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 to Make More Money with Cost-Sharing

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.

Photo Credit: The Eternal Struggle Of Credit Where It’s Due

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.

RSS Feed Now Available On APAlmanac

We have received dozens of emails requesting this feature and I am happy to report that it has been enabled on our website. Check out the footer (scroll all the way down) to subscribe to the RSS feed and add APA to your Feedly, Inoreader, or other RSS news app of your choice. As always – thanks for following along and supporting APA via whichever medium you do it in!

One Of The Fastest Ways To Become a Better Photographer

Sorry, I'm clickbaiting you here. There are a few oft-repeated phrases that will help you to "become a better photographer." These platitudes include things such as placing yourself in more interesting situations, concerning yourself (a true master, of course) with the qualities of light rather than gear, slowing down to make better photographs, speeding up to make better photographs, and on and on. I'm here to tell you that the single most important thing is...

What’s Your Excuse for Not Mastering the Pen Tool?

It’s 2019, y’all. There is no excuse for not knowing how to use the pen tool in Photoshop. It’s an absolutely essential part of any retouching workflow for architecture photographers and I still know lots of people who struggle with it, even though it’s as easy as pie. If you haven’t mastered it already, I’m going to show you how you can learn it inside and out in one hour or less.

In-Depth Critique Of Professional Architecture Photography

A few weeks ago I met up with the guys from Fstoppers and we released a ‘Critique The Community‘ video focusing on real estate and some architecture photography. For that video, Fstoppers readers submitted images and Patrick Hall and myself sat down and rated them. This time, I wanted to up the ante a little bit and take it more seriously – hard to believe, I know – but I think we made a very informative and helpful video as a result.

Staying On Top of Current Architectural Photography Trends with Rob van Esch

What do clothing, music, cars, houses, and architectural photography have in common? They all go through trends; many of them arguably cyclical in nature. Rob van Esch is an experienced architectural photographer based in Amsterdam who recently created the e-book “Trends in Architectural Photography” which focuses on the recent shifts in the way architecture is photographed.

Three Links I Love: Shooting at Night, Elon Musk Won’t Give Credit, and the Problem with Perfection

What happens when you are so obsessed with a perfect result that you neglect finishing the piece altogether? What happens when you spend an extra half hour on set perfecting an image only to miss the great light happening elsewhere? Why don’t interior designers ever photograph things at night (they used to!), and for some reason, Elon Musk absolutely refuses to credit artists when he “borrows” their work.

I Didn’t Brush My Hair Before Critiquing These Photos, but The Content’s Still Valuable

I recently teamed up with Patrick Hall from Fstoppers to critique some real estate and architecture images for the once-a-year critique I do with them. These images are submitted by the Fstoppers community and while we focused on and asked for people to submit real estate-based images, I still think that this critique is valuable if your primary interest is in architecture and interiors photography.

Photographer Vlad Feoktistov Designs a Dream Career Across Russia and Asia

Vlad Feoktistov is an emerging talent based in Sochi, Russia, who makes his living photographing homes, hotels, and neoclassical Stalinist resorts, among other things. Vlad’s story is somewhat unique in our field and I couldn’t help but want to share it with everyone. Vlad and his career serve as a reminder that there are opportunities around us no matter where we are located and that architectural photography is a truly global phenomenon.