It had been more than a year since I was at Bella Vida resort in Kissimmee, FL when I got a call from a new client asking to photograph a house there.
The property manager is also a decorator and I thought she did a nice job with a beach vibe in the dining area. From the color palette to the decor, it made me feel like sinking my toes into the sand.
I was originally just going to post that picture, but I went back a few nights later for some twilight shots.
I always check the forecast before a twilight shoot because while some clouds can make a sky interesting as it changes color; too many clouds can ruin the shot.
Just my luck, the direction I was shooting in had a dark, ominous cloud. Across the street was clear and beautiful, but this is what I had to deal with:
Well, when life gives you lemons…use a sky replacement!
The home also has a cool color wheel on the pool light. Check it out:
I just returned from a trip to Italy where I saw the ruins of ancient Rome and had to imagine the size and scale of the buildings. In Rome, Florence and Venice, I also saw some very well preserved palaces that are now museums and thought to myself: “I can’t believe this used to be someone’s home.”
I shoot a lot of high-end homes and while I am always a little in awe, it takes a lot now to really impress me. Well, consider me impressed. I recently photographed a 10-Master Bedroom home that had some features I’ve never seen before; at least not all in one home. As I was walking through the home I thought to myself: “This is like a modern-day palace. I wonder if it’s still standing in 300 or 1,000 years, what people will think of it.”
One of my former clients installed residential bowling alleys and I photographed one at the home of a Major League Baseball player. I didn’t get to see the whole house but I may have been just as impressed with that one. Well, this one has lanes too.
How about an indoor racquetball court that also doubles as a basketball court with a retracting hoop:
I’ve shot homes with arcades in the past. Check the box on this one too.
…and a game room:
Or how about a round of poker while watching three different games on TV!
The house has a lot of cool little features. Like the doors which opened when you waved your hand in front of a sensor. It would also sense your body if you are close enough and open automatically a-la Star Trek.
But the biggest surprise was the bathrooms. I backed up into the closet where the toilet is to take this shot (you can see the identical closet on the opposite side of the bath tub):
Well, when I backed in, sensors must have detected my motion and the toilet seat lifted automatically and music started playing. I shit you not. Here’s video of it:
Hey, why not a tune while you toot?
If you want to see more of the house, check out the gallery here. Until next time…”champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “before and after” series (you can see the past posts linked at the end of this one). I thought you might enjoy the night and day differences between the images a client had before and what I delivered. The client was so pleased, he said it looked like two different villas.
I’ve shot some big homes before. But this one takes the cake. This 14-thousand square foot, 9-bedroom home is the largest home I’ve shot to date. The pool area alone was bigger than most homes!
Yes, there are lights that shoot through the jets of water, like tracer rounds (I still don’t know how they do it). The long exposure above makes it look like the fountains are constantly lit.
This is a vacation home and the best part of the story for me is that the homeowner told me since the pictures went live, he’s had 30 bookings! That’s enough to carry over into 2013! Proof that professional photography adds value.
I’ll leave you with a few more images. Check out the full gallery here.