Bed Jumping


If you have trouble watching it here, try viewing at


Recently I was commissioned by the Hilton Garden Inn (Bloomington/Minneapolis) to create a video for an internal contest with their Parent Company. 

The goal was to get as many employees involved and enthusiastic about participating as possible. That wasn't a problem in the least. Every person who showed up for the shoot brought their smiles laughter and a great show of energy. 

The direction of the video was inspired by which is a favorite of some of the Management. 

In the near future, I'll be posting some of the stills from the shoot individually.

Free Portraits at 2012 AIA MN Convention

Stop on by for a FREE portrait session at this years AIA MN convention on Nov. 6-8. 


In the age of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, the first impression anyone has of us, is our "Avatar". 

What is provided?
Digital Copies of your photo at both Web and quality print sizes.

What do I want?
Just your appreciation and an opportunity to share my work with you in the future. Connect with me in the way you want to use your portrait

Add me to your network on LinkedIn
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
& Your email so I can send you a quarterly newsletter that will have industry news and recent work.

I will be there all hours that the Exhibit Hall is open. 
11/06, 4:30PM – 7:00PM 
11/07, 11:15AM – 2:30PM & 3:45PM – 6:00PM
11/08, 11:30AM – 2:00PM

I will take people on a first come first served basis, unless you contact me directly to schedule a time. 

I will have a traveling portrait studio set up at the Activity lounge between booths 627 and 619 (click this link for a map)

Exploring Base Camp

Produced for Architecture Minnesota Magazine, Exploring Base Camp is a series of 1-2 minute videos of the recently completed Historic Restoration by LHB for use by the Boy Scouts of America as an Urban Camp to connect young people to the outdoors and interactive experiences.

Click to explore Base Camp

The twelve 1-2 minute videos explore various elements of the building's history, restoration, and Base Camp's uses of the building today and the populations it serves.

This also represents an experiment in User Interface Design. Because of the multitude of video segments, the decision was reached to create an interactive map of Base Camp for viewers to explore on their own terms. Each of the buttons placed on the map correlate to subject of the film.

32bit Photo Real HDR Still Images

Altus Architecture Recieved the 2010 AIA Minnesota Honor Award for this Minnetonka home of the tools many Architectural Photographers use when working with only available light, is a technique call High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. It is the process of taking multiple exposures of the same scene and layering them together to fill in detail in the shadows and recover detail in blown out highlight areas.

This technique has also been taken to extremes for some artistic intrepretations of places, and objects to create some really wild work. Since it is art, and challenges our interpretation of what we know, some like the final result, some don't.

When I use HDR for Architecture, my greatest interest is recreating a realistic composition of the space I'm capturing. While there is still room for artistic flair, it's important to me that I avoid a surreal impression that doesn't convey one's actual experience or impression.

Here is one technique that helps achive those results.

Sales and Use Tax for Photography and Video Production

This post is inspired by a question that came up on the Architectural ASMP user forum that many photographers both new and old face. 

Do I need to charge/collect sales tax for Photography and Video Services.

First off, sales tax differs from state to state. In my home state of Minnesota, we have a great fact sheet for sales/use tax. Your local Department of Revenue may have something similar. 
Today I'm only going to address the two of my most common use cases that come up as Exempt Sales:
Electronic delivery.
When the final photography is transferred electronically to the client, with no physical transfer of prints, negatives, discs, or other tangible items, the entire charge for the photography is exempt. The invoice must clearly state that the photography is transferred electronically. No exemption certificate is necessary.
Delivered outside Minnesota.
Photography sent or de- livered to a customer outside Minnesota is exempt. No exemption certificate is required; however, records must indicate that the items were shipped to a customer out- side Minnesota. Tax may be due in the state of destination depending on the other state’s tax laws.
Just to be clear, I sent the Sales and Use tax team a few clarifying situations:

In all instances, everything is transferred electronically via online storage.

