The One with the Farmhouse: Architectural Photography of a Southern Louisiana Cattle Farm
Oct 22, 2019 | By: Lindsey Janies Photography
I don’t photograph many residential homes. (Our architectural clients tend to focus primarily in commercial design.) But this southern gem was incredible: a Southwest Louisiana farmhouse nestled among the fields and marsh south of Lake Charles.
As a cajun girl, when I began to hear the specs of the home for the assignment and learned it was raised above ground, I thought, “A fancy camp!” Ha! But as I drove through the brick gates and down the tree lined entrance, I instantly understood the owner’ verbiage of a working farmhouse. Cattle, fences, and a massive barn also came into view.
This stunning lady of a home immediately earned my respect for her righteous name as a farmhouse, complete with a garden and pigeonaire!
Assignment: To photograph the exterior of the home and the interior primary living spaces
Obstacles: Capturing the inside late enough in the day to allow the most balanced quality of light in for the best showing of the views through the windows, but not so late as to intrude on the allotted time I needed to fully capture the outside before and during sunset.
What I couldn't have done without: My solid tripod, manual Nikkor Tilt-shift lens, Godox AD400 pro strobe on a stick, and my wireless Tether Tools tethering to my iPad Pro.
I arrived at about 5:00 and unloaded inside before accepting the owner's offer of a tour. This gave me the time to briefly "relax" into the space while also encouraging her to share any special features or stories about the home that would provide me the empathic perspective I always love to have. (The primary client, architect Randy Goodloe and I had previously had a meeting to discuss his favorite areas and materials within the home.)
Photographing the largest and most time consuming area would come first - the view from the west side of the open floor plan living area looking towards the fireplace and wine bar. With the high ceilings and long length, it was imperative to utilize my specialty tilt shift lens to aid with distortion. I filled in shadows and unevenly lit areas walking and capturing with my iPad tethered to the camera. This allowed me to instantly see any adjustments to lighting, as well as any small details that may have been overlooked and needed straightening. (I love being able to include the homeowner in what I'm photographing and light painting through her ability to view the captures and adjustments with me on the iPad!)
I then moved to celebrate the smaller areas within the large living space: fireplace seating area closest to the wine bar, the secondary sitting area for after dinner coffee and visits (as well as additional room to move the two massive wood dining tables to accommodate up to 24 guests), and lastly the stunningly massive kitchen island with bar seating, and kitchen itself with the matte black La Cornue stove commanding the otherwise light and airy space. The client was so respectful of the homeowner's time, as was I, that our goal was not to fully capture every detail within the home, but to capture the key areas enough to tell the story of the layout and build.
The homeowner and I headed outside about 6:30 and I setup my tilt shift lens once again at various angles, documenting the home throughout the stunning sky changes from a cloudless sky blue all the way into an incredible array of purples, oranges, and pinks as the sun fell below the horizon. This was gorgeous seeing the property come to life once again with it's landscaping lights illuminating the trees and home. I'd also had the request of photographing the home from the air, so I did what I do best and managed both ground photography and aerial photography interchangeably throughout the next hour. I absolutely love the results.
P.S. - If you happen to notice a pigeonairre alongside the home, yes, we will be revisiting the property to photograph this little beauty in the springtime when the homeowner's garden is not in the transitional state it was in October... I can't wait! :)