The Basics Of Visual Impressions - Dress to Impress

How To Beat the Perth Recession! - Day 1 December is coming and the year is closing to an end. It kind of sucks that the Perth's economy has been having it's blah moment but that is all about to change. Follow me through this free course which I will teach you my knowledge on modern marketing to stay on top of your game.

I know some of you are anxious to see what you can learn from me so you can bring a whole new awesomeness to your business in the new year, but as all things, the fundamentals of marketing must be learned first.

First thing's first. Many of us in Perth hates changes, from the Perth Arena being built to the 2 way roads within our CBD being autorised, many of us spat at the idea because it was different. This translates to some business owners finding it hard to change old habits of marketing to suit the new generation of clients.

As mentioned in my introduction, your marketing team (which includes sales people, graphics designer, marketing employees, photographers, videographers, printers etc.) are your weapon to success, which means when time turns sour, keep them in your power team... You can thank me for that later.

The way I see it, the new generation will keep moving forwards whether you like it or not and it's up to you to make it work with them.

Now in the title I wrote "Dress to Impress". It was one of the first things I learned to do when I started my own business and I then carried it over to my marketing. What does it have to do with marketing?

Take a look at yourself, when we go out networking with other business owners or go out to a meeting, the first thing our eyes look at is how the other people are dressed right?

Compare the man in a suit to the man in casual dressing:

Well dressed VS Casual

Which guy would seem more trust worthy, reliable, dedicated?

You can say "but I already know this" which I'm sure we all do, but how many of us tend to take shortcuts to make our business standout? It's all about opportunity costs.

If we humans gain first impressions by how people dress to impress in real life, why wouldn't it be the same in the virtual reality where many businesses are thriving now and where most of our potential and existing clients spend their time?

Your products and services should be deserving a marketing strategy that dresses them to impress your clients. First impression is very crucial, it may not land you a sale, but it sure will get people through the door and talking.

Here's a good example for sunglasses products:

Below is a Prada product shoot I did for an assignment in my room. It looks OK but it's just a picture of a sunglasses which doesn't give the product a good value rating and did I mention I did it in my room with a basic camera and minimal understanding of photography?

An estimated cost of ~$50 per picture.

A basic Glasses Product shoot

Now take a look at the image I took of the Ray Ban Tech sunglasses below. It took many ours of planning, researching, meetings <-[plural] with the client and 2 hours of shooting time, plus the 2 hours of editing time.

An estimated cost of ~$700 + licencing fees.

Advertising photo of Ray Ban Tech Series

See the difference? Ultimately your customers will feel the difference and although this may seem like a big cost initially, you can multiply the returns much more than a basic image. Why? The bonus is that the perceived value of the product is increased in your customer's eyes, therefore you can charge a premium on your product/service.

It's easy and cheap to dress casual, but with a little bit more effort and money you put in, you can really change how your customers see your brand and product.

You don't need to spend money to make money, but you need to spend money to make more money (or time which equates to money). Give it a thought. Dress to impress.

 

 

 

If you have any topics of visual marketing you would like me to talk about, please simply comment below or email me through my website.

 

Godox Witstro AD360 The Ultimate Speedlight?

As a photographer I'm always looking for ways to make my job more efficient. Be it less things to carry, more power or anything that would help speed up my process, because the more time I have, the more time I can spend with my client's project creating fantastic images. I used to use normal speedlights like Nikon's SB-700 or SB-900,but as a commercial photographer who specialises in architectural and interior design photography, many times those tiny speedlights just aren't powerful enough.

I got to the point where I started buying lots of those speedlights just to combine power, but that meant that my carry load got heavier and not to mention the setup time increased.

Fast forward to today and I can say I am a proud owner of the Godox Witstro 360!

Godox Witstro AD360 speedlight Box

First off, let me tell you what I don't like about this speedlight and kit.

  • The Godox Witstro AD360 kit did not come with a transmitter and receiver! I mean... What? I guess the Chinese are trying to cut the cost down, but I would have gladly bought the the kit if it came with the wireless kits.

Accessories

  • Secondly, the kit comes in three pieces to make it functional. A Propac PB960 battery pack, a power cord and the flash unit itself. This means that there's setting up to do every time you want to use this device (and I really hate wires).

