Watters Architecture - Pass Christian Ms - Architectural Photography by Tommy Daspit

It had been raining all the way from Birmingham to Pass Christian and we wanted to get the twilight done that evening so we could drive straight back the next day. Things were looking bleak until about 20 minutes before we go there. Then the rain stopped and we got some great light! 

It had been raining all the way from Birmingham to Pass Christian and we wanted to get the twilight done that evening so we could drive straight back the next day. Things were looking bleak until about 20 minutes before we go there. Then the rain stopped and we got some great light! 

This comes as a bit of a surprise to many, but I actually do a lot of travel. I’m perfectly happy to go wherever I’m needed. I can go by plane, train, or even automobile (I actually put about 30,000 miles on my car a year). I often do shoots in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and throughout Alabama. So when I was contacted by Leah Watters of Watters Architecture in Pass Christian Mississippi about photographing one of her amazing projects, I was all too happy to help out!

I grew up in New Orleans but my grandparents had a home in nearby Waveland Mississippi. So I spent many a summer day on beaches very much like the ones right in front of this house. The instant I opened the car door it was almost like I’d been transported 30 years into the past. Much had changed over that time but much was still the same. Katrina and commerce had done much to change the landscape but the smells and feel of the ocean air were just as they’d always been. I knew this was going to be a special shoot.

The home was originally built by architect James Lamantia in 1940 and was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Leah was hired by the new owners to renovate and add on to the home in 2016. I was honored to photograph her work, which did so much to enhance and modernize the original design, while staying true to its spirit. It had actually been photographed once before by another photographer. Leah felt that the images she had really didn’t represent the project well. She wanted higher quality images that reflected the quality of her work. I was happy to accept the challenge of course!

We shot over the course of two days but I could have easily shot for two more. Every room held potential for great images. Narrowing it down was quite a challenge. In the end I took more images than I normally would. This caused a bit of a larger than normal workload in post but I was happy to put in the extra time for such a great project. I think the results speak for themselves!


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Office Environments - Birmingham AL Commercial Interiors Photography by Tommy Daspit

Click on image to view larger - Conference room at Office Environments in Birmingham. This shot was particularly difficult due to the large windows and all the reflections in them. I utilized several techniques to control them. The final image is a combination of multiple ambient and strobe exposures.

I recently photographed the newly remodeled showroom of Office Environments in downtown Birmingham. This is a shoot that I’ve been looking forward to working on and showing off for some time. When I first saw the remodel late last year I knew it was a project I wanted to capture. My residential portfolio is quite extensive but my commercial work is more limited. This is especially true for interiors. Fortunately for me one of Office Environment’s reps is in my BNI (Business Networking International), and we were able to work out a deal!

I really loved every aspect of this space. It’s in a historic downtown building and showcases some of the very best in modern office furniture design. As a Herman Miller dealer everything is top notch quality and style. It was my job to capture the feeling of this showroom and business in photographic form. These images would be used by Office Environments on their website, social media, marketing materials and advertisements. These images will represent them to potential clients and partners. I needed to make sure they captured the quality of not only the furniture, but Office Environments, and the great people that work there as well.

This was to be a little different as well because we did the shoot at night after they closed. This gave me a great opportunity to have some images with a very different look from the rest of my portfolio. Most images I create are done with a mixture of sun and ambient light. Night images take out the sun variable but add a new layer of complexity. There’s much more heavy lifting to be done by the strobes and I had to be careful not to make the images look too “flashy”. The resulting images are a blend of multiple shots blended together. Some are as few as three all the way up to the office overview which is about twenty. 

In the end with a lot of help from my assistant Crys and Blake Stringer from Office Environments we were able to pull it off!

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See more of my commercial interiors portfolio.

Momentum - Commercial Architectural Photography Tuscaloosa AL by Tommy Daspit

Twilight exterior of the credit union headquarters. Twilight shots can be compelling attention grabbers. They're one of my favorite shots by far.

The marketing director at Momentum, a commercial builder based in Seattle, contacted me a little over a year ago about photographing a credit union they had built in Tuscaloosa. They liked my work but ultimately went with another photographer. Then something unusual and unexpected happened. A couple of months ago they contacted me again. They’d just finished building a headquarters for that same credit union, also in Tuscaloosa. This time they wanted me to shoot the project. Not that the other photographer was bad per se, the images just weren’t what they had in mind. Of course I was very happy to help out and appreciated the new opportunity.

I scouted the location inside and out when I was in town to photograph another project. I always prefer to see the space in advance of photographing it. This allows me to think through compositions, light, time, staging, and equipment needs ahead of time. Although not always possible, it does help things go more smoothly. In this case it was very valuable. The client and I were able to communicate at length to make sure we were on the same page. Given the distance and time zone issues between Alabama and Seattle, having that advance walkthrough was huge.

This was also a more rare case when we would incorporate people into more of the images. Momentum wanted to convey how the space was actually utilized and give it more of a “human” feel. We enlisted some of the credit union staff to serve as models. For some images we had them move and captured them as a blur to convey movement and energy. For others we had them interact to give a feeling of how the space was used. I was definitely tapping into my portrait and wedding photographer roots on this project!

The end result was one that the client was thrilled with! Here’s what they had to say:

Tommy was very accommodating to our client's schedule and was respectful of their work environment to make sure the he was not disturbing their work during the shoot. The finished images were fanatic!” - Jay-E Emmingham Marketing Director

Long corridors like this are especially tough to photograph. Getting the exposures and lighting balanced is no small order!

Dusting off my portrait photographer skills, we incorporated people into some of the images to give a feel for space usage and some human energy.

Now Offering Real Estate Photography - Birmingham AL Real Estate Photographers by

With the Google Maps Business View and commercial photography that I’m already doing, real estate photography is a no brainer as a service for me to offer. Most of the work I’ve been doing in the past couple of years has been architectural in nature. I use specialized photo equipment made for this kind of photography (gridded focus screen, super wide angle lenses, tilt shift lenses, panoramic tripod mount, and the ability to control my camera wirelessly by my iPad). Very often I was asked if I did real estate photography. There seemed to be a need for quality professional listing photography. Either agents were taking photos themselves, or hiring other photographers that specialize in volume, and not so much the best quality. I felt that I could fulfill the need of agents who wanted to wow potential homeowners with the best photography. The photos are often the first thing a prospective home buyer will ever see. Their impression of the property is driven, in very large part, to those images. Poor photographs can turn away buyers before they ever step foot inside the front door.

That’s why my service can be so beneficial. My goal is to offer the best value in real estate photography for the Birmingham, Alabama area. I’m not going to be the fastest, or the cheapest, but I will be the best. The best quality for the amount invested. I do understand the need of the individual agent to keep costs low. Savy and successful agents also know how important good photography is.

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