2017 was, by a long way, my most enjoyable year as a photographer. I put this down to two reasons. Firstly, my knowledge and ability in advanced photography and image retouching techniques have developed a lot over the past 12 months. This comes from a mixture of new lighting and image editing processes, together with conversing with many other high-end photographers in order to discuss their approach and processes. A lot can be said for speaking to others over tried and tested techniques. Secondly, I’ve been able to photograph some amazing luxury homes and stunning commercial spaces over the course of the year. Something which always makes my job more gratifying!
Photographing high-end homes is a very different discipline to shooting London offices. With residential property, it’s about capturing the lifestyle, features, flow of space and location. With commercial property, it’s focused on style, design, materials, colour and light. Both are equally challenging yet hugely satisfying.
In part 1 of my review of 2017, let’s look back on some of my favourite residential shoots of the year.
One of the biggest residential projects I had the privilege of photographing was Old House Estate. Located deep within the Sussex countryside, Old House Estate is a development of three large, luxury homes valued at over £10million and set among 100 acres of rolling hills and woodland. The photoshoot took a total of 5 days and 100 hours of photography and retouching to complete, but resulted in some of my favourite images of the year. I wrote a blog post about this shoot back in April, which you can read here. For now, here is a small taster.
Between March and September my schedule hits its peak for photographing residential homes across Surrey, Sussex and the South East. One of the things I look forward to the most is seeing these houses for the first time. This may happen prior to the day of the shoot, if I’ve chosen to scout the property in advance. But more often than not, that first viewing will be on the day of the shoot. Large iron gates and long sweeping driveways all add to the drama and excitement of seeing what’s in store. I’ve always said that it seems a shame to have these magnificent country estate and luxury homes hidden from view. Only a handful of people ever get to see these secluded oases of grandeur and tranquillity. But, I guess that’s the whole point!
At over 400 years old, The Long House (below) was one of the most impressive family homes of the year. A truly beautiful building with equally impressive gardens. It oozed class, character and history.
Idle Hill (below) is one of those family homes which defines ‘an oasis of calm’. Completely hidden from view and surrounded by mature woodland, this three storey family home was one of the most tranquil residences I photographed all year. With the vendors working busy jobs in London, I can full appreciate the need to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle with a country retreat such as this.
My clients know me as a ‘sunny day photographer’. Overcast and gloomy weather can kill a photo. Not ideal when you want to sell a multi-million pound property. For that reason, I plan my photoshoots around the weather – a task which can be taxing in a country such as this! Nonetheless, I persist. Below was a shot I took for a property client of mine. The house and grounds had been photographed previously, but poor weather left the external images looking somewhat dreary. With sprawling grounds, which were made for summer weather, it made sense to call me in to re-shoot them in glorious sunshine.
Nutknowle Farm (below) played host to one of the nicest vendors I encountered all year. Amazingly accommodating, friendly and welcoming. This always helps make photoshoots so much more enjoyable. Coupled with it being one of the prettiest homes, both inside and out, it offered everything I need in a property shoot.
Hedgecourt House (below) ranks as one of the largest home I’ve photographed to-date. A magnificent family residence complete with extensive landscaped gardens, plus access to an enormous freshwater lake. Oh, and the vendors served up the most amazing coffee I’ve tasted in quite some time!
The level of quality and style with interior design in higher-end homes is a photographer’s dream. From minimalist, modern design to more traditional and sympathetic ambience, each interior presents its own take on what embodies a family home.
One of my favourite shoots of the year involved travel up to the Cotswolds in South-Central England. For those unfamiliar with the region, just picture a quintessential English country village and you’re pretty much there. It’s a stunning part of the world! My brief was to photograph New Court, a signature property dating back over 150 years. Recently converted in to luxury retirement apartments with communal facilities, I was tasked with creating a set of images to adorn their online and print marketing materials. You can read my dedicated blog post, which also showcases more of the photography, here.
That pretty much wraps up the highlights with my residential property photography in 2017. An enjoyable experience in photographing some truly impressive homes and locations.
Next up, in Part 2 of my review of 2017, I showcase some of the commercial spaces I’ve had the privileged of shooting over the past 12 months.