Architectural Photographer in Natchez

Architectural & Real Estate Photography in Natchez

When it comes to photographing and videoing architecture, properties and structures, no one is more qualified than us!

 

The Cedars Plantation in Church Hill, MS. We provided both stills and video of the interior and exterior of the home and the property.

Uniquely Qualified!

As someone involved in the building and remodeling trades for five decades, Mike is uniquely qualified. Growing up around uncles and a parent who was skilled at carpentry, he excelled in the trade. In high school, Mike won architectural drawing awards in his Junior and Senior years. After high school, he majored in architecture at LSU. Accordingly, his first major project was to design a Church sanctuary in Natchez. Mike completed the design, and also helped to build it. As a result, today it sits at the corner of Melrose-Montebello Parkway and Fatherland Road. He was nineteen years old at the time.

Since that time, he continued to build and remodel numerous homes and businesses in the Natchez area. Ultimately, Mike’s signature project was the total restoration of an antebellum plantation home in Jefferson County. Moreover, this restoration won the Heritage Award in 2010 for the State of Mississippi. Additionally, Laurietta Plantation was featured in Country Living magazine in 2010. Building upon that construction experience (pardon the pun!), and with his extensive understanding of structures and properties, he has photographed and provided video for numerous homes and properties over the years. He has worked with Real Estate Companies such as Century 21 and Crye Leike Realtors in photographing antebellum and high-end homes in the Natchez area. No one in our area has more experience than Mike in this kind of photography.

 

Professional Equipment Captures Architectural Photographs and Video

Our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) delivers stunning resolution in RAW image format and 4K video. FAA Certified & Licensed.

Obviously someone with that amount of in-depth knowledge of buildings and structures knows how to photograph them. Furthermore, our equipment is tailor-made for optimized architectural images. We use state-of-the-art DSLR and mirrorless professional cameras with high-quality stabilization equipment and the best lenses in the field to get you stunning images that you will be proud of. Additionally, we added a professional level aerial drone to our camera inventory. This allows us to further expand our capability to provide awesome photos and video. Recently, we’ve completed numerous projects involving architectural images. These include Dozer Inc, who contracted us to take their images after they built the Bridge of Sighs over Roth’s Hill Road. Second, Natchez, Inc. hired us to record a property they are helping to develop. Third, United Mississippi Bank contracted with us to take images of all of their branch locations for their new website. We have a long list of corporate entities that we have worked with to provide these kinds of images.

 

Exterior image of the back porch at antebellum D’Evereux. This is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) merge of five photographs into 1 final image.

 

GOT SKILLS? WE DO!

HDR – HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE TECHNIQUE

The technique of using HDR in Architectural and Real Estate Photography is commonplace among photographers. Mike is a master of this technique, and uses it on all of his projects. Basically it’s a way of taking several photographs of each scene (for example a Parlour of a home) and these photos in a range of exposures in order to blend them all together and getting the perfect single image of that scene. This results in the shadow and dark areas being lit and the highlighted areas (such as sunlight lighting up a window) to not be overexposed. Together with years and years of experience, knowing all the techniques and approaches, as well as equipment that others don’t have, Mike is able to provide you with images that no one else can.

When St. Mary Basilica was damaged in a recent ice storm, their sanctuary was damaged and had to be remodeled. Afterwards, the Construction Firm and Parish hired me to take photos of the work.

 

If you are looking for a local photographer to take still photos or video of interiors, exteriors or properties, there is no one better than us! You can reach Mike at 601-597-3762 to schedule a consultation.

 

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Local Running Back in a Sports Illustrated Cover style

 

LOCAL RUNNING BACK IN A SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER STYLE

I met Dee as the son of one of my fellow law enforcement officers, Tyrone Fleming. Tyrone and I both worked the same shift for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. When you face all the things we face on patrol, your shift-mates almost become like brothers and sisters. Through the course of those years, Tyrone and I kept up with goings on in one another’s personal and family lives. It didn’t take long to understand that Dee played outstanding high school football. Dee played at a couple of area schools, and finished up his career at Natchez Cathedral. In the process, he won a State Championship as their star running back. He now plays football for Louisiana Tech, a NCAA Division One Bowl Subdivision school.

 

The Study That Led To The Action

In the time just before making this creative portrait, I studied and practiced lighting patterns. There are certain very well known set-ups in lighting a subject when portraits are made. Lighting patterns known as Paramount, Loop, Rembrandt and Split don’t mean much to the average person. But for the portrait photographer, they are the fundamentals of lighting. However, beyond those fundamentals are many unorthodox approaches. Accordingly, I was studied various methods in order to be more creative with my portraits. Exploring some of those other lighting patterns led me to the work of Joel Grimes. I won’t go into details about how many lights, grids, and angles and such that he often uses. Above all, Grimes’ fearless approach utilizes shade, shadow and darkness to create drama. The rule he follows (and that I now use a lot) is that the more a light is “off angle” the more shadow it causes. The more the shadow, the more the dramatic effect. Grimes famous Sports Illustrated covers are widely appreciated for their stunning visual quality. Therefore, inspired by Grimes’ work, I set out to make a “Sports Illustrated” cover-style shot of my own. That’s when I thought about Dee.

