Why there is a need to for Professional Architectural Photographs

When we speak of architecture, we can divide this into two main areas, indoor and outdoor. This covers a large spectrum of spaces from residential, to commercial, to industrial. This genre is generally used for online and print media.  From real estate sales, to retail and office parks and developments, photography plays an important role in visually marketing the look and feel of the property. There is also a large demand for travel and luxury accommodation, that helps promote destinations for both vocational and business purposes.

The style of buildings is not always the same, nor uniform in design and character. It would be the responsibility of the photographer to take advantage and identify and enhance these characteristics in a positive way.

It is important that the photographer establish upfront with the client a contract that identifies the ownership and rights to usage of the images taken. Avoid having to deal with uncertainties once the job has been completed and ready for handover as it could become messy and expensive from a legal point of view. As a photographer, make sure that it is clear that images will only be used as per the what the contact states and not for any “outside use”.

What is Important in the Planning Process


Lighting, like with all genres in photography is key and needs to be understood, as it creates the mood, the look and the feel of the photograph. When photographing architecture, using the correct lighting is essential for both indoor and outdoor environments. This requires practice and a good understanding of reading light and translating this to setup and time of day. Note that the natural lighting and time of day is not always in your favour, that also goes for the weather and season of the year. To conclude in this regard, do your homework as a photographer and relay all your feelings to the client so there is a mutual understanding to how the job will flow.

Best Camera gear and lenses

The camera is not what is most important in the kit, it is the lenses. The camera is merely a “tool” that you will manipulate the settings to achieve the best result. Today most intermediate and pro camera bodies will do the job. Technology is advanced to a point where the hardware and the sensors meet with approval.

The first prize for a lens is to own or hire a tilt and shift lens, which is designed for achieving the best results for perspectives and alignments in composing the shot. Alternatively, make use of a decent wide-angle lens for smaller and tighter areas that need to be photographed. Finally, a good all-rounder lens, like a 24 – 70mm f2.8 is a winner to those “very day” shots where varied range and quality is required. Don’t forget the tripod… an amazing tool for low light indoor shots where atmosphere and lighting are key.

Editing your shots

Shooting architecture requires experience. As I have mentioned, knowing how your camera settings work in conjunction to your lighting and setups is key to achieving the best results. Auto settings do not always wing the moment and often require heavy editing and time. It is important to be fully aware that the more you edit the worse the quality of the image becomes. My advice, try shoot right the first time. Plan your shot, your composition and take your time to get it close to perfect. Avoid things like bended walls and poorly composed images. If you are able to view the property online first, it would help with the planning of your shoot (lighting, what lenses and equipment you require for the job), so, remember to ask the client if this is possible prior to the shoot.

To conclude, if you have “an eye” and a passion to shoot architecture and have little or no experience, I suggest that you attend a short course or workshop in this field.  One has to start off somewhere, so start off on the right foot with confidence and the rest will follow.