VisionEntriesArchitectural photography of retail spaces is more than creating images. This section is intended to showcase my procedures, thoughts as well as current and archived work. Please feel free to return again as this is frequently updated.

Retail Design Awards

Congratulations to all the winners of last weeks Retail Design Institute's Store Design Awards and mainly to Fitch Inc/Target and Chute Gerdeman/Aaron Brothers, two projects I had the opportunity to photograph. Both projects won First Places. Also, I'd like to congratulate Bevan Bloemendaal of Timberland, a long time client and friend, for his induction into the Legion of Honor. Well deserved!

Having the opportunity to photograph the event on behalf of the Retail Design Institute was an honor. I truly enjoyed the evening with having the chance to talk with clients and industry friends. Next stop…Global Shop. If you're heading to Chicago this year, be sure to look me up.

DDI Portfolio 2012

Congratulations are in order for several of my clients who have been featured in the September 2012 Portfolio issue of DDI.

Christian Davies of Fitch, Inc and Aaron Spiess of Big Red Rooster have been chosen as Retail Design Luminaries and Beven Bloemendaal of Timberland has been chosen as a Retail Design Influencer. Also, Fitch was chosen as the Design Firm of the Year and clients Big Red Rooster and FRCH have been listed as among Design Firms of the Year. On top of that, two projects I photographed, City Target and New Balance Flatiron District NYC, are listed among the Best Designed Stores of the Year!

You can read the article here.

It's great to know that I work with some of the best in the industry. These people and firms are always looking beyond the normal. They inspire me to do that same! Congratulations to all winners!

End of Summer

So far 2012 is turning out to be a nice year! In January, The National Retail Federation's Big Show at the Javits Center in NYC showcased more than forty banners of my work with its first ever photography exhibit titled "Documenting Retail Design-Showcasing Outstanding New Stores". It was an honor to have my work on display. NRF also chose to showcase my work in their Washington DC headquarters in the form of more than 80 large prints for their walls.

The beginning of March brought Global Shop where I had the opportunity to visit with friends and clients, as well as network with many people in the industry.

In the spring, Fixtures Living, a project I photographed last fall for Fitch Inc won more than ten design awards in the industry.

Since then I've photographed some new grocery concepts including api+'s Super1Foods as well as SuperValu's Megafoods. I also had the opportunity to photograph a High Point NC showroom for Martin Roberts Design and Home Meridian International. This particular site features dramatic elements and colors that give the HMI staff a comfortable place to showcase their six brands.

You can see these projects within the portfolio section of my site.

And personally, I've biked more than 2000 miles so far this year working toward my goal of 3000. That's enough miles to bike from Boston to Los Angeles, and that gives me an idea…

NRF’s Big Show-Big News!

Sorry this reads so much like a press release…but it is! Very exciting news and I'm very proud to have been asked to display.

Award-winning photographer Mark A. Steele has been selected to exhibit dozens of his images documenting leading retail concepts at the 2012 annual convention of the National Retail Federation (NRF).

NRF will present its first-ever photography exhibit — "Documenting Retail Design" – during its annual trade show taking place January 16 and 17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The exhibit consists of Steele's images that creatively capture retail design projects that have opened over the past five years. Projects range from department and specialty stores as well as brand concepts.

"Retailers can learn about current trends and how other retailers are realizing their visions and investments for new stores, exciting prototypes and successful renovations that connect with customers," says Dan Butler, NRF's vice president of merchandising and retail operations. "Because the photos are taken near the grand opening of most projects, we are able to show and share how retailers look at those moments right before the doors are unlocked and the customers come in."

A longtime contributor to major retail trade magazines, Steele's photographs have been used in publicity and marketing campaigns, books, magazines, journals and annual reports. Retailers and brands have also used his images to impress Wall Street investors, mall developers, leasing agents and franchisees.

Longtime client Christian Davies, executive creative director, Americas, for FITCH, a Columbus, Ohio-based global design and strategy firm explains, "Mark's images tell the stories behind the work we do. I tend to like telling my own stories and I'm picky about how they are told, so it takes a lot for me to turn over that responsibility. But he's never let me down." FITCH has worked with Steele for more than 15 years documenting the firm's innovative retail design for brands such as Chrysler, Nickelodeon, Harley Davidson, Sports Authority and Timberland, among others.

The world's retailers and strategic partners gather annually at Retail's BIG Show to share ideas, make connections, embrace technology and drive the industry forward. Last year, the event drew some 22,000 from 82 countries, who gathered to see the best and the brightest in retail speak on a broad range of issues facing the retail industry and to see the nation's largest retail technology expo floor.

New Balance NYC

I photographed the New Balance New York Experience store in Manhattan a few months ago. With tight deadlines, a small shooting window, driving rain, people, traffic and parking how could I say I don't love New York?

An on site three hour time frame made for some fast thinking and reflections on what it takes to serve my clients. No shoot is ever perfect and I wish everything on site went without a hitch. But it never happens…being prepared is what experience and professionalism is all about. Experience allows me to make those quick decisions-camera angles, lighting, fixture placement-with confidence. When my client walks away from the set, I need for them to feel secure in their decision in hiring me.

New Balance trusted me with their tight time frame and their story ended up with a four page spread in VMSD's December 2011 issue. Take a look at the images.