Modern Christmas at the Farnsworth House / by JC Buck

Modern Christmas Tree at the Farnsworth House © 2018 JC Buck

Plano, Illinois

It’s early January and I am standing in a foot of fresh snow donning the warmest parka I own, convict orange color snow pants, my Russian fur hat, and huge mitts with those hand warmer packets. It's cold. Very cold. Seriously, the coldest photo shoot of my career.

I have my camera on a tripod with a white kitchen garbage bag draped over the lens as its lightly snowing with some varying wind gusts. After two years of planning and two delayed photo shoots due to no snow, I am about to photograph Matt Bliss’ famous Modern Christmas Tree in the iconic Farnsworth House, designed by Mies Van der Rohe.

Matt and I have photographed his tree in a few of America’s most notable mid-century modern homes, including the Sculptured House in Colorado and the Stahl House in Los Angeles. This photo shoot was even more exciting due to all the planning and delays that went into it, and we had for the first time, a fresh blanket of snow!

For the next few hours I experienced the coldest and one of the most special photo shoots of my architectural photography career. Matt and three staff members hid in the kitchen, located on back side of the house, as I stood planted in front of the house taking in an architectural masterpiece, illuminated by a modern Christmas tree. It was a silent and peaceful moment I will cherish forever. Its photo shoots like this, clients like Matt, architecture like the Farnsworth, that make my work so rewarding and special

Modern Christmas Tree at the Farnsworth House © 2018 JC Buck

Our photo shoot was picked up by Architectural Digest and writer, Sarah Archer, wrote a wonderful piece about the tree featuring a few of the Farnsworth photos and others from past photo shoots. Please click HERE to be directed to the article.

Thank you to the Farnsworth House team for making our photo shoot a success. Thank you to our lovely model, Jessica Duffy, for holding poses as I made long exposures, a task mush more difficult than it sounds. Thank you, Matt, for your continued support of my work and your continued dedication to your Modern Christmas Tree, a truly special product creating memories and traditions for families all over the world.

Merry Christmas!

JC