Shoots with Kristine Kay Interiors are always a breeze—great shots are just ripe for the picking!
When Kelle Contine Interior Design asked me to fly south to Columbia, South Carolina, in the dead of January to photograph their student housing project, The Rowan, it was a no-brainer for me! In fact, the last time I flew was in 2019 to the same city to photograph another one of their projects there. It was kind of a nightmare logistically. Somehow, a checked bag of mine got held up, and I missed a connecting flight. So I ended up snagging a way overpriced rental car and sped from Charlotte, NC, all the way down to Columbia to complete my journey. A shoot is stressful enough, let alone when it’s preceded by hours of unexpected travel chaos. It’s one of those incidents in life you look back on and feel so bad for your poor former self! Anyway, I somehow made it to the shoot and eked out a halfway decent photo shoot in the end. Now when this year’s photo shoot came up, it was my chance to do it right. I flew in the day before so that any potential snafus had plenty of time to get ironed out. Thankfully, I had none, and I was able to be extra fresh for the photo shoot and redeem myself!
I can happily call a photo shoot a success if I eke out at least one shot I deem good enough to add to my website. Otherwise, I leave the shoot a tad unfulfilled. Luckily, I found that portfolio-worthy shot at this shoot last month with Kristine Kay Interiors in West Olive—thanks to Kristine and her team’s staging skills that turned an empty slate of brand-new construction into a tastefully lived-in home for the day!
Here’s a really fun shoot I did with Suburban Inns of CityFlats Hotel in Holland! I’ve always been a huge fan of this boutique hotel and was excited to have the opportunity to photograph it. (There’s also a Grand Rapids and Port Huron location.) Each guest room has a unique layout and design which is a nice departure from the usual hotel experience where every room is the same ol’ thing!
As I progress as a photographer, I always strive to make my shoots as stress-free as possible, mainly by arranging as much time as possible to be available for me to shoot. Interior photography—especially hotel photography—gets so tedious, and my brain is fried after a whole day of shooting, especially if I’m trying to cram a lot of shots into a day. For this project, I allotted 3 separate days to get everything done. (I delivered about 50 shots in total.) I definitely couldn’t have done that amount squeezed all into one day and get the same quality result.
A few favorites from a shoot I did back in the fall with Jennifer Butler Design—featuring dogs!
I photographed the addition and renovations of Grand Rapids Community College’s Applied Technology Center for the builder, Triangle Associates, and architect firm, Fishbeck! We took advantage of the school’s winter break to photograph when there were no students to interfere with.
This was my very last shoot of the turbulent year that was 2020. Back in April when I was quarantining at my parents’ back home, I was prepared for my business—and industry for that matter—to become largely irrelevant to clients. I figured the economic effects of the pandemic might push professional photography pretty far down on businesses’ priority list, but thankfully, things somehow got back on track for me as early as May, and work continues to be steady!
I had to keep quiet about this one for a whole year, but it was worth the wait! I took these photos for Cottages and Bungalows magazine back in December 2019 at Tracy VanVolkinburg’s (@plaids.and.poppies) very merry, Christmassy home in Dorr, Michigan—feels like it was just yesterday!
Here’s another hotel shoot I did with Suburban Inns—this one of the Holiday Inn Express (Grand Rapids Southwest) in Grandville!
I really enjoyed taking a road trip down a portion of Historic Route 66 to photograph the Bank of Pontiac branch in Dwight, Illinois, for the design-build firm behind the project, La Macchia Group! The bank grew out of its historic 1910 building just down the road but carried on the old location’s legacy by incorporating a reproduction of a large painting that still hangs there. The scene was painted by Vienna-born artist, Oskar Gross, and features a local farmer working his team of horses. Always love an excuse to visit small town USA!