Battery Pack

  • Thirdly, there's no zoom head on this portable speedlight unit which means that controlling the spread of light requires additional grids. All this unit comes with is a reflector with a diffuser cover.

Reflector and Diffuser

  • And for my last complaint, I'm going to say that Godox could have easily included a light bulb cover, but instead you have to purchase it separately for $5.

Most of these complaints are very minimal which is super! Now let's move to the awesome stuff this speedlight has to offer.

  • I find that their detachable wireless receiver is a cure and a blessing. It means that there's one more thing to lose and forget (which I have done), but the great thing about this is that new receivers can be made to work with other triggers in the future (let's hope Godox had that in mind).
  • For the old-schools, Godox has included a PC-Sync port as well as the new-schools like me who prefer the more reliable and stable 3.5mm jack. This is Godsend!

Accessories port

  • The foot of the speedlight can be changed from a hot shoe to a standard 1/4" screw mount! This is called innovation and all flashes should have that option.

Hot Shoe and 1/4

  • The flash bulb is detachable which means that you don't need to buy a whole new unit or get an expensive repair when the bulb blows. A simple unlock and replace is all that is needed.

Detachable Bulb

  • The user interface is idiot proof, no need for a manual here! I figured it all out within a minute or two after turning it on. Here's the funny thing, the screen is simple and super easy on the eyes, so I do wonder why Nikon and Canon still use crappy LCD screens for their speedlights.

Godox Witstro AD360 and the rear interface

  • The portable Li-ion battery is hot swappable! Which is fantastic as it means users like myself can have fully charged batteries on the fly. All it needs is an un-click on the side tab and slide action to take it off and on the holder and to top it off, you get ~400+ flashes at 300W on one charge!

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Battery Release Tab

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Battery Detached

    [/one-half]
  • Not to mention, the Godox Witstro AD360 is bare bulb, which means that the flash is more suited to using studio modifiers and is a blessing on umbrella usage, as it has an even spread of light.

Other mentions are that like most portable speedlights, the Witstro has a 0 to 270° Left and Right swivel rotation angle and a -15 to 90° Up and Down tilt angle, which makes it more versatile than equivalent powered studio flashes.

http://adriantanportfolio.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v135/p1606733583.gif

Multi Exposure Tilt Head

I've really enjoyed using this flash and it has somewhat sped up my shooting process. If not, it has definitely given me more power flexibility, with 3-4x more flash power than your standard speedlight and that is already a plus in the portable world.

As this is article is based on my opinion the the Godox Witstro AD360 you might want lust for a more in-depth review on this flash. Do head over to flash havoc where they do all sorts of light testing etc.

Like what you've read?

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*All images are taken by Adrian Tan and are a copyrighted to Adrian Tan Photography

How To Beat the Perth Recession!

What's up with the Perth economy? Many are complaining that business is slow because the mining boom is over, or that people are being cheap.

What if I said that in the next few weeks, I will teach you (For FREE), my secrets (not really secrets, but it does sound cool!) to creating imagery that minimises the impact of this recession which Perth is going through?

How would you like to have a spectacular advertising material which your clients can lust over, like this:

Product shoot example

Do subscribe to my blog to receive these awesome free tips and there's no catch, I promise.

Why am I doing this? It's because a friend of mine from Melbourne told me that Perth is so backwards... and it hit me... Everyone seems to put their business actions first and not their marketing. In fact, at one of the marketing event I went to a few months ago (Australian Marketing Institute), the speaker mentioned something so blindly obvious! I couldn't believe that I didn't see it.

He said something along the lines of "When business is bad, the marketing department is the first to get the cut"

I sat in the room thinking that what he just said is so true! As a former graphics designer who ran the marketing department of a solar company (now bankrupt), I was the first one to get the kick when times were bad because the marketing budget was pretty much reduced to 'in-house flyer printing'.

The marketing department is the business' arsenal, it is the sword or the bazooka to hit a home run, just like how your lawyers and capitals are your shield. It's a vital part of your business.

Perth is no longer a country town and it's growing rapidly so your business strategy needs to be flipped.

As I'm a photographer, everything will be based on creating and using correct photographic images for your marketing.

