Around this time last year, Seattle-based photographer Cameron Karsten was fresh off the success of photographing Santa’s House for housing startup Zillow. That project was a resounding accomplishment and was featured in multiple media outlets including ABC News and the Today show.
This year, Zillow again requested a bid from Cameron to reprise the Santa’s House project – this time, the company intended to expand the property by adding an “Elf Village” of tiny houses just down the road from the original Santa House.
Since Cameron photographed the original Santa’s House, he was already familiar with the images and had a leg up on being able to match the style and composition in version 2.0. Zillow had indicated the Tiny Digs Hotel in Portland, Oregon – a collection of Instagram-worthy tiny houses – as the template for the Elves’ tiny houses.
There was significant pre- and post-production work involved to make Portland look like the North Pole and ensure consistency between the tiny house exteriors and the original Santa’s House photos. The Zillow team worked with Cameron to create thorough storyboards and shot lists to perfectly replicate the success of the 2016 project.
The shoot was over two days compared to one day with Santa House. We were able to focus on the best times for available light, despite the need to utilize artificial lighting, but the allotted time helped immensely. The challenges were making sure the shots were created in order to align with the post-production needs. Having two days allowed us to accomplish this with relative ease.
Cameron’s relationship with Zillow continues to grow organically, as he has begun shooting in-house walkthrough videos before progressing to still and motion marketing materials, the Santa’s House projects, and Zillow’s 2017 Annual Report.
Zillow is a fantastic client. Loyal, creative, competent and loaded with driven aspirational individuals.
Producer: Beth Craig
Production Coordinator: Lynne Thompson
Art Director: Kaleo Quenzer
Digital Tech: Judson Felder
Photo Assistants: Jake Magraw, Victoria Kovios
Art Assistants: Emily Wood, Maura Washawski, Tenold Sundberg
Director: Matt Snyder
Designer: Alexandra Collins
AD/Project Manager: Sharon Lin
Panorama Capture: Tinna Zhang
See more of Cameron at cameronkarsten.com!