Luxury Apartment Shoot

New lobby at Elmhurst 255

I love shooting interiors and exteriors. There’s an art to making a room look inviting enough that someone would want to live there. Unlike shooting portraits, where you shoot lots of pictures to get a range of expressions, in architectural photography you spend a lot of time setting it up and getting the room looking just right; then you only take a few pictures.

I hooked up with Morningside USA about three or four years ago when they opened a 306-unit complex in my town and I shot all their marketing pictures (see here). A few months ago I shot their newest project, a 192-unit luxury apartment building in Elmhurst.

I always use a medium format camera for these jobs. My smaller D-SLR cameras just don’t cut it for this kind of work. The quality of the finished images is unbeatable, and the dynamic range (the amount of detail you can see in both the shadows and highlights) is superb. The larger file size also gives me more room to tweak the images by straightening out converging verticals and making sure the walls don’t look like they’re leaning in or out (a common problem with all wide angle lenses).

To see how the pictures are used on the client’s website, have a look at Elmhurst 255. And if you’re looking for a great place to live, close to the Metra station and only thirty minutes from downtown, check them out.

The Chief Executive Portrait

Centegra Health President and CEO

For the last several years, I’ve been privileged to meet and photograph several top CEOs in the Chicago area. Some of them have been CEOs of new startups, not yet making any money. Two or three of them have been billionaires. Several are in the tech industry, some are in well known utility corporations while others are in the food industry. Some oversee large hospitals while one even operates an airport. Some corporations have replaced their CEOs often enough to have me come back two or three times. All of them have been successful in their fields, whether it’s a new software venture, a thriving non-profit or a Fortune 500 corporation.

Almost all the CEO’s have been down to earth, friendly people who I’ve enjoyed getting to know. Most are comfortable having their picture taken- they’ve done it all before for magazines or TV spots.

Occasionally, I’ve been given free product from some of them, like the CEO of Girls Scouts of America who gave me a couple boxes of cookies! Or the CEO of Office Max who gave me a couple of their trademark rubber band balls you saw on the side of their trucks.

CEO of Allant Group

CEO of Trust Company of Illinois

CEO of Inland Group

CEO of Morris Hospital

CEO of Micro Dynamics Group

President of Pivotal Home Solutions AGL Resources

CEO of Swap.com

CEO of L Street Collaborative

President of Nicor Gas/ AGL Resources

CEO of AST

Founder and CEO of Calamos Investments

CEO of ATI Physical Therapy

CEO of Clow Bolingbrook International Airport

CEO of Nicor Gas/ AGL Resources

CEO of Office Max

CEO of PhysIQ

CEO of Edward Hospital

CEO and Founder of BCKSTGR

CEO of Oberweis Dairy

CEO of DuPage Medical Group

Founder and CEO of Thomas Interior

Best of 2016, Part One

2016 was probably the busiest of all the 27 years I’ve been in business. Let’s see… last time I updated the blog was last February, so it just goes to show I’ve been too busy to keep up with you all here. I added several new clients last year and was privileged to shoot with a great bunch of people and in places around the Chicagoland area and across the country– a new hotel client in coastal Maine, a healthcare client with a brand new state-of-the-art hospital (that I got to be the first photographer to shoot), several top CEOs in the Chicago area, a new $56 million apartment complex inside and out, and a new college client.

But I do want to get back to sharing some of my favorite pictures from last year with you. Typically, I don’t share pictures from shoots until long after they’ve been used by my clients, to respect their publication dates. But it’s a new year and I’m now looking forward to what 2017 has in store.

So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite images and jobs from 2016:

Downtown Naperville

I’ve worked with the Downtown Naperville (Illinois) Alliance for several years– Naperville is a great place to shop, eat out or just hang out. The downtown area always seems to be expanding and in 2015, a new block of stores opened. The owner of the new construction, as well as the Downtown Naperville Alliance, needed updated photos to show off the new areas.

 

Main Street Promenade, Naperville

I chose to shoot the pictures in the dusk when their would be light left in the sky but the street lights would be on, creating a nice ambiance. There’s a small window in which to shoot; the sky will only be that nice, rich blue for a short time before it goes black. Despite the relaxed atmosphere of the pictures, it was a rushed shoot, trying to get as many buildings photographed before nightfall. In the end, I had to return the next morning to get the final shots.

I used a Pentax 645 medium format camera- my current favorite– for this job. The large, 51-megapixel sensor produces beautiful, large files, with much more dynamic range, and are easier to edit afterwards compared to files from a traditional D-SLR. I used Adobe Lightroom to correct the converging verticals and bring back some color from the original RAW files; each image needed extensive post production work.

Main Street Promenade, Naperville

Re-Defining the Corporate Portrait

Thomas Interior Staff PicturesAbout four years ago I started shooting for a new client, Thomas Interiors, in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Right from the first shoot, I could tell they were a different kind of company. Everyone seemed happy to be working there; it had  a good vibe.

Thomas Interiors helps companies set up their office spaces with furniture and layout design. Their number one piece of furniture is the office chair, so we shot all the staff- from the CEO to the installation guys- either sitting in a chair, or posed next to it. I’ve been back multiple times as they’ve added new staff, and everyone gets the same kind of picture, but they get to choose how they want to pose. It’s made for a fun series and I think it’s really set them apart from many of the corporate portraits I’ve seen, or been asked to do.

To see more of their staff, and some of the other shots we’ve done, visit Thomas Interiors on the web.

Thomas Interior Staff Pictures

Thomas Interior Systems- Employee Portraits Thomas Interior Systems- Employee Portraits Thomas Interior Staff Pictures Thomas Interior Staff Pictures

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.