The Truth On Architectural Imagery

Reading time ~10 minutes

pexels-photo-712786.jpeg

Introduction:

The latest developments of evolutionary psychology teach us that our sensory perception of reality is not the window into the truth that we’ve assumed it was for a long time. Rather, it’s more like a metaphorical desktop on a computer, where the reality of the computing power if hidden behind symbolic representations of reality (e.g. the file folders on a virtual desktop). That helps us accomplish our tasks without being burdened by the minutiae of the computer’s inner workings, which would never allow me to easily and effortlessly write this piece as I was able to do, if I had to literally try and understand how everything works in a computer, down to micron-sized transistors.

What that means in concrete terms, is that evolutionary psych. tells us that we don’t see the world as it really but rather that we interpret it, these interpretations being a reflection of our evolutionary fitness. I.e., we have evolved interpretations of reality that allowed us to survive and thrive.

By the same token, since there is no such thing as an accurate perception of reality, the same goes for how we create visual media that represent the world around us. I would go as far as saying - in the example of a photograph or video of a space - that the very act of creating and designing an image of a space or building is in itself an interpretation of the object itself, influenced by the mind creating it. Not to mention the fact that we lose the 3rd and 4th dimensions (the 4th being time) and reduce the representation of the space to a 2-dimensional plane. Therefore, there can be no accurate representations of the physical space, as it’s always going to be incomplete, due to the missing dimensions.

As we just demonstrated that we cannot by design, perceive - and therefore  - represent the world around us in a truthful manner, we cannot expect an imperfect representation, or rather approximation of reality to be truthful. Not to mention that visual media in architecture is further removed from reality due to the subjective interpretation of the creative mind crafting the media, reality and truth is a myth that can never be reached.

Now that this is out of the way, what does it mean with regards to the truth and narrative in architectural media? Well, I’m glad you asked and we can proceed to answer to this question from two different perspectives, each considering a discrete aspect of the architectural documentation process.


The commercial aspect:

Architects are professional service providers and as such, have to be able to show their work in its best light, in order to convince prospects to hire them. To do that, a portfolio of images is a critical tool in the sales process. Much like any other kind of commercial photography, one can make a case that doctoring images in order to rid the iconography of the things that don’t convey the vision of the architect is fair game, and that’s the opinion of one of my peers. If you look at food or automotive photography, these guys routinely cheat in order to get images that represent the ideal of the product they’re selling and not the product itself, as you and I would experience it.

Even though what other industries are doing can be pretty dramatic in term of how far they’re willing to go to make a product look better than it actually is, nobody is ever accusing them of lying or being dishonest. That’s because if you go buy that burger or that car as a result of seeing an idealized version of it in an ad, you will still get the same thing, it just won’t look as good in the physical world, but it’ll still taste the same or perform as promised.

The same can be said of architecture and in this context, I think it’s OK for architects to fairly dramatically alter images if the end result is not quite what the original intent was. For example, I have more than once digitally “stained” wood finishes on a building’s exterior that was initially supposed to be a very dark stained finish, but had never been finished and was therefore showing up as a much lighter tone of wood than the architect intended. In that context, I personally have no qualms making such a change.

We also routinely remove electrical outlets, smoke alarms and exit signs that are both unsightly and create visual clutter. What we end up with is a clean, more focused imagery that better conveys the sense of space in my opinion, which in turn serves the commercial intent of these images.

All those changes do not fundamentally alter the physical experience of the space and do not speak to its performance. Again, let’s keep in mind that we are talking about 2 dimensional interpretations of a space the we experience in 4 dimensions and that there is no substitute for an in-person experience. In that sense, any image, doctored or not, is always going to be a somewhat deceitful representation of the space.


The ethical aspect:

Now, from an ethical perspective, one could convincingly argue that doctoring images is dishonest and does not represent the project as it is. Ignoring for a moment that a photograph (or a movie) is an incomplete representation of the physical space because it lacks 1 or 2 dimensions, an argument can be made that architectural media should take on a more documentary-like approach to the craft.

