A few months ago, my good friend and fellow photographer Gregory Ng made a suggestion to me. "You and I should take one weekend a year where we go away to a neutral city with the sole purpose of shooting photos. No wives, no kids. No agenda or plan other than just a couple guys wandering around a not-so-familiar city discovering and shooting cool things." A few years ago, he had kindly dragged me along as sort of an assistant for a photo/video gig he had in Tuscany. It was the trip of a lifetime and the new plan is to try and capture a little of that magic at least once a year. I feel personal work is integral for creative growth, and it's nice to shoot something other than interiors purely just for the fun of it. Our maiden trip this year is to Philadelphia. Keep in mind this trip was planned BEFORE our Patriots had their butts handed to them by the Eagles in the Super Bowl. That sting has finally worn off and despite the bomb cyclone, weather freak show, Philly is proving to be a phenomenal first stop on the photo journey. Today we were at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA. Creepy, eerie and wonderful! Here's a sample of some of the images.
2017 ended on a very high note for me when I found out I was voted the first runner up in the PhotographyforRealEstate.net annual "Photographer of the Year" award. PhotographyforRealEstate.net is an online community of 20,000+ of the world's best real estate photographers from all over the globe. Each month they run a "Photographer of the Month" contest where the community is encouraged to submit their best image for that month's theme (kitchen, twilight shot, master bedroom, etc...). Back in July my master bathroom shot was voted best of the month. That alone was enough to make my year!
Then at the end of the year, they take all the previous monthly winners from January through November and a small panel of esteemed judges vote for "Photographer of the Year". I was completely thrilled and humbled to come in second place overall in the voting! The pool of talent in this community is incredible. Just to be mentioned in the same breath as this group of photographers in an absolute honor.
Thank you to all my clients who gave me so many beautiful homes to photograph over the past year. Without these gorgeous subjects to shoot, there is no award. Thanks as well to all my colleagues in the photography community. Your advice, guidance and friendship is something I cherish deeply. So Realtors, next time you're on a competitive listing appointment don't be afraid to let your clients know that you proudly use one of the top real estate photographers in the entire world! :)
You keep hiring me to shoot these beautiful homes, and I'll keep trying to get better. Because as nice as coming in #2 is, there's always something to shoot for in 2018! Happy New Year and best wishes for a fantastic 2018!
It's been just over 6 months since my last blog post, so it seems just about the right time to post again.
I was honored last month to be named the "Photographer of the Month" by the Photography for Real Estate community (www.photographyforrealestate.net). This is an online forum of over 12,000 photographers from around the globe who all are interested in shooting interiors, architectural and real estate photography. Each month the contest has a theme, and for July it was "Master Bath". My shot of a magical en suite in Sherborn, MA was selected as the winner. This is especially rewarding for me because just about a year ago I told my photography coach that I wanted to win one of these monthly contests. Up until that time I had never even entered one because the stuff being submitted I felt blew my work away. But once I declared that goal out loud to my coach, I had no choice but to pursue it feverishly. Over the last 12 months I've placed as high as second in the monthly contest, but the top spot had eluded me. Until last month.
It feels pretty awesome to check that one off the list and move on to the next goal. Stay tuned for that!
And here's the winning photo:
Sometimes when I do my job right, people don't want to LIVE in the spaces I shoot, but rather WORK in them! One of my last projects of 2016 was a commercial shoot for a company out in Palmer, MA called DeTech. The people were awesome and really easy to work with. I spent the better part of a whole day shooting their facilities over two large complexes, and I still honestly couldn't tell you exactly what they do. It's technical and very science-y. They make stuff. With a lot of precision tools. They sometimes wear lab coats. Safety goggles were involved. Who knows? Maybe it's some top secret, underground government conspiracy project and now I'm on somebody's watch list for photographing the entirety of it. Either way we got some pretty cool shots and it's always good to get outside of your comfort zone and shoot something different for a change.
Nice to see some of my recent work featured in a client's ad in Boston Home Magazine. It was a pleasure working with Janine Dowling Interior Design and always a thrill to see your work on the printed page. Here are some of the other images from that shoot in Newton:
I made a change today. After 5+ years of operating as "MeetingHouse Media", I've relaunched my brand and website today. As my work has evolved, so has my clientele, and in response, my brand has too. As I've matured and grown as a photographer, my client roster has expanded to include interior designers, architects and builders as well as real estate agents. This new direction in my business warranted a new approach.
What was wrong with "MeetingHouse Media"? Nothing. But I never had aspirations of building a huge photography empire with numerous staff photographers under me. I never envisioned franchising and opening other MeetingHouse Media offices around the country. I just wanted to be the very best photographer I could possibly be and deliver unforgettable images that move people. What I found was that as my style developed, I was becoming my brand. It only made sense to re-brand my services as ME, not a faceless corporate name. MeetingHouse Media has always only been me. My brand now simply reflects that.
Are you still shooting for real estate? Yes. Even though I am adding more commercial clients to my roster, I am still shooting for distinguished real estate agents. In my experience, I've found real estate agents fall into three categories when it comes to photography. The first category is agents who just shoot their listings themselves. Sometimes with a professional camera, but usually with their phone. They simply don't see the value in hiring a professional. The second category is agents who want professional photography, but want it as cheap and as fast as they can get it. The third category is agents who understand that photography is a major cornerstone of their brand and are willing to invest in editorial-quality images to represent their listings and themselves. They always professionally stage their homes. They recognize that their listing photos are the first impression potential clients get of their brand. These are my people!
Why "Michael Patrick Lefebvre"? You so fancy now? Believe it or not, the name Mike Lefebvre is fairly popular out there. There are even a few photographers who share that exact name! So in order to differentiate me from the others out there (especially the photographers!), I've opted to go with my full name. First, middle and last.
So I've got a new website (mpl.photo), a new logo, a new brand and a new beginning. To those who I've been working with, I look forward to making more great photos together! To those who I haven't worked with yet, I sincerely look forward to our first project.
...that you fall asleep, face down with a pacifier in your mouth, on the changing table in the middle of a diaper change. That's really tired. Photo taken by Melissa. Love this little guy!!!
Just finished up an amazing few days in Kelowna, British Columbia attending a photography workshop hosted by two guys I really admire in my industry, Tony Colangelo and Brandon Cooper. The workshop was held at the very cool Dirty Laundry Vineyard in Summerland. We shot some amazing homes, drank some phenomenal wine (who knew Canada had such a badass wine producing region?!?!), made some new friends and most importantly got an intensive hands-on course on how some of the best in the business do what they do.