3 Keys to Architectural Photography Collaboration: Hartford Veterans Memorial Project Blog Feature
Heather Conley

By: Heather Conley on January 24th, 2017

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3 Keys to Architectural Photography Collaboration: Hartford Veterans Memorial Project

photo shoots | project management | Strategies | architectural photography | construction

A clear understanding of what a client needs is crucial — and can reap big rewards.

A great example of this point is illustrated in the multi-photo shoot approach I used for Connecticut State Veterans Memorial in Hartford in the fall of 2015.

The experts at BL Companies of Meriden, CT, were the landscape architects of this important project, seven years in the making, designed to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The site also serves as a community-gathering place for events like Memorial Day.

The firm called on Heather Conley Photography to collaborate on the photography of the landscape architecture (LA) project, which includes specialty design elements like uplighting, expandable flag displays and granite pavers. The project not only earned a spot in the state chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2016 annual field guide; the CT ASLA also chose BL Companies for a 2017 Landscape Architectural Design Merit Award!

Why was this architectural photography project such a success?

Early collaboration yields more opportunities. I was able to talk with the marketing coordinator, landscape architect and project managers early on to suggest multiple shoots. With a Veterans Day event 6-8 weeks out, day and nighttime photography were opportunities along with images of the site in full use for a dedication ceremony on Veterans Day. Ultimately the project was photographed four ways: in the day time with and without flags, during the ceremony, and at night.

A site walk through was planned. This preliminary look not only enabled me to be better prepared to shoot during a fast-paced dedication ceremony and anticipate night conditions, but also further solidified my relationship with the client, and their client, the legislative office site management. This extra step allowed everyone involved in shoot pre-production logistics to see any potential site challenges together — perhaps from different perspectives — and to discuss them proactively, on the spot. (The icing on the cake is that shots on a site walkthrough can guide further planning and make for better project pricing for the client.)

The end-use of professional photography was maximized. It’s an important piece of the conversation for AEC firms to anticipate how they intend to use their images, and a savvy photographer can offer up additional suggestions as well, maximizing investment and budgets. (In this case, photos were used for the firm’s portfolio, overall marketing and for the CT ASLA design award submission.)

Planning a professional architectural photography shoot? These three steps will help put your prime projects in focus.


About Heather Conley

I've been a marketing professional for more than 20 years and am still marketing now, with my camera. I'm happiest when interactively collaborating with my clients and shooting on location - - particularly when I can get up high on a ladder or in a lift bucket! Gone are the days when a creative 'team' came to the table to manage a project. The middlemen have disappeared, so the creative direction, technical knowledge and project management skills I offer give my clients great value and help them simplify the process. As the daughter of a custom woodworker, one of my first gifts as a child was not an Easy-Bake Oven, but a tool belt to start building something. An appreciation of the finer details and quality of craftsmanship is at the foundation of what I do; the passion and artistry I deliver for my clients is why we continue to collaborate year after year.

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