Supposing that this is feasible and realistic, I think it’s a weak argument because even a documentary medium -especially film- tells a story that is a representation of the author’s thoughts and opinions. While the media may not be altered per se, it’s the narrative that expresses an inherently biased opinion. And I think that’s the crux of the issue, that short of directly experiencing a space or a building, any other form of representation, doctored or not represents the artists’ biased view through a narrative. It is therefore very difficult to say that a photograph (or movie) is a truthful representation of reality

A few years ago, and incident with the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) made the news when it was revealed that an award winning building image set had been doctored, where unsightly (and very visible) air handling units on the roof of the building were removed in post production at the behest of the architect. In the article quoted above, Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune’s architectural critic described the oversight as follows:


“So the honor award puzzled me. How could a jury of respected architects from out of town have missed this glaring misstep? Easily, it turned out.

Unlike the AIA's national awards, which require that at least one juror visit a short-listed building, or the Pritzker Architecture Prize, whose jury travels extensively, jurors for the Chicago AIA honors typically don't inspect buildings firsthand. There simply isn't the time or money. The jury meets for just one day. In the distinguished building category, there are scores of entries (134 this year), and they consist of projects from all over the world. So according to people who administer the contest, the jurors consider required materials (design statements and photographs) as well as floor and site plans, which are optional.”


To me, the issue is only partially the responsibility of the architect and/or the photographer. In this case, it’s clearly the jury process itself that created conditions for a doctored image set to allow for Juan Moreno’s building to win an award.

The AIA has since issued new rules for their award submissions regarding retouched images, although I couldn’t find these rules in my research. I think it’s great change, because when it comes to awards, we step outside of the realm of strictly commercial photography and that we can and should reasonably expect images to not be purposely deceiving. It can easily be speculated that the building wouldn’t have won the award, had the images not be photoshopped. Since awards don’t have as much of a commercial component (although some privately-owned award competitions are huge money makers for the organizers, but that’s a debate for another article) and are supposed to be an objective assessment of the entries and determine the winners based on the merit of the work, there should be an expectation that images not be modified and in my opinion, it falls on the organizers to demand more truthful imagery.

Similarly, publications reporting on architecture, have a moral duty to ensure that the projects they publish are not overtly deceiving as it erodes the reputation of both the magazines and the designers, especially when it comes to publicly accessible architecture that can be experienced by the general public. It would be very damaging for a magazine to talk up an innovative building only to find out that half the innovations are being impeded by some unsightly design element.


Conclusion:

I don’t believe that the conclusions we can draw from this topic are either black or white. Ultimately, each player in the process, be they photographers, architects, publications, award organizers or critics have a duty to ensure that they’re not purposely deceiving their public.

I think the amount of doctoring that should be tolerated should fall on a spectrum from heavily retouched, to very slightly retouched and that were the imagery falls on the spectrum is dependent of what one is comfortable with and what is appropriate for the intended usage of the images.

Some architects and photographers will have specific opinion in favour for the more honest side of the spectrum while others will unabashedly put out images that have less to do with reality and more with the commercial aspect of their practice. Azure published a very well thought-out article on the topic last year and their conclusion was thoughtful and fairly accurate representation of the variety of opinions that are out there.

I personally do a fair amount of retouching but I do draw the line at doing work that would alter the architecture and represent the space in a way that could never happen in reality. Outlets, exits signs and smoke alarms are all fair game and so are blemishes on a wall, reflections in glass, etc. I am also a little more liberal for residential work as the issues we fix are often a matter of the construction process not being faithful to the original vision or the client making changes without the architect’s knowledge.

I would generally say that restraint and common sense are ultimately our best allies. I’m a big fan of trusting my gut when it comes to making decisions that aren’t easy and the science backs me up on this.

I think the biggest takeaway from this discussion is that we ought to be very conscious of the impact the decisions we make will have down the road and act accordingly within the boundaries of what each of us is comfortable with. The rest is just noise.


Arnaud Marthouret is the founder of rvltr and leads their strategy, visual communications and media efforts. He has helped numerous architects and interior designers promote themselves in their best light - pun intended - in order to help them run more effective practices and grow in a meaningful way.

If you have questions about this article or rvltr, or want to chat about your strategy and communications, you can leave a comment, share with a friend, or reach him at arnaud{at}rvltr.studio.



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.



“Toronto Engaging Over Art”

Press Contact Info : arnaud marthouret | revelateur studio toronto | t: 647-996-9220 | hello@revelateur-studio.com

For immediate release.

