Creating inspirational Architectural Photography to showcase your project
Architectural photography is one of the main services we supply at Peter Drought Images, but what is it and how is it used? In simple terms it is the photography of buildings, completed to a high standard in order to show the key features of the structure as the architect intended*. This can include both the exteriors and interiors photography with a strong emphasis on the main design features. Specialist equipment and techniques are used to deal with some of the common difficulties associated with this type of subject matter. This includes the correction of converging verticals, a common problem with photographs of tall buildings, and lighting to deal with the high contrast ranges and dark shadows that are often a problem with photographs of the interiors of buildings.
*Architectural photography has a long history (which is an interesting read in itself) and raises questions about whether the picture represents the building, or one person’s interpretation of it. This is an interesting debate, which is well discussed elsewhere discussing the work of various architects and architectural photographers!
Why use an Architectural Photographer?
As the name suggests, one of the main users of this type of photography are architects, however architectural photography is also used by interior designers, building companies, advertising agencies and anyone else who needs to have a building photographed to a high standard. Typically, the main use will be advertising, portfolio’s and promotion.
A key part of architectural photography is understanding the client’s brief. As an experienced architectural photographer, before starting any new project, I will have a quick chat with you to find out what your main objectives are. Architects are a visual profession, and they will often have specific requirements and angles of the building that they require in order to ensure that the photographs show the building as they intended. Understanding these requirements at an early stage is critical as they will directly affect the approach we take to the photo shoot. Exterior photographs will need to be taken at a specific time of day when the sun is in the optimal position to illuminate the building. Interiors will almost certainly need supplemental lighting to show them at their best while still preserving the existing ambience of the space. If models are required for the shoot, this will have to be arranged in advance, including appropriate wardrobe to compliment the style of the images. The use of photographs is another important consideration. Magazine covers are typically shot in portrait format for example, and generally need a reasonable amount of what we call “negative weight” as this allows the editors to drop in text around the picture.
Before commencing any shoot, I always make one final check to ensure that the building is ready for photography. This is particularly important for newly completed projects as construction work or the interior fit out can sometimes over run which obviously does not present the best images. It is also advisable to check for problems outside the building, such as scheduled roadworks as these can cause difficulties. Another thing to check is the installation of lighting in the building. It is important to check that all lights have been fitted and are functional if this is to be a key element in the photography.
People often ask how long an architectural photography shoot will take? This very much depends on the size and nature of the project, although it is unlikely to be less than half a day, and in many cases will take a full day. The size of the project is obviously a major factor, as larger buildings or those with more features will typically require more photographs. Interiors photography is generally slower to do than exteriors as it requires more time to light and stage the rooms. Sometimes a client will require the same scene to be photographed at different times of the day; daylight vs evening for example. This will obviously require a certain amount of “waiting time” in order to allow the light to change. In a similar way, different sides of a building interior will be illuminated best at different times of the day, depending on where the sun is in the sky. Dusk or low light architectural photography may also be required, and indeed is one method of dealing with the problem of dull weather in photographs. As you can see, there are many factors that need to be considered when planning how long a shoot will take. In order to gain a better idea for your specific project, just give me a ring with your requirements and I will go through it for you.
Moving on to the completion side of architectural photography. After the shoot is complete, I aim to provide you with an online gallery to select which images from the shoot that you want to use. From here, you can select the photographs for your project and I will perform any digital image editing if necessary.
“Where do you offer this service?”
In short, anywhere in the world, although in practical terms most clients are in the UK as that is where I’m based. I do a lot of work in the North West of England, including Manchester and Liverpool, and in addition often work throughout Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. In the course of my career as an architectural photographer, I have photographed a wide range of buildings and have extensive experience in photographing both interiors and exteriors photography. You can view further examples of architectural and other forms of commercial photography in my Portfolio. love design related subject matter, so if you have a project for which you need architectural photography, just give me a call!
01744 454 834 | 07917317908