Through the lens of editorial and advertorial photographer Isabella Lombardini, using the Leica SL2-System.  Here is her personal perspective of the Sheats-Goldstein residence by John Lautner.

“John Lautner was an American architect with an unparalleled eye for concrete masterpieces such as the Elrod House, the Chemosphere House, and J.W Schaffer House to name but a few. Lautner’s projects have been a location source to film directors for decades. They have arguably appeared in more Hollywood films than any other architect’s work. Lautner studied under architect Frank Lloyd Wright; eventually opening his own firm which underpinned his career of over 50 years, inheriting from his mentor a love of unprocessed and raw materials which is coherent throughout over 200 blueprints for his visionary, architectural structures.”


 “Enter, the Sheats-Goldstein Residence. Built by John Lautner between 1961 and 1963, originally for Paul and Helen Sheats, it is one of the most iconic pieces of real estate in the world. It was later acquired in 1972 by the renowned James F. Goldstein, who subsequently worked with both Lautner and Duncan Nicholson in adding an office, guesthouse, and the ‘James nightclub’.”

 Read more of Isabella’s words here.

How did this shoot come about?

I’ve always been inspired by architecture and interior design, especially in Los Angeles where there are so many historic landmarks. It’s home to some of the great works of Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ray Kappe, Rudolph Schindler, and of course, John Lautner. I have previously visited the house, so I remembered how iconic it is.

The house has served as film sets for decades; from 1998’s The Big Lebowski to Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, photographer to use this spectacular location for fashion advertising and commercials.

What does your history of using Leica Cameras look like?

My first camera was a Leica Digilux 3, it started my love affair with Leica 12 years ago. I then upgraded to an ex-demo S2-P, and last year I purchased the SL2-System. I appreciate all Leica systems, but the SL2 is particularly special.

Why was the Leica SL2 the right camera for this shoot?

Other than the fact that the SL2 is my favourite camera, I find it extremely versatile. There are a few areas within the Sheats-Goldstein residence that have less light and with the Leica SL2 I could increase the ISO quite significantly without harming the images.

“The poured-in-place, 4500 square-foot concrete structural system of the house is complemented with wood and steel throughout and is enveloped in a glass exterior. It was certainly not made for the faint-hearted as there are many steep drops and numerous angular concrete edges.”

Which lens did you use?

For this shoot, I used the Leica Summilux-SL 50 f/1.4 ASPH. Considering I predominantly use this lens for portraiture and fashion, it was an experiment to try photographing wider spaces and larger external sections of the house. Of course, it exceeded my expectations.

What went on behind the scenes?

It was a very quiet, peaceful afternoon there. When you’re in the house, it feels isolated from Los Angeles due to its height, and you’re surrounded by nature. There were just a lot of moments where I felt in awe at the structure and well-thought-out design elements – Lautner considered everything. My friend and designer Elizabeth Kuzyk came with me, and there were a few moments nudging each other when looking at some of the framed photographs of guests. Although, the house itself boasts a renowned reputation.

See more of Isabella’s work on her website and Instagram.