Last fall I received a call from an art director who I had lost track of. She had left the agency world, married, divorced, traveled the world and was now working on a project for Comcast. Comcast was just putting the finishing touches on its new world headquarters.
The new Comcast tower is the tallest, newest, greenest and most up to date skyscraper in Philadelphia. She was working on several books and brochures promoting this new tower and wanted me to photograph the building.
“Debbie, while it is great to hear from you I cannot accept this assignment, I have never shot architecture”, I told her.
“I know”, she replied but I really want you to do this project. “
“Have you talked to any architecture photographers?” I asked.
“Yes” she said, “and I still want you to shoot it.”
We went back and forth for a couple of days until she charmed me into saying, “yes”.
The shoot went as most large productions go with its long days, with unexpected hiccups along with unexpected delights. I will never forget hanging out on the rooftop of an adjacent building one wonderful spring evening hoping to photograph the new lighting atop of the Comcast Tower. A technical glitch that day would prevent the lights from coming on for several weeks but we got to enjoy a warm breeze and a cool view. Another time a chance encounter with the chief architect of the buildings interior would gave us a new understanding on the buildings visual treats.
Today as I float above America on a flight from New Orleans back to Philadelphia I realize how enlightening working outside of your normal boundaries can be. I was in New Orleans to start work on a series of portraits that hopefully one day will be a book. And while I was there to capture relationship between fathers and their children I could not help to notice a new found appreciation for the space that my subjects inhabited. It will be interesting to see how the lessons learn while photographing a building will show themselves in my new photographs dealing with one of life’s most intimate relationships.