Sunday, March 18, 2012

SPOTLIGHT WITH JANE BEILES: ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHER

Jane Beiles, architectural/interior photographer

I have always had a strong interest in architectural photography.  I love peeling thru design magazines and books, gasping in awe of some of the coolest spatial compositions. Months ago, I came across Jane Beiles photography. I really loved her work so I put her name in my BlackBerry, to call her one day to shoot one of my spaces. And then a bizarre thing happened!  She was sitting right next to me at a friend’s wedding.  How funny is that, we were meant to meet!

I was able to interview Jane, so read on, and learn more about her intriuging photographic style, and what fuels her creative process!


Private Residence, New Canaan CT
Client: Brooks and Falotico and RR Builders
(Jane takes us behind the design of this picture below)



Beautiful Westchester kitchen designed by Louise Brooks, Brooks & Falotico

Based in New Canaan, Connecticut, Jane Beiles architectural photography (exteriors and interior) is known for her artful compositions and deliberate use of light. Her images of space are so interesting because she produces an idealized version of reality. Every detail is “staged” and intentional with precise lighting. To achieve perfection, she digitally edits, using Photoshop to generate a natural, painterly quality. She has been published in Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, athome, East Coast Home + Design, Best of Burlington, Hersam-Acorn HOME and New Canaan, Darien & Rowayton magazine.


Foyer D&J Interiors

I asked Jane how she got started in architectural photography.?" Jane says," I have always been drawn to still life, especially in my Art History studies. I suppose that specializing in interiors/architecture is the natural progression of that interest. I love working with still objects, it allows one to control composition and explore the nuances of planes and colors.”

What is fascinating about Jane is that she left behind a successful ten year career in fashion to pursue photography. She says, “color, texture and composition were important in fashion, and that experience relates well to photography. My background in business and marketing means that in addition to photography,   I can help architects and interior designers market their work.”

Details and Texture


D & J Interior, Glen Head kitchen

D & J Interior, Glen Head kitchen - (blow-up detail)



It is inspiring to change careers after having a family and being a Mom of three children. I asked Jane, was it difficult to change careers and what motivated you? Jane responded, “My fashion career from 1991-2002 varied. I started as a design assistant at Liz Claiborne in the early 90s and "retired" as an account executive at Esprit in 2002, when I was handling all aspects of sales and account management for Federated Department stores. I had children in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and took time off to be home with them until they were all in school full time. For a second act, I knew I wanted to go back to a creative field, but decided this time to persue my passion for photography and launched my own business in April 2011. In additon to loads of self-motivated practice, reading and research into the field, I also worked hard to develop a strong portfolio of architectural and interiors images. I studied at the Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan, CT and at ICP (International Center of Photography) in New York City with Bruce Katz, a well-known architectural photographer who had shot for Architectural Digest for over twenty years."


Olivette Restaurant, Darien CT


Jane picked a few of her favorite architectural shots and took us behind the design and told us the story and inspiration for each composition:
( see pictures below)

Client: benchmark Builders
Private Residence, New Canaan CT

The client, Benchmark Builders http://www.remodelct.com/ wanted to document his work on a private residence in New Canaan.  One of the unique rooms was a library, completely fit out with exquisitely-designed and custom-crafted bookcases. In the "real world" with three dimensions, the densely-populated book shelves chock-full of books are simply heavenly to view, but when you lose that third dimension flattened out in a photograph, one needs to break up the density to give the viewer space to appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the shelves.  The builder, a styling associate and I ended up completely emptying the shelves and re-worked each section to allow the workmanship to be on full display.  We used a lot of post-it notes and an alphabetical grid to break down, re-style and then ultimately put back together these shelves to get the shot. Doing commercial photography is ultimately about satisfying the client's objectives. Working side by side with my clients at the shoot and viewing images in process on a large-screen laptop (my camera is tethered to the computer), is essential to a successful collaboration.




