architectural photography assignment is a commitment of
time, resources and money. Creating high-quality images on location
presents a complex series of challenges. Thorough planning and communication
between the client, photographer, location owner and representatives
at the site can help ensure maximum efficiency and productivity.
Lenses for Architectural Photography
is essential that an architectural photographer has control of the
dynamics of an image ie distortion of the building being photographed
caused by tipping the camera up or down.
a camera up to view a tall building causes converging verticals,
which in severe cases make the building appear almost triangular.
This can be corrected when using a Shift lens by raising the lens
panel vertically, relative to the film plane, and not tipping the
camera. Shift lense are also important to the architectural interior
photographer allow the camera to be set high but still emphasising
floor space when that is important.
Tilt and Shift lens also allows the photographer to control how
much of an image is in focus by the placing of the plane of focus
ie if a building as at an acute angle to the camera.
an Architectural Photography Assignment
Client to Supply, (where possible).
location of the site,
description and documentation required
through the project site with photographer if feasible
maps and/or plans with accurate North arrow
construction progress information
describe goals: areas/features to photograph,
number of views
design materials, light sources, spaces in use, etc
problems or flaws that photographer to downplay/avoid
the Site: Issues to Consider
the owners or those at the site expecting the photographer?
they understand the level of production and length of time involved?
(Some people assume a photographer will show up with a hand-held
camera, take snapshots and be finished in a few minutes).
client or representative be present during the shoot?
photographer must know how to contact:
with office, home and weekend numbers for day and evening
service for permission to control site lighting and computer
involved in the project
full access been arranged to the site?
there parking available for the photographer?
photographer and equipment get in after hours if needed?
get out afterwards?
the photographer need keys or security codes for access to any
the elevators working? Alarm systems turned off?
all the rooms and areas accessible?
windows and blinds be adjusted?
the time of year and the weather to be expected
light and the angle of the sun
way does the building face?
on the main façade?
on the trees?
shrubs and plants?
on the ground?
the day of the week
automobile traffic and/or parked cars?
office workers, services or deliveries?
the best time of day for the photography
light. Sun. Shadows. Mixed lighting. Views.
it best to shoot at night?
all the construction been completed?
the client representative inspected the site recently?
dumpsters, scaffolding, fences and debris removed?
and leasing signs removed?
signage in place? Illuminated?
spaces, including ground floor stores, occupied?
conditions should be reviewed before the photographer arrives.
clean? None broken?
green? Gardens watered?
plants? Or just wisps?
apparatus turned off to keep the building dry?
delay in facility maintenance during the shoot (mowing, road
work, window cleaning…not today, thank you).
and banners in place?
out about other possible disruptions such as trash pickup, deliveries,
on building? Fences? Posters? Signs?
access is required from nearby buildings, consider the following:
advance arrangements been made? permission
and/or permits required?
of insurance needed? "Additional insured" on policy?
bulbs in working order. All the same color. Spares available?.
for window shade controls and security systems.
sure timers and light sensors can be adjusted for proper exterior
lighting at dusk and at dawn.
photography of interiors, be sure to consider the following:
tenants and neighbors notified about the photography?
and private spaces clean?
hung? Sculpture and other artwork in place?
and plants available? Props arranged
for moving (and replacing) personal objects?
may need client participation to obtain property and model releases.
photographers Extra ToolKit