Assigning Photo Editor: Susan Getzendanner
Design Director: Rob Hewitt
Senior Designer: Tim Vienckowski
Junior Designer: Erica Bonkowski
Photographer: Jose Mandojana
How long have you been shooting for Dwell?
My first assignment was for the September 2013 issue, so approximately three years.
Did you being a father influence the magazine on choosing you for this project?
As far as I know being a father was not a factor. That said, having two young children has definitely given me plenty of experience interacting with little ones. It was fun capturing moments with the children at the home.
Is this all done with natural light? Is that part of the magazine’s aesthetic?
I always bring lighting gear and use it to enhance the natural light when necessary. I do believe that the overall aesthetic of the magazine is to show spaces as they appear. That lends itself to waiting for great light and trying to keep things feeling natural.
What type of direction did you get from the team?
I receive a full shot list. The team does a great job of collecting scouting images and notes. From there, it’s basically just trying to cover all the shots from different perspectives and including the homeowners (or family, architects, etc. depending on the story) in frames where the images are strengthened by their presence and the reader can gain a better sense of what it’s like to inhabit the space. Those decisions really come down to my best judgment as to where natural things can occur with the subjects.
What brought you back to the LA market?
I will always love the PNW and Seattle. It was a great 7+ years there, and I’m thankful for the personal and professional growth I experienced. The move back was strictly for professional reasons. I travel a fair amount for commissions, and LA just seems like a better fit for where I see my work developing. I also missed the strong photo community in LA and the opportunities that arise from being able to connect with peers and industry friends. Oh, and the cycling, beautiful light, and Korean BBQ isn’t too bad either!
Was this the first time you were at the Passive House?
I actually meet the architects of the Passive House 6 months prior to the assignment. They were building a home across the street from our place in West Seattle, and I really appreciated their attention to detail. I invited them to walk through our mid century home to chat about potentially doing an upstairs addition. We had done a fair amount of remodeling already, and I had vision for the expansion of the home. We would have hired them, but decided to move back to LA instead. So it was great to circle back with them randomly for the assignment as they do great work.
In a few words what is passive architecture?
‘Passive’ architecture and development is a certified building standard developed by the Passive House Institute in Germany. In order to achieve the standard, the home or blind is built extremely insulated to create an airtight envelope. There also needs to be energy recovery ventilation, high performance windows and management of solar gain. In a nutshell, the home is designed and built to use 90% less heating and cooling than the standard building.