Photographer of the Day: Joseph Kitchen

Architectural photographer and ADC Member is all about lighting

Photography Month is in full swing here on the ADC blog. We’ve been featuring a different photographer every day of the month. Some are seasoned professionals, some are young up and comers, and some are just amateur shutterbugs taking snapshots on the side. One thing they have in common: they are all ADC Members. This time around, we are highlighting a professional shutterbug who specializes in architecture and interior shots.

Headshot-Joseph-M-KitchenJOSEPH M. KITCHEN
New York, NY, USA

How old were you when you took an interest in photography, and when did it become more than an interest?

My interest in photography began when I was in 8th grade but did not become a passion until I took an Intro to Photography class in college. On day one, my professor brought in his 8×10 field camera. I was instantly intrigued and bought a 4×5 view camera that summer.

What do you love most about photography as an artform?

At first photography for me was about making giant prints with great resolution, but now it is all about lighting. I spend more time studying and thinking about lighting with my own work and the work I see of others more than anything else.

What is your favorite thing to shoot?

Photographing architecture and interiors is what I enjoy most and what I shoot professionally. In college I studied pure mathematics and had a strong interest in geometry and problem solving. Architecture is very geometric and, from a technical standpoint, architectural photographing is the most difficult. There is no generic recipe for architectural lighting and compositions, and each scene has its own unique problems. This constant challenge keeps my interest.

“I spend more time studying and thinking about lighting with my own work and the work I see of others more than anything else.”

What is your favorite piece of equipment?

My favorite piece of equipment is my camera, an Arca Swiss RM3Di technical camera. It allows me to control my perspectives with separate x and y movements and, unlike the Canon and Nikon solutions, maintains the lens in a fix position while shifting the back, greatly helping with composition. Also, the camera has an exceptionally precise focusing ring, allowing me to shift focus by millimeters if need be.

Which person most inspires your photographic passion? Which professional photographers do you look up to?

There are two photographers whom I look to for inspiration. From a pure architectural standpoint, I consider Chris Barrett in Chicago to be the best interior photographer. His compositions always compliment the project and his lighting is never anything less than perfect. Ashley Morrison in Ireland is equally as good with his hotel and resort work. His before and after section on his website illustrates his true talent and proves that any ordinary space with the right lighting and staging can be made to look extraordinary.