Photographer Q&A: Dave Mead
This was your first shoot for Dwell. Were you excited about the assignment?
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Yep! This was actually my first architectural assignment. As a modern home dweller and a Dwell magazine subscriber, I was thrilled to get the assignment. I don't fancy myself as an editorial shooter.
How did you prepare going into the shoot? Did you scout the location or spend time with the residents?
I had to switch gears in a sense. I typically do commercial work which often calls for location scouting, casting, and art directing a scene—quite a bit of pre-production. Sometimes one ultimate image is all I'm after. Knowing I'd need to come away with a healthy number of images for the story that covered the house both inside and out, I decided to scout the home in advance. I toured the grounds with the owner, Chris Brown, and we decided which rooms/areas were most visually interesting and which parts of the house were important to the story. It was also important to know how the sun would set and how we'd schedule our shots.
Do you have a favorite moment from the shoot?
Katsu, Chris's dog, decided to bolt during the shoot—he dug out and took off at top speed! We had to drop what we were doing and chase after him along the river bank. I just remember seeing Katsu bolt through the trees and Chris, hot on his trail, both at blinding speed!
Favorite image from the shoot?
The dusk shot that was selected to open the story is probably my favorite. I love the light and getting a glimpse of the home without revealing too much.
What did you like most about the house?
The most? Probably Chris's beer selection. Second, I'd have to say the green roof conceptualized by John Hart Asher. It was covered in butterflies and dragonflies. I could get all hippie and talk about being one with the earth, but I won't—it's just plain cool.
What is it like seeing the story in print when the issue came out?
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to see it in print. Again, I mostly shoot commercial where a lot of work goes into an image/advertisment, but photographically, it's anonymous. To see my name attached to a published body of work is pretty rewarding, particularly when it's for a magazine like Dwell.
A little more about you. Where are you from?
I grew up in Houston, attended the University of Texas in Austin, and decided I wasn't leaving. Ever.
What type of assignments are you shooting these days?
Mostly advertising campaigns. I got a degree in advertising and post-college, worked for a large ad agency for ten years. I also shoot a lot of live music—festivals, mainly.
Type of camera?
Film or digital?
Film? No clue what you are talking about.