Le Perche Bakery & Bistro . Hudson / NY
Architect : Pelone Bailey Architects . Chatham / NY
Photos : Adrian WM Jones
About This Shoot
Photographing Le Perche was another of those locations which quaint and attractive as it is, dug it's heels right in and did not want it's photograph taken. Photographically the space is very awkward, like I have mentioned before, with bar / counter spaces you need to be careful, there are many immovable objects which are not ideal to include in a photograph, you have to either craft them into your shot or carve your way around them (coffee machines, sinks, soda guns etc). I always believe if you can successfully master spaces like these you can conquer most of what will come your way. Dark non reflective surfaces, a lack of installed lighting and no matter how you compose your shots, they just doesn't quite sit. There are some architectural photographers blessed with the luxury of photographing only modern masterpiece where 70% of the work is already done for you! These types of shoots however are you bread and butter, you have to dig it out and make it happen.
It may not appear so but I actually used a substantial amount of supplemental lighting here, hot lights and strobes and a mix of both depending on the area I was working on. A lot of the time, unless someone is footing a hefty bill for a not so substantial project you have to think on your feet and work with what you've got in terms of props and creating a staged scene. This is very common with many of my clients and it is expected, you are not just photographing what's in front of your nose, you are expected to pull a rabbit out of a hat ant that's why you are hired, and if you want to work regularly you need to be affordable, so scratch the art director :)
For me it's also very important not to push against the tide with a shoot, don't force it into something it does not want to be, by that I mean every location responds differently to lighting, certain places you can play around and craft many versions of the same thing, others such as Le Perche I have learnt to follow the light. If a location is not taking it too well I try and amplify what's already going on rather than stage something exotic, and when working with light absorbent surfaces such as these that can often mean using a whole lot of light than you imagined to achieve just a little gain here and there.
Adrian WM Jones
Adrian Jones is a Connecticut based architectural photographer & documentary photographer. With over 20 years in the field he has worked in many areas of the film and photography industry and now uses his vast experience to focus on photographing architecture for architects and personal documentary projects.