"Like most architectural photographers, he thought like an architect. He also had the heart and spirit of an artist," says David Montalba, AIA/SIA, of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Montalba Architects. "He was somewhere between an architect, a photographer, and an artist." Even Rand's office, according to Montalba, looked like an architect's.
Rand drew on his inner architect and artist to produce photography that captured a building's essence. "When he took pictures of your buildings, they came alive. They weren't just something to look at. You could understand the building conceptually," Scarpa says. Since meeting Scarpa nearly 20 years ago, Rand photographed all but one of the architect's projects.
As Rand grew older he sought out younger, up-and-coming architects whose work he would photograph. "When architecture was changing quite a bit in the 1980s, he started to pick up some of the younger people," says Kappe. Rand photographed several of Kappe's early projects, as well. A friend of Rand's since 1956, Kappe deems the importance of Rand's work as comparable to that of his contemporary Julius Shulman.
At age 70, Rand entered the world of digital photography, abandoning film completely. "He wasn't afraid of it. He was like a kid with a new video game," says Scarpa. "It wasn't long before he was teaching me little tricks."According to Montalba, Rand's first all-digital photo session was in 2005 for a Montalba Architects project. "It was amazing to see his spirit for something that had happened so late in his life," Montalba recalls. "I think we all hope to retain a little of that in our lives." When Montalba asked him why he switched to the digital format, given his stage of life, Rand replied, "Why would I not?"
Rand suffered from recurring heart problems throughout his later years, but he never allowed his health to get in the way of his passion for photography and architecture, friends say. He remained active and continued to practice his craft until his last illness.
"He was really an integral part of the architectural community. He was more interested in talking about architecture than many of my colleagues. It was in his blood," Scarpa explains.
Though Rand's work was somewhat overshadowed by that of some of his peers during his career, the architects with whom he worked appreciate their experiences with him and recognize the full extent of his professional accomplishments. "I think over the next 20 years, once we see his archives, his impact will be much more profound than we thought at the time he was working—like many artists," Montalba says.
Rand is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Danin; two sons; and a daughter.
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