How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions

How to Photograph a Home for Awards Submissions – Our Approach

Maui based architect Marc Taron of Arquitectura reached out to Maui Real Estate Photographer, Dave Tonnes of PanaViz to photograph this custom home with the intent of submitting it for awards consideration. And it was a winner!

Photography for Awards Submissions
Sculptural Maui Home

How to Photograph a Home for Awards Submissions

Listen to your client. We find out elements are important to the the architect, design team and owners.

Photography Tools. Use appropriate architectural photography tools to capture these elements. For this home, we used a drone, elevated pole photography and standard interior/exterior photography equipment.

Trust the Photographers Eye. We try to capture all the elements that are important to our clients. But at the end of the day, Dave trusts his instinct and captures scenes and images that make sense to him. These images usually end up being the “hero” shots that end up getting published.

Take Your Time. We do not hurry these shoots. Images are captured over a period of time. Sometimes it takes a few days if weather is a factor. We spent and entire day, from dawn to nightfall, photographing this home.

Give Your Clients Lots of Image Choices. We gave the team a vast selection of images (130 images!) to choose from for their awards submission.

Get Ready for Exposure. If a home does win any awards, your images will be featured in magazines, newspapers, and end up on the covers of industry magazines.


The Story of the Award Winning Home by Maui Architect Marc Taron

The owners, Neil and Suzette Felder wanted their new home to be unique and creative, and to preserve the ocean view from off their property. They selected Marc, who is known for designing high-end homes with indoor-outdoor features that capture incredible views.

How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions
Dramatic and Different

Neil and I both wanted something very different, and it is. That was the vision.

Suzette, Homewoner

They ended up with a daringly different home which also harmonizes with its coastal surroundings.

Photography of a Home for Award Submissions
An aerial view of the property shows off the home’s most enviable asset— its frontage to Keawakapu Beach.

Because the property is not subject to the confines of an association’s design guidelines, Taron was able to extend his creativity beyond the limits of some of his other projects. Taron’s first drawings were innovative, but not quite over-the-top enough for the Felders.

Photography of a Home for Award Submissions

I was like, ‘All right, gloves are off, baby,’ and that’s when I started really coming up with something out of the norm.

Marc Taron
Photography of a Home for Award Submissions
The Felders wanted to share the ocean view and have it become part of the home’s design.

At the top of the Felders’ wish list for their home was the ability to see the ocean through the house from the street.

Beachfront Home

“That’s really something,” Taron says, noting that many beachfront houses block the view due to their size and privacy barriers.

It’s clearly not Hawaiiana-style, but with its curves and simple forms, the house seems to blend into the lot.

Marc Taron, Architect

How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions
A tile walkway stretches across the reflecting pool, leading the homeowners from the mauka side of the property into their home.

Entering the home is an experience itself. From the garage, the Felders can walk along an elevated walkway into the second floor of the home or descend an open staircase to the lower level; or, they can ride a glass elevator.

How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions
Walls of windows supplied by Maui Windows & Doors allow the interior of the garage and the home itself to appear on display.

Taron designed the house to be modern, sculptural and open. The garage is at street level, and with its two walls of glass windows, the Felders’ Porsche appears to be on display.

From the street, an open stairway with LED lights beneath each tread leads to a tiled walkway over a reflecting pool. This is illuminated at night by a flickering starfield below the water’s surface, as though a reflection of the night sky.

Photography for Awards Submissions

Along the retaining walls, waterfalls pour into the reflecting pool, adding to the ambiance.

Inside, the home is completely open. The walkway leads into the great room, an open concept comprised of the kitchen, dining and living areas that extends to the second story of the home.

I look at the house itself as a piece of art, and that’s why it was important for the ocean to be a part of that artwork.

Neil, Owner
The two-story great room has two stories of windows, letting the owners see the ocean from anywhere in the home.

How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions
The Home is Super Open
Photography for Awards Submissions
The kitchen’s upper cabinets were color-matched to the green in the Amazonite quartzite countertop.

Kitchen and bath designer Cindy Tervola of Tervola Designs used a color palette drawn from the kitchen’s Amazonite quartzite countertop, a stone that Suzette really liked.

The modern kitchen has two-tone, flat-panel European cabinetry, mixing light green upper cabinets that were color matched to the countertop with high-gloss white lacquer, including matching panels for the Thermador appliances.

