Throughout our careers we find photographers and artists who inspire us at a deep level, and I am so happy to be able to bring you an interview with one such photographer today. Christopher Payne, who was educated as and practiced as an architect, has long been one of my favorites not only for his prowess as an architectural photographer but as an embodiment of the personal project and its ability to bring incredible opportunity for pursuing one’s interests, exploring incredible places, and shaping your career into something entirely your own.
For the last decade, I’ve been dealing with varying levels of on-again, off-again back pain and the associated frustrations that come along with it. From almost non-existent to “I literally can’t even get out of bed,” the pain has been with me in some form daily, affecting work, relationships, and so much more.
As architectural photography becomes a more popular genre both on and off the internet, the number of people taking part in critiques (whether warranted or not) has exploded. As a member of a number of groups and fora frequented by thousands of architectural photographers from all around the world, I’ve noticed an alarming trend over the past few years.
One of my most memorable shoots of 2019 took place at a beautiful location in Beverly Hills, CA. An architectural masterpiece designed by Walker Workshop situated on a ridgetop in the famed Trousdale Estates neighborhood, this house was an absolute stunner and the project had been on my radar for a good 3-4 years before I actually got the chance to photograph it.
In my never-ending quest to soak up as much architectural knowledge as possible, I stumbled across this video by one of our favorite YouTube channels, The B1M. While not directly related to architectural photography, the video provides a very interesting insight into the economics and struggles involved when it comes to pushing through landmark developments on the scale of Shanghai Tower, Burj Khalifa, etc – subjects that we’d all love to get hired to photograph.
This week, BH Photo Video is running a special that I actually think would benefit photographers looking to pick up a spare laptop for tethering or who are looking to scoop up a good deal on a pretty powerful computer. With Macbooks as low as $1200, and instant savings of $200 on the brand new 16″ Macbook Pro, if you’re in the market for a new laptop this might be a great time to buy – there are deals of all sorts on a wide variety of Macbooks, so check them out here.
Over the years I’ve had the great fortune of befriending many very talented photographers from around the world; I’ve also come to have an obsession with all things British thanks to binging episodes of Grand Designs and Top Gear. Consider me another American British Fetishist, I suppose.
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!