Campus Life: Silicon Valley Style

When I prepare to shoot campuses of any kinds – be it education, tech, or medical – there is an excitement to the preparation as campuses are such a unique blend of form and function. Campuses allow for relaxation and gathering, and a well-designed campus provides moments of rejuvenation to those who spent their days on it.As an architecture photographer based in Southern California, I’ve been fortunate to work with DES Architects in the past. When DES asked me to shoot their confidential tech clients’ interiors and exteriors for two separate campus locations, I was obviously very jazzed by the prospect. For a lesson in form, function, and fun – look no further than these two confidential clients.

The engagement and community in the Moffett Place exteriors was a textbook example of campuses done right. The interiors of Central & Wolfe had beautiful and thoughtful movement at almost every turn.  With interiors like these, it became a study in geometry for me – and these rooms already felt filled with potential. 

Viewpoints and Perceptions

Although there is a fair amount of shifting around that happens in any office space, photographing the Central & Wolfe interiors before move-in day meant I was navigating around contractors, HVAC installations, and rooms where only some of the furniture has been delivered so far. Tricky when it comes to making a space feel alive and functioning in a photo, isn’t it?I’m proud to say that the photos do not reflect an empty space, but instead feel ripe with potential and possibility! I love the part of my job where I get to tell a story and convey a mood through images.  This unique stage of not-yet-moved-into space provided me with a neutral palate where I was able to drive the images’ story and reveal the design in full.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Light 

I used to assist for a photographer who loved to photograph huge spaces using big bold lighting setups. I once tried to give my (unsolicited) lighting advice, suggesting that perhaps his choice would create too much shadow in the corners and too much light on the ceiling. To that, he simply responded “Don’t be afraid of the light”. Well, I never forgot that – and, in fact, I took that advice and ran with it.

I spend a lot of time watching the sun when I work. What might seem relaxing is anything but – I’m waiting for the right moment to maximize the liveliness and energy within the space through light and shadow. My shots have a pulse, sharpness, and intensity to them. There is a time and place for soft lighting and gentle storytelling – giant tech campuses are not it!

In the fast-paced Silicon Valley work environment, bold and intense ideas are key to the success of each tech giant’s progress. These spaces are worthy of photos that reflect a sharp and bold approach to working, and I work hard to ensure that energy comes through the lens.

Good Times, Great People

I should start by saying I am often complimented for my energy level while working. I pride myself on my genuine enthusiasm for large-scale architecture and beautifully designed shared spaces. Blaine and Christine at DES win at the energy and enthusiasm game every time! Without fail, my days spent with these two on DES projects have been easy, enjoyable, and creative.

So, this is my moment to shoutout great working relationships. I prioritize building and creating collaborative relationships as a huge part of my business, and really strive to connect with every client I have on a person level.

Searching Out Great Eats!
Discovering the best places to eat while I’m on location
Simply put: Lunch is kind of a big deal in Silicon Valley. This approach is right up my alley, as there are incredible options for great sushi, spicy Indian food, serious grilled steaks, amazing Turkish food, and fresh Greek salads in every direction. My choice on this shoot was Gochi for a fusion of tapas and Japanese – why pick just one?

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