These last few months we had the honor of working with design agency "helveticka" on a new and separate venture they have started. The idea; to create a Scholarship fund for area design students based on the culture around the font "Helvetica". CK and Linda like the font well enough to have named their design business after it, almost. The font is timeless in its simplicity and grace but feels modern. The new site and scholarship fund are under the name Helveticahaus. Below are some of the images we produced for the site as well as one behind-the-scenes shot of one of the sets. CK's is a great idea which should grow with a thousand heartfelt "thank you"s.
Inga Hansen, Exec. Editor of MedEsthetics (and other) magazines saw our website and, according to her, "really hoped we could do this project". She and I went over the job, settled on a budget, then we made our arrangements with Spokane Dermatology Clinic. Jayce Charlesworth helped us greatly from inside the practice and we took the better part of our day there, shooting in a dozen different areas. It is an impressive, brand new, except for the basic structure, building and houses Dr. Werschler's research company as well- a growing and sizable operation itself. The work was published as a three-page story and the magazine cover art in this month's issue, and online, of course. The good Dr. Werschler was a pleasure to work with.
Sheila, daughter of Michelina Tyrie, called and asked if we could make some images of her mom for the Steinway Piano Company. You can see the story, as published, at this link: http://www.steinway.com/news/articles/constant-companion-michelina-tyrie-counts-more-than-five-decades-with-her-steinway-piano/
Michelina opened her comfortable home to us so we could photograph her and the Steinway piano she bought in 1961, at age 26, from the Chicago showroom. It is a 1923 Mahogany Louis XV Model A. She fell in love with this beautiful instrument partly because it was alone in a room of black pianos. It really is an exquisite piece of furniture, ignoring completely the superb sound it produces with Michelina's subtle touch. She is a fine musician and plays regularly, professionally in addition she also offers classes. Her daughter Sheila clearly loves and admires her mom and the Steinway folks think she's someone special too. It was a fun couple of hours, with us the beneficiaries of some beautiful music.
Integrus Seattle and Spokane Portraits as well as Candids. Integrus Architecture, for whom we occasionally photograph finished building projects, asked us to show their staffs and culture through images of their principals as well as working candid images of everyone during a normal workday. Given the qualities of the location and the intensity of their work, taking an unobtrusive "fly on the wall" approach to these candids offered a wealth of opportunities. It was great fun as I stated several times "I'm not here" to avoid affecting the meetings and allow them to focus on their work. The reality of this method shows in the images and is a truer reflection of the intensity and collaboration required of their high-stakes trade. The video was produced by Spokane's ILF media (and not us). We have included a link to it to give a little more depth here. This project (and the video) was partly motivated by Integrus's 70th anniversary in business.
CK Anderson, principal of "helveticka" design agency in Spokane took it upon himself to recognize the considerable legacy of architectural modernism that Spokane enjoys. He did so publicly and powerfully with this full-blown exhibit at the MAC. Direct connections to Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus school) and, by extension, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright exist in our Spokane architectural community and many examples of superb modern building are here to be discovered. The exhibit was titled Mid-Century Modern and was a very thorough treatment of this design movement in our fair city. We documented the installation and contributed a few of the many images presented.
This really is a noble history and the legacies of the talented players still exist in several current Spokane firms, including ALSC Architects, Integrus Architecture, and NAC. All firms of extraordinary talent and all clients to us here at JCSP. (We did not author the attached video productions; they are included to more completely tell the story)
For many years we have worked with helveticka (formerly Anderson Mraz Design) on many client projects as well as directly with CK Anderson on their own public presentation, including samples like this. The tactile aspect of good print media is best represented by showing the real publication as an object of beauty. The use of consistent backgrounds and fairly organic lighting has been successful in showing projects on their web site and their other project presentations. This simple, modern approach suits the helveticka aesthetic and feel, giving credence to their range of skills and the level of design at which they execute. Complexity is the trend in our culture, simplicity is harder (and better). CK (and his retired partner John Mraz) have built a top-tier design firm in a relatively small market. We wish CK and his crew more success and will continue to bring our best game to our collaborative projects. The sample in this image was photographed (cover and content) by Jim VanGundy, another friend and great Spokane photographer. You can view the image in use here: helveticka: NOVAGOLD
Two projects: The Avista 2013 Annual Report and Avista's 125th Anniversary book. First, we spent many hours poring through our archives to find a large number of images done through 25+ years of our working with Avista Corp. on every kind of project. With Spokane design firm Klündt Hosmer at the design helm and Jessie Wuerst as our client, we supplied many legacy images for print advertising, large display panels, and web use. A beautiful book was eventually published with many of the same images. 125 years is a great run for any company and Avista deserves great credit for nurturing deep roots in its civic involvement in our area, and for keeping the lights on.
