Thursday, June 18, 2009

Luck on Location

It's usually a big challenge, going into a typical DC office needing to come up with a really interesting photo, often for a cover. I may be misled by other photographers' images, but I get the impression that in Silicon Valley, everybody works in high-tech spaces with lots of glass and metal. In New York, company digs are pricey and elegant with somehow a bit of a gritty urban feel thrown in. And in Washington .... Well, there's often not much to work with here (especially since so many of the photo subjects are lawyers).

There's the conference room, with the maximum-sized conference table shoehorned in, leaving little space to maneuver. The room with the view - but each view overlooks either the White House or the Capitol. And the company logo, usually bolted to a wall in the elevator lobby.

I usually avoid them all. But sometimes you arrive on location and realize you lucked out. Such was the case a few days ago with a cover shoot at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They had a great logo, punched out of the sort of corrugated tin you'd expect to find sheltering a tequila bar in Tijuana (or a Chipotle in Bethesda). Combine that with the paintings decorating their suite and you feel this group definitely cares about its space.

The logo was fun to work with, as were my two subjects, Don and Katrina. And maybe the next time someone tells me over the phone, "Well, we have a nice sign out front," I'll put my skepticism on temporary hold.

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