Marshall Williams Photography Blog


Luxury Boutique Hotel, Entrance to Inn at Rancho Santa Fee

I love the opportunity to work with resort properties and boutique hotels with a rich history and a story to tell. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is just one of those places.  The Inn sits on 21 acres in “The Covenant” of Rancho Santa Fe, a historic community of country estates surrounded by rolling hills and eucalyptus trees, just east of Del Mar, CA. 

Guest room, wood burning fireplace, relaxation

After undergoing a $12 million renovation,  I was commissioned to photograph the property including the new guest rooms, new restaurant,  new spa and new meeting facilities as well as some lifestyle and food images. As always, my objective is to evoke the nature of the surrounding environment and to highlight certain features of a property to help tell it’s story.  For The Inn, we were careful to include  streaks of California sunlight making it’s way through the doors and a roaring fireplace to tell the story of rustic California country charm.  Adding to the success of this shoot was the deft styling of Margaret Daley, who procured just the right objects to augment the inviting and relaxing vibe of The Inn.  Check out those authentic equestrian riding boots resting by the fire. 

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe guest room with sunlight streaming in.

The history of The Inn is fascinating. In 1906 The Santa Fe Railroad Company had purchased almost 9000 acres of land to farm wood to produce railroad ties.  Unfortunately the Blue gum eucalyptus trees they planted were ill suited for this purpose.  The land was then developed into a planned community of beautiful estates and was named Rancho Santa Fe. Originally The Inn was known as La Morada, built in 1923 as a guest house for The Santa Fe Land Company for potential land purchasers. In 1941 La Morada was renamed The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.


Detail of a guest opening a bottle of white wine.

Relaxing soak in a copper tub.

Fans of San Diego and Spanish Revival architecture will appreciate the work of architect Lilian Rice who designed La Morada and will also recognize the name Richard Requa whose firm, Requa and Jackson, for whom Rice worked, left a legacy of Spanish Revival structures and homes throughout the San Diego region. The firm was highly sought after in the 1920’s and 1930’s for their Southern California Style.

Guest arrival at The Inn

See more of my work for The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe on my website.

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The recently launched law firm of NoonanLance was in the process of putting together their new home – in the historic Pack Loft Building just steps from Petco Park in East Village San Diego. Working with Jean Walcher of J. Walcher Communications , I was enlisted to capture a fresh look for the firm’s new persona. We chose to capitalize on the vintage red brick walls of their loft offices and a loose and natural approach to express their personality and activate the environment. This included 2 separate photo shoots several months apart.


For the first shoot I made individual portraits of the attorneys against the original red brick walls and then a group shot of the entire firm that featured the raw space to showcase and announce the new firm in it’s soon to be new home.  For the second shoot I returned after the interior was fully built out and the firm had move in to capture the nuance and experience of their new work environment. In these situations I initially set up a scenario with people and help construct the scene,  but then find that backing away and letting the conversation progress naturally often yields those special moments of truth that make honest photographs. For both of the  shoots we chose to use the natural existing light in the loft to help the pictures further express an honest and authentic portrayal of the law firm and the environment.

Marshall was able to provide and execute a vision for how to use the firm’s unique new environment to help them stand out and apart from other law firms in their photography and visual assets. The firm has a lot of pride in the historical nature of their new facility and Marshall helped to express that.”  – Jean Walcher, President, J.Walcher Communications

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