A day in the life of a limassol photographer: Behind the lens

Limassol Photographer

t’s 9 am in Limassol on a hot summer’s day and I’m packing my car with umbrellas—not the beach kind, sadly, but the ones photographers use to bounce light. As it will later transpire, I won’t even need them, but you can never be too sure of the challenges a photography shoot will present in Limassol, which is why it’s always better to have something and not need it than need something and not have it.

In this blog post, I discuss a day in my life as a photographer in Limassol in the context of shooting for an international interior design company. But first, here’s a quick sneak peak of some the final shots that we captured from the project:

Limassol Interior Design Photo
Chill out room
Limassol Architectural photo
Entrance Lobby

Preparing for the Assignment: A Limassol Photographer's Creative Journey

It’s now 9.15am and I’m running through my gear list—neatly compiled in Excel—one last time. The client location is a short drive away but I know there is one thing still missing: coffee. Everything else—camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards, filters, strobe lights, light stands, umbrellas, iPad, CamRanger (more on this one later), laptop, light trigger and much, much more—is ready to go, but I know none of it will matter unless I’m alert and sharp enough to use it.

I jump in the car and make my way to the nearest Coffee Beanery, where I order two iced lattes, not because I need that much caffeine—although I do love my coffee—but because my photography assistant and set designer, who I will be picking up on the way, also knows we have a very long day ahead and needs their caffeine fix.

We park up outside the client’s location in the heart of Limassol and we are several minutes early. Having already done a site visit the week before, I’ve made sure to allow for enough time to park somewhere convenient and unload all the gear.

Today’s client is ZIKZAK architects, an international interior design company that’s designed a stunning new office space in Germasogeia, Limassol, for one of the top legal and consulting companies in town: Enalian. My point of contact for the shoot is actually based in Ukraine, but Enalian’s director is at the door to open up for us and greet us.

What lies ahead is no easy task: to stage and photograph three floors of office space, both wide shots and close-up details in the space of 48 hours. A typical shoot of this kind could easily take several days just to shoot (and up to another week of editing), but due to time and budget constraints we have to get everything done over the course of one weekend.

Setting the Stage: Exploring the Limassol Office Space

ZIKZAK Architects have given me a clear brief and has also very helpfully sent renders of all the office areas for me to use as a reference and starting point. As it will later transpire, not all of these renders are viable—either because the space does not allow for it or because there are simply better angles—but they are very helpful and useful in getting the ball rolling.

As the client has asked for certain photos on the ground floor to be taken later in the day (during dusk), I make the decision to start the shoot from the basement floor, which is not affected by natural day light.

I open up the iPad to remind myself of the renders and can already see the first two compositions for the shoot (renders below).

Architectural photography - render
interior design photo - render

I instruct my set designer to begin staging while I start to unpack my own gear. Here’s a shot of me behind the scenes setting up for the shot:

Behind the Scenes: Limassol Photographer

You may be wondering: why do I have an iPad, a laptop and a beauty dish on an interior design shoot? Surely this is overkill for a photographer in Limassol? Well, there are several reasons. Firstly, the iPad is receiving a wireless signal from a device called the CamRanger, which is mounted on top of the camera trigger and is connected directly to the camera via USB. The CamRanger has two purposes. It transmits a live signal to the iPad, which allows us to move around and stage the room freely without having to go back all the time to the camera to see how things look, making the set design far less laborious. Having a bigger and sharper screen is also a nice luxury to have and means compositions are less likely to go wrong.

As for the laptop, you will notice that it is tethered directly to the camera. Although tethering is not uncommon for portrait and product photography, its use during architectural and/or interior design photography is rather unheard of. The reason why I needed it here was because the client previously had a bad experience with another photographer in Limassol, and with them being several thousand miles away in Ukraine, they wanted to be able to review images in real time. This was a first for me, but the laptop, in combination with the live streaming features of Capture One, made this possible. Although this did slow down the process, the client felt comfortable enough with the results of the first few images that this would no longer be necessary for the rest of the day.

Every project will always have its own unique challenges, and finding a way to have the client review the photos live without me having to remove my memory cards and upload them to a cloud was certainly one of them. One of the reasons for making the switch from Lightroom to Capture One last year was because of these unique features, even though I wasn’t sure if I would ever need to use them. However, as mentioned in the beginning of this post, it’s always better to have something and not need it than need something and not have it, and this was definitely one of those situations, because the client was very grateful that I was able to provide a workable solution.

