Western Art & Architecture: At Home With Jonathan Foote

I love people and love spending time getting to know who they are, editorial assignments are wonderful because they give me a reason to quench my curiosity and I get to spend the day, or days with incredibly interesting people.  Having conversations with people and focusing my attention on my subjects creates a relationship that allows them to feel comfortable in front of the camera.  A lot of the interactions we have take place with me behind my camera.  I love editorial assignments because I get to meet and spend time with extraordinary people.  I try my best to capture who they really are in my images, creating a beautiful portrait is relatively easy, but capturing someone’s personality in a fleeting instant is what I aspire to accomplish. 


Although I’ve known Jonathan for over a decade I hadn’t really spent a lot of time talking with him.  Over the last several months we have chatted for hours about life, work, relationships, how he works with his clients, the creative process he goes through when working on designing a home, and about the inspiration of place.  There are a lot of parallels in our work and our perspectives on life.  He spends time getting to know his clients and talks with them so that when he starts designing their home he is intimately familiar with the people who will live in it.  He believes, as do I, that in order to create something meaningful you have to know your subject and that can only happen by focusing on who you are working with.  Time and attention are precious commodities and the rewards you reap when you spend them affect who you are and what you create.


I’ve played tennis with Cathy Foote, Jonathan’s wife, for over a decade.  On the courts we talk about all kinds of personal things. Two years ago, when my life was spiraling with all of the unknowns of divorce, Kathy stepped in, and up, and helped me navigate uncharted territory.  She had been a paralegal for decades and was intimately familiar with the divorce process.  She helped me with grace, compassion and wisdom.  I am forever grateful to her for sharing her kindness and generosity during a time when clarity was blurry for me.  


Jon and Kathy share every aspect of their lives, it is a partnership based on love, respect and integrity.  They treat everyone the same and they live life humbly and honestly.  I knew a few things about both of them before I started shooting the story and what I found out is that both of them are incredibly humble.  I never knew the magnitude of their accomplishments until I really got to know them.


When the editor of WA&A asked me to photograph Jon for their ‘At Home With’ section I called Jon and asked him if he would be interested and his response was ‘Sure, only if Kathy can be a part of it.’  It was my assumption that she would be included the shoot, but I love when partners openly acknowledge the importance of their personal relationships.


Spending time with Jon and Kathy is always surprising in a wonderful way.  You never know what topic will come up or the depths that the conversation will go to. 

Here are some of my favorite images from the assignment, some were featured in the article in @westernartandarchitecture  that @chasereynoldsewald wrote.  Visit my blog on my web site to see more images……