Here's one thing to keep in mind before we start the course of how to beat the Perth recession. Everything you will learn is what I have spent years studying and researching and I know your uncle/friend Bob has a camera and that doesn't make him less of a photographer, but does he really know what works for your advertising?

So let's learn together!

 

Pulling Off A Styling Interiors Shoot From Scratch

Just do it! 6-7hrs of priceless time to style and shoot to create stunning editorial pictures. It was what happened when I partnered up with Ridhwaan Moolla, a talented graphics designer and stylist. This project had been on my mind for months now but I just didn't find the right person to work with and the longer I thought about it, the less drive I had to make it happen.

Then... Ridhwaan and I caught up and we gave ourselves little to no time for preparation and planning. It was all put together in a matter of days with myself creating mood boards and researching styles and Ridhwaan running around finding items to suit the style I envisioned.

The day came for the shoot, dare I say it was stressful but at the same time fun and enjoyable.

After unloading all our props and equipment, we started dismantling my studio. Whist Ridhwaan prepped the props for different sets, I blocked all windows using large sheets of blackout cloth which I bought from Spotlight.

I could technically use natural light coming through the windows but that would mean that nature is controlling the results of my images and I can't allow that. Also, it was the time during sunset which meant that harsh angled splashes of light would ruin the images. Modified flash it is! Being a flash user, this was an easy solution. The goal was to make it seem like the set was illuminated by window light.

The Lounge Scene was lit with and Elinchrom BXRi500 just over 1/2 power, through a large 7' (~213cm) white bounce umbrella with a diffuser on. Because the far left side of the set was so close to the wall and me being at 1/10th of a second, it was reflecting enough light back, so no additional flash was needed.

For the other two sets in this project (Table Setting and Kids Play Zone), a Phottix Mitros+ was used with a Magmod tungsten gel just to mimic a lamp light from the far left, as well as bringing some detail to the shadow side.

 

 

Styling and interior design projects like these are always so fun to do as the only restraints are your vision and creativity. The long hours of styling and prepping is really worth it and by the end of it you'll walk away feeling accomplished.

Check out the 6hr BTS in a 1 minute timelapse:

Props used for Lounge Scene:

ARRIVAL HALL - HTTP://ARRIVALHALL.COM.AU • BLOOMINGVILLE FLUTE VASE MATTE GREY $60.00 • BLOOMINGVILLE HANGING FLOWERPOT BRASS $69.00 • MENU NORM WIRE BIN (BLACK) $110.00 • NORMANN COPENHAGEN BLOCK TABLE (DARK GREY) $395.00 • ROYAL VKB TABLE ISLAND (ANTHRACITE CORK) $80.00 • ROYAL VKB TABLE ISLAND (ANTHRACITE CORK) $80.00

COMPENDIUM DESIGN STORE - HTTP://WWW.COMPENDIUMSTORE.COM.AU • ROSE GERANIUM CANDLE X LES BOBOS FOR C·D·S - $29.00 • THE MONOCLE GUIDE TO COSY HOMES - $105.00 * ABOVE SHOT • THE MONOCLE GUIDE TO GOOD BUSINESS- $105 .00 *FRONT SHOT

COUNTRY ROAD - HTTP://WWW.COUNTRYROAD.COM.AU • ROCKY LAMBSWOOL CUSHION AUD $60.00 • BLACK STRIPED THROW $150.00 • PHOTO FRAME $39.95 • GOLD SCISSORS

MAGAZINES • CEREAL • KINFOLK • SMITH JOURNAL • FETE

SHOES and MISC • TOMMY HILFIGER - LEATHER TAN DOCKSIDERS • SUPER AMART - COUCH $1199 • BEACON LIGHTING - FLOOR LAMP $282.92

Props used for Table Setting:

FOOD - THE IMP CAFE - HTTP://WWW.THEIMP.COM.AU • CRISPY SKIN SALMON WITH ROAST POTATOES AND SALAD

ARRIVAL HALL - HTTP://ARRIVALHALL.COM.AU • BLOOMINGVILLE DIAMOND IMPRINT VASE (MATTE BLACK) $35.00 • SERAX LOVATT FAMILY SET SMALL SALAD BOWL (GREY) $25.00 • BLOOMINGVILLE COPPER POT

