Today’s featured project takes us on a little adventure to Lake Leelanau where we will be checking out Hygge Supply’s original kit house. Taking us there will be Detroit-based architectural and interiors photographer Diana Paulson of Linea Photo. This project was shot early in Diana’s career, and she has been kind enough to share some great lessons she learned along the way. Let’s check it out!
Diana shares “This assignment was for a publication and the budget wasn’t great. The location was 4 hours away so I decided to make a family trip out of it. Indoor waterpark, here we come! Basically, it paid for our tickets. Lesson #1: when the money doesn’t work, but the project has potential for a portfolio piece… trick yourself mentally by spending the little money right away on something super fun. I’m only partly joking.“
She continues, “Getting to this location was an experience before I even got there. You drive down a dirt road with giant trees on both sides and at the end of the tunnel, you see a small black wall surrounded by more trees. It blended with the landscape so beautifully. I was interacting with the architecture already. I couldn’t wait to get inside. Lesson #2: be excited about what you shoot. If it’s not exciting… make yourself be excited about it.“
I love how she instantly places us in the scene. We are fully immersed in the Hygge house’s environment. It feels as if we are actually walking up the path to the home.
Inside we are met by a myriad of gorgeous textures and the soft, sweeping light that pulls them out. Diana’s photos have a casual, unfussy vibe that lends itself well to this project. It’s just perfect.
Diana photographed this project 3 years ago, but it remains one of her favorites. To anyone just getting started, she shares some sage advice about not getting too wrapped up in equipment. She says “I showed up with 3 pieces of equipment. A Canon Mark III, a 24mm L lens (not a tilt-shift), and a tripod. That’s all I had and all I could afford. Lesson #3: equipment is nice! But ultimately, YOU are the one shooting, not your equipment.
As I stepped inside, I was drooling over this place. The natural light was amazing. This is a prototype kit house. It is basically a 9ish foot box with windows all along on two parallel sides. My goal was to capture the incredible light that travel across all of the areas. It was an intuitive process from shooting to editing. Fast forward 3 years, and I still shoot intuitively. But, I have added a technical side as well. I learned to control the light a little better.”
This next shot is one of my personal favorites. I love the linear feel and the way our eyes are pulled right down the hallway. Along the way, we pick up little details like the shower and the beautiful banks of windows. A shot like this helps us to link different rooms together and see the intelligent design and functionality of this home.
While relatively simple, there is a geometric quality about this next image that feels very interesting to me. The layers and lines, negative space and staggered door openings — it all contributes to an engaging image that makes our brains turn on and piece together what room we are in, and what room(s) we are looking into. Very cool!
“My favorite shot is the bathroom with the tub. The white wall that divides the bedroom from the bathroom. It is a beautiful architectural element that feels so grand in such an intimate space. To the right of the tub is a glass wall, then the hallway, and then a window from floor to ceiling. It feels like an outdoor bathtub. It has an incredible view of the lake. Lesson #4: get educated and learn about multiple exposures so you can show the view you talk about” Diana shares.
She wraps things up by telling “If you’re new in your career, I hope you are encouraged by this post. We all start somewhere! You don’t need all the fancy gear to make it work. On the other hand, invest in your education. I learned a lot from Mike Kelley, Tony Roslund, and Barry Mckenzie’s courses.
If you’re a pro traveling the world petting sheep and shooting incredible architecture, don’t forget where you started, it’s fun times!”
If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.