You can view the video filmed by mojolab and put together by helveticka below.
Damon Orthodontics connected with J. Craig Sweat Photography a while back to update their staff photography and refresh their website. We worked at their well-appointed offices with the idea of keeping each person in their regular work context to better represent the patient expectation and to keep the staffers comfortable for their session. We did some lighting of each individual, given the awful light quality of overhead office lighting, and used some of the ambient and the window light. This required paying close attention to matching the color of our lights to the rest to avoid real problems with color-divergent sources. This was a full day of production, working fast, including the group image which was fully lighted. Dr. Damon has a great crew and they were very hospitable to us. They
I spent last weekend with some friends at a family cabin on the river outlet of Lake Pend Oreille. It was late at night, perfectly still and very clear, the sky rife with stars. Orangy lights from LaClede, a few miles away, are touching the thin cloud cover with Sandpoint's lights off in the distance. With a big bonfire burning down, it was a sublime evening.
Craig's old friend John Mraz worked for months, with the kind of attention only John can muster, to design and build this dining table for his daughter's family. He used parts from an out-of-service rod weeder that was at the Mraz family farm near Colton, Washington. It's really well done and real heavy and will likely outlast all of us. John and his brother sat in for this shot for fun. I want John for father in law.
As a Photographer in Spokane, Washington it's nice to get into some bigger hard-labor work now and again. HydraFab is a successful machine and fabrication shop in Spokane with a huge shop and plenty of work. These nicely finished stainless steel items are made to hold a bunch of cooling tubes for industrial purposes. These folks know their way around metal fabrication, the finish is beautiful. The challenge here is the location- it is a shop and though it is well maintained and clean it's not spotless, and then the scale of the projects. This item was roughly 12 ft. tall and 20 ft. in length. Big lighting and a big set are unavoidable. The HydraFab crew is great to work with- they appreciate what we're trying to do and they are confident and capable in their own work. Another Spokane success story that is low-key, but a good part of Spokane's industry.
A simple project but not unusual in the life of the commercial photographer. To photograph these nicely-built trade show displays, we brought in very light portable lighting. The light in most halls is not good for photography, so I wanted to add just a title to make our subjects "pop". This is documentation and thus strait forward as production goes. helveticka (formerly Anderson-Mraz Design) designed the graphics for these portable displays. Revett Minerals was helveticka's client. We executed before the show opened for obvious reasons.
Scott Sloan of Market Vision invited us to go to Portland and set up for a day at the Englander Mattress factory showroom to photograph a brand new line of mattresses. About 30 mattresses later and another session for mood and detail images, we flew back to dear old Spokane. Not a bad way to spend the day. We rented lighting gear in Portland at Pro Photo Supply and produced the work at the factory showroom.
In the interest of producing "working" images of the professional staff at NAC Architecture, we made a trip over to the Seattle area when a full-staff NAC meeting was scheduled to photograph as many of their people as possible, in action. Staff embers from their four city offices converged on the Cedarbrook event center (a superb setting) near SeaTac Airport. We wanted to focus on individuals, but as they collaborated and worked through their agenda, and with candid photographic approach. It was kind of a "fly on the wall" approach, with the idea that we asked them, as a group, to ignore us and work as if we were not there. This approach was actually pretty effective and many useful images were produced in a fairly short day, all while not impeding their group purpose. I actually believe we photographed everyone present, at least to some extent.
