International Executive Architecture
Telling a story with a thousand images.
When BSBGroup asked me to record the stories of their Dubai construction projects, I began to consider new ways of approaching architectural photography. Often, I'd find myself staring into a chasm in the sand as construction workers beavered about me in close to fifty degree heat.
The desert may be be baron, devoid of life. But unlike Europe, where developments can take years to complete, construction in the Middle East takes root as if the ground is fertile and rich. The concrete foundations rise from the sand within a matter of months, and the skeletal structures reach for the skies, inching closer, day by searing hot day.
Before long, the reflective gazing is installed, creating a myriad of mirrors in which a hundred more of its like can be seen. Angular, thought-provoking, and often mesmerizing, my job was capture the entire process for the company's blog and award campaigns.
Naturally, I said yes.
'My job was to capture the entire process...'
If there's one thing I know about architects, having worked with many over the years, it's that they demand perfection. The fruits of their labour often stand for decades or more. It's only fitting then, that the images I produced for BSBGroup were of the highest quality, searching for angles that not only stopped people in their tracks, but shone a light on those tiny details that otherwise could be overlooked. The reflection in balcony glazing, two-hundred feet high at sunrise, showing the potential homeowner exactly what they were investing in and how their life could be, captured in a single shot. Or of the often mind-blowing structural arches that seem to defy science and gravity, creating spaces beneath and above that conventional practices just could not achieve.
These architects are bold, courageous, and push the limits of technology and science every single day. Therefore, my photography had to equal their passion, it had to shine a light on the boundaries they push, and above all, it had to tell stories where words would not bring justice.
'My photography had to equal their passion...'
I wrote earlier that I found myself staring into chasm in the sand. It's safe to say my ambitions took me and my camera to new heights. I recall hanging from a crane in a tiny cradle, more than seventy floors high, radioing the crane driver to take me around the very top of the building while I searched for the angle that would deliver the picture I had in my mind. The sunrise, the traffic beneath me, and the hot breeze that blew from the Arabian Gulf would only give me one shot at the image.
As exhilarating as the experience was, for me, it was the looks on the faces of the team that had designed, and developed the building. Sheer joy. Heads shook in disbelief, and smiles crept onto their faces as they, for the first time, were able to see the results of their hard work, often from angles nobody had ever envisaged.
It was moments like that will stay with me forever. The knowing, without words, that I had delivered everything that was asked of me.
My photography has taken me to Africa, the Middle East, the Untied States, and Asia, to tell stories of all different kinds. But the telling of those stories, as the glass and concrete jungle thickened around me, has to be my best photography assignment yet.
I'd be remiss if I failed to mention why I was able to deliver such results for BSBGroup. I had previously carried out work for Foster and Partners, one of the largest and most prestigious of global architectural firms, founded and led by Sir Norman Foster.
I knew how the architecture business worked. I understood their methodologies, the hierarchy, and most important of all, the people.
However, having experience in an industry does not guarantee success. The right attitude does not guarantee brilliant results. And hard work alone is often not enough. But when you combine all three of those elements, creating an alloy of skills and experience, sometimes something special takes place, something memorable, and something that quite often, words just cannot describe.
I'm John Weston, a freelance copywriter, photographer, and marketeer based in Lincolnshire, UK. I help brands deliver the right message to the right audience.
I am an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author with more than thirty published novels.
I am an experienced and published photographer, specialising in corporate, product, architecture, and interior design.
And I bring a well-rounded set of marketing skills to any project I work on.
I have included a select few projects to display in my portfolio. Enough, I believe to demonstrate my experience, and capabilities, but mostly, these are the projects that stand out in my mind as being particularly influential in my career.
Aside from these projects, I have been fortunate enough to work in various capacities with brands such as Foster & Partners, Walt Disney, Facebook, Eversheds LLP, King and Spalding LLP, Apple, and many more.
I'd like to add your brand to my growing list of delighted clients.
Every element of your message or project needs to be aligned. That's where I come in. Whatever type of message you're looking to deliver, I'm sure I can help.