  1. The client is an Architectural Firm to produce Architectural Photography
  2. The client is an Architectural Firm to produce Architectural Cinematography and Documentary.
  3. The client is a Magazine publication producing short form documentaries about architectural projects.
  4. My client is an advertising firm which is producing content for their client (an architectural firm)
The response from the MN Dept. of Revenue confirmed the following
If the photography is delivered electronically it is exempt from sales tax with no physical transfer of prints, negatives, discs, or other tangible items, the entire charge for the photography is exempt.  The invoice must clearly state that the photography is transferred electronically. No exemption certificate is necessary.  The service provider must pay sales or use tax on all inputs used to in the production of the photography that is delivered electronically to the customer.  If the photography is delivered in a tangible form, then it is taxable.
So that leaves one other popular scenario. When you have a client IN STATE, there are cases when delivering large volumes becomes untenable for delivery over FTP or website. Such may result in the question of how a Thumb-drive or other external hard drive may be considered "electronic transfer". I called the MN department of Revenue Sales and Tax Use line last year at 651-296-6181 or 800-657-3777. The woman I spoke with said that the only way I could deliver it on either type of medium, is if I physically go to my client's location, sit down at the computer, and transfer/copy, the electronic files my self, then take the media device back with me. 
The great thing, is that this is saving my clients in MN considerable amounts that then can be invested in more production value or future projects. 
PLEASE NOTE: This is the case as of the date of this blog post but may have changed by the time you read this.

Will that be Cash or Credit?

I caught a great documentary recently about Charles and Ray Eames (see below). At one point in the film, they discuss how there was a lack of credit shared among the various collaborators of the Eames’ line of furniture.

A trailer from Eames: The Architect and The Painter. Watch now on PBS OR  Currently available to watch instantly on Netflix

The conflict was succinctly expressed by Designers Jeannine Oppewall and Tina Beebe (about 19 minutes in)

“When a product comes out, it’s a river. It starts at one point and it ends at another point. Many people jump into it along the way.” “Everybody contributes a small piece. But only if they go on after that to produce a stunning amount of work, I think are they capable of saying ‘I did this and this in the Eames office, with no credit’.”

This got me thinking about my own design experiences in a firm and where I am today as an independent creative. I realized that even today “Credit” is a common source of contention in architectural, photographic, and other creative communities.

So here I am, expressing my own understanding of this paradigm between employment relationships and “credit”.

The production of intellectual property (IP) as a service or physical good can fall under two categories.

Work For Hire      or       Licensed Work

What is Work For Hire?

An employment relationship which transfers all ideas and creations (intellectual property) from employee to employer.

A common practice for almost any employer and is often (if not always) the case at universities.

It is essentially, the working relationship that has built our economy. I give you money for your good or service and you get to buy something else with that money.

When it comes to architecture firms, news papers, advertising firms, manufacturers, etc., your contract will state that the work or ideas that you develop while working for said employer becomes the property of that company.

I’m honestly not sure when this “contractual” relationship developed over time but I think Don Draper and Peggy Olson from Mad Men illustrate the Work for Hire relationship perfectly in this "Come to Jesus" moment in "The Suitcase" Episode.

This type or “relationship” makes sense to a great degree for any business to succeed. A company or firm often invests thousands or millions to give you, the employee, an opportunity to develop your idea. They take all the risk if your idea doesn't work. They also need to protect that investment from simply going to the competition.

What if Johnny Ive came up with the design of the NEXT iRevolutionary product, then ran to another company and sold them the same design? Sure that cloned product might actually be horrible under the hood, but it could confuse consumers and hurt product sales.

In an architecture firm, it’s the principal(s) who is/are truly invested in the life or death of the firm and it’s work. They may have the most to gain but they also have the most to loose if a project fails to bring in more work. They also shoulder the liabilities if the project faces any legal issues from residents, contractors, or clients.

The continued success of that firm also relies on brand identity. Which is directly tied to completed work associated with the frim.

So what are the trade offs for a designer:

-The ability to use their talent to develop ideas.
-Receive a steady paycheck.
-Mobility of employment. As interests evolve or abilities outgrow current opportunities.
-Limited Liability associated with the completed project. That is unless they have stamped the drawings (in that case, ideally, there’s a higher level of pay for the associated risk).

Does that mean that workers don’t have the right to claim work as their own?

-Yes, if it damages either the reputation or sales of the current/former employer.
-No, if it is presented in agreement with the employer and in the context of the role played in it’s development. This is a common practice for designer in the form of a portfolio.

The difficult thing to realize however is that unless you are a principal or owner of a firm, you are likely in a Work for Hire relationship.

