Over the last couple of years I have photographed a lot of housing, most have been upscale multiplex apartments and several condo hi-rises in urban centers across the country. Apartment living has changed in recent years from basic amenities to beautiful and often state of the art amenities; fitness centers, health spas, swimming pools, community office space, libraries, game rooms, movie theaters, dog runs and often much more. Todays Condo hi rises are beautiful personalized living units designed to suit the personal taste of the owner. To my surprise, I have seen growth in another housing sector, upscale student housing. This has been a fun segment of the housing sector to photograph and looks to be on the rise.
I have had the good fortune to work with a client that specializes in student housing. They have put together an incredible team of talent who know students and what it takes to keep these college kids occupied and hopefully focused on their studies. Their projects are always colorful, always surprising, and uniquely designed. I have photographed over 10 locations for this client and no two are ever the same. This blog post will share several photos from one such project called Collegiate at Patterson in Bloomington at the University of Indiana. I will likely post others in the future because of the beautiful design work that comes from each project.
Bold and Graphic
It's a photographers delight to walk into a Trinitas project, bold colors and graphic elements make up the decor. From the first step into the main entry till the last, you'll be wrapped in a world of bright colors, bold shapes and a friendly environment. From a photographers stand point, I enjoy having so many design elements to incorporate into my work. When photographing spaces with so many shapes I don't see a need to include an entire element because there are so many bold shapes and colors that cropping one creates another and the end result is a nice flow and well organized composition. The above photo is a good example. Typically I would never crop the honeycomb decor in the foreground without some clue of where it begins, but it works well with the repeating shapes on the opposite side of the frame.
Fitness and Fun
Beyond the comforts of the plush living quarters the amenities are important for students. Although many of these amenities may not rival what a student might find on campus they are still very much equipped with state of the art equipment and technology, just smaller in scale. Fitness centers are always a challenge to photograph as the oddly shaped equipment is often placed in front of big windows allowing a peek into the happenings outside. This is understandable when you have activity at the swimming pool and hot tub, game tables, grills, putt-putt golf and botchi ball. All this make for some fun photography.
Exterior Views are Just As Nice
Students are not short changed when they leave the comforts of their living quarters. There is plenty to do if one wants to hang out with friends in the pool or court yard. Photographing these areas are enjoyable because the outside space is something you don't see on any other project. Typically well placed all-weather game tables such as foosball or table tennis are placed with curvy walkways, colorful benches and student friendly landscaping.
The swimming pool is the center of outdoor activity and always a challenge deciding the best angles. I typically visit the pool three times on every photoshoot, the morning, afternoon and evening. This gives me plenty of options. I typically shoot from several vantage points during each of the three sessions and in most cases will pick one or two from each shooting session to hand to my client. The Collegiate at Patterson gave me some very nice vantage points because of the walkway on the second floor. Having the option to shoot at a higher elevation on any exterior open opportunities and give an a unique perspective.