Adrien Williams, architecture and design photographer
How long have you been doing architectural photography?
I graduated from Dawson College's photography program in 2011 and have been working in this field ever since.
What led you to this profession and to choosing this specialization?
I really like lines, shapes, and contrast between different materials. I also like to take my time when I photograph, and architectural photography moves much more slowly than portraits or fashion, for example.
What role can an architect play in architectural photography? Are the images the result of a shared vision between several people or of the photographer's own artistic creation? How are the views chosen and who chooses them?
It is a collaborative work. First, during the photo shoot, I appreciate the presence of the architect(s) designer(s), who can explain the project, point out certain angles to be documented, etc. Then, in the post-production phase (i.e. at the stage of image selection and retouching), I make a pre-selection of images, which I then send to the clients (architects) and they are the ones who make the final selection. At this stage, the client's comments are always crucial to ensure that the project is well documented.
On the other hand, what is the role of photography in architecture?
To showcase projects and contribute to their influence and recognition. It also allows the public to see certain projects that are more difficult to access, both inside and out, that they would not have the opportunity or possibility to visit, such as a hospital for example.
How do you translate architectural intent through photography?
It helps a lot when the architects are involved in the photography. They can explain to me the architectural intention that I can then translate into photos. It's a great collaboration.
**More specifically, what should an architectural photo in the field of healthcare give off? **
In the field of healthcare, in my opinion, the photos must give off a feeling of well-being and it must be quite luminous.
What are the particularities and constraints of photography in a hospital environment?
The biggest challenge is the coordination of the various participants and the access to the spaces, which are secured. In addition, in a project of the scale of the CHUM, there are sometimes great distances to walk. These projects therefore take longer to photograph.
Is special permission required to photograph with a drone, especially in downtown Montreal?
It takes an advanced drone operator's license and authorization from NAV Canada.
Are there any prerequisites, specific rules, or even trends specific to architectural photography?
Well, the beauty of photography is that there is no code, no prerequisites, no rules in general. In my opinion, it is important that the photos are of a high standard, but it's not necessarily mandatory. You have to create the trends and try to make your own style.
What were the main challenges in taking photos of the last phase of the new CHUM?
The CHUM is a huge building in an dense urban environment. It was difficult to get enough distance to photograph certain angles.
What did you enjoy photographing the most in this project?
Definitely the amphitheater building, I find it really photogenic. Especially the contrast of the material and the unique shape that stands out from the tours.
Are there any other techniques, technologies, or innovations you'd like to try in a future photo shoot?
I would love to try shooting with a Phase One medium format field camera. It's a high-performance camera designed specifically for architectural and landscape photography.