While every employer looks at this differently, as an employee it’s vital to your own development as a designer/creative to negotiate the right to represent your work in an agreed upon manner. 

So what is Licensed work?

It is an agreement between a Creative and a Client where intellectual property is provided for specified use and duration, while the creative maintains the ownership.

In a less than esoteric example. It's like renting a pasture for cattle to graze on. In the end the cattle are fed by the grass but the land’s owner has the right to rent it to other herds. The better the pasture, the more it can be rented. However overuse the land and it won’t bare enough grass to support even one heard.

In photography, film, architecture, design and other forms of IP, the quality of an idea will have a certain value based on its market appeal and life span.

So why do independent creatives license their IP instead of transferring ownership?

Their cost of doing business is much higher than a direct employee. An independent creative must play the role of an employer for all business investments. Continued education, research, equipment, office space, etc. They also flip the bill for their insurances, taxes, and face liabilities on their own. 

In order for a creative to maintain independence and therefore be able to offer their services/goods to a client, they must maximize the return on their investment.

However most commissioned clients have a limited use and benefit from their desired product.

A photographer for instance, will be able to find several markets for a single image. Take this image for instance of Reflections Condominium Towers in Bloomington, MN.


It could be used by the direct creators of the project. The designer, architect, builder, glass manufacturer, etc. all stand to gain new projects by marketing this project.

It could also be used by a realtor, a chamber of commerce, a landscaper, a magazine for an editorial about sustainable practices. You get the idea.

Each of those additional parties all have limited markets the image will appeal to and appear in front of. So their potential benefit for its use is limited to that market. If I however licensed it to all those parties at once, the market may either be saturated and the images power may become reduced.

A photographer, will therefore charge an initial “creative fee” based partially on the potential markets for additional relicensing opportunities.  They may or may not realize those returns, but the ability to have that option extends their ability to lower the initial cost to their commissioning client.

The more restrictions and/or uses a client wants for an image, the more opportunities are removed from a photographer. Which means their creative fee or licensing fee will be modified to reflect that.

Speaking of market saturation.

Creatives of all types are now experiencing the effects of “Social marketing”. A primary client may intend to only license the image for a single online use, and it will be picked up by personal blogs, friends, pinterest, twitter, facebook, Google+ and any variety of other “fair-use” forms of distribution. This type of saturation allows commercial entities an easy albeit unethical form of copyright infringement known as “link-backing”. This affects the ability to re-license work, however correct attribution MAY drive future commissions.

Where do I stand on Social Marketing and Fair-Use?

My advice to my clients is this. Always watermark your images. It doesn’t have to be MY watermark, but there should be SOME company watermark.

It needs to be tasteful and subtle, but it needs to be there. Why? Because the image that you licensed from me will have no tangible return if your potential clients don’t know who created the project to begin with.

If it brings YOU more work, then I hope that it brings ME more work.

Product Announcements: What catches my attention.

When it comes to exploring new equipment and planning how to investment in my work. I pay a lot of attention to new products that come on the market. Not just because I love new gear, more because I need to find gear that solves problems for my clients and makes the time I spend on a shoot more about the creation of images, not the pain of technical issues.

The hardest thing to do however, is get a true apples to apples comparison while also sorting out hype and rumor. When it comes to High End professional equipment, the other thing you have to do is filter out a company's own marketing pitch.

That is why I am extremely pleased to have come across this very well made demo of the 5DmkIII, from Canon France. 


I give this demo film from the 5DmkIII a huge two thumbs up.

As someone who films more architectural subject matter than fast action/crazy race/fast moving features, I really appreciate the assortment of views of essentially the same subject matter as it changes over time and in various lighting conditions.

There were so many things to appreciate about this demo. The shift in scale. Exploring exploring multiple fascist of the striking color, skin tonality and texture. Additionally they seemed well aware of including multiple surface types. All with varying levels of reflectivity, specular, and material composition. ALL of that let me really understand a camera system’s potential for image making.

While I don't appreciate the bump in the price tag, I can really feel connected to the potential I can squeeze out of this camera. 

Tulsa City-County Library:

I was commissioned in the fall of 2011, by Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle, to develop this short film to raise capital for the renovation of this historic library.