“TAXONOMIES”

featuring Ultradistancia by Federico Winer and  Architectural Inoculation and Attracted Opposites by Arnaud Marthouret.

Toronto – 18 March 2016 – “TAXONOMIES” featuring Ultradistancia, Architectural Inoculation and Attracted Opposites was a massive success. The dynamic playful show lived up to expectations providing a perspective centered on global human placement, as well as a look at how we as a species interact with the surrounding environment; built or natural. This is not a critique or praise of human activity, but rather a starting point for discussion for the viewers. For them to come to conclude their own perspectives on today’s times, and our interactions with the world at three different scales: Macro, Meso and Micro.

“…Opening night, over 200 art lovers and collectors came to see “TAXOMOMIES” and Ultradistancia… It helps you to understand that your art can reach all audiences, such as the fantastically curious and educated Toronto scene,” says Federico Winer, (macro + Ultradistancia). Further, Federico remarks, “… the show was a perfect collaboration between artists who are devoted to space, though we see the way we see the earth in diffferent ways, we can appreciate this is the way we both perceive earth and space.

In short, “TAXONOMIES” is Arnaud Marthouret and Federico Winer “brainchild” after meeting 6 months ago via Arnaud reading an article about Ultradistancia. Feeling inspired to contact Federico -- they have been on a roll ever since. The two began discussing how to collaborate on a show, found a gallery that fit their style and built a small international team to make it happen.

“… The show itself is a culmination of months of work, with a great team, which made it successful… and as my first professional art show, I look forward to doing many more. I truly enjoy discussing how blending art and architecture, specifically as the line between them grows thinner and thinner -- especially given my day job as an architectural photographer -- is extremely exciting for me...” says Arnaud Marthouret, (meso + micro/Architectural Inoculation + Attracted Opposites)

ONLYONEGALLERY was an extraordinary space for the event. The artwork, being architectural and environmentally focused was very complimentary to the 3,000sf raw gallery space. Large walls, tall ceilings and multiple levels gave viewers opportunity to see art at all scales: Macro, Meso and Micro.

Gallery owner, Cais Mukhayesh said, “… “TAXONOMIES” featuring Ultradistancia, Architectural Inoculation and Attracted Opposites was a huge success with serious continued interest… people have returned to the gallery daily since the opening.” He also stated, “the show was an amazing time, people were super pleased with the artwork, and there was a constant flow of people over the course of 6 hours… what more can you ask for!” Cais also mentioned, “ONLYONEGALLERY goes above and beyond to bring new and upcoming artists and concepts to light. Providing a platform for showing new works, potential collaboration with other artists (as well as what I would call an almost “mentorship” by Cais); truly a unique opportunity for up and comers.

“TAXONOMIES” featuring Ultradistancia, Architectural Inoculation and Attracted Opposites is up through March 26, 2016 at ONLYONEGALLERY (located at 5 Brock Ave. Toronto, Ontartio, M6K 2K6). Their hours are Sunday through Tuesday by appointment only (cais@onlyonegallery.com); Wednesday through Friday 3:00pm to 7:00pm; and Saturday 12pm to 5pm. Make sure to call ahead, the artists love to hang out at the gallery!

For professional photographs from the show visit the ONLYONEGALLERY Facebook page HERE!

 

About the Artists + Gallery

Federico Winer

Federico Winer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a multi-faceted artist, photographer producer, a habitual traveler and super friendly, colleague and collaborator. With his background in Political Science, Philosophy, Architecture and the arts, it was natural for Federico to become a professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires, where he is currently teaching. He is also the founding member of the Experimental Group of Experimental Thought Soy Cuyano, with several academic and art performances in Argentina and Europe.

For information visit Ultradistancia or federicowiner.com

Arnaud Marthouret

Born in Grenoble, France, Arnaud Marthouret, founding partner and lead photographer of revelateur studio is a trained architect and architectural photographer. As an inherently creative person, he brings an imaginative perspective that often categorizes him as quirky artist but that only feed his insatiable curiosity and thirst for the new and unusual. These traits he cherishes and nurtures to this day, as they allow him to understand the world with a different attitude.

revelateur studio (Arnaud Marthouret)

revelateur studio brings together many curiosities uniting slightly schizophrenic yet opposite lifestyles: hip cosmopolitan urbanite vs. outdoorsy nature lover. The studio’s work goes the extra mile to ensure integrity for each building, photographically, which inspires and deserves the best photographic representation. revelateur studio works with a team of the highest level photographers, photography assistants, PR professionals, stylists, film-makers, graphic designers, coaches and mentors.