How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions
The master bath has both an outdoor and indoor shower, and the husband and wife each have their own floating vanity with under-cabinet LED lighting. Hers is shown here.

Through Fleetwood doors from Pacific Source that can be pulled completely open, the great room extends outside to the pool deck and lawn before reaching the beach and ocean beyond. The pool deck is partially shaded by a cantilevered lanai from the second floor, which also inspired the design of the home’s makai-facing exterior.

A support system was necessary for the cantilever lanai, and rather than use a column, Taron designed a sculptural, artistic arch that makes a bold statement. The arch extends from the pool up through the lanai to provide support, and then continues past a guest bedroom — which creates shade for the room — and crests above the roofline. Taron mimicked the shape of the arch throughout the home’s roof, with additional curves to represent a set of rolling waves.

The arch, which supports the cantilever lanai, has the added benefit of providing shade for this guest bedroom.

“It was ingenious,” Neil says of the structural arch, noting that it allows the rest of the area to remain completely open.

How to Photograph a Home for Award Submissions
The owners spend most of their time on the ocean front side of the home.
Oceanview from the bedrooms.

The Felders spend most of their time on this side of the house, closest to the ocean but set back enough to enjoy the view from any part of their home. They never tire of it.

I’m always amazed at how beautiful it is. It’s so unique. It’s just beautiful.

Suzette, Homeowner

Awards and Publications

The hard work of the entire team was recognized. The home won accolades and generated many headlines and magazine stories.


Resource Guide

Arquitectura LLC
(Marc Taron, architect)
1325 Mo‘ohele St., Wailuku
808-870-1053
ARQ@hawaii.rr.com
ARQHawaii.net

Blackrock Stone & Tile LLC
(countertops)
1384 Front St., Lahaina
808-669-0921
BlackrockStone.com

Buddy L & Sons Construction, Inc.
(general contractor)
PO Box 543, Kīhei
808-874-9060
BuddyLSons.net

Cindy Tervola, Tervola Designs
(interior designer)
142 Kupuohi St., Ste. F6, Lahaina
808-385-9971
TervolaDesigns@gmail.com
TervolaDesigns.com

Coastline Stone and Tile, Inc.
(tile for interior and lānai)
1765 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei
808-879-0635
Rob@CoastlineStoneAndTileInc.com
CoastlineStoneAndTileInc.com

DFG Masonry, Inc.
(concrete)
12 Mano Dr., Kula
808-876-0951

Grace Electrical Services
1097 Kaha‘apo Loop, Kīhei
808-298-8859

Hamai Appliance
(appliances)
332 E. Wākea Ave., Kahului
808-877-6305
HamaiAppliance.com

Hilltop Contractors, LLC
(stucco, rock wall, tile for entry walkway)
2860 Kauhale St., Kīhei
808-633-8109
HilltopContractorsLLC.com

Hughes Landscape Architecture, LLC
(landscaping, waterfall design)
735 Bishop St., Ste. 308, Honolulu
808-536-7619
HawaiiLandscape.com

Martin & Chock
(structural engineering)
1132 Bishop St., Ste. 1550, Honolulu
808-521-4513
MartinChock.com

Maui Windows & Doors
54 Maui Lani Pkwy, Ste. #2050, Wailuku
808-877-3667
MauiWindowsAndDoors.com

Mhel Ramos-Vieth, Studio M Hawaii/Designline Studio
(interior designer)
808-264-4747
StudioMHawaii.com

Otomo Engineering
(civil engineer)
305 S. High St., # 102, Wailuku
808-242-0032

Pure Image Pools
2377 Pu‘u Mala Pl., Kīhei
808-280-4500
PureImagePools@hawaiiantel.net
PureImagePools.com

Ram Pacific Roofing
904 Mahealani St., Kīhei
808-891-2482

Read Lighting
335 E. Wakea Ave., Kahului
808-871-8995
ReadLightingHawaii.com

Tradewinds Air Conditioning Inc.
430 Kaulana St., Kahului
808-281-2109

Yadao Construction
(framing)
808-879-4274


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David Tonnes is an architectural photographer based in Hawaii with a focus on capturing luxury homes.

See our Florida Architectural Photography here.