Key Prep Steps Used Prior To Photographing A City’s Fire Station

City of Eagan Fire Station No. 1

Prior to shooting any fire station or municipality building, Jerry spends time researching the building’s history, the reason for it being built or remodeled, and goes through an extensive checklist with the client including visiting the building onsite to determine the best time to photograph it’s interiors and exteriors.

Step One: Why New Fire Stations?

Back in June of 2014, the City of Eagan like many other municipalities across the country, realized they needed to decrease the Eagan Fire Department’s footprint due to the challenges of maintaining a voluntary firefighting force with declining volunteers and budgets. After conducting a study, multiple city council meetings, and much deliberation - the city decided to close three of their five fire stations, build a new one and renovating another as part of a revamped Eagan Fire Department. Three of the fire stations were either sold or turned into a city storage/arts facility, one was renovated and expanded, and one was totally rebuilt from the ground up.

City of Eagan Fire Station No.1

Step Two: Showcasing CNH Architects’ Work – The City of Eagan Fire Station No. 1 and Fire Station No. 4

If Jerry is not familiar with the architect’s work due to the client is either the municipality or the builder, Jerry will always try to reach out to the architect directly to understand his or her intentions. This ensures key elements and nuances the architect intended are showcased when the building is being photographed. In this case both the City of Eagan and the architectural firm are the client, making it easy for Jerry Swanson Photography to provide the joint client with great imagery for multiple uses.

Both Fire Station No. 1 and No. 4 were architected by Quinn Hutson from CNH Architects. As Principal and Co-Owner of CNH Architects, Hutson is responsible for all phases of the design project and strives to meet or exceed a client’s needs while delivering value to create sustainable buildings. The Eagan Fire Station No. 1, is a new five-bay unit located at 4200 Blackhawk Road, featuring an attractive exterior brick finish and arched windows with a distinctive clock tower. The upgrade and remodeled one story Fire Station No. 4 on Dodd and Diffley underwent a significant addition, where a third drive aisle and apparatus bay increases the station’s capacity. If you missed these fire station’s open houses and want to see beautiful fire stations, you can visit the Eagan Eagan Big Rig Rally taking place tomorrow, June 8, 2017 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Fire Station No. 1.

City of Eagan Big Rig Rally

Step Three: Get Key Questions Answered And Determine Best Time of Day To Photograph A Building’s Interiors and Exteriors

A series of questions is first asked of the client, including what makes the building unique. As Mike Scott, Eagan’s Fire Chief stated “These buildings are not only beautiful to look at, but what we’re excited about is what’s on the inside! Including state-of-the art technology and training facilities, dorm rooms for volunteer firefighters and plenty of room to store the many vehicles the department needs.”

Once these client questions are answered and an estimate has been approved Jerry goes onsite at least one week prior to the assignment to take a few preliminary photos to determine best time to photograph both the interior and exterior of the building. Do we have to worry about obstructions such as power lines, too much foliage or landscaping not yet completed? What time of year and time of day is best time to shoot the building? Which direction of the sun will best reflect or improve the building's architectural lines and key exterior elements? What interior issues are we dealing with such as; high ceilings, poor interior lighting or window blow out. Does the interior space need to be staged?

City of Eagan Fire Station

It's Time To Shoot

Choosing the appropriate day to shoot is critical. Sometimes Jerry even shoots over a period of two to three days to capture the appropriate natural lighting to eliminate time wasted to remove poor shadows or lighting problems. The extensiveness of the preparatory needed for the photography shoot depends on a client’s budget, needs, and more importantly the complexity of the project. Either way, Jerry ensures his clients have the appropriate photographic images that capture the “Wow” in the municipality building you just designed, built, or remodeled. Visit Swansonphoto.com Recent Projects in a couple of weeks to see Eagan Fire Station exteriors and interiors. We promise you will be left with a feeling of wanting to slide down the pole, ride on the latest fire engine, or simply have a new appreciation for this great municipality architecture and what these building's house – incredible volunteers and first responders needed to support our community and save our loved ones.

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