ART GRAY – architectural photographer
I live and work as a freelance architectural photographer in Venice Beach, CA. I specialize in architectural, interior and landscape photography. I photograph for architects, interior designers, landscape architects, shelter magazines and book publishers around the globe.
Architecture and photography have been two passions of mine for a long as I can remember. I grew up in the lush rural landscape of Western Pennsylvania. My parents provided me with all the tools my future career needed, a rich appreciation of nature, a set of Lego blocks, and a Polaroid camera. When I was about 6 years old, my two older sisters went on a school field trip to Falling Waters, the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece in a nearby town. I became fascinated by the instamatic snapshots of the “house with a river running under it”. I was hooked.
My teenage years were spent in the suburbs of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Weekend were spent with my dad, we were always on the search for the perfect new house. Dad never quite found what he was looking for, so I designed his dream house, and we had it built. My first commission as an architect, as well, my first assignment as an architectural photographer, all by the age of 16!
I attended the University of Michigan, and graduated from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning. I got my first Nikon camera during my last spring term at Michigan; I knew immediately that I found my place in the world of architecture.
The West Coast was calling, so I moved to Los Angeles and started working for an architectural lighting design firm. Learning to importance of light and architecture led to my study of photography with UCLA night classes. A few years later, after a brief career as a stunt man, I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend Brooks Institute of Photography.
I focused my photography education on architecture as I learned the craft and science of photography and light. My goal was to learn to shoot architecture and interiors with natural light, and to learn to create lighting that does not overpower the existing lighting in a structure. The lighting design team I trained with as a professional helped to hone my photography skills with light that translates today into my new digital world of photography and re touching.
I moved back to Los Angles, set up a studio in Venice Beach and immediately starting assisting some of the best photographers in the world in the photography fields of food, lifestyle, products, celebrity portraits, and architecture. I started shooting for my own set of clients about 15 years ago, with my first big break coming from Interior Design Magazine. (Still my favorite magazine and client, to shoot for to this day)
My work has led me all over the country, shooting for books and magazines and architects and designers, from Park Avenue to Honolulu to a ranch in Texas and a cabin on a glacier lake in Montana. It is a great job; I meet all kinds of interesting people and certainly see some beautiful architecture. A dream come true. I cannot imagine doing anything else. As I like to say… have camera, will travel, and hope for a location with good surf!