Saturday, February 3, 2007

Ups and Downs of Construction

Recently an out-of-state client contacted me requesting an updated photograph of the Chicago River looking west from the Michigan Avenue bridge. She supplied an example of the image they had used previously and asked if I had a more recent image.

I proceeded to explain that an updated photo from that particular vantage point would show the construction progress of the Trump International Hotel and Tower building (shown above). The Chicago Sun Times building next to the Tribune Towers which featured prominently in her sample image had been torn down a few years ago and was now replaced with construction cranes and the first floors of the Trump Tower construction project.

Such construction projects are a mixed bag for a photographer. Shots of the skyline and the general vicinity must be carefully composed and construction can render certain shots impossible as the updating of the Chicago River scene example above. Who hasn't traveled and found the landmark buildings they planned on shooting covered by scaffolding and plastic tarps?

But prominent new buildings mean skyline pictures and photographs of the new skyscraper or museum or whatever need to be updated.

As a photographer based near Chicago and Milwaukee, I seek to keep abreast of proposed and under construction building projects so that I can provide my clients with up-to-date images. For example, the 2,000 foot high Fordham Spire that would dwarf the Sears Tower has been proposed for a location along the Chicago lakefront. Such a building would immediately transform the city's skyline and become a tourist draw and icon for Chicago -- and photographs of the changed skyline would be needed.

I am able to provide clients with current and up-to-date photographs and to also explain why a particular vantage point is impossible at this time. On a few occasions my familiarity with Chicago has saved a client from embarrassment. Recently a client was viewing several images I had submitted for consideration for a book project. As they reviewed my photographs, they realized that a photograph from a prominent stock agency they had planned on using was outdated and the sculpture that was prominently featured was no longer in the same location.

I was pleased to be able to assist the client and to make two additional stock sales!