For information visit www.revelateur-studio.com

ONLYONEGALLERY (OOG) was created in December 2011 as a limitless experiment in concept space. OOG is about collaborating, creating, and demonstrating something special - a live physical experience. OOG is a multidisciplinary studio and gallery that hosts and produces individual and group exhibits. OOG is proud to support emerging and established artists alike, to present a roster of ambitious exhibitions, and to act as a creative hub where ideas come to life. In July of 2015 OOG relocated to a new 3000sq ft. gallery space in the heart of Parkdale, Toronto.

Cais Mukhayesh

Cais Mukhayesh is the owner, director and curator at ONLYONEGALLERY located in Toronto, Canada. Since 2011 he has worked intensively with both local and international artists, photographers, and musicians; producing over 30 art shows, exhibitions, and events showcasing primarily urban contemporary art, music and culture. Cais has worked on many successful creative partnerships with companies such as Absolut Vodka, Jameson Whiskey, Havana Club, Molson-Coors, Steamwhistle Breweries, Iishiko Japan, Hennessey and Saks 5th Avenue; as well as established an impressive roster of talented artists.

For information visit www.onlyonegallery.com

Introducing TAXONOMIES, a photography art show in Toronto.

For immediate release

TAXONOMIES photography show (#taxonomiesoog)

featuring

Ultradistancia by Federico Winer

Architectural Inoculation + Attracted Opposites by Arnaud Marthouret, in collaboration with Reza Aliabadi and Melissa Tung

 

27 February 2016 -- The much anticipated gallery show opening at ONLYONEGALLERY will have its grand opening event on March 10th, 2016 starting at 6:00pm, while the show will continue to run through March 26, 2016. “TAXONOMIES” is a dynamic yet playful perspective centered on global human placement, as well as a look at how we as species interact with the surrounding environment; built or natural. This is not a critique or praise of human activity, but rather, a current snapshot of today’s times, showing our interaction with the world at three different scales: Macro, Meso and Micro.

Ultradistancia, Macro, is a global perspective using a simple and free visual apparatus – Google Earth – for use in abstract image manipulation. The abstractions play with color, texture and shape to a surreal degree. The objective being to understand how humans, as a genus, forget to look with our eyes and habitually perceive the world through technology.

Architectural Inoculation, Meso, with Reza Aliabadi, is photographic documentation showing injective designs residential designs into post-war era residential Toronto neighbourhoods. These middle-class unapologetic, sometimes disruptive, architectural customizations, which have become a phenomenon in recent years, many times disrupt their surroundings. The boldly truthful photos turned out - authentic, honest and beautiful - true to the architecture. Here, the subject isn’t portrayed as a stand-alone piece of art or architecture but rather as object trying to integrated within its urban fabric.

Attracted Opposites, Micro, is a significantly playful collaboration where “ownership of public urban spaces” was the overall objective. Together, Arnaud and Melissa came up with creative ways to explore and take over stylish, sophisticated public parks within Toronto to openly practice yoga poses. This project is about being temporary. Appropriating spaces for uses they are not intended for. It is about transporting vitality and seduction to sometimes hard, cold spaces, presenting final images that would otherwise be void of such beauty.

ADDITIONAL EVENT INFORMATION ON FACEBOOK.

About the artists:

Federico Winer. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a multi-faceted artist, photographer producer, a habitual traveler and super friendly collaborator. With his background in Political Science, Philosophy, Architecture and the arts, it was natural for Federico to become a professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires, where he is currently teaching. He is also the founding member of the Experimental Group of Experimental Thought Soy Cuyano, with several academic and art performances in Argentina and Europe.

