Lobbies and hallways are the first impressions when we enter a building, and when properly designed, they are of a great importance to the overall experience of the occupants and visitors. Lobbies are no longer just the ways to get to the elevator, but are increasingly designed as welcoming social spaces. Many hotels, residential and commercial buildings now go to great lengths to design the lobbies and hallways to match their image and prestige.
Whether photographing the lobby at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel (before they closed for renovation), or beautiful lobbies and hallways around Manhattan landmark buildings executed by my New York based client, Ari Group, Inc. there are always some challenges.
First and foremost, having a great liability insurance coverage is a must, many building managements will not allow any commercial photography without a certificate of insurance.
Capturing a lobby in the right light is essential. Tastefully combining two different color temperatures is always a challenge if we shoot during the daytime, even though many a times I like the effect of the cold blue light seeping in and dissolving with warm interior lights.
Having people in a photograph is usually a great idea, after all, the spaces are made for them, but due to privacy and legal issues of obtaining model releases, I usually have to wait for the moments when there is no-one walking by. Striking a friendly tone with the doormen is highly recommended, they can be very helpful with the traffic flow or with the parked cars blocking the view outside.
Hallways are not always just a path from room to room - besides tying together different spaces - a hallway can be a perfect spot for playing host to a gallery wall. Shooting hallways with a usual wide angle lens creates an unflattering deep tunnel-like perspective. I find my 45mm tilt/shift lens an ideal tool to compress the scene back to a more pleasing view.