I spent a little over a week earlier this year making a selection of new interior photos for the Marco Polo Shenzhen hotel.
Corporate photography projects present an fairly surreal contrast to the editorial photo assignments that constitute the other half of my work; for a typical editorial business story, I usually receive the assignment a few days in advance then head out on my own, cover what I can within access and time limits then file the images to the client the same day - sometimes throughout the day for certain events.
Projects like this, on the other hand, begin only after the culmination of months of negations - in this case between the assigning agency and the hotel. For the actual shoot, I worked with two assistants and two or more hotel representatives, creating the set of images over an eight day period. Most of the images went to a retoucher to be composited and retouched, then reviewed and retouched some more…
Most of the photos are composites of fifteen or more individual frames with various exposure levels and lighting appropriate for each part of the image; a base exposure, an exposure for light fixtures, another for windows, ceiling, then various parts of the room individually lit to balance light leves or add interest.
The process is anything but similar to photographing a press conference at 1/250th of a second and a welcome departure.