12 Steps to Success as an Architecture Photographer

ella wilson By ella wilson, 24th Nov 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Photography

Everyone who has ever loved photography has dreamed of doing it for a living, but the reality is that it’s a crowded field and sometimes one fraught with complicated human interactions.

12 Steps to Success as an Architecture Photographer

Let’s face it, being a photographer is tough. Everyone who has ever loved photography has dreamed of doing it for a living, but the reality is that it’s a crowded field and sometimes one fraught with complicated human interactions. If you are building a portfolio, consider putting in a number of photographs of architecture. It’s an excellent and lucrative specialty within the photography profession. Here are 12 steps to help you get on a firm footing.

1. Gather resources. The Association of Independent Architectural Photographers maintains a website with a number of resources for aspiring architectural photographers. You may not be able to join right off the bat, but you will certainly get a feel for architectural photography.

2. Invest in good equipment. Your equipment should include a tripod, the best DSL are that you can afford, and a simple bubble level to make sure that your photos are not skewed. Simple lighting setups are available, and you can even download a light meter app for your iPhone or Android.

3. Look around your local area for places to shoot. Doing Dallas construction photography can be a great way to build a portfolio. In a city with many architectural features, you can find a lot of action to shoot, as well as a number of significant façades to build your portfolio.

4. Native ISO is your friend. Whatever you’re shooting, think about it as being printed in its largest possible size. You want to capture every detail and every nuance of color. Don’t be afraid to shop the shots around to the architect or to other interested parties.

5. No reflections. Possibly one of the biggest turnoffs that you will ever see in an architectural photograph is the reflection of the photographer. Whether it is the photographer caught in the sliding glass door of a home for sale or lens flare fit for Michael Bay movie, keep yourself out of the picture.

6. Take your time. When you’re exploring a place to shoot, take the time to walk around and look at all the interesting elements of the building. For example, a stunning central staircase, the texture of the tin ceiling, and converging lines in modern architecture can all make for a beautiful and fascinating photograph.

7. Light matters. When shooting interiors, the color temperature of artificial light can alter the perceived color of the room. You can adjust color postproduction, but it helps to be aware of your white balance during the shoot.

8. Don’t wait for a sunny day. When shooting exteriors weather can help add interest and texture to a building. The reflection of light on water, or the softly filtered light of a cloudy day can sometimes be more interesting than a postcard blue sky.

9. Know your Photoshop. There comes a time when the use of Photoshop overshadows the architecture that you’re trying to highlight. Letting the building speak for itself is critical. Using filters and editing and postproduction can take a perfectly stunning shot and turn it into something more at home in a meme.

10. Human scale is interesting. The presence of a human being and photograph often gives reference to the architecture surrounding it. Whether you are photographing architecture or construction, human beings can give an idea of the scale of the building versus the human in the photograph.

11. Network. Get to know other photographers, but also construction jobsite managers, architects, and builders.

12. It’s great to have a portfolio of large-format photos, and having a website portfolio is indispensable. However, having a tablet full of high definition photos to show on a moment’s notice can get you a lot of work.

Assemble your gear, get to know your equipment and software, and go out and shoot. As in any learning situation, practice makes perfect. Soon you’ll be able to show your architectural photography with pride.


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