By Laura Jackson
It all started with an advertisement for a correspondence course in photography on the back of a matchbook. That initial spark of interest would result in a complete change of course for Richard Springgate—and the birth of an amazing career now spanning over 40 years in architectural and design photography.
In 1968, Springgate was working as a navigator for the U.S. Navy with an elite group of airmen assigned to support the National Science Foundation’s
research program across the ice-covered continent of Antarctica. Fueled by a love for adventure, along with his newfound affection for photography, he began shipping his correspondence course assignments off from the South Pole.
Springgate explains how he learned to get creative with his assignments especially regarding color, “Except for the blue sky, most everything else we had to shoot in the frozen South Pole would turn out black and white,” he shares. Fast forward many years and stunning photo assignments later, and in beautiful contrast, his award-winning photos today reveal an inspiring mastery of the use of brilliant color, alongside a finely-tuned talent for superb composition and style.
Using a strategy of trading beer for lessons with some fellow sailors who had already completed extensive photography training for military missions, Springgate continued to refine his talents and ended up a military photo officer of a 20-man team that followed senators and other VIPs touring the research site.
After getting out of the military to pursue photography full time, the right combination of hard work and focused determination helped his fledgling business take flight immediately. Springgate recalls that surprisingly within his first year, his salary had already easily outpaced his officer status in the Navy. He soon had a large client roster including many architects, designers and custom homebuilders.
Springgate’s work and travels took him across the country and globe for the next several years before he eventually settled in Salt Lake City for the last 30. In Park City, he regularly photographs luxury homes in such top-notch neighborhoods as The Colony, Glenwilde, Promontory and several other gated communities.
Working alongside Connie, his wife and business partner for over 25 years who is also his skillful stylist, Springgate describes, “When we walk into a spectacular house, even after having seen so very many of them over the years, there are some that can still literally take our breath away. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to capture their unique beauty.” And that they do—his gorgeous photographs have a delightful way of transporting you right to the dreamy atmospheres they inhabit.
Part of Springgate’s innovative approach involves really interpreting how all of a home’s individual characteristics and details add up to its dramatic whole, “I try to get a true ambiance, a feel for the place. There’s a lot of ways to shoot them of course, but I really want to capture the overall mood of a home.” Springgate always remembers to live by one of his client’s best affirmations: “You really know how to get the love into your photos…”
For the last 12 years, Springgate has donated his talents to the Luxury Home Tour as a way of giving back to the community. He truly enjoys getting to photograph these homes that represent some of the best of what local architects, builders and designers have to offer.
With the Luxury Tour homes, as well as with the rest of his impressive residential and commercial photography clients, he makes sure to include the surrounding beauty of a home’s environment. As luminous light streams through a home’s windows, then dances across stunning interior designs and furnishings, it’s easy to get lost in one of Richard Springgates’s striking photographs. Many years of experience, paired with a great passion for photography, are easily revealed and most certainly treasured.