The Unlikely Photo That Launched My Career

In celebration of three decades of my architectural photography practice, the next few newsletters will take a look back on thirty years in the profession…

An Unlikely First Assignment

Thirty years ago I stopped to photograph a mausoleum and the caretaker approached me to ask if I was a professional photographer. Despite my negative response, he asked me to photograph his cemetery for advertisements. 

Prior to this moment, photography had only been a passion of mine, so I embraced the challenge, excited by the idea of helping someone convey their story and document overlooked architecture. I think about this chance encounter often–if I didn’t stop to take this photograph, what would my career look like today? 

I think that most likely anyone who has had success can trace the start of their career back to a specific moment like mine.

I felt humbled by his willingness and “blind faith” in me; this motivated me to deliver and is what continues to motivate me in my work today. The difference between now and then, however, is that I have thirty years of experience to support my decisions.

As I reflect on this encounter from thirty years ago, I am happy that my work and clients are committed to sharing resources and expertise to better the fields of photography and architecture. Read my full story

Learn More About Architectural Photography

What would you be interested in learning about architectural photography?

Blog: Architectural Photography Requires Patience & Planning

It is critical to be able to see the potential compositions for show-casing a building’s design and telling its story. Read More.

Workshop: Photograph Architecture with your Smartphone

Last summer I led a workshop for students at the Pre-College Architecture Program at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Schedule a workshop

Field Notes

Perspectives, photographs, and notes from my photography studio. 

Southside, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pictured in the foreground, perched in the Southside Slopes, is the former Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. After the church closed in 1992 it was converted into the Angel’s Arms Condominiums, where each of the 23 units offer commanding views of the city. The site received historic landmark designation in 2001. 

For more daily snapshotsfollow me on Instagram.

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