I was recently talking to my mother and she said she was enjoying the blog – what was it called? Apple-maniac? Damnit, mom! And she’s not alone – I’ve had a few people bring it up in conversation, so I want to pose a couple questions to our excellent readership and settle the most important debate of our time.
It seems near-constantly that we are asked for ‘all rights’ to the photographs, or to own them in ‘perpetuity’ for some reason or another, but a recent e-mail exchange I was a part of presented a perfect opportunity to share one way I ensure my clients have the license they need while at the same time not giving in to overreach and a loss of image rights.
As architecture photographers, it is our job to have a solid understanding of architecture. I recently taught a workshop to a group of aspiring photographers and when I asked “who is familiar with the work of Richard Meier? Zaha Hadid?” a shockingly low number of hands went up – which tells me we have a problem here!
A group of high-profile architecture visualization professionals have banded together to ensure that they are properly credited when their work is disseminated throughout the architecture and media world at large. A problem that many photographers are also familiar with, for years, architectural visualization artists have found their work has gone uncredited when those assets are so vital to getting architecture projects off the ground.
Architects, interior designers, developers, and hotels don’t just exist in big cities, and neither do architectural photographers. I personally know photographers everywhere from the biggest cities in the world to remote and desolate areas, and they all have different definitions of success – but one thing is for sure and that is they are all making a healthy living at it, although using different methods and approaches.
T asks: Does a photographer HAVE to shoot real estate to get into architecture? I have a wedding photography business that has produced a six-figure income five years in a row so I don’t need real estate to pay the bills. However, I definitely want to move out of weddings and into full-time architecture over the next, let’s say, 5-10 years.
In this edition of Three Links I Love: Adobe, the New York Times, and Twitter have partnered to attempt to solve an ages-old problem plaguing artists everywhere. A wonderful article from the NYT about how to give advice that actually matters, and Ezra Stoller’s new monograph hits the shelves.
For the last four or five years, I have tried to produce one annual workshop for aspiring architecture and interior photographers. While I hope that they are technically helpful and the students come away with new skills and knowledge, one thing that I’ve noticed is that every year each workshop inevitably transforms into a session of group therapy for all involved.
I never thought I’d type the words “competition heats up in tiny geared head market” but alas, competition is heating up in the tiny geared head market. In a space that has been dominated by Manfrotto and Arca Swiss for, as far as I can tell, decades, new competitors are beginning to pop up – one of which is Chinese company LeoFoto, who recently announced their G2 geared head which seems to be a direct shot across the bow of Arca Swiss.
In order to grow your photography business, you must constantly be re-assessing and re-evaluating how you are doing business. One integral part of your business is how you price your services and capabilities; doing this incorrectly and undervaluing or overvaluing what you provide can be your downfall as a professional.
Anybody who photographs buildings knows about geared heads; they are simply the foundation upon which we build our images. For as long as I’ve been a photographer, Arca Swiss has set the gold standard in high quality geared heads and they recently announced an addition to their lineup: The Core 75 Leveler, which appears to slot nicely between the C1 Cube and Core 60 Leveler.
You’re having a great day, birds are chirping, sun is shining, life is good… Until you come across someone, or something, using one of your images without even the courtesy of credit. I’ve had enough, and I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’ve also had enough, so I’m going to show you how to get stolen and uncredited content removed from instagram.
MM Asks: What does your “typical” day look like?
MK: There is not really any ‘typical’ day. I shoot probably 1-4 local gigs a month (LA) and then usually do one bigger travel job every month. I divide my life into two kinds of days…days where I set an alarm (flights or shooting) and days when I don’t, hah!
Styling and propping is important for every architectural photo, and as anyone who’s photographed on location knows, some things are out of our control – such as the weather, the wind, the quality of construction, and the angle at which doors are installed.
Bare with me…this is an easy trick and costs nothing, assuming you already own some $3.99 A-clamps.
Cost-sharing is a common business practice in architecture and interiors photography that allows the photographer to make more money by providing more clients access to project images for less money. It may sound counterintuitive at first, but can be a simple way to create happier clients while significantly improving profit margins with little additional overhead.
The photo credit is an important, yet sometimes elusive, piece of the professional architecture photographer pie. With the speed at which the photography landscape is changing, there are varying standards for getting photo credit in almost every situation. Here’s how I make sure I’m properly credited for my work, and how you can stand up for your own work to make sure you get credited as well.
I’ve lost count of how many times I thought that one dream job that I finally landed would steer my career in some lofty direction. This, finally, would show those top designers/architects/hotel marketing people that I can handle photographing a museum, church, multi-million dollar mansion, design icon skyscraper, or whatever shiny object was the object of my affection that day.
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I get multiple emails every day from retouchers looking to work with me; most of them are based in Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and they serve a need in the market for inexpensive high-volume retouching. The problem is the emails.
MW asks: Have you ever had a client that micromanages to the point where they say “take the photo from exactly right here and make sure you get everything I took in this iPhone picture for reference”? If so, how have you dealt with working in that situation?
Ugh, yes, we all have. There is collaborating and there is micromanagement.