Tucked away in a rickety old box in a San Diego home are two 4x5 box cameras. The old-fashioned cameras were the first cameras that Brad Anderson ever bought, and they would not be his last.
Brad grew up in Nebraska. He attended Morton Middle School, graduated from Lewis Central in Council Bluffs, and has a degree in Public Relations and Business Communications from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
After graduating, Brad put his marketing skills to use and accepted a position working for an advertising company. He knew he was good at advertising and had a knack for making convincing sales pitches, but he also knew it was not his passion. Brad wanted to be a photographer.
Still young and looking for the right career path, he enrolled in photography classes at Metropolitan Community College, Elkhorn Campus, and found his niche.
"I just knew," said Anderson. "There was no doubt in my mind that that is what I want to do."
One of Brad's first photo assignments outside of school was for the U.S Navy. He enlisted at 24 years-old and graduated the first of his class from the Pensacola Naval Base in Florida. He credits his service in the Navy to two things. It gave him the support system he needed to start a photography career. It opened doors to move to San Diego, California. It was there that he planned to be a landscape photographer. However, challenges with the landscape photography business and a unique side job pulled him to architectural photography.
"Landscape photography is my passion; I just love it," said Anderson. "If I could make money shooting landscape, I would do that. There are so many people with digital cameras that get lucky. It was not the field I believed I could be successful."
Early in his career, Brad was hired to shoot before and after photos of houses that were being flipped. His eye for capturing a living room soon became an in-demand eye for shooting corporate buildings. He was hired by Leo A Daily to travel back to Nebraska and photograph the Cobalt Credit Union, formerly SAC Federal Credit Union in 2014. MCL Construction was the general contractor on the project. That is where Brad set his foundation for a working relationship with MCL.
MCL Marketing and Business Development Director Travis Justice saw something in both Brad and his work that epitomized MCL's culture. He had an eye for capturing innovation and a way of telling the building's story through his photos.
"Brad has made a boiler room looks spectacular, and he has made a warehouse look like the coolest warehouse in the world," said Justice. "He's made an IT room full of wires looks really neat, he's photographed a parking garage, and at first glance, you wouldn't even know it's just a parking garage. He can really get to the heart of what our projects are and find spaces that a lot of people normally don't see."
Within the walls of MCL, Brad is considered the unofficial historian of the company. For years, he has documented the company's growth externally by photographing new, larger projects and internally by capturing MCL's new headquarters in LaVista. MCL opened their brand-new headquarters in June 2020 to accommodate its growth in employee numbers, innovative advances in technology, and project workload.
"This project was like a culmination of all the work we've done over the last well thirty years, but really in the last ten years of that, our growth has taken off and Brad has been part of that," said Justice.
More than just the right angle and an eye for detail, Brad's history in marketing helps him see his photography sessions as an opportunity to help sell the building and MCL. He knows how to brand a project in coordination with MCL's mission and display the work the company is capable of doing.
"His photos speak to our vision, they speak to our culture, and I think they speak to the innovation that we've put in place to continue to grow and be a collaborative partner in the building process in the 21st century," said Justice.
"It is not just about shooting pretty pictures," said Anderson. "It is about knowing your client, how they are going to present it and how to make an impact."
Thanks to Brad, MCL construction has a digital archive of projects and our record of success. It is one thing to talk about your growth, but another story to see it documented in our photos.
Brad owns his own architectural photography business, Architectural Photography INC. MCL Construction looks forward to continuing our partnership with him and growing our company's archive both physically and through the lens.
About MCL Construction
For many businesses, navigating the entire construction process and knowing who to trust can be overwhelming. At MCL Construction, our people simplify the process by listening, planning, executing, and continuing the relationship to build their vision.
MCL Construction uses many voices from within and outside the company to give informed advice, opinions, and techniques about construction methods, innovation, and technology.