What motivates you to document/photograph the architecture/sites you visit?
As a preservationist, I am in the habit of documenting architecture and sites with photographs and field notes as I encounter them. Not only do the images serve as a record of the built or natural environment at the point when I am visiting, but they also add to a catalog of images that I keep to reference materials, material conditions, construction technologies and architectural styles. With the historic built environment, I often find interesting, unique and surprising ornamental or construction details that are exciting to discover and photograph.
Any special interests in photography or equipment? Do you find the buildings/landscapes more exciting or the photography?
I enjoy the process of documentation and observation, in particular of historic sites. I make an effort to carry at least a small point-and-shoot camera with me when I am exploring new places and try to take photographs of both context and detail while on site, just in case I am unable to visit again. Photographs of historic buildings can be difficult to find, especially of particular detailing, and I like to keep a record on hand for academic or professional reference. Although I find the buildings most exciting, photography allows for active discovery and moving around a space to photograph all sides, and new elements are always discovered.
How do you use the images you shoot? Do they influence your design thinking? How does photographing architecture inform your thinking?
Mainly, I use my images for reference and I keep them cataloged by project and by material on my personal computer. Active and organized images of the built environment are precious to me, particularly in Texas where many historic buildings are demolished to make way for new construction. I have an interest in regional and lesser-known architects whose works are largely undocumented.
Where's your next destination? Are you searching out locations with a particular theme, or region?
I have traveled to West Texas several times this year to conduct research and I find the regional architecture in the area fascinating. I am hoping to head back in the next few months to explore the architecture of Mabel Welch, the first female architect in El Paso. She earned her architecture license at age 49 and went on to design over 1,500 buildings. I am constantly searching for architects with a large concentration of buildings in one city to explore and experience on a single visit. There is often a unique signature, even if the buildings are very different, in the detailing, construction, materials or color.