On a recent trip to Vegas, a friend and I were in Salt Lake City with a four-hour layover. As luck would have it, there was a hotel up on the mountains that I was dying to visit, the Waldorf Astoria Park City.
It all started when I was in Park City at a good family friend’s Bar Mitzvah for their son, Bryan Hinden. During the golf outing, I was making infrared pictures of the golf course. It was good timing - or luck or both - as they were just building the Waldorf Astoria, previously known as the Dakota Mountain Lodge.
I made a trip out to Park City with camera in hand during the fall to make images that would be considered for decoration in parts of the hotel. As I was watching hot air balloons rise over the valley at sunrise, I met a photographer named Steven Friedman. We spent some quality time working together with our coveted toys.
He and his wife were a very gracious couple, and through long dinners at night and some 5:00 am calls, I had plenty of time to learn some great tips on landscape. Steven’s work is truly some of the best you'll find; click here for a look at his portfolio.
And some of his tips were very similar to my own portraiture techniques.
- Find a good background first.
- Then arrange the composition.
- Then, light from God is the final refinement.
I do the same thing with a simple portrait: Pose, Light, Refine!
I visited the hotel after a whirlwind 14 days … two impressively large and beautiful weddings, back to back. I arrived at the model homes and found a FEDEX package from my studio.
The Waldorf Astoria clients had taken a look at them, and the art buyer went wild for the infrareds. She said it was the best art she had ever seen! She commented that they were simple, direct, and dramatic, making a powerful statement for the hotel.
The hotel placed a huge order: 1,500 framed pieces - and they needed them ASAP! They were in the middle of getting the property ready for ski season. I was worried, with my Cameracraftsment trip to Alaska only two weeks away. Alaska seemed like the farthest place in the world at that moment, but I knew I had to go. Missing this meeting might have meant it would be my last.
My wife Lilia and I headed to Alaska, and I found myself in infrared heaven. The energy continued to flow with infrared collections of some of Alaska’s premium landscapes. It was paradise.
Once my associate Ben Banks arrived at the VisArts Center back home and began printing with accurate profiles using Canon’s top-of-the-line printers and inks, the fun really began. We made catalogs that organized the art for the hotel. This was truly one of the most difficult tasks, to select the appropriate images for each room, where vertical and horizontal displays played such a significant role. Measurements, visuals, and emails were flying fast and heavy.
U-Hauls were filled to the brim and delivered on time, each print matted, signed, and framed. The slideshow above is a taste of these magnificent natural images, and the following video takes you through the whole exciting process.