It used to be, that when you went to a book repository, you had to look up a book in a catalogue or index, then go up to a librarian and then make a request for them to retrieve it for you.

In 1965 the Tulsa City-County Library reformed reformed our idea of what a library is. Becoming one of the first in the nation to the first in the nation to use today's standard of browsing books in an "Open Library".

Today, the library continues to serve all members of the community. Serving as a gateway to resources that anyone can access. Students young and old, families, community groups, entrepreneurs, and large businesses.

As our culture continues to evolve in the way we learn, consume information, and gather as a community, this video unveils the concept design of the the architects of MS&R Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. ( and associate architect Crafton Tull Associates, Inc., look to reinvigorate Tulsa City-County Library for the next 50 years.

In next week's post we'll go deeper into the production of this film.

A Tour Filled Weekend

I've produced 8 videos for the 2011 Homes By Architects Tour.

This year's videos give you a taste of what you'll find on the tour, as well as provide insight into the design process and relationships built between architects, builders, and clients. All of which are viewable on the HBA Youtube Channel.

Here are a few of my favorites.

This weekend, Sept. 17th and 18th from 10am-5pm you can visit 14 spectacular homes designed by Minnesota Registered Architects. I'll be there to meet visitors and get their impression of the tour, the homes, and tidbits from the Architects who will be at the homes they designed all weekend long.

If you're looking for me, this is my Route:

View HBA 2011 Tour in a larger map

D1 10:00-10:45 Home #2:
Habitat Architecture, Hamid Kashani10303 Bittersweet St NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
D1 11:30-12:15 Home #3
Landschute Architects 20260 Lakeview Ave., Deephaven, MN 55331
D1 12:30-1:15 Home #4
ALTUS Architecture + Design, Tim Alt 4016 Baker Rd., Minnetonka, MN 55305
D1 1:30-2:15 Home #9
Peterssen Keller Architects, Lars Peterssen20 Park Lane, Minneapolis, MN 55416
D1 2:30-3:15 Home #7
CityDeskStudio4108 Grimes Ave S., Edina, MN 55416
D1 3:30-4:15 Home #5
Quigley Architects, Tim Quigley5000 Arden Ave., Edina, MN 55424
D2 10-10:45 Home #14
SALA Architects, David O'Brien Wagner N1516 Pepin View Lane South, Pepin, WI 54759
D2 11:35-12:15 Home #13
SALA Architects, Eric Odor 6368 Oak Meadow Ln NW,  Rochester, MN 55901
D2 1:45-2:30 Home #10
David Heide Design Studio, Mark Nelson 977 Summit Ave., St Paul, MN 55105
D2 3:15-4:00 Home #11
Acacia Architects, Jeremiah Battles9533 Keswick Ave N.,  Grant, MN 55082
D2 4:15-5:00 Home #12
SALA Architects, Michaela Mahady 11775 102nd St N., Stillwater, MN 55082

I'm going to be hitting up pretty much every home that we didn't film as part of this years promo. videos. It's going to be a pretty jam packed weekend and I look forward to a day of rest with the family. I hope to see you out there.

Little facts: on copyright law

I'm working on a project for the Homes By Architects Tour and a renovated home on the tour is a historic project that is being renovated.

Because of the nature of the project, it's helpful to show the historic images. However copyright law may come into affect when you want to republish an image.

Here's an exerpt from of an article on the topic from Standford University:

How long does a copyright last?

For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published.

All works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. Works published after 1922, but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication. If the work was created, but not published, before 1978, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, even if the author died over 70 years ago, the copyright in an unpublished work lasts until December 31, 2002. And if such a work is published before December 31, 2002, the copyright will last until December 31, 2047.

Fair use is often used as an explination of republication without a copyright holder's permission but do you know what "Fair Use" actually entails?

acording tothe US Copyright Office,

One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the copyright law (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” The doctrine of fair use has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years and has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair: 

    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
    4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

In this case, the project is being produced for a not-for-profit entity who's primary purpose is the education of the public about architecture and representation of Architects. So this could be considered teaching, or scholarship. I don't believe it could considered as news reporting because the product I am working on is not part of a journal of record.

It's important however that I also consider that since I am a commercial enterprise, that if I publish it here on my blog, it could be considered advertising. If I put my logo on the video and it is used anywhere, that too could make it considered a advertisement.

