Balance of 2016!
While the first half of the year was not incredibly busy the second half was nonstop! In the late spring I decided to put my studio on the market after working there for the last twenty three years. It was primarily a financial decision, the real estate market was favorable and I thought downsizing to a smaller facility made sense. I had no problem finding a buyer and closed in mid July agreeing with the new owners (an automotive parts business) to vacate the premises November 30th. Within two weeks I was swamped and was fortunate to have a few months to get packed and into the new space. In addition to a number of automotive and architectural projects, I had the balance of locations to shoot for the Michigan Modern project! Nice location projects came in from Lincoln and Ford (Latcha) with Amy Turunen, very fun studio work for Chevrolet (Commonwealth) with Mike Brooks and Lilian Ikera, more location work for the Alfa Guilia with Scott Markel (Union Adworks) and GMC (LeoB) on the new Terrain with Matt Van Der Maas and Tom Helland pretty much kept me running for four months. In addition, I shot a number of GM products for MRM, a little Cadillac work for Publicis and even a couple of great days shooting for the fabric company, Crypton. Michigan Modern and my architectural clients rounded out the fall, I really don’t remember having such a hectic schedule ever! I thought December might provide a little rest but I wasn’t done for the year. I was lucky to head down to Naples for a project with the very talented interior designer, Stephen Knollenberg. Stephanie Potts styled the shoot (and actually convinced Stephen to work with me) as we photographed his very cool design. While shooting the Naples house I had a call from Commonwealth to photograph studio cars so that they look like they’re in backgrounds that were being shot in California. A workflow I’ve developed was utilized to accomplish this and to my knowledge has been extremely well received by Chevrolet.
I've had some fun so far this year. I've worked on projects for Chevrolet, Lincoln, a fabric company called Crypton and then in the architectural arena, HED and Stantec. I even managed a quick trip to Palm Springs and LA where I photographed the new Broad Art Museum. I was thrilled to make the short list of Amy Turunen-Deem's photographers to work on Lincoln's redesigned MKC and MKZ for Latcha + Associates. The project was shot primarily in the studio with a quick trip down the street for a location photograph. Stephanie Potts did a great job with the props and wardrobe on this shoot. This March I worked with Commonwealth's Lilian SooHoo, Luis Erazo and Ting Chen to shoot the revised Camaro, Trax and Malibu for their retail campaign. We spent a full day in the studio finessing angles, light and a unique projection technique I learned in Shanghai to accomplish our task. Soon after, my good friend of many years, Claudia Sparrer, who is now the Design Director at the fabric company, Crypton, called about a series of ads celebrating their fabrics for a campaign in Interior Design magazine. The studio was full of chairs, couches and fabric that we created four ads from. Also, I've written about the Michigan Modern project before and I've been busy contacting the owners of this year's properties. I'm looking forward to continuing the photography in a few weeks and will take delivery of the new Phantom 4 drone next week to help with this project (and others).
October and November were full with two projects, both automotive launches. The first was with Matt Van Der Maas and Tom Helland (Leo Burnett ) shooting the new 2017 Acadia. We started in the studio, shot vehicles at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds then headed out to shoot backgrounds in San Francisco, Sonoma, Savannah and Atlanta. All the location shots were composites which is a good way to handle new product security issues. Immediately following the Acadia work I started photography of Chevrolet’s new Bolt, an all new electric product. The team from Commonwealth, Kristen Regnerus and Jim O’Briant, were awesome to work with as we traveled to Sonoma, Napa, Hemet and Los Angeles. I had the privilege of working with great crews on both projects which really makes my job easier, many thanks to everyone involved!
Chevy Bolt, Commonwealth
GMC Acadia, Leo Burnett
Acadia team (minus Tom)! Armstrong Woods, Sonoma, California
Summer 2015 and Michigan Modern
August saw the start of a wonderful project I’m working on with the state of Michigan. It’s a book celebrating Michigan’s role in the modern design movement of the 20th century called Michigan Modern. This concept developed by the State Historic Preservation Office was the genesis of two museum shows, the first at Cranbrook in 2013 which then traveled to Grand Rapids the following year. It’s created two books, a scholarly approach to the subject with contributions by the seminar leaders and the book I'm involved with which is a photographic study of approximately thirty five significant modern structures around the state. Both books are authored by Brian Conway and Amy Arnold of SHPO. The photography will be finished by late Fall 2016 and the book is scheduled to be published in 2017! I’m using my Instagram feed to keep everyone up on my progress, you’ll find it at #haefnerphoto. So far I’ve had the opportunity to photograph Richard Meier’sDouglas House, Dirk Lohan’s Devon House, Cranbrook and a cool Gunnar Birket’s design in Grand Rapids. Other interesting architectural projects include work for Quinn Evans, Lou DesRosiers, Young and Young and a new client that specializes in fantastic pool design called Gillette Brothers.