COUNTRY ROAD - HTTP://WWW.COUNTRYROAD.COM.AU • PLATE • BLACK AND CONCRETE VASE • WHITE POURER • TABLE CLOTH • BLACK, GREY AND NUDE THROW

NOSH GOURMET FOOD & GIFTS - HTTP://NOSHGOURMET.COM.AU • WOVEN BASKET • TRUFFLE OIL • BAHEN CO, CHILI SALT CHOCOLATE

BOOK and MISC • THE KINFOLK TABLE • EAST WEST DESIGN - HTTP://WWW.EASTWESTDESIGN.COM.AU - TABLE $595

Props used for Kids Play Zone:

ARRIVAL HALL - HTTP://ARRIVALHALL.COM.AU • MENU YEH WALL TABLE LOW (MOSS GREEN) $249.00 • TWIST A TWILL WOOL BLANKET (DARK GREY) $220.00 • TELLKIDDO BEAR PAPER BAG $29.00

COMPENDIUM DESIGN STORE - HTTP://WWW.COMPENDIUMSTORE.COM.AU • CYGNUS SATELLITE X PAPAFOXTROT - $45.00 • QWSTION OFFICEBAG IN WASHED GREY - $219 .00 • DESIGNED BY DANISH DESIGNER HENRIK HOLBAEK AND CLAUS JENSENARE FOR ITALIAN • GLOBE MANUFACTURE ATMOSPHERE. GLOBE LAMP - $145.00 • DREAM CHALK CAR

COUNTRY ROAD - HTTP://WWW.COUNTRYROAD.COM.AU • LARGE BLACK CUBE - $24.95 • SMALL FLUORO CUBE - $ 19.95 • CUSHION - $59.95 • WALL FRAME - $54.95 • BLACK WASHABLE PAPER BAG - $29.95

MISC • BOXED WATER • DISNEY BABY SVEN PLUSH • PENGUIN CLASSICS BOOK • WOODEN HAND

How Selling has Changed and How You Can Benefit - Part 1

In the past, common selling avenues were; throwing your details in the White Pages, cold calling (although that isn't easy), magazine adverts and hard selling to a customer's face but how has selling changed?

Fast forward to this current generation, we grew up with the internet, social media and online interaction and that has changed how we as consumers see things. Your business competitor or life-long partner can be just a click away without even lifting your bum off your seats! Whether you like it or not, selling has changed.

As a photographer, I constantly have to research on how the market is running and devise strategies that can put my customers a few steps ahead of their customers.

So in this article, I want to share with you some of my knowledge on how you can compete in this new world of "online-shopping". This article will be split up into 2 parts:

  • Identifying the issues
  • Rectifying the issues

Identify the Issue:

  • Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Price almost always comes first because there is always someone cheaper on the internet.
  • Knowledge can be acquired instantly any time any day (I'll get more onto this later).
  • An average customer only spends 15 seconds looking at a webpage.
  • Old marketing tricks just don't work as well anymore and we know it.
  • Low marketing budget, low R&D or just simply spending marketing efforts in the wrong areas.

There are many more issues, but from my research and experiences, these were the main issues I found that could affect my business.

So how can customers having all these easily accessible knowledge be an issue?

People are now smart enough to know when you are hard selling to them and you really need to know your products inside out because nowadays, we research before we purchase, we compare companies, website presentation, picture quality, reviews, customer service and many others before we make the decision to put our money down. In other words, your customers would most likely know just as much, if not more about the products than you do.

Thanks to social media and the growth of camera technology on our phones and price drop of cameras, we as consumers have become visual shoppers and we know when you've put a lot of effort into winning our hearts. Our knowledge of this has increased the standards of visual marketing, so it's no surprise that images and videos have become one of the largest marketing tools that can attract customers... ONLY if done correctly.

So have a think about this, if your business can do with a boost, identify the problems that are causing the bottleneck first. The problems usually lies in your marketing, if not, your customer service. If the CEO is the king/queen, the marketing department is your sword and the person welding it.

Next week we will talk about the solution, how you can overcome the issues and get ahead.

BDAWA Hosts Spectacular Moulin Rouge Night

The Building Designers Australia WA also known as BDAWA took the awards night to a sha-bang! All thanks to their events manager, Hayley Sims and her team.

