Architectural + Lifestyle Photography for Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel

Architectural + Lifestyle Photography for Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco many times over the last few years as they’ve worked through an extensive historical renovation. Recently I had the honor to photograph active duty Marines at the hotel, the men and women for whom this non-profit exists to serve. 

We also photographed a few of the spectacular event spaces that are used for everything from corporate meetings to weddings. The building was built in 1926 as the Western Women’s Club and the Marines Memorial Club purchased it in 1946. The recent renovations have been true to the original architecture and design, which sets up a wonderful juxtaposition of the Spanish Colonial aesthetic featuring some powerful feminine details against the military decorations and iconic symbols of the Marine Corps. 

This photograph was taken at the Hotel’s Tribute Memorial Wall, which honors American troops killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Marines’ visit that day to the memorial was emotional and raw, they had not seen it before. Seeing these young men honor their fallen brothers was a rare gift for an outsider to experience, and a powerful reminder of what it means to serve. I’m grateful to have been allowed this intimate glimpse inside these Marines’ world and I thank them for their service. 

Thoughts about inequity:

I recognize and abhor the deep, structural inequities of our society that make life more dangerous, uglier and much more difficult for people of color. As a white male who grew up with the advantages of my race and an upper middle class life, I recognize and am frustrated that so many have had and will continue to have a much harder path than mine. For people like me, speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement is important, and it will take more than words to create change. Listening, trying to understand and taking action will make a difference. 
My industry is not nearly as diverse as it should be. Here’s how I will change: 
  • Scrutinize my own use of language, my thoughts and my fears to try to eliminate any unconscious traces of racism (and any other flavors of bigotry while I’m at it).
  • Learn about the key barriers to entry for people of color to the world of commercial photography and use that information to help create change.
  • Seek opportunities to mentor young photographers of color. 
  • Seek opportunities to collaborate with commercial creatives of color.

Covid-19 Protocols for Safe Photo Shoots

While we are open for business and actively shooting, we are limited in what and where we can shoot. Local rules are changing rapidly, and we are assessing each project for health and safety on a case-by-case basis.

Our two main criteria for scheduling a shoot: 

  1. It must be allowed under local regulations.
  2. We must be able to create a safe environment for crew, talent, and client.

Covid-19 is with us for now, and we’ve created protocols for our shoots to help keep everyone involved safe. Our protocols are based on current CDC guidelines, California Statewide Industry Guidance, and Sonoma County Business Mitigation Requirements. As these guidelines and regulations evolve we will update our protocols.

Details here: