First National Publication! by Alex Metcalfe

Piggybacking on my recent trip to Costa Rica, I’ve just landed a five-page spread in this month’s Wanderlust Travel Magazine of the images I took on the trip.

I’ll be giving a talk this Friday at the Destinations and Holiday Travel Show, the London Olympia in the Meet The Experts London - Theatre 2 @ 14:30 along with Wanderlust editor Lyn Hughes & photojournalist Alex Robinson on the fruits that Costa Rica has to offer.

If you're in the area come and say howdy ho!

Architectural Photography Shoot With OAO Design by Alex Metcalfe

My ode to René Magritte’s ‘The Son of Man.’

I recently finished my first commercial gig with OAO Design on their extension project in West Ealing, London.

Man, what a day. I hadn’t realised how tiring an all-day shoot could be.

We arrived early in the morning to prepare for the shoot and make the most of the available light.

The specifics of the shoot had been left to myself, but there were certain key features my client wanted to highlight in the design. Preparation was key, and I found it immensely helpful having picked OAO’s brains prior to the shoot to understand how the design had come to be and to align my own ideas with their vision.

They told me:

“The client loves cooking, so the main requirement was for a garden kitchen. A space which integrated the garden into the home and allowed the growth of produce to be harvested for cooking. 

For this, we imagined a Victorian style orangery, where the architectural form came from a modern contemporary take on the same principle. A light and bright top lit space which could allow for small trees and plants to grown within. 

We always had this relationship with nature in mind which is very evident in the framed views and materiality. From the moment you enter, the sky and the garden can be seen and that interaction begins.”

As I shot around the extension I learnt how to best make of use the light as it danced and twisted around the room. I had hoped to shoot the majority of the interior during the day to avoid the harsh midday sun, but as a skylight runs the length of the extension this proved difficult forcing me to shoot between the clouds scudding the sky.

With this being a living space I wanted to show interaction with the environment; be it the cats playing or a family member pausing to get a drink These extraneous elements really add flavour to an otherwise stationary scene.

There were several shots I had to re-take having caught myself or the client in a reflection. These could have been removed later in Photoshop, but I’m a big proponent of trying to capture an image as I want it in camera with only minimal editing required.

One joy I’ve found in this type of photography is I could really take my time with composition, making the best use of leading lines, symmetry and angles. A real change from adventure travel!

Overall, this was a steep learning curve for myself and OAO, but a thoroughly enjoyable day.

If you’ve got any thoughts or ideas let me know in the comments below. Until then.

Stay classy,


Want more? You know you do. Click here to see the rest of the shoot.

You can see more of OAO’s beautiful and minimalist designs on instagram.