So that leaves the necessity to verify the age of the original publication, but more importantly the original copyright holder.

Public Radio International and 20 Below Studio

I’ve just completed work on the Public Radio International series of Interview Videos for the online edition of Architecture MN Magazine.

For this project I was Director, Photographer, Editor, Audio Enigineer, and Graphics Editor. I thought that to be a bit much to include on a "Credit slide" so this is the only place you'll see it mentioned. Special thanks goes to the Julia Yager, Alissa Miller, and Jennifer Randolph and the entire staff of PRI, Joe Hamilton and Kim Batcheller from 20 Below Studio, and Chris Hudson from Architecture MN Magazine.

Pt. 1: THIS IS PRI (5m31s)

Designed by 20 Below Studio, PRI’s new home in Minneapolis’ warehouse district reflects PRI’s philosophy for collaboration and communication as well as their ability to uncover layers of a story through investigation and research.

Public Radio International, PART 1 from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo.

Pt. 2: Why Move? (2m47s)

Evaluating their existing space and identifying it’s disconnect from their company culture, 20 Below and PRI identify the conditions driving the move to a new space.

Public Radio International, PART 2 from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo.

Pt. 3: Working with 20 Below (2m16s)

Looking for an architect and an architect for a client, is a lot like dating. In this interview, we explore the attraction between PRI and 20 Below’s relationship.

Public Radio International, PART 3 from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo.

Pt. 4: Visual Listening (2m04s)

20 Below Studio uses a key process to developing a shared language between them and their clients. This interview gives insight to how.

Public Radio International, PART 4 from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo.

Pt. 5: Diagram Discussion (2m03s)

A way to evaluate options, spacial planning through bubble diagrams is explored during the programing phase of a new project. This can shift conversations and create consensus among diverse opinions.  

Public Radio International, PART 5 from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo.

Project details:

Client: Public Radio International (PRI)
Architect: 20 Below Studio
Principal-in-charge: Joseph Hamilton AIA, CID
Project lead designer: Kim Batcheller Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
Project managers: Joseph Hamilton AIA, CID & Kim Batcheller Assoc. AIA, LEED
Project architect: Joseph Hamilton AIA, CID
Project team: Kim Batcheller Assoc. AIA, LEED AP (Project Designer); Mollie Drabik, LEED AP (Designer)
Lighting designer: 20 Below Studio
Interior design: 20 Below Studio
Construction manager:St. Paul ConstructionGeneral Contractor:Greiner Construction

New Gear: Manfroto Photo/Video Head

The Manfroto Photo/Video Head (obscure Model #MH055M8-Q5) is Manfroto's first photo/video head and is looking to fill a gap in the Hybrid DSLR market.

While the Manfroto 501HDV Fluid Head that I've been using is really great for dedicated video work but it's just not suited for adapting it to still photography when my 2nd camera is occupying my Induro PHQ-3 (also a fantastic piece of work).

Once I put this beautiful piece of industrial design through the paces, I'll give you my own take on it. Until then, I'm going to let the folks from Manfroto show you themselves. (It's a little bit of a back story behind WHY this is a nice move in the marketplace, but it's a little slow to the point. Skip to 2:20 to head right into the product demo.)

Manfrotto Photo-Movie Head by Drew Gardner from Manfrotto on Vimeo.

Manfrotto Imagine More - Pro from Manfrotto on Vimeo.

Jockimo Antique Mirrors: Residential

Part of the Charleston Series of projects I completed a while back. My client has finally just published this project which means I get to share too. 

I photographed this home and it's several applications of Jockimo's Antique Mirrors. This challenging set of spaces was documented while still under construction. However, you'd never guess from my photos. 

Jockimo MirrorUnique™

I was thrilled to travel to Charleston to photograph some great projects produced by Jockimo Advanced Architectural Products.

One of my missions on this trip was to capture the quality and beauty of the Jockimo's new MirrorUnique™ wall mirrors. To learn more, click here to visit their website

This video was also produced by Ryan Siemers Photography and Design to quickly give a vignette of each. The full images will be hosted on Jockimo's product gallery (


Bloomington Summer Fete (2011)


This image was purchased by the City of Bloomington earlier this year to advertise this year's summer activities In Bloomington, including Summer FeteIf you've ever wished you could make it to 2 or three shows when the Fourth of July comes around, Bloomington's annual Summer Fete celebrates independence day a little early.

