We shoot lots of houses, public buildings and interiors, but in the past month we were lucky enough to photograph a handful of unique projects in San Francisco that have interesting stories. Here is a quick look at two.
Music Orange is a creative music studio run by two unsung heroes of the music world. Michael Lande and Hector Perez create music for TV, the web and advertising. Those catchy tunes from TV and radio ads that just stick in the back of your brain more than likely came from their sound studios at the base of Green Street in San Francisco. If you have children that are Spongebob fans, Music Orange created the theme song for that eternally popular cartoon series. Lande and Perez are prolific composers and musicians. They have a music library of over 900 themes that are available to license. They are also Emmy and Grammy award nominees and winners. Perez is a collector of mid-century modern design which fills the studio.
A Tiny House
Hidden away on a quiet mixed-use street in San Francisco's Mission District is a neglected earthquake shack that has been given a new life by architect Karen Mar of YAMAMAR Design. After the 1906 Quake, the city hired union carpenters to erect small, temporary houses. Families could rent to own and it allowed lower-income residents to become first-time homebuyers. And so the "Earthquake Shack" remained a permanent feature. This particular "shack" was used as a contractor's office and yard until an adventurous young family bought it and decided to make it a home again. Mar calls this project the "tiny house." She cleverly manages to squeeze three bedrooms, two baths and a third floor out of a 650 square foot floor plate. Using new and recycled materials, the house has a uniquely San Francisco charm and has become an oasis for its new owners.
I don't reminisce fondly of the days of film, but there are a dozen or so large file cabinets that sit on my studio floor filled with a lifetime of images. We are slowly in the process of going through each file folder and keeping only what is essential. We are keeping negatives and original transparencies, but discarding every print and paper object. Part of the psychology of being a photographer is being a collector of things. Trying to decide what image, if any, will have a future value to a historian or fellow collector is tricky. I just wonder if that Aztec potter ever thought his whimsical figurine would be dug up a thousand years after he was gone and become an object of adoration in a museum a continent away.