Following on from Part 1 of my Year In Review, Part 2 showcases some of the amazing commercial spaces I’ve been invited to photograph. I’ve said it before, but it’s refreshing to see employers taking pride in creating environments which inspire, motivate and empower their staff.
These office fit-out projects run much deeper than the finished product. Having witnessed every stage of the build, from bare concrete structures, wiring, plumbing, fabrication, flooring, IT installation, furnishing and finishing, these projects are the culmination of anywhere from a few weeks to many months of intense, intricate and dedicated workmanship.
The year began with one of the largest commercial property projects I’ve been involved with. Taking place at the Grade II Listed Midland Goods Shed (below), located a short walk from London’s Kings Cross station, the redeveloped site would play host to a leading consumer finance client. The building itself is a thing of beauty with facades of glass showcasing the interior to the outside together with letting in swathes of light. Once inside, you notice the slight arc of the ceiling as it curves gently to the right as it extends far ahead. My office fit-out client Oktra had been on site for many months by the time I arrived for the photography. After I left they would be there more many weeks more, adding final touches and ensuring perfection before handing it over to their client.
It’s an inspiring space to be in. An incredible mix of shapes, texture, colour, material and light with every corner offering a different mood, function and form. For a photographer it proved a challenge in itself as there were a near-endless number of shots I could capture. With the project being nominated for a prestigious design award, it shows the dedication, financial outlay and time being put in to creating better work environments for staff together with the all-important preservation of London’s landmark properties.
One aspect of these office fit-out projects which surprised me was the diversity between them. Each space occupies a different end of the spectrum in terms of style, look and feel. I’ve witnessed the clinical finish of white minimalism, the warmth of exposed brick and wood, the luxury of slate walls with glass furnishings and the opulence of carbon fibre and leather. It’s clear than no shortcuts are being made by the designers or the end users in creating these incredible work spaces.
But I will finish with one of my favourite shoots of the year. The Jet Business are a London-based company offering the super-wealthy a place to acquire private jets. With a showroom based on London’s prestigious Park Lane, I was called in to capture a set of interior and exterior shots to adorn their marketing materials. The space is incredible! A no-expense spared haven of wealth. From the life-sized fuselage and floor-to-ceiling configuration screens, to the deep-pile carpets, marble walls and private cigar lounge. It’s a space designed to impress those who have experienced every level of luxury.
The resulting images stand among some of my favourites. This was one of the most complicated spaces to light and shoot, but ended up being one of the most satisfying. The final image above, for example, consists of eight individual shots combined in to one final composite.
I’ve changed a lot as a photographer over the past 12 months. With new, more advanced lighting and retouching techniques in my arsenal and more challenging interiors and architectural shoots on the horizon, I feel excited to see where 2018 takes me. I’ve been fortunate to have photographed some incredible spaces to-date, but, I know this is a mere taster of what lies out there behind closed doors.
Here’s to an amazing 2018!