Studio Session: Photographer Andrew Pielage

Sara CrockerFebruary 9, 2023
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Andrew Pielage visited a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed space for the first time in 2011. The then-hotel manager with a love for landscape photography was hooked.

“Once you see it, it’s hard to not go back and see more,” Pielage says. “It’s not just something you see. Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture is something you feel. He’s curating our experience in his buildings through his design techniques.”

That visit to Taliesin West started a journey into architectural photography – and the massive goal of photographing all 400-plus remaining Wright-designed spaces, which has become Pielage’s calling card. It has allowed him to focus on photography, shooting and teaching, full time.

Pielage developed a love for photography as a child while camping with his family around Arizona, where they had moved from Ohio. Using disposable cameras, Pielage would take pictures of whatever caught his eye. Outside of a semester of photography at Northern Arizona University, Pielage is self-taught. “My roots in photography are landscapes,” he says. “Frank Lloyd Wright helped me bridge that gap between landscape and architecture, because he does it so well himself.”

Pielage’s study of Wright – he’s photographed 115 of the architect’s designs so far – is on display at Taliesin West through January 29. The exhibition, Sacred Spaces, considers how Wright’s designs create sanctified places, from religious buildings to those that seamlessly connect with nature, like Fallingwater.

Pielage’s own creative space has an air of personal sanctity – the chair his mother rocked him in, stones that remind him of his geologist father and other personal mementos. The studio, which extends off his Garfield home, will also soon become a gallery space. A nod to the former streetcar line, Brill Gallery is slated to open in the fall, along with a Wright-related library of books Pielage has amassed over the years.

Learn more at and follow Pielage on Instagram @apielage.

“Photography’s just like any other job, and you need the right tools for the job,” Pielage says. For him, that’s a Canon R5 and a tilt-shift lens – ideal for architectural photography because it controls what’s in focus and keeps lines parallel instead of appearing to converge.
Wright’s iconic Fallingwater house, in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, is among the photos by Pielage on display in Sacred Spaces.
Pielage collects vintage film cameras. This Hit subminiature camera belonged to his grandfather, a glider pilot in World War II.
Wright’s personal photographer Pedro E. Guerrero “is a huge inspiration for me,” Pielage says. “All the angles and compositions that have been done at Taliesin West – he was the first to do that.” Picturing Wright is one of the dozens of Wright books in Pielage’s library.
Rocks abound in Pielage’s yard and studio – something that keeps the memory of his father, a geologist, alive. The Pielages collected the rocks, such as this rose quartz, while camping.
Pielage took what were supposed to be the last photos of the Wright House in 2012. Demolition was halted, and the home graces the cover of 50 Lessons to Learn from Frank Lloyd Wright, in which Pielage contributed all photography.

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