Being successful in architectural photography means that you are able to convey the experience of what it is like to be in and around a built structure, such as homes, resorts, buildings, and offices. In the field of photography, architectural photography is recognized as one of the most profitable areas.
But, in order to be truly successful in this field, apart from having the right kind of equipment, you should be able to understand what it is your clients want.
If you are just starting out in architectural photography, there’s nothing wrong with going freelance at first until you are able to build a good portfolio covering a wide range of architectural and interior shots to show off. It also allows you to have free time to research agents and clients in order to build a good, strong base.
The income may not be consistent but the key is getting your name out there to clients of architectural photography and tapping the right markets.
If you’re just starting, you should know whom to offer your services. The main markets involved in architectural photography are:
1. Property developers and real estate agents are primary targets in the field because their needs include several aspects and uses of properties, architecture, and design.
There is much potential for tapping the real estate market and you will find that their needs will vary extremely, such as those that will pay a low price for general photos of interiors, but on the other hand there are those that command professional architectural photography to encapsulate their work.
2. Consumer magazines often valued for their perspective on home design are also a great market to tap. These include popular housewives’ magazines and home decoration glossies.
These publications often look for freelancers in architectural photography and can be a good source of income as they are regularly in need of good material.
3. Shopping malls, restaurants, and boutique shops will also need their own professional shots for marketing materials. If you are in the loop with new developments, this is your chance to approach store and restaurant owners and offer to provide architectural photography for their business’s interiors and exteriors for a low price.
4. Research on good architectural journals to build a relationship with, to continually contribute photos to. Many of them usually have close ties with architectural studios, so just be persistent in working out a relationship with them.
Another important thing that will help you greatly in progressing with architectural photography is by working as an assistant or apprentice to an established photographer.
Being around them as they do their work will provide you with significant insight and inspiration for your own work.
This kind of experience will teach you things you don’t just learn in the classroom, and will also be helpful in paving the way for expanding your contacts in architectural photography.
It will also give you important insight on the entire process involved, from lights to post-processing, and not just limiting your learning to photography itself.
Photo Credit: Petra Vadehra von Treskow