Derry Moore: Photographing Residences and People Around The World

July 7th, 2007

I like to study images of well known Architectural Photographers. As we’ve talked about many times before, architectural photography and real estate photography are very different. Different clients, different budget and frequently very different equipment. But as different as they are I think real estate photographers can draw inspiration and ideas from the work and techniques architectural photographers. Architectural photography is just real estate photography on steroids. What real estate photographer wouldn’t like to raised themselves to this higher level of achievement and fees?

I regularly read Architectural Digest to study and enjoy the photographs. Today I got the August issue of AD and an article on Derry Moore caught my eye. Derry Moore, the 12th Earl of Drogheda, is an architectural and portrait photographer that besides being a member of the titled aristocracy of the UK travels around the world doing portraits and architectural photography for the rich and famous. Moore has a very distinctive style. Muted, misty, delicately lit images that look like like they are from the17th or 18th century.

The images in the AD article have a somewhat different look (not quite as 18th century) than the images on Moore’s website. Unfortunately, they don’t have the AD website updated for the August issue yet so I can’t give you a link. The good news is that as of a few months ago the AD website now is putting a condensed form of many of the magazine articles on the web site so when they get the site updated for August 2007 the Derry Moore article may be on the AD site.

One of the interesting things that happen when a photographer like Moore becomes successful and has found a personal style or vision that financially successful that clients seek out is their style becomes almost a trademark. I think your personal style grows out of your “bag of tricks” or work flow that you like and use over an over as well as your personal vision.

Moore did a book of his photographs in the Fall of 2006 called “Rooms” which celebrates some of the most luxurious and bold interiors around the globe and the creative sensibilities of the people who inspired them.

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7 Responses to “Derry Moore: Photographing Residences and People Around The World”

  • Wow his style is interesting. His work feels dark and gothic. Or very 17th 18th century as you put it. That doesn’t feel like modern REphoto at all. Yet at the same time his use of shadow really gives a depth to the photos. I definately want to figure out how to light a room bright and still have that shadow that gives that depth.

  • Definitely different, not sure I like it but that’s the thing about a persons style, not everybody has to like as long as enough people do to make it viable. I think he is using entirely available light, anybody else want to take a stab at that? Great find Larry, thought provoking if nothing else.

  • I think he’s quite brilliant. Looking at his work I think he draws his inspiration from painters rather than photographers. Many of his works have a very painterly quality in composition and light. His portraits are amazing. Of course he has access to fabulous subjects that most of us will only dream of! Thanks for bringing this to us, Larry. I’ll be studying it.

  • Gary: You’re right about the available light. I wrote the review of “Rooms” that this post links to, and the book mentions that Derry Moore prefers to work with natural light.

    One of the things I admire greatly about Moore’s work is that it always gives you a sense that real people live in his rooms (even if those people are very “grand”). His rooms are rooms, not showrooms.

    Larry: Thanks a million for linking to my review. “Rooms” is probably the most memorable book of its kind that I’ve read since “Bonnettstown” (if any visitors to your site are family with that wonderful book …).
    One-Minute Book Reviews

  • Going to order that one as well as the House Of Lords —–> I could stare at interior images for days looking to improve. Thanks Larry.

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  • Derry Moore. Yes. You can feel his aristocratic background thru his photographs. But, did everybody already forget photographer Jamie Ardille-Arce who was the flagship photographer of Architectural Digest in the 90’s and before. I still keep his photographs taken off the magazines and analize the camera position, light sources, etc. Genious. Today’s AD flagship photographer Durstin Saylor imitates his style with a great success. To me Jamie belonged to these Dutch Master painters (Vermeer) who could capture the feeling, intimacy and mood of the interiors. I study their (Jamie’s and Vermeer’s) work ALL the time and apply at my photography.

    Peter Rymwid

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