Does Professional Architectural Photography Matter?
Updated: May 19
Listed below are 4 reasons you as an architect, interior designer or any other business in the construction industry need to use an architectural photographer to showcase their work, and 4 photographers I recommend.
Did you know that there are more smartphones than people in the world? In today’s age of social media and digital cameras in our pockets, practically everyone considers themselves an amateur photographer capable of showcasing the world around them.
But there is a trade-off to using that camera in your pocket to show your professional work to the world. Photographing architecture is a highly specialized skill, and quality results cannot be achieved without practice and the right equipment.
"Bad photos are like bad clothing, people judge you and your company by what they see on the surface"
Good marketing has the best return on investment of any element of business operations. And whether for print advertising, brochures, your website, or even simply Instagram, the photos you use must remain consistent with your brand’s image and enforce the level of professionalism you want to be known for.
Bad photos are like bad clothing, people judge you and your company by what they see on the surface. Even though you are an awesome architecture firm or interior designer, you’ll be seen as a business that doesn’t take pride in its work. You want the media you use to be truly stunning, and that requires hiring someone with the right equipment and skillset.
What an Architectural Photographer Helps You Achieve:
If you are an interior designer, an architect, or a construction company, you need your expertise highlighted. If you are a materials supplier you want your products showcased. Either way, you want colors to be pure and true to life.
You want design elements such as the angles of ceiling beams or the texture of stonework to be highlighted in a way that will impress your client. Awkward angles, poor lighting, or boring compositions won’t do you or your product justice.
An architectural photographer has the skillset to compose truly beautiful photos that grab and hold attention.
Lighting is Everything
Photography means “writing with light”. George Eastman the founder of Eastman-Kodak said “Above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” Professional lighting cannot be mimicked with a smartphone or by an amateur with a budget flash.
Lighting affects color tones, depth perception, composition, and more. Most interior photographs require added lighting to make them pop. A professional architectural photographer has the experience and the equipment to do just that.
Post-Production is the Secret Sauce
Postproduction is essential to creating truly spectacular images, and it requires specialized knowledge. A professional architectural photographer frequently spends more time in the editing room than in the field, compositing images together to balance the highlights and shadows, remove color casts, and remove unwanted elements such as powerlines.
This exterior shot of 6Teen on Central is a prime example of that. Over 3 hours of editing were required to remove all traces of the powerlines, air conditioners, and remove color casts in such a way that the edits would be invisible even under intense scrutiny.
6Teen on Central after Retouching:
Original Photo (No Retouching):
VIDEO: The new kid on the block
If you aren’t using video, you are leaving money on the table.
72% of customers prefer to learn about products or services through video. (HubSpot)
65% of executives visit a company’s website and 39% have called them after watching a marketing video. (Forbes)
Video has the power to grab people’s attention and embed your name in their memory in a way that photography alone never does.
You should be creating videos showcasing your work, videos about you and your company, and videos answering questions your customers frequently ask. Video will increase your social media engagement and boost your website’s SEO.
Marketing is already hard, so don't handicap yourself by using mediocre photos as the foundation of your website and social media. Hiring an architectural photographer may be more expensive than doing it yourself or hiring a jack-of-all-trades photographer, but there is a very good reason for that.
You are proud of your business and your work. Are you ready to market it like you are proud? Here are four photographers you should check out:
(A good friend with a slightly different style)
(Another friend, great at architecture, even better at product photography)
(I don’t know him personally, but I have respect for his work!)