A disturbing new trend in public fireworks.

 I love capturing the audience's revelry as this light show begins, however in an effort to explore new territory, I decided to be a little further back from the fireworks this year. Partly this has to do with how rude I felt setting up in a location that affected ANYONE's view. That feeling was diminished when I saw folks who set up tent pavilions to wait out the sun the evening's show. The walking path may look like unused space in the day, but as 10-20 minutes before the show, this place is filled to overflowing and almost every patch of earth is filled.

I did spend part of the day earlier taking some pictures of the day's activities. These images are generally only good for editorial use since MN protects the public from commercial sales of an individual's likeness without concen. They are my way of giving back to part of the community I'm part of.

NOW On to the main Attraction! Click on any of the images below to view them full screen, or click here to see the full gallery. To get the best experience, I'd recommend watching the slideshow. Pricing and availability of these images is being determined. But for now, enjoy!

Opening shots are fired at Bloomington Summere Fete

Beyond the Still Image: Maple Grove Library

Maple Grove Library, designed by MS&R, is one of the first projects selected to engage readers and the general public with subject matter that goes beyond the print edition of Architecture MN Magazine.

Architecture MN successfully dived headfirst into the online world with their short film competition "Videotect" which is where I caught the eye of editor, Chris Hudson (and about 1,000 others).

I've wanted to explore this side of architecture since I first saw My Architect in 2003. About the life of an architect and his work, this film showed me that the experience of Architecture is more powerful when motion is made within a space or through it by others. Motion provides a sense of depth, character and and texture to a place that still images rarely achieve. Not only that, film can give context to the place and time from which a project is created.

Maple Grove Library, is part or my journey to grow in the ability to tell the story of architecture.

The material I produced is intended to be split into 4 bite sized pieces that in whole tell the story of Maple Grove Library. Below are those four parts. While we have titled them "Part 1-4", the order in which you watch them, like all things online, isn't critical to enjoying or understanding a single segment.

Part 1: Maple Grove Library - A visual tour through the completed project set to music.

Part 2: Site & Vision - Get to know more about the context of the library's location

Part 3: Defining "Library" - Understand more of the philosophy behind the design decisions.

Part 4: Integrating Sustainability - "Green" isn't just a word with this project. The goals of sustainable design have been fully integrated not only seamlessly throughout Maple Grove Library, they give form to function.

For those interested in the process behind this feature:


I conducted 4 interviews with members of the design team from MS&R Architects and Interior Designers, as well as Hennepin County officials and project staff. This couldn't of been done without the coordinating efforts of Traci Lesneski and Ligeia Cholensky from MS&R, Carla Biermaier and Kathryn Zimmerman from Hennepin County Staff, and Chris Hudson, Editor of Architecture MN.

Film Schedule

3 Days of filming was conducted over the course of 2 weeks to coordinate both interviews, weather, and location availability. Planning and coordination for those days took approximately 8-16 hours of time over the course of time previous to filming.

Over the course of that same 2 weeks, approximately 30-40 hours were spent editing and developing content.

This isn't too dissimilar to the timeline for a full production still photography schedule. Each project is unique however. The amount of content that is generated for the film can also be split by other parties within a production team or members within a design firm.


  • Filming, editing, and a steep learning curve effort of audio engineering was all produced by just myself.
  • This project couldn't of come together without the coordination efforts mentioned above.
  • Special credit also goes to Chris Hudson, Editor of Architecture MN for volunteering as my assistant for a day to gather model releases and ask for volunteers.
  • There were also additional Image Contributions from MS&R and Photographer Lara Swimmer. Her images are featured in the print edition of this article and used for portions of the interviews to give context to their words.


For those interested in the investment made to produce a film like this:

  • 2 Nikon D7000 DSLR Bodies
  • 2 Tripods
  • Manfroto Video head and Induro PHQ-3 Pan Head  
  • Tokina 11-16mm Wide angle Lens
  • Nikkor 24-70mm (However some prime lenses may be used)
  • 2 Audiotechnica Lavaliere Microphones
  • Promaster LED Studio Light
  • Light Stands
  • 50" Reflector for bounce light
  • 27" iMac, Final Cut, Lightroom, Quicktime 7pro, Drobo & LaCie External Storage.

