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How to Choose a Quality Architectural Photographer

Architectural photography is more than just snapping a shutter or documenting an architectural project. It requires careful planning, consideration, communication, and skill to capture the right images and bring out the best qualities of the architect’s vision. Before choosing an architectural photographer for your next project, consider these key elements:

  1. Look at the portfolio – does the photographer capture outstanding images of buildings, both inside and out?
  2. What equipment does the photographer use, and does he or she have the experience to use it effectively?
  3. Does the portfolio show a strong versatility and understanding of lighting conditions, working well with both ambient and artificial lighting?
  4. Does the photographer have a workflow for processing the images in Adobe Photoshop?

In this article series, we will discuss these four key points, and how they can help you choose the best photographer for your next project. This article covers the first key – interior and exterior photography.

Does the Photographer Capture Outstanding Interior and Exterior Photographs?

You may have looked at several photography portfolios and seen both images you liked, and images you didn’t like. Sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on the “why” behind liking or disliking a shot, so here we have compiled a guide to help you determine what makes an outstanding interior and exterior photograph.

  1. The reason for the structure. Seasoned photographers will learn about the building first, and capture the story behind it in ways that others cannot. By capturing details that the general public might miss or overlook, a photographer can tell a story or convey emotion just by capturing these subtle details. Oftentimes, an architect will incorporate pieces of a building’s history into the construction to tell a story. An excellent photographer will help tell that story in the photos.
  2. Versatile framing. Not all buildings and structures are created equal. While some photographs require wide angles to capture all the details, other shots will be contained to just one room or portion of the building. There should be no distortion in the lines of the building – meaning the lines should be clean and straight, just as if you were looking at it in person. Look for a diverse selection of images from both tight spaces and large outdoor settings to make sure the photographer has a solid understanding of all aspects of interior and exterior photography.
  3. Lighting. We’ll cover this more in depth in a later article, but generally speaking, photos should be evenly lit – not too dark and not too bright. The whitest areas of the picture should be white, but not “blown out” – meaning that you can’t make out the details due to a washed out photo. This is a common mistake that many amateur photographers make.
  4. Staging. A good photographer will coordinate to have the area staged for the photo session. Staging can mean having lights on or off, placing objects on tables, adjusting furniture, or simply adding some decorative elements to a space to make it look stylish. Everything in the final image should look like it belongs there, nothing should look out of place, messy, or unintentional.

These four elements are just scratching the surface of what goes into a professional architectural photography session, but they’re helpful to train your eye to spot subtle differences between an ordinary photographer, and one who truly has experience and expertise in the field. For your next architectural photography session, contact Brian Dressler Photography, Inc. by calling our studio at (803) 254-7171.

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