Modern Design with - William MacCollum Photography

We had a chat with one of our favorite photographers today, William MacCollum. His most recent work for Whipple Russell Architects is of the Hopen Place and Summit Drive homes.

W/R:  Bill, tell us a bit about your overall approach to architectural photography.

W.M.:  I try to capture what the architect sees when he looks at the work.  It is the same in my cinematography work; I want to give the best composition to the director’s vision.

W/R:  Both your work and Marc’s deal very much with light, shadow, and balance; what are your thoughts on shooting his designs?

W.M.: Yes, a great deal of balancing inside and outside must happen so they blend together for a complete image. Lighting is a big part of that. I take inspiration  - along with many others - from the great Julius Shulman – the modern house; the inside opens to the outside.

W/R: What is your methodology when trying to capture the strengths or essence of a building?

W.M.:  Marc often uses water, pools, fountains very close to the structure and this creates visual opportunities. I like to reflect the house in water; there is a shot of the Summit house across the pool with a reflection of the house in the water that I like. I love to shoot homes at twilight, and I do try to create in some of the shots an almost surreal feel, that this house is its own world. Water also gives you an opportunity to get a great depth of color, a very dark blue. 

W/R:  It almost sounds like you are capturing the personality of the house.

W.M.:  Marc’s work produces a particularly warm and inviting feel for a modern design. It’s not just the design, but the choice of materials, the stone, rock walls, textures. ... I like to shoot at night with the glow of light from inside the house. You get a sense of substance and life inside, even in a modern house with lots of glass. When I first visited the finished Summit house it took me a while to realize I had shot the old house that stood there years before. The hilltop was transformed; the new house so distinctly stands apart from everything – yet feels as if it belongs right where it is in the hills.

W/R What do you enjoy most about architectural photography?

W.M.: I enjoy the end product, just looking at the man-made beauty of that.

So do we...thank you Bill.