Architectural photography is a big trend right now. More and more talented craftsmen are trying to convey how they see the most famous buildings in the world, impressive constructions or just an “ordinary” building in the neighborhood and their own apartment. The discerning audience is spoiled for choice and whether they want to scroll through the endless real estate ads on Airbnb or take a virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower, consumers have no intention of settling for anything less than a prime picture of a unique one and to tell emotional story.
If you're into this genre of photography, you already know how difficult these still models can be. Even if they are always at your disposal and cannot run away, you will need a lot of knowledge and experience, as well as an incredible attention to detail, if you want to capture the mood of every conceivable and unimaginable building, outdoor area, etc. and interiors. So read on for some tried and true tips for perfecting your architectural photography.
Research your model
If you are not planning on just taking another average picture, but rather an image that will stand out from the crowd and leave no one untouched, make sure you are connected to the building you plan to photograph. According to Chad Chenier, a big name in architectural photography based in Houston, Texas, it takes some time to create fascinating images that convey the essence of a particular building, structure, or interior. So always do a bit of background research to find out the story behind your "model" and highlight some unique details that are really important.
Don't overlook details
Given the size or impressiveness of the building, it's very easy to overlook small but incredibly important details that can become real game changers. Unleash your inner artist and try to recognize unusual geometric patterns or a fascinating interplay of lines. Don't be afraid to explore the possibilities a roof or balcony offers – boldness usually pays off and gives you that unique view of something that has already been photographed thousands of times.
Look for unusual perspectives
If you dream of shooting a picture that can grab people's attention, don't copy the work of others in relation to how they photographed that particular building. Make it your own masterpiece, looking for unusual perspectives and angles, but not short cuts – do your best to pinpoint the location and figure out all possible ways to access it. See how the sun affects the building to determine the perfect time to take a really great photo with no problematic shadows.
Don't ignore the rule of the golden hour
In architectural photography, light can mean the difference between an impressive picture and a total catastrophe. Many people have tried to circumvent the famous golden hour rule, but to no avail. Don't follow suit and use the first and last hours of sunlight for your perfect photo. The blue hour (the one before sunrise and after sunset) also works wonders, so don't hesitate to give it a try.
Make the most of the light
As a rule, indoor sessions are far more demanding in terms of light than outdoor hours. Not everyone can show off a full suite of lighting equipment. In addition, even people who, in most cases, have all the necessary things, cannot bring them to the construction site. The bottom line is that you need to make the most of what you have on site and therefore use the natural light to plan your photo session for the brightest hours. Artificial light can be very difficult when it changes the perception of colors. That's why everything is a lot easier and you just catch a lot of natural light.
Don't skimp on the gear
Of course, you can't get a perfect shot without decent equipment. That doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on a range of different cameras, but a few lenses are a must. The starter kit includes a DSLR camera (we bet you already have one), a tripod, and a remote lock cable. When talking about lenses, consider a tilt-shift lens to minimize or maximize the depth of field in the image. Architectural photography offers a variety of ways to express your creativity and share your unique perspective on both the outside and the inside of a given structure. Use your imagination and these tips to perfect your architectural shots.