Photographer Q&A: Dave Mead

Dave Mead—Austin resident, husband, father, and lover of all things 80s hit it out of the park on his very first Dwell photo shoot. The Country Bunker House offered Dave challenging angles, beautiful landscape and architecture, and lovely residents to work with. Check out our Q&A below to see how Dave approached this house and came out with an amazing selection of images.
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This was your first shoot for Dwell. Were you excited about the assignment?

Home owner Chris Brown and his beloved dog Katsu get ready to take Dave on a tour of the Edgeland House land.

A peak into the Edgeland House at dusk, and Mead's favorite shot from the story.

The green roof and yard at the Edgeland House is a mix of around a hundred different native grasses and plants.

Chris and Katsu taking the canoe for a walk to the river.

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? 

Nikon D800.

Film or digital?

Film? No clue what you are talking about.


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