Coeur d'Alene Casino has a new chef. Chef Steven D. Walk has joined the Coeur d'Alene Casino as Head Chef, and J. Craig Sweat Photography was asked to photograph him. It's a huge job with many food venues and catering events on site at the casino/hotel. Steven knows his food and seems to know how to keep his very active food service group moving forward. The food is really quite good throughout the property, and it is all done in a beautiful facility with warm, inviting staffers in place to help us all have a great experience. Chef Steven is skilled with food, with management and with business. He's a nice person to boot.
Laurine Jue of Avista Corp asked us to get a team photograph of the many Avista people who worked on and implemented the initial Spokane (and Pullman) Smart Grid system and infrastructure as Avista learns more and gets better at what they do. While not everyone involved was free to be there, this group came along and was recognized and warmly thanked by the Avista management. A small book was published documenting the project and its progress. As for the entire utility industry, this is a beginning for a new generation of power management and delivery. Avista has always been a leader in invention, innovation and thinking hard about what they do.
The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has a great success story in the casino they built some years ago near Worley, Idaho. While they appreciate their own successes, they have a venerable creed that puts real value in the relationships they have with others and the bounty and gifts of nature. Dave Matheson, the Casino 's CEO, expressed this in remarks at the Winter Blessing event at the Casino. Very well attended, even as the gaming activity bustled in the next room, a heartfelt blessing was offered by several Tribal elders as well as Mr. Matheson. Fry bread and drinks were served to everyone's delight. There was a grand circle of friendship all the way around the very large event room, with greetings, handshakes and hugs for all. A drum circle and many beautiful dancers performed to finish the event. I was glad to have been invited.
Shabby Fabrics asked J. Craig Sweat Photography, Inc. to photograph some of their Holiday quilts. Shabby Fabrics is a global online business owned and operated out or Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. For those who don't know, J. Craig Sweat Photography has a history in quilts. Debbie Mumm was a successful quilt design and pattern company owned and operated in Spokane, Washington and still has a healthy online presence. J. Craig Sweat Photography was behind many of the images that brought Debbie her look. The Shabby Fabrics look and feel is very different- simpler and softer. We went in-studio for these "winter" projects and executed an assembled set with a wall and some props to give a warm, soft holiday feel to the quilts.
J. Craig Sweat Photography was recently contacted by Innovate Washington to photograph their new CEO, Bill Savitz. In keeping with a business casual "working" style of photography we had established some years ago for Innovate Washington, we photographed Mr. Savitz using their building amenities as a location. Makes the process fast and the results more "real" as to their context and mode. This is, in one sense, a routine staff photograph, but is interesting owing to the history (of the creative direction and the institution) and thanks to the individuals we get to meet and know a bit. Bill is a very heads-up kind of person with his own well-developed ideas as to where the Innovate Washington mission needs to go, including a soon to be announced re-branding. We are lucky to have a gent of his caliber looking out for our future here in Spokane.
GGP (General Growth Properties, Inc.) arranged with J. Craig Sweat Photography to do before and after architectural photography of their NorthTown property as they go about a major renovation update, particularly to the North quadrant of the shopping center. I've always liked NorthTown because I grew up across Franklin Park from there and, as kids, we used to walk over there and have all sorts of adventures. (Karmelcorn!) It is surely the oldest shopping center in Spokane and was already going strong in the 1960's, when we lived nearby. We have executed the "baseline" photography of the structure as it has stood. We tried to find angles that would still exist after the remodel and that demonstrated the traffic and aesthetic improvements.
We will post the finished project, with comparisons, when the build is finished. It really is a big project with major demolition and large scale reconstruction and thus won't be finished until mid-2015. The designer and management team from GGP have been superb to work with. They gave me plans and showed me the site along with discussion of the strategy and purpose of the project. All of this helps us make better decisions as we work.