Timing your visual communications to run a better business

~ 4.5 minutes read

In the typical cycles of business, we are now fully in the 100-day sprint, the roughly 100-day period between now and the holidays where businesses are the most productive. People are coming back refreshed from vacation, kids are back in school and summer is gone, so there is no more excuses to play hooky and go hide at the cottage. Lake water is too cold anyway. That is, until the end of the year, before people take off again for the holidays to go skiing in Gstaad.

In the realm of visual communications and specifically architectural photography, not only we are subject to business cycles as described above, but even more so to seasonal conditions. That translates into a shooting season - without guns -  that extends from roughly May to November, coinciding with vegetation being in a suitable state and the weather being cooperative to allow for good photographs of your buildings and spaces. In that timespan we get all kinds of colours and textures, from the vivid bright greens and flower blooms of spring to the colourful fall season, without forgetting the deep greens of the mature, midsummer vegetation.

When you superimpose the seasons with the traditional business cycles, it looks something like this: post-christmas coma and hibernation from January to May, spring awakening in May-June, Summer slump (a.k.a. Spending summer at the cottage) in July-August and 100-day sprint from September to Christmas time a.k.a. “Shit! I need to wrap up my projects” period.

  Photography seasons

Photography seasons

Why should I care?

We are in the last 50 or so days of good, predictable weather and decent vegetation before we are stuck with cold, shitty weather for the following 6 months which makes architectural photography quasi-impossible. Some projects are suitable to be photographed in winter, but these are the exception to the rule. Timing a project with a snowfall is also extremely challenging as winter snow tends to turn into slush in the city after a day or two and believe me when I say you don’t want to shoot in those conditions. If you’re an interior designer you might think “Haha, nice try, but this doesn’t apply to me!” as you’re not subject to weather.

While you’d be correct in thinking so from a technical and logistical perspective, let’s not forget the dreaded award season, from post-christmas to the early summer, where most award submissions are due. Marketing professionals spend most of that time working on submissions, on top of the million other things they usually have to do like managing social media, RFPs, etc. Based on my experience, most of them do not want to deal with managing photoshoots on top of that.

Ok, so all of this is self-serving, but how does it apply to me?

I’m glad you asked. Well, taking into consideration all of the above, what that means to you, is that by and large, you are left with 60 days (90 for interior design projects) to plan, execute and complete your photography projects before everyone in your office switches to holiday mode and slows down to a crawl for about a month, spending more time thinking about that vacation in Gstaad or the dreaded presents they need to get for their incredibly hard to please in-laws.

Considering that it takes easily 3-6 weeks to plan, prepare for and execute a shoot, there isn’t a lot of time left to get that accomplished. With professional pictures in hand before the the season’s end, you will be able to do the following:

  • Promote your latest 2018 projects to prospects with the goal to sign new clients, and keep feeding new prospects in your pipeline.

  • Have your images ready for your winter slump, when your marketing people will want to have them handy for the 10 million + 2019 award submissions they’re going to prepare. Believe you me, they will thank you.

  • Wrap up the current year with completed projects, which should bring a sense of accomplishment to your practice and boost morale before the seasonal affective disorder sets in. Happy employees = productive employees.

  • Take advantage of the winter slump to plan and prepare your 2019 press submissions and scour the newest editorial calendars, in order to time your media relations accordingly and increase your chances of being published, not to mention that beautiful photographs will help you in the matter.

All of the above, accomplishes one thing: it makes your practice more efficient and more effective on many fronts. Which results in less time spent scrambling to get something done at the last minute, more time to do other important business things (or more time for yourself) as well as a long-term increase in your profitability because you now run a lean, mean business development machine.

After all, who wouldn’t like more time and increased profits?

If you have questions about this article or rvltr, or want to book your fall 2018 shoot, you can reach us at hello@rvltr.studio.



{Insert flight pun here} Let your projects soar with aerial photography.

When I hear the words aerial photography, it evokes a different perspective, looking at the world through a bird’s eyes. Since we humans, are so accustomed to looking at things from the ground level, which means looking up at the city; having access to this view from above, gives us the ability to appreciate the urban environment from an unusual perspective. A different point of view which makes us appreciate the amazing setting we’re a part of. I personally marvel at the level of human achievement every time I get a chance to look down at the city, as it suddenly comes into focus.

With the advent of consumer-level drones, aerial visualization & photography has become a bit of an ubiquitous commodity, but it has not completely superseded traditional aerial shots from aircrafts, if only for regulatory reasons that make flying a drone in the city both complex and a huge liability (drones also have the bad habit of being very prone to randomly crashing, speaking from experience). That means that to shoot anything from the air in the city, there is not yet a good substitute for planes and choppers.

