Der bunte Design-Markt für zu Hause, inspirierend, kreativ, modern, spritzig, witzig. Man munkelt, dass dieses Online-Unternehmen bald zu den zehn größten der Welt gehören wird.
Es war im Jahr 2011, genau im Februar, als sich Jason Goldberg und sein Partner Bradford Shane Shellhammer dazu entschlossen, ein neues Startup zu gründen und sie trafen damit genau ins Schwarze bzw. den richtigen Markt.
Fab.com bietet heute seine täglichen Designideen an und zwar mit einem Rabatt bis zu 70 % und bis heute gehört es zu einer der am schnellsten gewachsenen E-Commerce-Website. Dass die Rechnung aufging, beweisen imposante und eindeutige Zahlen.
Die Idee mit günstigen Rechtbestände ist aber nicht das, was Fab.com sein will. Das Unternehmen sieht sich als Verkaufsfläche für Designer und für Liebhaber von Designstücken aller Art. Fab.de startete dann im Februar 2012 als erster lokaler Spross. In Deutschland hat Fab mittlerweile seine knapp zwei Millionen Kunden.
Noch ein positiver Aspekt, kann ein Designer-Neuling sich auf der Fab-Seite platzieren, so kann das der Durchbruch für ihn sein, wenn er auf einmal auf einem der größten virtuellen Schaufenster der Welt seine Produkte und sein Können präsentieren kann.
Der Londoner Adrian Wilson mit Wohnsitz in Manhattan hat sich als Fotograf auf Interieurs und Architektur spezialisiert und hat das Fab Headquarter in New York besucht und in beeindruckenden Bilder festgehalten. Wer möchte dort nicht arbeiten?!
How many years have you been involved in photography – and in architecture photography in particular?
I started work as an assistant during my 2nd year at college back in 1986 and have been shooting ever since. I was the first artist recognized for combining photography and computer graphics in 1985, creating images such as James‘ Gold Mother album and was sponsored by Fuji Film. I started shooting interiors and architecture after being asked to shoot discotheques for a UK magazine in 1988. I ended up shooting around 2,000 bars, hotels, discos and restaurants as freelance photographer for the magazine over the next 13 years. I never used lights, a light meter or polaroid, yet had to shoot transparency film in rooms that could be lit by a candle or a laser. That was perfect training.
Adrian, what was it with interior photography that captured your interest?
The late 1980’s was a cusp when interiors changed from old fashioned floral soft furnishing to minimal and sleek. I had no peers so could develop my own style and learn my craft without distraction and have a very graphic sensibility so loved creating compositions with these new interior styles. Fashions come and go such as the tilted in and out of focus a few years ago and the obsession with boring „shoot straight on“ views in all the magazines now, but it is satisfying that the way I shoot has stood the test of time and is still in demand. As with suits and dresses in fashion, there may be variations but the classics always work. Seeking out those classic lines despite the varied styles of each interiors, from an Apple store to somewhere like Fab’s offices is where my passion still lies.
When I see your gorgeous photographs everything just looks so effortless. But like in spaces we are sure that the effortless look comes with a lot of knowledge and preparation. Are there any difficulties in photographing interior spaces?
As I said, my grounding shooting so many interiors without lighting or even a light meter meant that I soon picked up an ability to see light in a photographic way. I can still walk in a room and know the exposure within 1 stop in my head. Preparation is crucial and most of the time I am a well paid cleaner, selectively positioning the camera so everything lines up perfectly and clearing or adding objects accordingly. The biggest bane of my working life is the contrast in color temperature and brightness between an interior and exterior. Digital and HDR helps a lot (in the old days I would use countless gels to correct colors) but removing a blue cast from a window is something even Photoshop often struggles with.
Often the architect has unrealistic or just plain ridiculous ideas of what might look good, or is so emotionally attached to a project they have spent months creating that they cannot see things objectively. It is a team effort so I always shoot it their way but show a variation I believe is better and hope they also see that it is a more creative option.
The other main problem is when the space has not been tidied, or the access time is severely restricted. I have to shoot overnight, at weekends or while places are open and working, yet still make the interiors look perfect.
Fab is continuously on the way to the billion-dollar start-ups. What was your impression of the atmosphere in the Fab headquarters in New York?
Fab.com had to be shot while it was open and part of the charm and the nightmare was the amount of „stuff“ everywhere. It is part of the story that the company sells quirky objects but with a giant room full of twentysomethings, it was a bit overwhelming and some objects were inappropriate for the photos and had to be hidden. In terms of the atmosphere, it was very quiet, with everyone fixed to their computer screens. They had a nice cafe area and it looked all funky, but I got the feeling it was a very pressurized and messy environment so not a place I would ever want to work. I actually got told off for chatting to a worker who was in the foreground of a shot and who’s desk I had to tidy, so even though it looks fun, it is still NYC and NYC is all about making sales and money. That’s how they become millionaires from selling quirky things none of us knew we needed!
Many thanks to Adrian for this second Interview in Coultique! Here the first!