Sotheby’s Art & Home is one of the world’s leading luxury real estate magazines. Every month, the magazine reaches over 50,000 readers across 18 countries. Copies of the magazine are distributed at high profile auction events in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong, and the magazine is available at Park Hyatt hotels around the world.
This June, when those 50,000 readers pick up their copy of the magazine, they’ll be greeted by a cover photo taken by SilverHouse’s own Andre Mckenzie. The photo is from a historical property in Toronto’s prestigious Rosedale neighbourhood that Mckenzie photographed for a listing held by Sotheby’s real estate agents Richard Silver and Penny Brown. The home is currently listed for $4,495,000, although with all the attention the home will get thanks to this feature, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the home taken off the market any day now.
Modern Comfort, Vintage Character
The Rosedale property is a Victorian-era home with plenty of modern design touches, so it’s the perfect fit for the magazine’s June/July issue theme of “extraordinary modern vintage homes.” The photo gracing the magazine cover features the home’s great room, which was added on in 2006.
“In person it’s an absolutely fantastic room with very interesting architecture and finishes,” says Mckenzie. To capture both the vintage character and modern appeal of the room, Mckenzie focused on achieving the perfect composition.
“The room was really big with super high ceilings, and I really wanted to capture the grandeur of the room,” he says. Mckenzie says his goal in shooting any space is not only to present the space in the best possible light, but also to “compose shots in a visually interesting way that helps tell the story of the space.”
The Best of Each House
While SilverHouse does a lot of work in high-end real estate, and makes use of some of the best equipment in the industry, for Brown the choice to work with SilverHouse was more of an artistic one than a technical one.
“[Andre] has that artistic eye that we just love,” she says. “He has a beautiful eye for capturing what I would say is the best of each house.”
While he used Lightroom to enhance the shot, Mckenzie says that there were no real “tricks” to getting the shot to look the way it does.
“We added some highlights and did some minor colour and exposure correction, but that’s about it,” he says. “Simple stuff, really. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary that we wouldn’t do for your typical real estate shot.”
The photo was taken using a Canon 5D MK3 with a Canon 16-35mm lens with HDR, and was digitally blended using Photomatix.
Brown, a real estate agent who has also studied art, agrees that there’s much more to getting the perfect shot than using the perfect equipment. “You could have the best equipment in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, it doesn’t work,” she says.
The Best Part of Rosedale
Whoever ends up purchasing the featured property will be living in not only one of Toronto’s most upscale neighbourhoods, but also in one of the best locations in that neighbourhood. “I think the key to it is that you’re in the best part of Rosedale,” says Brown.
Sitting on a 51 X 300-foot lot, this property includes a large yard and patio, an outdoor swimming pool, five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a 2,300 square-foot basement complete with a wine cellar.
To showcase the property, Brown and Silver commissioned SilverHouse for HDR photography and a video walkthrough tour, both of which can be seen on the listing page.
Brown and Silver have had a long relationship with SilverHouse, but choosing to work with Mckenzie was not a quick choice. “We’ve hunted high and low [for a photographer] and we just think he’s one of the very best out there,” says Brown.