For last month’s installment of our monthly Third Thursday speaker series, we invited architecture and design photographer Adam Rouse to share his work with our studio virtually. Having worked for Aidlin Darling Design for the past 15 years while developing a parallel photography practice in the last 7 of those, Adam’s unique perspective as both a photographer and practicing architect influences and drives his work. Recently, he shifted primary focus to his photography practice, and continues to expand his work shooting design focused projects within the Bay Area as well as up and down the West Coast. We’ve been lucky to have him shoot a number of our projects, including Sunrise, Slot House, the Atherton Pavilions, and Round House.

His talk began by introducing an idea that interests him – atmospheric density – or the certain indescribable gravitas that moves an observer when experiencing both a space, as well as a poignant photograph of said space. Heavily inspired by Zumthor’s work and theory around the experience of space, Adam spoke about the idea that architectural photography is powerful in its ability to translate the innate feeling of a building, enabling architects to share their work with larger audiences. Most people will not experience an architect’s work firsthand, but hopefully they can experience the magic of a structure through a thoughtful image.

We love Adam’s architectural prowess for shooting our work, specifically his attention to detail. Adam walked us through his impressive portfolio, pointing out small details in a few of his photos, like the First Christian Church he explored and photographed in graduate schoo l, in which every flat head screw was oriented vertically – God is in the details. “I always want to capture these types of moments and speak with the architect. The details tell the story – the tight detail photograph is just as important as the establishing shot.”

It was especially interesting hearing Adam discuss shooting Sunrise, which was the first project he photographed twice, once in misty February and once in sunny, hot August. Contrasting light and day lengths made each shoot a very unique experience. His intimate detail images very articulately characterize the materiality of the project, which successfully all tie into the broader project goals. Now, we’re even more excited to continue our working relationship with Adam– see more of his work here.