The Studio’s Second Podcast: Interview with Joe Fletcher
The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture and the everyday. Hosted by architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful shots and personal discussions.
A variety of topics are covered with honesty and humour: some episodes are interviews, while others are advice for other designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or informal explorations of daily life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.
This week David and Marina are joined by architectural photographer Joe Fletcher to discuss his transition from painting to photography; his experience with formal training in photography; how an architectural photographer can influence architects and architecture; its process; the distillation of architecture through photography; why photogenic buildings are not always comfortable; and more.
Highlights and timestamps
Joe’s transition from painting to photography. (03:28)
Is formal training in photography essential? (14:58)
Move to the United States and find work in architectural photography. (19:56)
The relationship between photography, architecture and architects. (31:27)
I think it’s a bit like people, projects can be photogenic or not and it doesn’t necessarily reflect their beauty, just like with people. The experience of the project may lend itself to these great photos, but actually inhabiting it and being there, maybe there’s a disconnect there… there often is, I think. I’ve had projects that are really hard to photograph, but they’re just wonderful projects. (38:06)
Joe process. (45:49)
The distillation of architecture through photography. (53:33)
The poetry of a moment, the poetry of architecture, I think that’s the elusive thing. Great architecture is poetic, I think that’s the difference between great architecture and worldly architecture. That’s it. And it can be many things, but you feel it when you experience it. Poetry itself is a distillation of something into a few words rather than more or a concise use of words. Photography can do that, it can distill an experience of something and maybe that’s what sticks with you… that sort of distillation. (55:17)
What filming days look like for Joe. (56:50)
The evolution of Joe’s career and his working relationship with clients. (01:03:56)
How architectural photography concludes a project. (01:20:45)
Some of Joe’s favorite moments from his career. (01:24:41)
The influence of a photographer on the career of an architect. (01:30:34)
A tall building is a tall building and people will find out. I think facilitating this discovery is a great joy. There is the joy of taking pictures and there is the joy of photography and the joy of discovering architecture. But then, for me, the joy of working with other creatives and feeling part of their team as such and seeing the fruit of their labor seen by the world… it’s a nice feeling. (01:31:31)
What’s next for Joe. (01:40:22)