Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dorm Room Photos - Choices

We have begun the arduous process of updating our site with fresh images from the past semester.. Better get moving, as the Fall Semester is right around the corner.. Arggh..

We have a total of 800gb of images to go through.. As of know I have gone through four days of shooting and have come up with 106 images that I like as possibles for the site.. We worked about 40 days this spring, so you do the math, I'm looking at upwards of a 1,000 possibles, obviously some major overkill... Not that having too much is a bad thing..

Here are three images of the same dorm room from Lynn University, As higher ed professionals and students (if there are any out there) I would love to hear what you think about them.. Which one do you like best? Or if you think they all stink, that's fine too..

Thanks so much


DrBurst| College Intention said...

Just as a student, I like the second one.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Thanks so much for the comment Drburst.. Actually quite frankly the view from a student carries much more weight with this question... Unfortunately the readership of this blog has very few students.. Would love that to change... Thanks so much

Jon said...

As a 'peer' I actually like number 1 for the composition and the angle you capture the student environment.

Bradjward said...

I like the 2nd one also. The 3rd looks like a Ruffles ad (maybe you should call them and sell it stock? haha!)

I love all of them though. Not a shiny, perfect, ironed sheets dorm that most people see in brochures or on tours.

I sent this pic to someone for viewbook consideration:

Their response?
If only we could photoshop out that Johnny Cash poster....

Come on, is that not the typical dorm room for a guy? They should be glad it's not a beer bikini girl, haha!

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

I do like all of them a bunch, and it is interesting to get everyone's thoughts.. The more people that look and comment will analyze the heck out of them, which is cool..

Brad, hahahaha, I hear ya on the JC poster.. You should see the crap that shows up in all of my stuff.. I just go in and shoot, you know that, overanalyzing ruins the shots, but The 'ol finger is pretty hysterical

Brett said...

I'm so thankful I haven't had to live in the dorms. I don't know if I could stand to live like this. Too much of a mess for me.

With that said, I like the first and second ones. I'm with Brad that the third picture looks like a Ruffles ad. That's they first thing that I saw.

I don't think I would want to live in the dorms if I saw this picture trying to advertise them.

I'm a neat freak, so I'm guess I'm the exception to the college dorm life.

JamieHS said...

I like the 1st one.

I think it's more of a "fly on the wall" or "spider under the futon" view.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Brett, you were lucky, I guess...

The "lived in" rooms look best in images, students can obviously make their room whatever they want, unfortunately for image purposes the crisp clean rooms just plain zap the life out of an image..

mojaam said...

As a student, I like the first two the most. All of them are great shots of course, but as mentioned before, the Ruffles bag of chips seem to be taking up a lot of space. I personally see some kind of story going on there, perhaps the girls are hungry or trying to avoid junk food, and the guy just eats them chips to tease them haha.

The Australian flag in the second one made me think the school is diverse. Who knows, some other people might view it differently of course. My school prides itself on diversity and there's this eating area with all kinds of flags hung up above (pic). I always enjoy that scenery I guess.

Just my 2 cents :)

small college marcom said...

First shot is the easy winner. Solid shot. Good daily work. It rewards the eye for following the flow of the picture. The student can identify with people and a style of living (dorm life).

Second shot is usable. The clutter of the room and dead space is just a bit much. It gives a decent sense of what sort of fun you can have decorating.

Third shot is weak. The eye goes to the bag, and their really is no payoff -- unless you're Frito-Lay.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

@mojaam, thanks so much for your wonderful comments and thoughts, love the comments from students here..

@small college marcom thanks so much for your in depth comment, greatly appreciated..

As I thought would happen, the more people join the conversation, the more the images are dissected and picked apart.. It's definitely what happens all the time I imagine when committees and such get together and try to decide what goes in and what doesn't in any piece, be it web, print or any other type of media..

Thank goodness I have thick skin

jeremywilburn said...

I'm a fan of the first and second one. Although I do like the first shot best. It just feels really natural, and your subjects are great!

I have to disagree a little bit with marcom on the second photo. I don't think it's dead space. I think it's space well filled with colors and patterns. I just think it works really well. I'm not trying to say anyone is wrong, but that is my opinion.

I'll ask some students tomorrow to see what they say.

Photo Flo said...

You guys do very fine work. Any school that hires you has made a good call.

I think the dead space being referred to is the window. It's bright, so it pulls the eye.

The degree of difficulty on dorm shots is high compared to other campus setups.

There's just not much room to work with, they are dark and -- like you say -- the best you can hope for is room is not messy and yet it looks like someone is having fun living there (as opposed to spartan bounce-a-quarter-off-the-bed sort of living).

Anthony said...

I think I like the second one. I haven't ahd a chance to look at everything you shot while you were on campus, but from what I have seen it is all great. Thanks!

Bradjward said...

Having worked with FJ Gaylor before, I want to interject some additional thoughts on these photos for you all to think about.

There is no flash setup going on here, no planning of what students are in the room and what they are wearing/doing. No extensive scheduling of making sure they are in the right room and showing off the right features. They literally just knock on a door start shooting (maybe a little less obtrusive than that, but you get the idea...). I'll never forget at UF seeing Fred end up in a dorm room with a girl with pink hair and guys sitting around in their boxers playing poker at 11am on a weekday. It was hilarious and I am sure the shots turned out great.

NOW, it's up to the school to use the image. :)

And I can't wait to see what they do with the new fisheye lens they just picked up. Should be sweet for these situations.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

@jeremywilburn thanks so much, students weighing in on this is extremely helpful, just be careful in the summer, asking kids that work in admissions or closely within certain groups would definitely skew results.

@photo flo thanks so much for the input

@anthony, thanks so much for your input as well.. I agree with you on choice for the second one for Lynn as well, given the huge international student population there.

@bradjward thanks so much, you forgot to mention our firend Richie, LOL

D.W. said...

I like the second one, too. Dorm rooms -- or res hall rooms as we have to call them -- are some of the hardest things to photograph and make it look "candid" and "real" to the viewer. The second one captures that for me, while giving an overview of the room. That's what we usually hear: students want to know what the rooms look like. This gives a good wide view of the room and how to go about decorating it.

Jena said...

As a (recent) Lynn alum, I think that the second photo really shows the room best. It really shows the rooms and what can be done with them. Very nice.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Thanks DW and Jena,

Jena, I agree, could be skewed as false advertising though, as I think this was one of those coveted corner rooms, which are a bit bigger than most, but really cool..

Erik said...

Nice work. I agree with D.W. - my eye went to the second shot because it shows the largest portion of the room and I like to see what the rooms look like. Floor plans just don't capture that (unfortunately, that's all we have on our site for now).

In the past we've gone the route of hand picking students and doing a fake study session in the dorm, which almost no one does in real life - you go to the library a coffee shop for that.

I love the idea of just walking into a room (with a few days notice) and photographing. Some things, like the Johnny Cash poster mentioned above, might need to go because parents are looking too and they're paying, but the room should be as authentic as possible.

Anonymous said...

Great dorm rooms... look a lot bigger than usual dorm rooms.

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