Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tobin-Clark Estate-Hillsborough, CA

I recently had an opportunity to create marketing photos for the real estate listing of a large, historic estate in Hillsborough, CA, at 40 Verbalee Lane.  Known as the Tobin-Clark estate, it was built around 1930 and was designed in the Tudor style by the noted architect David Adler. The mansion is approximately 32,000sf, and the estate is approximately 6 acres. My clients were Randy Eyler and Pat Briscoe of Alain Pinel Realtors. Here are some highlights.

Front Elevation
Rear Elevation
Side Elevation
Rear Exterior


Music (Living) Room

Dining Room

In terms of the process, this was not a typical real estate photography shoot. Due to the size of the property and the desire for more consistently high quality from image to image than for normal real estate photography, I shot this over two days to deliver 22 images, and I used an assistant for the day I spent shooting the interiors, to help move equipment, furniture and decor. Normally, for real estate photography, I will spend approximately 1.5 to 4 hours at a property (depending upon the size of the property and the number of images I am to deliver), without an assistant, to create somewhere between 12 and 25 images. Aside from allowing me more time to light and arrange the interiors, the more involved process allows me more time to shoot all of the scenes when the ambient lighting is more favorable, since no part of a building that receives any significant amount of ambient daylight will have good daylight at all parts of the day. Even though I have the capability to use supplementary lighting, I generally prefer to use as much of the ambient lighting as I can, if that lighting is of reasonably high quality. I would also like to point out that high quality ambient lighting does not necessarily mean bright lighting. I can sometimes create high quality photos in very low-light conditions, without any supplementary lighting, as long as the basic quality of the ambient lighting is good.

I also spent more time processing and retouching some of the images than I would for a normal real estate photography job. Overall, this job was closer to what I would do for an architect or interior designer.


  1. Great job on the shoot, David. The images look great!

  2. Hello David, I have found this blog via searching in Google. I was searching for some kinds of real estate photographs, but after finding your blog, I couldn't move from it. Its so nice. I like the photographs and the interior decoration of that house. Is it really a house. It looks like a Cinderella's Palace. 32,000SqFt?? Wow very big and I think maintaining of this house is really a tough job for the owners. Each and every room's decoration is so soothing. Thanks a lot for sharing. Best Wishes from Real Estate Agent in Newark