The team at Hansen Yuncken is about to start work on a new project at Trinity Grammar in Summer Hill, Sydney. To mark the occasion it is customary to stage a ceremony where the first “sod” is turned on the site of the construction.
Happily on this occasion the grown-ups had some welcome help from a few younger “construction workers” in long-fitting hi-vis and spacious hard-hats. Perhaps the new cadets of the future.
A number of my clients are in the construction business and occasionally I am asked to go on-site and produce images that can be used for marketing purposes. One such occasion arose recently at one of Hansen and Yuncken’s building sites at Meadowbank TAFE. I was commissioned to capture a series of images of their staff, on site and at work, that could be used for marketing purposes such as tenders.
Unless there is a concise brief, in which the client requests specific shots, my general approach is to go on-site and to work in an impromptu but professional way. It is not always necessary to direct the subjects when setting up the shot. I prefer to wait for the right moment and then step in to take the photograph. Besides, it’s not as if my subjects are paid fashion models. They are usually the employees of the company, photographed by me as they go about their normal day-to-day duties.
I enjoy this type of photography, since it allows me to step into the universe of construction and to see how a large-scale operation works from a human point of view.
I recently returned to Anglicare Minto Gardens where I had shot a number of images for Hansen Yuncken of their build for this sprawling retirement facility in the western suburbs of Minto.
The first shoot I concentrated on the exteriors however this time it was all about the recently completed interiors. The Hansen Yuncken business development team required shots of the interiors which could accompany presentations that may make in the future for related work.
Producing multiple head-shots can be both a challenge and a rewarding exercise. It is challenging in the sense that you have limited time available with each subject and within that short time frame you must capture the best possible photograph of that person. Part of the task is to make the person feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera. Every photographer has his or her own individual “bag of tricks” to make sure that this happens. I enjoy this challenge as much as I like the chance to meet the many diverse human faces behind the organisation you are working for … from the personal assistants to the senior executives. You have the privilege of photographing a vast range of people, although you don’t always know their professional roles within the company . While the days can be long, they are, at the same time, invigorating.
I recently completed the task of updating head-shots and corporate portraits of Multiplex employees. It was a complex job spanning numerous days over a period of months, based on setting up a series of mobile studios in different offices in Sydney.
Hansen Yuncken is well underway into the construction of their extension to the Meadowbank TAFE. I was asked to document the current state of the building project and to highlight the diversity of their workforce, including such technological innovations as 3-D modelling, computer visualisations, the use of i-pads and drones.
On the same day we organised additional corporate head shots of several site executives, for the Hansen Yuncken corporate profiles, see below.
I recently photographed studio portraits as corporate profiles for the team at Prime Constructions. For the occasion, a studio set-up was temporarily installed at the company’s Artarmon offices, as pictured. Sometimes as a photographer, the key is to be mobile.
Prime chose a standard grey background with a slight gradient for the portraits. The subject was seated, to create a corporate mood that was relaxed and open. The images are all shot in a landscape orientation, rather than portrait. This choice was made based on the proposed layout of these profiles on the Prime Constructions website. The main lighting is high key with not too much contrast on the face, and I added a hair-light to separate the sitter from the background.
In 1983, Ron Masters & Phil de Gail established Prime Constructions, now regarded as one of the leading building contractors in New South Wales. Paul Christopher joined Prime in 1988 as a cadet and John Drake commenced as a general foreman in 1989. Having prospered and developed within the increasingly expanding company, John and Paul became directors and shareholders in 2000. In 2010, they became joint managing directors.
Prime’s services include new construction, refurbishment and fit-out for projects up to $80m, offering innovative construction solutions and undertaking industrial, commercial, retail and institutional projects. Over the past several years, I have photographed many building sites overseen by Prime, documenting each stage from the earliest preliminary phases to completion. With a proven record of successful project delivery for over 35 years, Prime is one of my long-standing architectural clients.
Three years ago, when I first photographed the site of the Inner Sydney High School on the corner of Cleveland and Chalmers Streets in Surry Hills, it was a series of traditional brick classrooms built in the late 1800’s. Now thanks to the design by FJMT Studio and the high tech building efforts of Hansen Yuncken, it is a magnificent contemporary campus amid heritage architecture, and an example of a new direction in public education.
Apart from the classrooms, the school features an enviable array of facilities including media rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, science labs, woodworking rooms, a sky-high basketball court, library, lecture halls, assembly areas and loads of cool spaces to hang out and be educated.
The Mushroom Group has recently updated its Sydney headquarters, a hub for the best musical talent this country has to offer. As Australia’s largest independent music and entertainment group, its history is unrivalled. Although the recent death of legendary founder Michael Gudinski was untimely, he had the opportunity to see the renovations almost complete.
I was commissioned by Prime Projects to plot the initial phase of the refurbishment with the intention to complete a more detailed portfolio of the building when the fit-out is fully operational and the art collection has been installed.
The Mushroom Group continues to be at the forefront of Australian music, producing iconic collaborations which in the past have included “Living in the 70’s” by Skyhooks, “True Colours” by Split Enz, such signings as Hunters & Collectors and Machinations and under Mushroom Records label, the who’s who of Australian rock and pop – The Angels, Jimmy Barnes, Nelly Furtado, Renee Geyer, Kate Ceberano, Kylie Minogue, Yothu Yindi…and the list goes on.
Multiplex decided to update their banner imagery using photographs taken at their soon-to-be completed construction site at the skyscraper on the corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets in Sydney.
I took photographs of various employees from different fields of construction, be it engineering or project management. Throughout the building, from the street level to the 40th floor, I photographed the Multiplex crew in their lofty work environment.