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Congratulations Matt Davis--February 2020 PFRE Photographer of the Month

Published: 24/02/2020

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Third time's a charm! Congratulations to Matt Davis from London, UK for defending the living room contest for three years in a row! What an outstanding accomplishment! The living room/family room contest always brings out a good crowd and this year was no exception. We had 56 entries from around the world. The demand for high-quality real estate and interiors photography is on the rise and we are so proud to showcase some of the best talent out there.

See Matt's winning image here.

As usual, a huge thank you goes out to everyone who participated, and to all the jurors who took time out of their busy schedules to contribute their votes and thoughtful commentary.

  1. Matt Davis #41
  2. Steven J. Magner #35
  3. Brian Berkowitz #31
  4. Scott Basile #44
  5. Tacey Jungmann #46

Please feel free to comment on any of this month's entries here.

Here is what Matt had to say about the win:

Wow, I'm super pleased to have won this month's contest; especially given the quality of other entries! Thank you very much to the judges for the great feedback, and thanks for all the votes. The photo was from a job for my best real estate client that we did last month--a beautifully remodeled mews house in South Kensington, which had been very nicely staged. This was one of the only times I can remember approaching a space with the monthly contest specifically in mind, and the plan was to submit a one-point perspective shot of the same living room looking towards the exterior but this one looked better once I'd completed post. I made this image in my usual fashion: in my "George Costanza, the opposite" way, counter to how I had originally learned what to do... so I expose for the dark stuff and then used flash to tone down the bright stuff to aid with compositing. This was two ambient shots (1 stop apart), along with four flashed frames to take care of highlights and produce deeper shadows. Most of the light and shadows in the center of the image and on the sofas are from a flashed frame. I cloned out a few sockets and a ceiling speaker for the sake of the contest, and considered removing the pesky lamp on the left and the vents above the fireplace but decided not to. This was done with a Canon 5D Mark IV and 16-35mm f4 lens at 29mm, ISO320, f7.1. And yes, MPL, I moved those two chairs back--good spot!

Brandon Cooper

15 comments on “Congratulations Matt Davis--February 2020 PFRE Photographer of the Month”

  1. The UNDISPUTED KING of the Living Room/Family Room!!! Happy to see your dominance in this category continue, Matt. I loved your image from my first pass, and glad to hear you intentionally moved some furniture to improve the shot. Congrats on a very well deserved (3x repeat) win! If only my damn Spurs were HALF as consistent as you are in your work...

  2. Matt! Great work as usual and I love the George Costanza technique! Very creative and it makes sense!



  3. I sensed it was your photo, Matt, just from the lighting. You have a certain look/palate to your work that is easy on the eyes! Congratulations (again!!) sir. Now that the three-peat is done, I'm looking forward to a four-peat, next year!

  4. Congratulations, Matt! I knew it was your photo. At this point I'd say you have developed an unmistakable style and sensibility that are uniquely yours, and it's a look I really like.

  5. Excellent, as usual.
    I've tried it forwards and backwards (Costanza) but it never looks like yours. Perhaps I'll try "inside out" next month!
    You are an inspiration.

  6. Great image Matt. I finally had a home worth photographing and didn't get an entry in fast enough. Now I know it wouldn't have mattered, you would have beat me anyway.


  7. Beautiful and elegant photography by all!
    However, the deep flaw in the Photographer of the Month designation remains the same - conflation of two distinct things - beautiful photography and extraordinary spaces.
    When will the arbiters of this competition gain the maturity to request extraordinary photography of ORDINARY places.
    In the real world, aside from the 5% of really beautiful homes, the rank and file of real estate photographers have to deal with pretty ordinary places.
    We should be elevating the photography of average places, not extolling the photography of exceptionally beautiful rooms that often have exceptional views.
    Real estate photography is not gourmet baking, where one gets to showcase the most elaborate and photogenic recipes, it is everyday cookery. We should be celebrating those who make ordinary rooms and houses look at their peak, a tasty meal (so to speak) for the busy consumer trying to set aside a little time to peruse listings.

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