Client: Simply Done Interiors
Private Residence, Winnetka, IL

The clients, Lisa Johnson and Laura Probst http://www.simplydone.me are
interior designers on Chicago's North Shore. They hired me to document their work to launch their website. This photo was the best of both worlds - a combination of thoughtful planning and a serendipitous accident. Every detail of the foyer and room had been carefully considered by the designer and home owner, Lisa Johnson. I had carefully set up the camera to best compose a shot with balanced views of both rooms using the staircase banister as a compositional element. The three of us had agreed on a great shot and the perfect exposure, when Lisa's husband arrived home from work, threw open the front door and - voila- a good shot became a great one with the addition of the open door and natural light illuminating the rooms. This shot was the lead-in for an editorial piece on the company, Behind the Blue Door which was a feature in the January issue of East Coast HOME + Design magazine. (that editorial is also a link from my "as seen in" page on my website)






Client: TR Building and Remodeling 
Private Residence, New Canaan CT
http://www.trbuilt.com

This image won the popular vote in a contest I ran for my Facebook followers (facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/JaneBeilesPhotography ) called "Best of 2011".  In addition to taking photographs, I also provide styling services for clients to bring their images up to glossy-page-editorial standards.  This was a springtime shoot of a lovely white laundry room and I brought in the bountiful spring blooms which you see here laid out for arrangement here beside the laundry sink.  In addition to being a lovely detail shot of the beautiful work by the builders, it had practical purposes as well as it was the time when I prepped all the flowers for the shoot!






Client: Brooks and Falotico http://www.brooksandfalotico.com/
RR Builders http://www.rrbuilders.com/
Private Residence, New Canaan CT

There are two fun facts "behind the scenes" of this shoot of an exquisite pool house designed by architect Louise Brooks.  The first is that it was a twilight shoot which requires extremely careful timing to capture the ethereal glow of the jewel-box effect of a building's light as the sun sets.  That required all the styling of the "set" to be finished during daylight hours, a break for dinner and a return back at sundown.  In order to capture the building's lovely symmetry, I had to perch on the edge of a diving rock positioned on the opposite side of the pool.  I was happy that the owners had chosen a stationary item as opposed to a bouncy board as their launch pad, and, more importantly, that neither I nor my equipment fell in!




Urban Farmhouse Market, Richmond VA

This was not a commercial shoot - I was with my family driving down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and we had stopped for the night in the Shockoe Slip historic district in Richmond.  We had wandered into this beautiful, light-filled space and I just had to return the next morning with my tripod to shoot the space.  The staff was lovely and let me set up and I am so happy I took the time to do so.  Of all the shots in my book, this is the location about which I get the most inquiries.  It is such a unique space and a good reminder that even if one's not "on the job", it's always so nice to capture a space to document life, light and beauty therein.

Lastly, I asked Jane what her plans are for the future and beyond?
Jane said, " As a natural extension to my work in interiors, I have added food and dining to my portfolio this year.  For specialized training in this genre, I also went to masters in the field, this time famed food photog Susie Cushner and food stylist Carrie Ann Purcell.  Food photography is a fascinating art and has changed to a much more organic approach than in decades past.   It's been very exciting to shoot restarurants which often not only have beautiful architecture and interiors, but each plate affords a new still life to capture.  And, it's really fun to get to eat your props when the shoot ends!  People are always surprised to hear that the days of wax cheese and non-edible food are over and that what we are photographing now is definitely edible...and I do indeed eat after capturing the image! "


Autumn Farmer's Market, New Canaan CT.


Le Chateau feast, South Salem


The Tuscan restuarant, New Canaan CT.

The Tuscan restuarant, New Canaan CT.


You can contact Jane:
website: http://www.janebeiles.com/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/JaneBeilesPhotography



Thank you Jane for a wonderful interview! Love your work!!





2 comments:

  1. GREAT post - Love Jane's work. I have produced many Brooks & Falitico stories for Better Homes & Gardens and Traditional Home and her photography certainly does them justice! Fantastic!

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