When Boston Photographer Jared Leeds was contacted by Storey Publishing to shoot the images for a how-to book on building a house, he knew he was stepping out of his comfort zone, but that was the appeal for Jared. A photographer builds his skillset much like a house, from the ground up. Jared has carefully honed his skillset to the point that he is confident enough to take on projects that are atypical of what he shoots. Capturing the complete process of a tiny home construction for Will Beemer’s Learn to Timber Frame was a challenge that excited Jared.
I like to shoot projects like I’m telling a story and this book needed a variety of images from details of tools, to working hands, to people working together to raise a house and beautiful finished homes in their environment.
The tiny house movement is gaining ground and has become very appealing to people trying to escape the shackles of a 30-year mortgage. Will Beemer knew that building a tiny home for the first time could be daunting, exciting, and liberating all at the same time, so he went about creating a detailed manual complete with images. Jared’s images would need to be clear and precise so that people could use them as a guide.
The concept was pretty straightforward. It was essentially the narrative of the tiny house building process. The how-to images needed to be very clear as they were used to illustrate the complicated instructions.
This particular production was appropriately small. The writer, talent, art director, editor, Jared’s assistant, and Jared spent six days on location at the house raising in a remote part of western Connecticut.
The hardest part might have been balancing my need to make a beautiful image with making it easy to read from the perspective of the reader. We shot tethered a lot so the art director and editor could see the images as they came in. It was good having their perspective to keep me in line regarding how clearly the images illustrated what they were trying to get across.
Jared skillfully walked the line between beauty and function. Ninety of his images were used in Learn to Timber Frame.
Jared says that working for a week in the woods came with its own little benefits. He and his assistant were able to escape for a night, camping on a lake near the shoot location where they canoed, went fly-fishing, and had steak dinner cooked on an open fire. Jared left the shoot refreshed and with plans to work with Storey Publishing on future projects.
To see more of Jared’s work, visit jaredleeds.com.