Nestled on 28 acres of extremely private property in Portola Valley is a living relic from the roaring ’20s, and its name is Villa Lauriston. I won’t go into the history of the house as there are books published about it, but it was literally built from the ground it majestically sits upon. All the rock was excavated from a quarry up the hill and hand-chiseled into what would become garden walls, bridges, walkways and of course the house itself. I was tasked by the owner to photograph all the rooms and the surrounding ponds, vineyard, pathways and all the details in-between. Of course I used my own HDR technique extensively for many of the photos, especially the interiors – which made the shooting process MUCH quicker than using artificial lights for each shot. In fact, I completed shooting the entire project in a little less than four hours!
The goal of this shoot was to capture the property at its peak, the result of 15 years of immense restorative efforts by the owner. He wanted professional photography to preserve the place as he lived in it and would like to remember it. He’ll create his own book with the results of my photos and his writing. It was nice to have an emotional connection with the project, which I definitely took to heart. Below are some of my favorite photos from the shoot, but of course you can check out all the exterior and interior photos if you like as well.