You wouldn’t know from looking at his images that David Huff only found photography midlife. If you’ve seen a photo of the new Museum or the building process shared through our print or online media, there’s a very good chance Huff was the person behind the lens. His innate ability to connect with people instantly comes through when you meet him and in the presence of his work. (It doesn’t hurt that he came with his own construction helmet and vest!)
Asheville Art Museum: How do you feel about the Museum opening, having documented the project since the beginning?
David Huff: This new space is going to raise the bar for arts in Asheville, and that’s saying something. The modern design itself is a beautiful addition to Asheville’s architecture. There is so much light! The rooftop is going to be a real draw. This is going to be a very cool place to visit and view art.
What is it about photographing architecture (and the people involved) that you like most?
I try to capture the feeling of the buildings and the energy of the people who work within them. We connect with photography, like we do with all art, through our emotions. People have to feel something about an image in order for it to work. I ask myself, “What is the drama taking place in this scene? What about this image is going to make people connect with it?” I love looking for that angle and telling the story.
What do you find special about this project?
This was an intimate project for me because I was given exclusive access to a building as it was being built and to the people who were building it. I was very aware that I was stepping into their workspace, and I wanted to respect that. I’d ask myself how I would feel if a stranger were photographing me at work. The advantage to a zoom lens is that I often photographed them without them knowing it. Even then, I only took the shots that I felt honored their work. It has been a privilege to document this for posterity. I hope that people look back 100 years from now and say, “Wow, that’s how they did it back then.”
All photos courtesy of David Huff. To learn more about Huff, visit his website davidhuffcreative.com.