I was to be their events photographer for the night to capture the feel of it and boy, when I stepped into the venue at UWA, I was captivated by the amount of work and detail that went into making this very night.

the 4 Can-Can girls at the read carpet

The night started off with a Red Carpet entrance for the guests, welcomed by 4 beautiful Can-Can girls and an Optional walk in photo by me. The guests were then greeted with tapas and cold beverages whilst they mingled in the red-lit hallway, waiting for the event to commence.

Not long after, the guests were shuffled to the auditorium where there stood a stubby man at the lectern named Harold Zidler (played by Michael Elezovich). With a big booming and jolly voice, he announced the start to the awards presentation and quite a comedian he was! He was very entertaining to watch.

Harold Zidler greets the crowd

Congratulations to all the award winners of 2015.

Then came dinnertime, the guest were to make their way into the ballroom where they were taken into another era. Red and blue lights flooded the dining area, with fancy looking centrepieces that made the place look grand. But all couldn’t have been completed without a Moulin Rouge background on the stage to tie it all together!

Main Ball Room with red and blue lights

Hereon out were all great fun, great food and drinks. Can-Can dancers initiated the dinnertime, prancing and dancing at the front stage and a couple of flips here and there too. This was then followed by a few games where guests where to participate in the Can-Can dance and were to be judged for their dancing talents.

Can-Can dancers entertaining the guests

The food was great, the desert was especially great and the people were friendly and wow, just a spectacular night.

I thoroughly enjoyed this night and boy, have BDAWA set the bar high.

Thanks to the sponsors of the night:

James Hardie

BlueScope

Casesarstone

Midland Brick

WABCA

Knauf Insulation

Home Base

Big Ass Fans

Fielders

Because without them, this night or organisation could not have happened.

 

If you would like to download or view the images of the night, you can click HERE

And click here for instructions on how to download the images.

 

 

Learn how LinkedIn can benefit your career

Linda Le HeadshotLinkedIn is one of those things that at first, you use it just because everyone else says you should. It then becomes an "online-resume" and gets left as it is. We all go through that stage and I did too, until I met Linda Le from Wealthy Appetite and I attended her workshop... twice! Why twice? because her seminar is jam-packed with LinkedIn tricks which you can utilise and I found that the two times I went back, I gained new 'nuggets' (knowledge) which have benefited my business.

From learning how to gain a network to making it work for your business/career, this workshop is well worth it. Not to mention, it's grown to become a comprehensive hands-on workshop, it means that you gain a hands-on experience right on your laptop/tablet on the spot.

Linda Le teaching at her LinkedIn workshopIf used correctly (recommending 10 minutes a day) you may see an increase in business and exposure of 10-60% and that's well worth the 10 minutes a day commitment.

So do you need to be on LinkedIn? No you don't but it means that you'll be falling behind those young guns who are internet savvy and who can utilise LinkedIn to reach out to thousands and thousands of people, not just locally, but internationally too.

I cannot stress that having an updated online presence is very important in this day and age, just as important as is to network. So if larger companies like Coke and Nike are doing it, it means something and you should consider it too.

I've just heard that Linda will be holding her next workshop on the 22nd of September which you can go on and click here to purchase your ticket (Eventbrite)

It's a well worth investment for sure.

*disclosure: this is not an affiliate of any sort and it's based on how helpful I have found this workshop to be for me.

Step by Step: Fix a Phottix Mitros+ broken zoom

I broke my flash the other day whilst photographing a house in Applecross but before I go into the "How to fix it", let me tell you what happened first otherwise you can skip to it here. It was a calm day and all of a sudden, the clouds came in covering my beautiful natural light that was washing into the bedroom window!

Pressed for time, I decided to just make my own beautiful natural light. I placed a Phottix Mitros+ flash outside the bedroom window with a 32" shoot through umbrella (1/2 CTO Gel), on a 2.5m light stand and ran back in. Before I could press the shutter button, I heard a loud THUD!

I walked outside to see my $400+ speedlight on the concrete floor... Damn you wind!! But I can't blame nature, it was my fault for not securing the light stand in the first place. Picking the device up, I pressed the 'test' button to see if it was still functioning and IT DID!!... You tough cookie! But then when I cycled the 'zoom' function, there was this really loud whirring sound and the flash tube wasn't moving! No biggie at this point, as zooming the flash head wasn't as critical so I proceeded with the shoot.

