.

I decided that this was a distraction from the overall composition. In the second frame you see my assistant, Ken, holding a card to cut the light.

The third image below shows the result of blending the first two images to remove the hot spot. Sometimes these hot spots can add to the composition, so I don’t have a hard rule for dealing with them. The same technique can be used to remove reflections on artwork or related reflective surfaces.

I like to work with natural light, since it tends to creates a sense  of drama and a sense of depth, and it helps show off design elements, particularly lighting that might not read as well with artificial light.

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.

Half Moon Bay Photo Shoot

The week of  December 4 turned out to be a busy week. We were in Sonoma on Monday, photographing a whole house remodel, Tuesday we were in Oakland photographing another remodeling project for an architect and Wednesday we were in Half Moon Bay for a realtor. Here’s one of the photos from that day. What made this project interesting was the lack of windows. This was a fairly small house, which had originally been intended as an art gallery, so windows were not a priority. The kitchen was also nondescript, since the point was to show off the artwprl, but  for real estate sales the kitchen needs to be obvious. The realtor put a considerable effort into staging the house to make it inviting to an art collector, and they hired us since they wanted someone that could photograph the project in a way that would communicate their message.


Photo Shoot for Adidas

Monday morning found us photographing store displays for Adidas at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. I had my assistant Marco with me to help schlep gear and assist with the technical aspects of the shoot. The store faces Market Street, and at 8:00 AM in the morning there is a fair amount of pedestrian traffic, so one of the challenges was trying to capture the store front free of people. Our job also took us inside the store to photograph in-store displays. Our assignment was to document the XBYO. For this collection adidas Originals enlisted the skills of famed Japanese pattern cutter Satomi Nakamura from Japanese fashion label COMME Des GARÇONS.


Drone Safety Certificate


We’re looking at the possibility of adding areal photography to our range of services. A number of our clients and prospective clients have been inuring about this possibility. To that end Treve has completed a Drone Safety class.  At the moment the FAA is not making it easy to fly a drone for commercial purposes, but the regulations may change shortly and we what to be in position to take to the air when it’s feasible.

Steel Clad House

We were contacted by EcoSteel Building Systems who asked us to photograph a house in Saint Helena which had incorporated their product into the construction. The exterior of this house is clad with steel.  This is a new house designed by Carlo Di Fede, architect with Di Fuede Design Group.

Congratulations to our Award Winning Clients

Congratulations to FMS Projects, Leff Construction, and McCutcheon Construction, Inc. for taking first place in the REMMIES awards. McCutcheon had several enteries, and the two entries for which we provided photos won first in kitchen and bath categories and the kitchen took the grand prize as well.  The REMMIES is an annual design contest sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry). In this new economy you image is vital, and with so many people using the web to find you, having award winning photography to put on your website and in your marketing materials gives you an edge on the market. Now is the time to take action to make sure your photos are working for you. Call us at 510-841-0905.

Rise and Shine in 2011

It’s time to rise and shine and get to work on making 2011 a productive and profitable year. We photographed this bedroom recently for a new client,  Lockwood Electric Company of Novato.  One of Lockwood’s specialties is high end residential.  The bedroom illustrated here features fluorescent lights to highlight the ceiling and LED down lights.  Treve connected with Lockwood Electric through the North Bay chapter of NARI, the National Association of Remodeling Industries. Treve’s been involved with NARI for several years and has recently joined the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Chapter.