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Living high on the Ogg

I recently shot photos for UW University Housing of the new Ogg residence hall. This new dorm opened in August to replace the old Ogg, the 42-year-old, 13-floor dinosaur across the street. We shot three groups of students studying, hanging out, and playing games in their dorm rooms. 3 rooms in less than 3 hours.

My background is as a photojournalist. Usually I tend to shoot in a very documentary style, just waiting for events to unfold and getting myself in the right place to capture them. Working this way takes a lot of time and patience, waiting for the right moment to arrive.

For this shoot, it was a fun change of pace to work with an art director. (Jared Wold of University Housing, who was great to work with, by the way). We got the students where I wanted them for my shots, but after that I just encouraged them to relax and be themselves. The result, I hope, is photos that are well-lit and well-composed but still look fairly natural.

In this last photo, actually, we had just finished shooting in a room when a hallmate wandered in, offering cupcakes she had just baked. She was suprised to find herself in the middle of photos!

(Compare these new photos to some truly documentary photos I took in Sellery and Smith res halls in 2005 and 2006 during Move-in, and at the other end of the spectrum, see photos University Housing has used in the past, some of which look too posed for my taste.)

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