Ever since I saw Jacob McNeil and Jaimie Walker’s submission in our 2021 Architectural Photography Awards, I’ve deeply enjoyed seeing their work. When Jacob wrote in with their photographs of White Rock in Victoria, BC, I was so excited to hear a bit about the shoot and see the images they made — and boy, they covered the whole gamut, with each photograph just as lovely as the last. I’ve whittled down this Project of the Week post to my very favorites, but just know that there were so many more gorgeous images that Jacob and Jaimie made for their clients Terry Johal Developments, Robert Blaney Design, and South Shore Cabinetry, who made this beautiful home possible!
There’s a lot to see, so let’s check it out:
Jacob kicks us off by sharing a bit about the project and shoot day, telling “This was a pretty important job for everyone involved so we knew we had to capture the space in a variety of different ways to try and showcase the craftsmanship of all the trades. We were there for a full day into the twilight hour and then the next morning to make sure we captured the sunrise too.
Adding a human /lifestyle element was super important on these because we wanted to show the scale of the house and also add a bit of personality to the images. As much as we try to plan the shoot, I find that when we get to a property of this caliber every shot inspires me so I end up overshooting every space.”
I asked Jacob if he ran into any challenges along the way while shooting White Rock, and he shared, “On top of the photos we had been tasked with creating a short video for the property so time and light ultimately became the biggest challenge for us. Making sure we captured the main shots we needed for photos but also making sure we captured video in the same light. We’re a small two-person crew; my wife Jaimie and myself, so it’s just a lot of running around chasing the light.”
And chase the light they did! I appreciate how Jacob and Jaimie show us each room at a variety of times, under bright even light, and more dramatic directional light.
Their thoroughness affords us the opportunity to see White Rock under a myriad of different lighting conditions and see the spaces as we would if we were actually guests here for a whole day. The changes in lighting change the rooms and elements we see, carving out different shapes and emphasizing different objects. It’s wonderful!
“I think my favorite shot has to be the main staircase photo which ended up being one of the most simple to create,” Jacob explains. “We used all natural light for this one and just shot the subject walking down the stairs in a second shot to mask her in. Timing of the natural light played a role, too early and we had cool shadows but they ended up being distracting and took away from the focal point.”
Their photographs of the staircase, both the hero shot and the more abstract details, feel so sculptural. Jacob’s compositions make use of the curves and rhythmic lines that make the staircase so special.
While being so busy photographing the whole house and making a film, I admire how Jacob and Jamie still managed to fit in little vignettes and detail-oriented shots that help flesh out the story of this home and showcase the craftsmanship. This next shot was one of my favorites — it’s very simple but is nice and graphic, full of good light and strong shapes. Our eyes are pulled right out the circular window and we can appreciate the stunning view that White Rock has.
The same goes for the next shot of the exterior space. It’s tidy, it’s shapely, and has plenty of visual interest.
Like we talked about earlier, seeing all of White Rock’s rooms under different lighting conditions makes this project feel really special. As the sun starts setting, Jacob and Jaimie introduce us to the more sultry side of White Rock, with moody shadows and warm practical lighting. It’s something I feel like we don’t see too often in interior photos anymore, and when done well, it is just lovely!
What else is there to say about this shot other than wow!
The lighting design really shines (pun intended) in the primary bathroom shot. There are a lot of great things happening here, from the perfect balance in exposure between the gorgeous sunset outside and the lights inside, to the reflections, lines, and shapes. We can really place ourselves in the scene here.
As we move outside, Jacob and Jaimie show off the shape of White Rock as a whole, and how it sits perfectly perched beside the ocean. Just look at that view!
In addition to the wide sweeping shots, they also include more intimate, close views of the house. These let us place ourselves in the scene.
We can feel the warmth of the fire in this shot. Jacob and Jaimie craft such inviting photographs!
We’ll close this out with one of my favorites, where we see White Rock aglow on the point. The context helps us understand the house and its environment. A massive thank you to Jacob and Jaimie for submitting this project in— What a joy to look at!
If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.