THERE has always been a certain status attached to owning a home that is featured in a magazine. And a certain pleasure, for a homeowner, in leaving the evidence lying casually on the coffee table.
After Julia and Malcolm Butler renovated their 1852 town house in Savannah, Ga., left, they commissioned a photographer to shoot it, “much in the way you might have portraits of your children taken,” Ms. Butler said.
But now there’s another way to flaunt the importance of your house, and your affection for it: hire a well-known photographer yourself to immortalize it. To some, that’s even better than a magazine photo spread, because the results can be displayed in entry halls and over fireplaces, just like any piece of art, or bound in a book.
“We fetishize homes now, in a way that we never used to,” said Todd Eberle, a photographer whose work appears in Vanity Fair and in prominent museums. He has been hired by many celebrities, including Martha Stewart and Bill Clinton, to document their homes and offices. His clients, he said, want him both to memorialize their homes as they really are, and at the same time to “take it to a different level, and somehow improve upon the reality.”
...One client is Laura Bohn, 67, an interior designer with offices in New York. She hired Mr. Kaufman to photograph her country house in Pennsylvania and two apartments in New York, and said she regrets not having her homes photographed sooner. She and her husband have moved eight times, and though pictures of many of her homes have been published in design magazines, she said it’s not the same because a magazine doesn’t have the staying power, or the beauty, of a glossy hand-bound book.
“Ultimately, I’d love to have one big coffee table of all my homes, divided into chapters,” she said. “It preserves that moment in time and in your life, and it’s a way to keep those memories alive.”