“Cheyenne Mountain Resort Photo Shoot”

The following images are a just a few of the many we captured during our recent photo shoot at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. I was originally contacted by Michelle Maestas lead designer on the project from the firm Ricca Newmark. Michelle and her firm had just completed the renovation of all the rooms at the resort as well as all of the ballrooms, meeting rooms and boardroom. Besides needing the imagery for their portfolio they also wanted to submit the images to an upcoming design competition. The deadline with the competition was tight so time was of the essence. Besides working with Michelle we worked very closely with Heath Patrick the Director of Conference Services and Catering at the Resort. In shoots of this magnitude its a huge asset to be working with a great team. I can’t say enough for the help, energy and hands on approach that Michelle and Heath provided for the shoot. Anyone who gets up at 4:30 am to accompany me on a morning sunrise shot is ok in my book!

Besides the Ricca Newmark and the resort there were several other contractors and manufactures involved with the photography. This is  a perfect example of combining more than one party in a photo shoot. A cost share is a great way to bring the cost of a shoot down for all participating parties. The model is real simple. The more entities that are involved in a shoot the lower the cost for each party. In this case not only was the interior design firm and resort a part of the shoot, but so was the flooring, lighting, and furniture company. This being said, as a photographer one has to take each vendor into consideration when setting up the camera for composition as well as lighting. It can be a challenge at times when everyone has different needs, but with lots of pre-planning any hiccups can be greatly avoided in advance. This brings me to the preliminary walk through of this particular shoot. Michelle, Heath and I got together a week or so before the shoot and spent several hours doing a preliminary walk through to come up with a solid shot list that entailed time of day for each shot, camera angle, furniture, lighting, props and staff needed. Without this prior walk through I would have been blind coming into the shoot. Planning is everything with this type of work!

We began shooting on a Sunday morning. Michelle and I arrived the night before to do a final walk through. The first shot was planned at 5:00 am on Sunday. I was able to setup my lights and  rough in a camera angle the night before so we would be ready to roll when that magic time starts to happen. You use only have about fifteen minutes to get what your after if your going for this blue window look. The results of this shot is below!

After this shot was completed we were able to move the gear next door and capture a queen room. No windows were visible in the shot so time was not as crucial!

This dining room setting was shot that evening and took several hours to setup and a staff of about ten to put together. Here again the client wanted to have the nice blue window evening look as we achieved in the morning with the king room. The flooring company was involved in the shoot so we really tried to highlight the carpet!

Now these two images were shot the next day. They are of the same room. One as you can see is setup for a dinner and the other a classroom. These shots were critical to the resort because they sell the room as two seperate venues. We shot the dinner setup first and then had to wait for the staff to break the room down and turn it into the classroom you see at the bottom. About a two hour turn around! Like I have always said with my line of work. “It’s like watching paint dry”! At the end of the day though when one is  able to step back and look at the completed images its always worth the effort that went into them. I will have to remind myself of this on my next shoot when I have to set my alarm for 4:00am once again…..


Here again we really tried to showcase the carpet….


About James Ray Spahn Photographer
James Ray Spahn is an award winning architectural, interior, lifestyle and resort photographer. He shoots for architects, interior designers, developers, manufacturers, shelter magazines and resorts. www.jamesrayspahn.com

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