Posted: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Je Ahn from Studio Weave about shooting this year's Studio in the Woods in Wiltshire, UK. As it turned out, Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio had, at the same time, contacted fellow architectural photographer and good friend, Andy Matthews for the same project. Rather than competing on it, Andy and I decided to work together to produce stills and video of the five structures built in the woods as part of the workshop.
From their website...
Now in its seventh year, Studio in the Woods is a five-day outdoor summer workshop led by a group of award-winning architects and engineers aimed at architectural students, practicing architects and a wider audience with an interest in sculpture, landscape and the direct experience of making and building with materials to hand.
Studio in the Woods is an ongoing educational programme promoting the exchange of architectural knowledge and skills through experimentation and direct experience.
Studio in the Woods 2013 is hosted by Studio Weave and made possible with the generous support of Swindon Borough Council and The Woodland Trust.
The practices leading the workshops were Studio Weave; Invisible Studio; Gianni Botsford Architects; Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and Erect Architecture.
Collaborating on a shoot like this is something that was pretty alien to both Andy and me. Generally we work alone, like most photographers, occasionally with the addition of an assistant. This has it's ups and downs. On the one side, alone I can work quickly and efficiently with complete control and the knowledge that the shoot and it's outcomes are my sole responsibility. On the down side, working alone means you have no-one to bounce ideas off and no second opinion when choosing an edit.
The most important thing, in hindsight, was to let go of the attitude of sole ownership of images, "this is JIm's shot and this is Andy's shot" and so on. This went away pretty quickly and we worked together at each of the five structures to recce and decide on the key views and then set up the camera and composition, all the time talking about what was working and what wasn't. After the shoot we did a quick edit in a motorway service station before heading home. It was a really enjoyable way of working and one that I hope to do again sometime soon!
All the images on this blog post are by Andy Matthews and Jim Stephenson.