Arnaud Marthouret. Born in Grenoble, France, Arnaud, founding partner and lead photographer of revelateur studio is a trained architect and architectural photographer. As an inherently creative person, he brings an imaginative perspective that often categorizes him as quirky artist but that only feed his insatiable curiosity and thirst for the new and unusual. These traits he cherishes and nurtures to this day, as they allow him to understand the world with a different attitude.

 

TAXONOMIES Opening Night brought to you by our wonderful and generous SPONSORS:

Absolut Vodka - Liquor

TPH - Production/Printing

South Street Boatbuilders / Tim Richards - Furniture

Dr. Michel Marthouret - Financial Backer

Victory Social Club / Andres Landau - Logistics

RZLBD Atelier - Collaborator / Supporter

Melissa Tung Yoga - Collaborator / Supporter

 

About the organizers:

ONLYONEGALLERY (OOG) was created in December 2011 as a limitless experiment in concept space. OOG is about collaborating, creating, and demonstrating something special - a live physical experience. OOG is a multidisciplinary studio and gallery that hosts and produces individual and group exhibits. OOG is proud to support emerging and established artists alike, to present a roster of ambitious exhibitions, and to act as a creative hub where ideas come to life. In July of 2015 OOG relocated to a new 3000sq ft. gallery space in the heart of Parkdale, Toronto. For more information visit www.onlyonegallery.com

Cais Mukhayesh. Owner, director and curator at ONLYONEGALLERY located in Toronto, Canada. Since 2011 he has worked intensively with both local and international artists, photographers, and musicians; producing over 30 art shows, exhibitions, and events showcasing primarily urban contemporary art, music and culture. Cais has worked on many successful creative partnerships with companies such as Absolut Vodka, Jameson Whiskey, Havana Club, Molson-Coors, Steamwhistle Breweries, Lishiko Japan, Hennessey and Saks 5th Avenue; as well as established an impressive roster of talented artists.

Revelateur studio (Arnaud Marthouret). Revelateur studio brings together many curiosities uniting slightly schizophrenic yet opposite lifestyles: hip cosmopolitan urbanite vs. outdoorsy nature lover. The studio’s work goes the extra mile to ensure integrity for each building, photographically, which inspires and deserves the best photographic representation. Revelateur studio works with a team of the highest level photographers, photography assistants, PR professionals, stylists, film-makers, graphic designers, coaches and mentors. For additional information visit www.revelateur-studio.com

 

 

 

 

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.

Little Trinity by DTAH

Earlier this summer, Revelateur was commissioned to shoot DTAH's little trinity project. This is constitutes a good example of adaptive reuse in the city of toronto. This was a fun shoot as it was all about showcasing the interplay between the old and the new. 

Facade on King St. East (at Parliament).

DTAH has a summary of their project here:

"The Little Trinity Church community, founded in 1844 near the corner of King Street East and Parliament Streets in Toronto, developed a building expansion study to investigate the renovation and redevelopment of the three buildings on their site to maximize community worship, social services, and recreational uses in response to the future West  Don Lands development immediately south of their property.

Back of building from garden.

DTAH redeveloped the derelict 19th century townhouses at 399 King Street into the Little Trinity Annex, a new administrative centre and multi-purpose hall for the church community. Renovations in the school house building included the basement multi-purpose hall and ground floor child care spaces to maximize Sunday School capacity and functionality."

Multi-purpose hall.

Although a small project, it was a fun shoot as adaptive reuse presents challenges that are not necessarily evident when shooting other kinds of projects.

Building from garden.

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...

2014 TSA year-end Bash

Revelateur Studio will be in attendance at the Toronto Society of Architects annual Year-end Bash on November, 26th 2014. We are proudly sponsoring the event and will be photographing the party throughout the night. Feel free to come say hello to us during the party, don't be shy! 

The event is hosted at the  beautiful and new Fort York visitor center designed by Patkau Architects.

Details here

Fort York visitor center by Patkau Architects

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

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #7

This is post 7 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

7. GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE.

Mutually beneficial relationships are best for all parties involved and crediting your photographer whenever you use their images is more than a mere contractual requirement, it is an ethical thing to do. They should also credit you, the client, on their online and offline marketing material. Do not hesitate to ask them to do so should they not offer it from the get-go (it can also be a contractual agreement). 

Webster PS,  Kohn Shnier Architects , Toronto

Webster PS, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto