One of the things I love about being an architectural commercial photographer is the variety of projects I get to work on. It could be a kitchen for a remodeler one day and an apartment complex for a real estate developer the next. In this case I was contacted by Integrated Sign and Graphic in Lexington, Kentucky. They designed, built, and installed the new signs at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover. Daytime and twilight images of the exterior signs were needed. These photos would be used to showcase their work, to illustrate to potential clients what their capabilities were. It was my job to make sure that was done with the highest quality possible.
The mall is absolutely huge. There are many, many signs all around the property. Some face east, some west, some north, and some south. I had to plan my shots around the best time of day to get the best light on each sign. When it came to the night shots the window of opportunity for the best light with the illumination of the sign was very short. I had to make sure everything went right the first time as I could only do a maximum of two signs in an evening (it took two trips to get the ones they wanted).
I also try to include elements in the environment that give the viewer a sense of the space and life going around the subject. To make that possible I included the cars going by the signs in both the day and nighttime images. I used slow shutter speeds to capture the movement and presence of the vehicles without taking away focus on the subject. This way the potential client has a better understanding of how the public sees and interacts with the sign. After all that’s what they are ultimately for. If it can’t get the attention of the public passing by then it’s of no benefit to the business that paid for it.
Drag the sliding line to see the difference with and without the lights from the cars in the image.
While a simple static shot of the sign by itself would have satisfied the basic needs of my client it wouldn’t have been the best use of their resources. By considering my clients end needs and purpose for the images I’m able to better create images that tell their story. Ultimately that is my job. I create images for my clients that are compelling and show their potential customers what they can do for them. I help my clients grow their businesses. I take as much pride in this as I do in creating the images that bear my name and my reputation. Take a look at the images below and tell me in the comments if you think I accomplished that mission.
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