Lessons learned

Every project has something to learn from, this is what I took away from this.

  • An assistant can make or break your production. 
    • #1 If my assistant wasn't there to collect signatures, it would have increased my production time by a few precious hours.
    • #2 Not having someone else to manage Audio and Lighting can create complications quickly for post production.)
  • Record Audio for interviews from at least two locations. A shotgun microphone on camera and lavaliere microphone on your subject, can save your bacon if one of them fails in mid interview.
    • Audacity is amazing tool for repairing audio if all else fails, but there is a steep learning curve.
  • Filming interviews from two locations provides versatility for editing that is less noticable than condensing clips from a single source.
  • Stormy days, make for fantastic clouds.
  • Studio LED lights need a fresh change of batteries more often than my children.

Charleston - 4 Days 7 Projects.

I just returned from a new round of projects in Charleston SC.

I'll be posting articles about each project. Here's a Sneak Peak at what you can come back to see.

UPDATE! All Images in this post are now links to take you to the full gallery of final images from each project. Short Product Films are currently in production and will be posted in the near future.

Monza Restaurant

Mirrors at the Haute Interior Design Studio

Closed for Business

 Mercato Restaurant

Antique Mirrors at Gadsden Retirement Community

Snowden Residence

Cypress Restaurant 


Oklahoma City Federal Building

I am pleased to share one of my latest projects for Jockimo Advanced Architectural Products at Oklahoma City Federal Building. 

To view the full gallery, click on any of the images below.

Designed by Ross Barney+Jankowski Architects

This powerful landmark balances both security, access, and a local language of materiality incredibly well. This important landmark was built to replace the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after the 1995 bombing where 168 people perished.

I was honored to be given access to document it through the lens of two quality products from Jockimo.

1) Jockimo Laminated Cast Glass Hand Rail

These Luminous panels punctuate the paths on the north and south of the building that lead to central public entrance. Providing moment's of pause along one's journey and an opportunity to reflect on both a past and a present.

2) Jockimo UL Ultimate Privacy™ Glass Flooring 

32 Glass Flooring Panels were used to create this bridge unites the halves of this building at the central atrium. They project an image of fragility while simultaneously expressing resilience in their utility. There is also a steadfastness in the simple metal framing that elegantly piece these panels of translucent panels together.

This short promotional film was also a product I produced for Jockimo. If it were possible to film more here, I would take it. 

I want to personally thank those who provided their help with coordinating access and permission in order to make this project happen. Special care and attention was made throughout this project to respect the men and women who continue to serve at this facility.


BNI Portrait "Mini-Sessions"

"Business Network International is the largest business networking organization in the world."

BNI creates the opportunity to build strong relationships with professionals in almost any service you can imagine. If you know one person in a BNI chapter, chances are they know exactly who they can refer you to for any business, home, or event solution you need.

I was invited to BNI's visitor day by a great guy Larry Fredlund, who also encouraged me to provide BNI members and guests with the opportunity to get quality portrait for their promotional material. Those who were able to stick around after the meeting and participate are down below. I would love to do this again if the opportunity is there.

I love to do environmental portraits with my clients. However it isn't always practical for many employees at a company to meet one-on-one with a photographer for an hour or two. A 5-10 minute "Mini-Session" is a great opportunity to get just a few images to choose from while still having enough time with each person to relax a little and have some fun.

If you'd like to learn more about setting up your own Mini-Sessions, I'd love to hear from you.

For those who participated, just click on your image and you'll be taken to your gallery.




If you have any issues with purchasing your portrait. Please contact me any time.

2010 Year in Review

I've been reviewing my records for projects for 2010. It's been a BUSY year with both bad and good news.

First the bad news:
My Carbon Footprint is off the Chart for 2010
-6 Flights
-5,265 Miles Driven
-110+ hours Just Driving

The Good News:
I had at Over 20 projects in 2010 requiring that travel.
-10+ Projects in MN
-3 in Greater Chicago, IL
-4 in Ohio
-2 in Toronto, ON
-1 in Houston, TX

2011 Looks like even more travel is in store!