This is why rvltr partnering with our dear friend and veteran aerial photographer Brett Price(linkedin) to offer you his expertise and knowledge of shooting from the air, combined with our knowledge of the city and its surroundings. Over the course of the first 2 weeks of September, Brett and rvltr will be available to shoot all over the GTA and beyond.

If you had projects under consideration for some yummy aerial photography, now is the time to act and book Brett + rvltr here. Spots are limited and going fast!

Instagram @brettprice / @revelateur_to

The fine print: Each location is shot to your specifications (Close ups, or to show property in relation to amenities etc). If you are interested, book us here, or have any questions please contact us, with the address of the property you wish to have photographed along with roof colour, and size of property. We will get back to you promptly to discuss the details of your project and come up with an appropriate scope of work and budget, based on your needs.

Hambly House on the cover of Canadian Architect

Cities such as Hamilton are rapidly growing and being designed to accommodate the sheer influx of people moving to the downtown and surrounding areas. This is a reversal of the strategy of the 1950's when the United States and Canada preferred to build cities around highways to promote easier travel and automobile use. Thus, today the surrounding areas of Toronto (Hamilton, ON in this case) are becoming more architecturally sound, interesting and diversifying the neighborhoods. The Hambly House by DPAI and Toms + McNally featured on the cover of Canadian Architect this month is a prime example of bridging the gap between old and new. Further reading HERE!

Hambly House at dusk

 

 

Flashback: Do you like Le Corbusier? | Aimez-vous Le Corbusier?

French version below | Version Française ci-dessous

Chapel viewed from the South | Chapelle vue côté sud.

During my last trip to France, back in February, I was lucky to visit the famed Chapelle de Ronchamp by Le Corbusier (Wikipedia).

I had the opportunity to snap a few photos, which hardly do the building justice. Le Corbusier has a knack for designing religious buildings that generate uplifting and highly spiritual experiences, even to the non-religious. His buildings are always best experienced in person as the space, light and materials are difficult to convey in photographs.

I took these shots on a freezing, sunny winter morning, which resulted in beautiful deep-blue skies that frame the white and grey building really well.

The property contains additional annex buildings (such as the maison du pèlerin, pictured above) in addition to a new convent for the local Clarisse Sisters chapter designed by Renzo Piano.

Piano’s building is well integrated in the hill and hardly visible from anywhere, in deference to the master’s chapel. It is nonetheless a very sensible project that is very well executed in typical Piano fashion.

La maison du pèlerin

Au cours de mon dernier séjour en France, j’ai eu l’honneur de visiter la chapelle de Ronchamp par le Corbusier (Wikipedia)

J’y ai pris quelques photos, qui rendent difficilement justice a cet édifice d’exception. Corbu savait concevoir des bâtiments religieux générateur d’expériences spirituelles fabuleuses, accessibles à tous, y compris les personnes non-religieuses. Il est recommandé de visiter ses bâtiments en personne, car la lumière, les espaces ainsi que la matérialité de ses projets difficile a représenter en images.

J’ai pris ces photos un jour d’hiver ensoleillé mais également très froid, ce qui m’a permis de capturer ce ciel très bleu qui encadre la chapelle blanche et grise et contribue a la mettre en valeur.

Les bâtiments annexes (comme la maison du pèlerin, ci-dessus) sont assez peu connus parmi l’oeuvre de Corbu et sont cependant de petits dépendances architecturalement intéressantes, bien que formellement simples et initialement conçues pour abriter le curé ainsi que les pèlerins.

Renzo Piano a récemment conçu un nouveau bâtiment qui s’intègre dans le programme existant. Il s’agit d'un couvent pour les Soeurs Clarisses, ainsi qu’un centre d’accueil et d'exposition (Porterie), qui s’intègre très bien dans la pente et n’est presque pas visible de puis le haut de la colline. Le parti architectural, a la fois discret et efficace, rend hommage a la chapelle du maître sans jamais essayer de lui voler la vedette. La lumière et les matériaux en font un projet typiquement Piano.

Yorkville Residence on the cover of Designlines Magazine

révélateur is proud to announce its first magazine cover! Our shoot of the Yorkville residence by Audax Architecture was featured in the the Spring 2015 issue of Designlines magazine.

Spring 2015 cover

Interestingly, this is our first ever commissioned project and turned out to be a client favourite from day one. This reno of a 70's modern house turned a very dated dwelling into a sleek, contemporary, state of the art dwelling that reflects the personality of its owner, a 30-something successful entrepreneur from Toronto.