Menacing helmet image that’s also very Sports Illustrated’s style.

Creative Portrait In the Making

I contacted him to see if he might be interested, and he responded enthusiastically. The rest is history except for the details. For the session, I needed a rather large space for the backdrop and the lighting equipment. I phoned my friend and fellow photographer Stan Smith to see if I could set up at his store. Not only did he allow it, he even helped. The resulting creative portrait is one that most viewers agree is indeed reminiscent of a sports magazine cover. Drama and mood are definitely qualities of Dee’s portrait. Dee probably had no idea how much would go into creating his portrait. I remember the session lasted a couple of hours. He endured several wardrobe changes and many various poses and stances. He also suffered through being sprayed down with “simulated sweat” in the form of water and glycerin. However, he held up very well and did a great job being himself!

 

Summary

I learned a lot from this shoot, and definitely added it to my bevy of lighting techniques. Channeling Gregory Heisler, I follow the more “subject-centered” approach to how I light a subject. Heisler’s approach focuses most on the subject of his portrait. Of course, the end usage for the shot and the message of what the shot needs to convey are also important. Ultimately however, the person or subject of the portrait drives the story of the portrait. Similarly to Heisler, my focus on Dee in his portrait heavily influenced how I styled and executed his own portrait. It doesn’t matter that I used inspiring techniques and approaches of amazing artists in the creation. In studying the work and techniques of others (not copying their photos) other artists such as myself learn to create our own unique approach and style.

Dee’s Sport’s Illustrated Cover – High School Era! His portrait of course never made it to the real magazine. However, what I enjoy most about this Creative Portrait session has to do with its uniqueness. Despite having many, many images to remember his high school football career by, this one certainly stands out for him and his family, and will for a lifetime!

 

Natchez MS Photographer Creative Portraits

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The Tear: When Photography Captures A Moment

Event Photography Captures Natchez Moment

Event Photography Captures a Real Moment

 

I’m not sure why she shed her tears.

Busy working the crowd at the 2016 Sheriff’s Deputy Rodeo, I scanned the audience for photo opportunities. I primarily looked for the reactions of people to the show, especially the children. Often children display the most gregarious emotional responses to the action and the entertainment. To that point, success had been mine in capturing the faces of smiles, wonder, awe, and curiosity that those enraptured, innocent ones are so adept at displaying. Then suddenly, one face that stood out. Her’s was different than all the rest. A small child with a face, with warm tears streaming down her cheek.

 

Focusing In On the Face

Faces, with their eyes, are immediate producers of our attention. Hers got mine. This small face did not display anger or frustration, the sort one often sees in fit-throwing, twisted face tantrums. No. This was a quiet cry. These were tears that had leaked out of a little body because of some unknown hurt, disappointment, or pain. I raised my camera to invade the moment, and that’s when she perceived me. She turned and looked straight into my lens.

I took a string of exactly four images of her, and the one shown is the first. In the others, a woman that I can only guess is her mother puts her arm around her and comforts her. In the last, I see a partial figure of a male child standing in front of her, and the mother is looking at him. Perhaps he is her brother, and maybe he did or said something that caused her to cry in one of those sibling kind of ways. Who knows?

 

Emotional Images In Time & Space & What Motivates Me In Capturing Them

I can only tell you that this is the kind of photographic image that can definitely move me. There are many kinds of images that can do that for me as a photographer that is capturing the image. But I must say that human emotion in the human face, especially with eye contact, presented in a serious way, is one of the quickest ways of doing so. That leads me to say this: I don’t really take images for other people … or maybe it’s more accurate to say it like this: I do not take images with other people or viewers in mind. I take them to move myself.

This is my goal even when I am hired to do work. Sure, I have the end-user and end-usage in mind. And of course I want to please the client and meet the goal of what they need for the image. But with this in mind, ultimately I take … no I make … the image for myself.

This may sound selfish or self-centered at first glance, but really it is not. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It is simply me working to capture an image that I think is worth more than just a casual glance – even by me of my own work. I don’t know how else to attempt a serious work of image art. If it doesn’t move me, how can I expect it to move anyone else?

Human emotion. Sometimes it is rapture, glee, the glow of victory, happiness, laughter, love, admiration, and triumph … but at other times it is a face with pain, hurt, sadness, loneliness, disappointment, defeat, and even despair. Occasionally, unfortunately it is evil, malevolent, and violent.

My motivation is to move the viewer – myself and you – and draw us in for more than one nanosecond for a closer look into another human being’s story.

That’s what makes us human to begin with – sharing stories.

 

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