| On Set With Cumberland Furniture
chicago architectural photographer, photography, architecture, photographer, interior design, furniture
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On Set With Cumberland Furniture

On Set With Cumberland Furniture

Back in January we spent a week in studio with my friend Michael Barile shooting some new Pieces for Cumberland Furniture.  I always enjoy working in the controlled environment of the photo studio, especially after weeks of running around chasing the sun (or wishing there was some sun to chase).  The pieces, designed by Yohandel Ruiz of RTKL were really a pleasure to work with.  After all of the interiors we’d been shooting when the new year began, it was good to get into the studio to sort of catch our breaths.  The esthetic of the sets, the abstract walls that create a soft sense of environment was something that Michael started working with several years ago and I loved manipulating them, creating space and then lighting to create a bit of intrigue.  It’s the closest I get to playing Architect.

I thought this was a pretty nice portrait of Michael that I grabbed in between sets.  Mr. Barile is one of the brightest creatives I’ve had the good fortune to work with and aside from art directing shmucks like me, he continues a strong pursuit of fine art work.


  • Ian Hay
    Posted at 11:17h, 09 April


    These are compelling images, as always. Commercial design is a mystery to me, and I’m jealous of the voodoo that goes into images like these. I love the careful play of seemingly simple, but well-choreographed geometry and tonality/gradients.

    Could you write a few words about the relationship between the photographer and the art director in a project like this? (I’ve barely done any professional photography, and I’ve never been ‘art directed’ in any of my work, so this is fascinating to me). How would you characterize the division of labor between you and Mr. Barile in this type of project? How do your respective skill sets interplay to come up with a final image?

    Many thanks,

  • chris
    Posted at 19:28h, 09 April


    That varies substantially from one situation to the next and from one person to another. It depends greatly upon the interpersonal dynamics between you and the art director and whether they are just looking for someone to capture their vision with technical competency or are looking for a truly collaborative experience.

    When working with others, it’s important to quickly ascertain what they expect your role to be and then decide if you feel comfortable proceeding with the venture. I have worked with all kinds of clients, from the highly opinionated to others who weren’t really sure what they were looking for. Commercial photography truly is as much about the personal relationships as it is about the pictures.


  • Yvette
    Posted at 08:50h, 20 April

    Good Job Chris.

    Michael looks good. I know he is still a pleasure to work with as always.