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Northern Lakeside Contemporary

Architect: Craftwell Architecture
Interior Design: Renae Keller Interior Design
Builder: Zetah Construction

This past fall, I had the pleasure of working once again with Renae Keller on a modern home in Northern MN. We arrived 2 nights before the shoot as we had scheduled a scouting day the following morning. I prefer to do a scout on each shoot as it helps me to pre-visualize the shoot day and helps things run smoothly – allowing us to maximize the amount on time spent shooting.

On long shoot days like this, being able to break the day up according to what the light is doing is incredibly helpful because it gives a clear schedule for the actual shoot day. Being able to take breaks and rest allows us to have a more productive day. Because we scouted the day before, I was able to take note of where the light would be at all times during the day which allowed us to move efficiently and take breaks when appropriate.

While there is no replacing a physical scout and walkthrough, sometime it isn’t always realistic to do one. Thankfully, we have some excellent tools and resources available to us which allow me to still anticipate what the light will be doing throughout the day. Sometimes these tools aren’t enough and our predictions are way off. Perhaps it ends up being an overcast day? My years of experience as a professional photographer have taught me how to navigate these circumstances and “MAKE” the photos versus “TAKE” the photos.


Evening architectural photo of a beautiful modern lake home


Morning light fills this modern living room


Beautiful light splashes across this modern kitchen in this architectural photo


Modern iron stairway with morning light shining through


Modern lake home primary bathroom


Residential architectural photograph of beautiful light and shadows across this modern lake home in Northern Minnesota


Architectural photo of a balcony of a modern lake home in Northern Minnesota


Cozy fireplace overlooking the lake in northern Minnesota on an autumn evening

This experience doesn’t just enable me to use the tools I have available when needed, it also enables me to know when conditions are literally perfect and you don’t NEED any additional tools. It allows me to know when to practice restraint and simply let the light interact with the space the way it was intended. I say all of this because this entire shoot was done with no supplemental lighting (no flash). We simply had to flag off the light in a few shots to accomplish what we needed.


Behind the scenes setting up an architectural photograph


Setting up an interiors and architecture photograph

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