Mike Kelley

Owner / Founder

I'm a photographer based in Los Angeles, California who specializes in photographing architecture; I also have a mild airplane obsession.

How Can We Improve APA and Make It More Helpful?

I started this blog in an effort to help architectural photographers learn about the business of photography, be inspired by the best work and photographers in the world, and share information about retouching, equipment, and techniques. And even though it's been just a few short months, I want to know what we can do more of to make it a better resource for readers.

I am An Architecture Photographer – Ask Me Anything!

I recently participated in an open forum on Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet.” The idea of the thread was “ask me anything,” a popular interview-type format where readers submit questions about anything under the sun for the host to answer.

As a child of the internet, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for forums, listservs, and any type of community-driven gathering space as they are where I really became familiar with photography and learned how to operate a camera.

Review: Put Your Camera Anywhere With a Platypod

Over the past few years, my gear bag has been reduced to the absolute bare minimum. This is to make my traveling life easier, to reduce weight so my herniated disc doesn’t flare up every third minute, and to keep breakage and repair troubles far away – after all, the less things there are to break, the less things break.

Having Trouble Getting Paid? Here’s Some Inspiration and Help

It’s a struggle that every creative professional deals with all too often, especially early in your career: chasing invoices, non-responsive clients, unauthorized usage of assets, the list goes on. Here I’ve compiled some of my favorite links and videos that will help you light a fire to get paid for your work – and if nothing else, will inspire you to re-write those contracts so you never get yanked around again!

You Can’t Fight Without an F-You Fund

When it comes to negotiations, as a photographer (or any freelance artist, for that matter) you’ve got to master the art of not being emotionally invested in the outcome – something that is nearly impossible to do. But without it, you’ll never be able to break free of difficult clients and underpaid gigs.

How to Travel as a Working Photographer

Getting paid to travel is simultaneously the single most amazing thing and single most overrated thing about being a working photographer. On one hand – exposure to new cultures, places, food, languages, and photo subjects is incredible. On the other hand, when it goes wrong, it can go very, very, wrong and make you question why you even bothered saying yes to the job in the first place.

Ask APA: Your Architectural Photography Questions…Answered

Over the past few weeks, APA has…grown…a little bit, into something I’m beginning to feel slightly proud of. In the background, I’ve gotten many questions about architectural photography from our small but fiercely interested reader base. Rather than let these questions slowly fall into the fires of Mount Doom, ah, I meant page two of our gmail account, I thought it would be great to begin to publicly answer them.

Interview: Darren Bradley, The Global Mid-Century Modern Specialist

Darren Bradley: TED talker, Dwell cover boy, global traveller and book author. Not bad for an architectural photographer! I met Darren a few years ago at an AIA award ceremony and instantly found him fascinating; so I couldn’t be happier to make this interview happen. Darren has dodged alligators, run from security guards, and slept in Florida’s sketchiest hotels in his quest to be one of the world’s preeminent Mid Century Modern specialists.