Zettie Millers Housing

Client: Mogavero Architects

Project: Community Housing, Stockton, California

Sometimes, I just work of a site plan for compass orientations, pre determine the best time to photograph the project and this one has a small budget.

In this case we had great weather for much of the month of October, but on the day I was there, very overcast and not a good day to shoot when you have a gray sky. I shot the best angles but know they would not make to my own standards.

What I wanted was to have the interior lights on as shown in this illustration. What we came up with is we have to pay the tenants to get up and turn on their lights at dawn and re schedule this around having good weather.  November had few shooting days and we are into December which still could work. What has to happen is a good storm to come thru and leave me with a high pressure system for a couple of days. This time of year we face problems with moisture in the glazing and wood for these kind of shots not to mention there is always fog present in some areas. Roll the dice and go, set your standards high, please yourself and my clients will be happy.

Shooting at pre sunrise, when it’s the ideal time to shoot is when we have the interior lights brighter then the outside light. Some things out of my control are the shadows from the street lights and the moisture that is present in the wood paneling at this time of the year. Just plan on coming back at dusk to eliminate the moisture problems and see if we have a sunset.

Let’s run around the grounds to get the lights on because of the motion sensors.

This also needs to be captured from the third floor to be able to see the solar panels. These kind of shots to get the right ambience, it just needs to be done at pre sunrise. Many places to be with a short window, but that’s what I do.

Let’s move in closer to capture a partial view of the community room. I have shots back further but we have moisture in the paneling.

Let’s try to grab the architectural elements in the shot.

Our originals scope of work was just exteriors but after a review of the bad weather shots with the architectural firm they wanted to add an interior to the scope of work.

In order to get some of the colors to pop you have to include some daytime shots to get the colors and contrast of the project.

I think this shows off the architectural design very well. A small budget really allows for one site visit but in order to get the right shots I had to be there pre sunrise and sunset.

You need this view just to be able to show the entire scope of work.

Back at sunset to eliminate the moisture problems from the sunrise. Just not able to get the glow in the windows and the clouds in the right place at the right time.

This was after sunset and this shot would not be possible at sunrise because we would be shooting directly into the sun.

Let’s grab a vertical detail shot. What my clients do not see is all of the retouching to take out the Christmas decorations.


Season Greeting, Ho, Ho, Ho,


Ed Asmus

Architectural People Photographer

916 996.7560