Stahl House-Los Angeles Magazine

Stahl House_Case Study #22_Los Angeles Magazine_Donavan Freberg_Alison Martino_Stahl_Julius Schulman_Pierre Koenig_LA Mag

If you’d told me six months ago that I’d be shooting LA’s iconic “Stahl House”, I’d have to pinch myself because that would have sounded like a dream. If you’d told me that I’d be shooting it on assignment for a magazine, I would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven. But to shoot the house and have my photos featured in Los Angeles Magazine with a story by my dear friend and famed LA historian Alison Martino? Well, here it is and here I am, living proof that dreams do come true.

Last month, I got a call from my dear friend Alison Martino, telling me she was writing an article for  LA magazine. Then she asked if I was available to shoot the accompanying photos and I said yes before she even told me what they were for. When she said it was the Stahl house,  I literally jumped up and down for joy. I couldn’t believe it! I’d been a fan of the house since I was a teenager, when I  first saw the brilliant photos of it, taken by legendary lensman Julius Shulman. When I saw the recent documentary about Shulman, I fell even more in love. As an architecture buff, long time fan of Shulman, admirer of Pierre Koenig and mid century modern design in general, this was an assignment that had my name all over it. And to shoot alongside my favorite Los Angeles historian, the “DeLorean of The Internet”, Alison Martino, well…wow.

Stahl House_Case Study #22_Los Angeles Magazine_Donavan Freberg_Alison Martino_Stahl_Julius Schulman_Pierre Koenig_LA Mag_01

 Dream job!!!!

I knew it was going to be amazing, but nothing could prepare me for actually being there. It’s literally like going to space. The house sits perched high atop the Hollywood Hills above the famed Chateau Marmont hotel. In reality, the house is not gigantic nor is it at all ostentatious, but it feels like a palace. A palace of memories. Vintage yet futuristic, it’s the perfect LA home and to me, it is the most fascinating place in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles has a heart and soul, and I believe it does, Stahl House is it. Meeting the Stahl family was an absolute delight and shooting their amazing family home was pure magic. I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Click the link below to read the article!

Los Angeles Magazine-Stahl House

See more of the Stahl house *tours available!*, at their official website:

(I’m absolutely delighted to see my image being used there as well, in the ‘iconic images’ gallery)

Thank you Alison Martino, the entire Stahl Family, and Los Angeles Magazine for entrusting me with my best assignment as a photographer yet!!!

On to the images!

Stahl House_Case Study #22_Los Angeles Magazine_Donavan Freberg_Alison Martino_Stahl_Julius Schulman_Pierre Koenig_LA Mag

  • Kitty - Being a great fan of this legendary house, Donavan, you’ve captured it brilliantly. Alison looks beautiful and completely in her element – like she belongs in that house. Although, how you took the photos, it looked as though you belonged there as well. You have a certain ability of really getting to know your subject(s) quickly, almost?? I think it’s your instinctive nature once you pick up the camera, it’s as though you suddenly/immediately get to know your subject(s).

    I love that you’ve captured the different aspects from day to night. You’ve shown how beautifully it comes to life at night (whereas in the day, it almost seems like it’s ‘sleeping beauty’). From the quiet and subtly beautiful to the powerful and majestic – You’ve given a genuine and inspiring feel for this tremendous house, what an experience!

  • Pat Alder - I love the way you’ve captured the modernity of the home, while bringing out the classic style of it. The images are beautiful. Night and day, you were the one to share this heavenly home. Congratulations!

  • Donavan - Thanks so much for the lovely comments, friends!

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