My longest lasting architectural client Stephen Elbert, AIA had a wine bar remodel out in the West Portal neighborhood called Vin Debut. As per usual, it was a dark location with plenty of glass, mirrors and shiny stainless steel for those uncontrollable specular highlights. And just to make it extra special; it’s open 7/365 forcing an after-hours shoot.
However, Stephen did a wonderful job in designing the interior! Although it presents challenges, it’s quite a beautiful venue and I was honored to shoot it. Besides if it wasn’t a challenge he could just get anybody to shoot it. Stephen is a renowned photographer in his own right so he was familiar with the challenges. Fortunately for me Stephen acted as art director and did all the thankless work of staging the site which was no small feat.
These days I shoot with a number of speedlights for the additional lighting. They are light, battery powered and allow me to move through a space quickly. That turned out to be very helpful because there was a slight hiccup in the shoot; the owner couldn’t make it back that night to lock up. So we went from a 5-hour shoot to a 2-hour shoot. Fortunately, we were able to get the core shots we needed within that time frame with just a little sweat.
In the end I think, and more importantly, Stephen felt, we got it done.