Result:

Still... I was and pretty devastated that my flash zoom feature doesn't work anymore and of course I use that feature quite a lot, so instead of paying a good $50+ to ship it back to the US, I attempted to fix it myself. I documented the process, so for those who have suffered or may suffer from the same problem, you can fix it too!

*Try at your own risk! It voids the warranty and may kill you in the process due to the high amount of electricity the flash capacitor holds.

Step by Step: Fix a Phottix Mitros+ broken zoom

What you need:

  • #0 philips head screwdriver (Stanley does not specify the size)
  • 2.0mm flat head
  • 1.4mm flat head (optional)
  • pair of rubber gloves (my sister's dish washing gloves)
  • pair of tweezers

equipment needed

 Step 1: Carefully pry open the rubber pads on the hinge of the flash head.

[one-half-first][/one-half-first][one-half][/one-half]

[one-half-first]Step 2: Make sure you have not damaged the sticky black film in the process. If you did, you can just use strong 3M double sided tape.

Sticky film

[/one-half-first][one-half]Step 3: Remove the two screws on the bottom of the flash head.

Two screws on the bottom of the flash head

[/one-half] Step 4: Remove the 6 screws (3 on each side) on the hinges of the flash.

[one-half-first]Hinge 1[/one-half-first][one-half]Hinge 2[/one-half]

Step 5: Now you can carefully detach the bottom cover of the flash and have access to all the components of the head. Firstly, remove the Fresnel Lens.

[one-half-first]Frensnel Lens[/one-half-first][one-half]No Frensnel Lens[/one-half]

Step 6: Remove the 3 screws holding the flash tube unit.

[one-third-first]Flash tube unit[/one-third-first][one-third]

two screws on the left

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one screw on the right

[/one-third]

Step 7: Remove the 3 cables from the flash head logic board but be gentle.

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3 cables

[/one-half-first][one-half]

1st cable

[/one-half][one-half-first]

2nd cable

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[/one-half]

[one-half-first]Step: 8: Remove the head unit from the casing.

Head unit[/one-half-first][one-half]Step 9: Remove the 2 screws holding the zoom rail.

zoom rail screws[/one-half]

[one-half-first]Step 10: Realign the zoom rail hook on the flash tube piece back onto the brass coloured platform on the zoom rail. Initially I thought that you needed to glue it back but that isn't the case. It just sits on there... Phew![/one-half-first][one-half]zoom rail hook and platform[/one-half]

Step 11: We have solved the problem! now work backwards to fit all the screws and pieces back together. It's really simple so there is no need for me to show you how.

Important: Make sure you stick the rubber padding back in the right position (hint: there's a small dip where the small tab goes).

[one-half-first]rubber tab 1[/one-half-first][one-half]Rubber tab 2[/one-half]

Well, I'm happy that I just saved myself $50+ postage and the additional labor and parts cost of getting Phottix to fix it.

Happy shooting!!

Plug: Interior design by Sandy from Spruce Ups

Harrisdale Developements: Eclipse Homes designer home

I had to photograph this house. Danny from Eclipse Homes was kind enough to allow me to photograph this designer residential display home down in Harrisdale, even though photos had already been done of the place... I seriously wished that photographer put more effort into it though because it's a pretty nice house!

In saying that, I limited myself to photograph more of the interior design instead. Whoever you are, we need to talk! Your interior designing is just as amazing and I would love to photograph your work for you too.

This house had a quirky design and I was wondering why I was having so much trouble lining up my camera with the walls. The floor tiles start straight then bends maybe 30 degrees at roughly 3 metres. Pretty cool!

Harrisdale Eclipse Homes living room

Harrisdale Eclipes Homes Living room

I really like the staircase (yes.. I'm obsessed with staircases) and the large windows which allow beautiful natural light to wash in and fill the rooms.

Walking up the stairs, you are greeted with this little space just enough for a relaxing area or a small open space office.

Harrisdale Eclipse Homes small office

Now check out this master bedroom. Kind of an odd shape but considering the shape of the land, I'm quite impressed.

Then there were two smaller (although standard) rooms with really nice interior design which I had to photograph.

Even with such limited time to shoot, the images turned out really well.