Finally, the beauty dish is a useful tool for a Limassol photographer for popping light and adding highlights where needed, particularly in spaces that do not have flattering lightening. As it will later transpire in the editing room, the beauty dish will prove surplus to requirements, but its importance cannot be underestimated. Although beauty dishes are rarely seen outside the studio room, LA photographer Mike Kelley popularised their use in interior photography some years ago, and have since become an important weapon in every architectural photographer’s arsenal.

Anyway, here are the final shots of the two renders!

interior design photos limassol
architectural photos limassol

Limassol photographers need lunch, not just coffee

After finishing the basement area of the office, my set designer starts to move all the props and gear to the ground floor. In the meantime, I order us some much needed food. Thankfully, Pizza Express was just around the corner, so no prizes for guessing what we ordered!

There is one catch, though. The office has a designated eating area, which the client also required to be photographed (see render below).

interior render

eating area render

We therefore decide that it might be a good idea to take the shots we need of this room before our food arrives. Thankfully, these shots don’t take too long, although they do present the unique challenge of having to place the tripod right up against a glass window in order to get the right composition, making it rather difficult to change the settings on the camera (see photo below).

behind the scenes architectural photography

Fortunately, the CamRanger once again comes to the rescue in these situations, as it allows me to remotely change the settings on the camera directly from the iPad. With some tweaking and sweat in the editing room, the final images of this area look something like this:

architectural photography cyprus
interior design photography cyprus

After finishing up our lunch we now have about 3 hours to finish the rest of the ground floor before moving to the hero shot: the view of the lobby as you walk in during dusk. The third floor will have to wait for another day.

While my set designer prepares the stage for the next shot, I decide to switch out my wide lens for my favourite 90mm macro lens, which I mainly use for portraits. I then pop on a black mist filter, which help to soften the bright highlights in my compositions, both from the harsh Cyprus sun that’s beaming through the tall office windows but also the various light fittings across the office space. The purpose of switching to this lens is to capture some close-ups of the office space that will really help to showcase the interior design company’s attention to detail. Here are just a few of the shots captured with this lens:

interior design detailed photo couch
interior design close up chair foreground
interior design photography office chair
office photography limassol

After finishing these detailed shots, I swap my lenses out again and begin to compose the final wide shots of the ground floor before I begin making preparations for the hero shot. After setting up the camera, I notice that the light in my composition is not the most flattering, so I decide to open the office blinds into their full position, except there’s a problem: I do not know how to open the blinds. After looking for a mechanical system without success, I come to the conclusion that the blinds must be electronically operated, so me and my set designer begin searching for a remote, but once again we have no luck. I decide to call someone from the office to see if they know where the remote is but unfortunately they’re not answering the phone—understandable, it is, after all, a Saturday!

At this point, we have lost some time looking for the remote and the clock is ticking down. I know I need to get these final shots done so that I can prioritise the hero shot, which I have left for last. I therefore decide to start taking the shots as they are without the blinds fully open and leave it to my assistant to find the remote. However, by the time she does, it is already too late: we have to move on to the next shot, so I make a mental note that we will try again tomorrow—time permitting. As a photographer working in Limassol, you learn that these unexpected circumstances come with the territory, and rarely does a shoot not present an unforeseen challenge.

Collaborating with the Interior Design Team: A Limassol Photographer’s Symbiotic Process

As mentioned earlier in this post, one of the requirements of the client was to have greater control over the shoot than normal given their previous bad experiences, and we were able to resolve this by providing a live review process via on-set tethering and live-streaming via Capture One. In the interests of time, we did not provide this solution throughout the entire day as it slowed down our workflow, but we made sure we set it up again for the final shot, which was the most important one to the client. Having real time feedback allowed me to dial in the angle and lighting to the client’s taste, minimising the room for error. Here is a render of that shot:

architectural photos limassol render

And here is the final edited image.

architectural photos cyprus office lobby

As you can imagine, the client was very happy with the final result, and being able to receive instant feedback and adapt accordingly proved just how symbiotic the photography process can be when working in a corporate-intensive city such as Limassol.

Reflecting on the Journey: A Day Well Spent as a Limassol Photographer

It’s now almost 8 pm and the sun is almost down, so that’s a wrap for the day—we will be back again tomorrow for the final floor. My assistant has already made a start on packing all the equipment and returning the office to its original state while I was setting up my final shot, much to my relief. We briefly go over the photos on the iPad and share a big high-five. We know the hard part is almost over, although there is still a lot of work to be done in the editing room, which I will discuss in greater detail in a future blog post. All in all, I am confident that both our team and the client will be very happy with the final results—as it later proved to be the case.

If you are interested in having interior design or architectural photos in Limassol, you can contact us vial email here or directly via WhatsApp at +357 99119465. Architectural photography is a specialist niche that requires a trained and experienced team, and we believe our services in this area are unparalleled on the island.

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