I wrote my 100th post for Apartment Therapy yesterday and it’s a little hard for me to believe. I still remember that first week or three of doing posts and still having a single digit entry number on my sidebar. Well, things sure have changed since then. I moved on from ‘training.’ Started getting home tours lined up, and basically started blogging away – with the writing and time spent putting together posts coming along more quickly. To commemorate this personal milestone, we’ll take a look back at the very first home tour I photographed. The beautiful lake house space designed by Bercy Chen.

Good or bad, I didn’t realize this was my first tour till I went back through the archives. I remember the space very well, but man, first tour? I must have been shaking in my boots.

I remember finding the space through a web search for “modern homes in Austin.” The Bercy Chen site caught my eye because at the time I was way into super-sleek and super-modern spaces and their firm had a unique take on that aesthetic. I sent out an email to them, got an assuring reply and we scheduled a tour the following week.

Now that I’m reflecting on it, I do remember being nervous. So much so, that I drove to Houston for a Modern Tour just so I could get some practice (you can check back on that post here). This was also the first time I began moving the dial on the camera from “Auto” and into “Manual.” I remember being thrilled about the control and expression I could get by adjusting the camera settings – getting my first true taste of the art of photography. Excited about some of the images I was able to pull together, I made a gallery and shared the link to my editors.  They both gave me a lot of positive feedback, and that in turn gave me the confidence I needed for the tour.

I showed up at the tour late afternoon – armed with only Robin, a tripod, and two kit lenses (an f1.8 16mm, and a f3.5-5.6 18-35mm). I met with head architect Thomas Bercy who showed me around the space and filled me in on the motivation and inspiration behind the design. The home had the original facade and exterior intact on the street-facing side of the home. Inside though, things were beautifully modern, with warm interior design details. I still remember the view of the lake, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, and how its movement literally created ripples and shadows across the white walls of the home. The effect was soothing and relaxing, and I still haven’t seen anything quite like it.

I worked my way across the home, snapping photos while chatting with Thomas and before I knew it our time was up. I remember spending a few hours at home later with edits and the write-up portion of the tour. I probably wrote 9-10 paragraphs, that in the end got edited down to 5-6 – I later learned about the power of brevity. I’ll leave you with a few outtakes from my first tour done just last year (November 22nd, 2011) and you can check out the full tour on Apartment Therapy here if you’re still curious.

You’ve come a long way, baby


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