Click here for full article.

Photography + Styling = Killer Images

Styling is the art of making a space look like it’s lived in, often in a subtle and discrete fashion. Ideally it is something that not consciously noticeable because it looks natural. This effortless look requires a lot of planning and production work, but the results are often far beyond what a professional photographer alone can offer.

 Kitchen

Kitchen

Révélateur studio always strives to improve the quality of its offerings and client satisfaction. This is why we are pleased to announce a partnership with professional stylist Laurie Clark. Starting immediately we are offering styled photography packages. By offering these packages, we take the headache out of shooting professionally styled quality photography, while delivering incredible value as these images will make you look fresh and professional.

 Main entrance and lounge

Main entrance and lounge

Laurie Clark of GH Styleworks is a master stylist with a background in art direction and graphic design. She has an eye for the killer accent that is going to bring a photograph together. Our own architectural and photography background complements Laurie’s skill set perfectly and we can together deliver images of exceptional quality.

Dressing room

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the images included in here a few example of images that came out of a shoot we did with Laurie (Project: Taylorwood, Build: Rose Barroso | Barroso Homes, Design: Urbanscape | Ali Malek-Zadeh). Feel free to contact us for further information on these packages.

Main entrance

Stafford Development projects

We have been working with Stafford Developments to shoot some of their completed projects to showcase on their new upcoming website. Below are some shots that we did for them:

The Rushton Residences, 743 St. Clair W.

530 St. Clair W.

500 St. Clair W.

Film District Towns

Stay tuned for more cool shots to come...

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #10

This is post 10 of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

10. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. 

Some shoots will require specific equipment and skills to be done properly. Do not skimp out on the expense if it gives you the images you need. Equipment rental and consultants are sometimes necessary to get the job done well. You photographer will be able to make appropriate recommendations.

Webster PS, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #9

This is post 9 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

9. CHOOSE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. 

Professionalism prevents a lot of headaches. It is often said that the first impression says a lot about a person. Make sure your photographer cares about your needs in more than just words. Their attitude, attentiveness and professionalism should show in everything they do. Make your life easier by choosing someone you can rely on. 

 Buckingham Arena,  WGD Architects , Toronto.

Buckingham Arena, WGD Architects, Toronto.

Little Portugal fixer-upper by Downey Design

This project was featured on our blog a few months back, when we shot the interiors for the Designer. We have recently returned to shoot the exterior of the building upon completion of the landscaping.

Main facade

Home to Arts & Labour home-studio, the renovation turned an old factory into an airy, bright space that appears to be much bigger than it actually is.

Main Entrance

Although the renovated building may appear mundane at first glance, it is the simplicity of the elegant materials and solid detailing that makes it come to life in an understated fashion. It is first and foremost a very livable space as evidenced by the spatial and light qualities one finds throughout the project.

Landscaped courtyard


Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #8

This is post 8 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

8. CONSIDER ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS.

Your photographer should know how to deal with these factors (seasons, weather and time of day) in order to take the best shots at the ideal time. Factor in weather and allow for contingency plans. Architectural photography is particularly subject to weather, especially when shooting exteriors. When planning a shoot, ask if your photographer has a contingency plan in the case of bad weather - and do not hesitate to reschedule. If images are shot in poor weather, you risk having to re-shoot the project at additional expense if the quality is negatively affected. Ask your photographer to supply you with a site prep checklist. There is a lot more going into preparing the site for photography than just cleaning up. In order to get the best looking shots, ask your photographer to make recommendations for staging the images. 

Warden Avenue Jr. PS, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto

Junction Bungalow by STAMP Architecture

Revelateur recently had the pleasure to shoot a post-war bungalow renovation in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto.

Main entrance, front of the house.

Designed by Brad Netkin of Stamp Architecture, the house is an very clever take on the bungalow typology. The original house was gutted and a second story was added, so that the main floor was turned into a spacious living-room / kitchen space opening onto the backyard and the front of the house was turned into a cosy dining room.

Entrance, Dining room, looking towards back of the house.

The main design feature of this house is a rather intangible one: natural light. Indeed, large windows and skylights are common currency in every area of the house, making the entire dwelling a very pleasant, airy one that makes one feel at ease instantly.

Living room, looking towards entrance.

Add to the the mix the architect's idionsyncratic furniture and art collection and you get a home that is humble in its materials and finishes yet very generous with large spaces that give away a subdued feeling of luxury. This is not a house of ostentatious character, but rather a symphony of natural light.

Staircase with skylight

There is a constant connection to the outdoors in almost every space of this bungalow. That alone makes it worth experiencing in person.

Back of the house, from backyard