7 Things to Know Before Hiring an Architectural Photographer

You want your photos to present all the best things about your building.

But without the right photographer, your photos could fall short.


When you have a specific health need, you choose a specialist. A general doctor might offer some level of help. However, to truly get what you need for a knee problem, you go to an orthopedist who specialises in knees.

The same is true for photography. A general photographer can shoot photos of your structure, but to truly bring your architectural design to life, you need a specialist.

1. "Picture" Your Budget

A specialist of any kind can be expensive. You want quality architectural photography, but you also need to stay within your budget.

As you start to compile your list of potential photographers, make sure you know your budget. Talk numbers with each photographer.

Be honest about your goals. Your photographer needs to understand the full scope of the project to give you an accurate estimate. Are your photos intended only for online use? Will you also want to print high-quality photos for a magazine feature or printed collateral?

A full package of digital use and print-quality photos can add costs to your project. Once you commit to a photographer, stick to the agreed scope of the project to avoid added fees.

Beware of trying to save a buck on a cheaper photographer. You'll risk getting what you pay for in shoddy quality work or an unreliable photographer.

2. Get a "Snapshot" of Prior Work

When you find some photographer candidates, take a look at their prior work. They might be one of the best when it comes to professional architectural photography—but if their style doesn't work with your concept, you'll want to find another photographer.

Make sure the quality of their work is up to your standards. Their photos should also match their fees. Overpriced photographers who don't provide quality might not be worth it to you.

Many photographers keep a portfolio of their work on their websites. You can also request a demo portfolio of printed photos during your interview with a photographer.


3. Share the Same "Vision"

Your photographer must be able to get on board with your vision for the photos. To do this, they'll need to understand your building.

The best architectural photographers know the importance of learning about your building to develop the photoshoot. They'll walk through the building with you while you point out the outstanding features and talk about what you love most about the structure.

Give your photographer the most information you can about your building. Let them ask questions as they tour the building. When the two of you share a similar vision about the structure, you'll have a better photo outcome.

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4. Be Open to New "Perspectives"

Your architectural photographer is an expert at capturing buildings in a way that catches a viewer's attention. They might see wonderful things about your building that you don't see.

Your photographer can recognise elements, angles, and features that can make your building really shine in photos. They can also apply their style to create a scene that helps show off your structure.

Work with your photographer to incorporate their expert ideas into your concepts for the photoshoot.

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5. Set the "Stage"

Setting the stage for your building's photoshoot is an essential part of your architectural photoshoot.

Does your photographer have a stylist to help stage the structure? Are you bringing in a separate stylist to work with your photographer?

Make sure everyone involved is on the same page with the creative aspects of the photoshoot. They need to communicate well to save time and money. Plus, working well together helps create a better final product.

Don't get too caught up in creative elements. Make sure to maintain the integrity of the building's look and feel, plus stay true to your brand through your photos.

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6. "Light" it Up

Lighting can drastically change the look of your photos. Your building looks different by day than by night. Choosing the right lighting can affect the timing of your architectural photoshoot.

Lean on the expertise of your photographer. Depending on the goal of your photo concept, you might want photos of your structure in both daylight and lighted at night.

Be sure you cover all of those details with your photographer. They can recommend the best time of day to shoot the best photos for your building. You'll need to coordinate the staging of your building and the photographer depending on the time of day that shows your structure in the best light.

7. "Frame" the Project

Document everything about your photo project. When you decide on a photographer, create a "framework" document for every detail and commitment.

Make sure you include:

      -  Dates, times, and locations for the photoshoots

      -  Everyone involved (the photographer, his team, a stylist, and any others)

      -  Pricing for services

      -  Number and format of photos

      -  Timeline to receive prints for review

      -  Deadline to receive final photos

Depending on your photographer, you'll need to discuss and document who has rights to the photos. In most cases, the photographer retains the rights to their photographic work. You pay for their services and their photography product.

Your contract should outline how you can use the photos and how to give credit to the photographer for their work.

"Picture" the Best Architectural Photographer

When investing time and money into visually capturing your building or structure, picture the best architectural photographer for the best photos.

You need an expert with a stellar portfolio who will also take the time to learn about your building and understand your needs. Work with a professional who helps you feel comfortable throughout the project while capturing the subtle details of your space.

In Melbourne, contact me to chat about your next project! I'd love to capture the right angles and best features for your building's portfolio.

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