Shulman developed a few of the pictures and sent them to the draftsman, who showed them to Neutra. The architect, then in his mid-40s, sent for young Shulman and ordered up more prints.
"He had an eye for different angles," Neutra's son, Dion, told The Times in 2003. "My dad immediately saw that and mentored him into the field."
Shulman throughout his life would refer to this turn in the road as "fate" or "karma."
"I was lucky to be doing the right thing at the right place at the right time," he told The Times in 1994. "So any time anybody wanted a photograph of a modern house, Uncle Julius provided the picture."
Through Neutra, Shulman met other prominent architects of the time, including Schindler and Soriano, from whom he would learn his craft. Schindler, for example, taught Shulman about lighting photographs when he asked him, "Why on your interiors is the lighting equal in intensity on adjacent walls?"
"What a lesson!" Shulman said. "In my use of floodlights it had not occurred to me that illumination need not be uniform."
His sense of light became instinctual; he stopped working with a light meter a year after he started taking photos for Neutra.
Shulman spent two years in the Army during World War II taking photographs -- mostly of surgical procedures -- before returning to his business in 1945 to find himself in even greater demand.
It was during the postwar housing boom that John Entenza's Arts & Architecture magazine launched its Case Study housing program, hoping to promote good quality, low-cost housing in the modernist idiom.
Of the two dozen Case Study homes designed by such architects as Charles Eames, Craig Ellwood, A. Quincy Jones, Koenig, Neutra and Soriano, Shulman took photographs of 18.
But the image that would secure Shulman's reputation was of Koenig's Case Study House No. 22, a glass and steel-frame home built for Carlotta and Buck Stahl in the Hollywood Hills. Shulman shot the photo as the sun was setting May 9, 1960.
The black-and-white photograph is taken from outside the cantilevered house, shooting through glass walls to the grid of sparkling city lights below. In the living room are two pretty women dressed for a special night out but, for the moment, sitting quietly and chatting. The strong horizontal pattern of the ceiling over their heads extends outside to the house's overhang.
The effect, though Hollywood gorgeous, is casual, a snapshot of the good life.
But, as with all of Shulman's work, nothing about taking this photograph was casual.
"He was doing a rush job of shooting the house the day before it was to have its debut," said Philip Ethington, a USC professor of history who interviewed Shulman extensively for an oral history. "He turned around and saw this scene."
To capture the image in the camera, however, Shulman had to essentially take two photographs at once -- one of the vista below, which required a time exposure, and one of the house, which required a flash.
Working quickly and without a light meter, Shulman shot a 7½-minute exposure of the city lights with his 4-by-5 camera.
"Then, when I felt I had given enough time for the exposure, and I wanted to flash the interior, I called to the girls," Shulman told Taina Rikala De Noriega for the Archives of American Art/Smithsonian Institution. "I said, 'Girls, sit up now and look pleasant. Look toward each other as if you're talking and hold still for just a second and the flash will go off.' I pressed the release. All this time the shutter was open and the flash illuminated the interior."