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 Much Are Architectural Photographers Charging and Earning? The First Results of the APA Census Are Here

After leaving the APAlmanac Architectural Photography Census open for almost six months in 2020, we are here to report the results. An incredible 1,259 professional architectural photographers from all over the world completed and contributed to the survey, which has provided an amazing cross section of how and why we’re working, where we struggle, where we succeed, and so much more.

I’m Being Asked For COVID Discounts – Help!

M Asks: I’m getting quite a few requests for shoots starting late April / May. Everyone is pleading poverty, from £120m new openings (who I know had already budgeted marketing) to £10m refurbs. Every quote so far has asked for a reduction in fees. My own view is that I won’t lower my fee (mostly because my expenses & talent are same as pre-covid and I have a gut feeling that if I lower it, it will be impossible to raise later) but I am being super-flexible on pretty much all else.

Photographing Homes While California is Choked in Wildfire Smoke

For those of us living in California and the rest of the West Coast of the US, it’s been a crazy few months to say the least. Wildfire smoke has engulfed nearly every part of the region at some point over the past two months, turning skies grey and orange from Los Angeles to Seattle.

Many architectural photographers have continued to work through the fires and the resulting smoke – myself included – to great frustration and annoyance.

The Problem With Hyper Real Renders (And Photographs!)

This short and poignant video by the B1M highlights the increasing propensity for renders to exaggerate the truth, leading to disappointed clients and impossible design goals for projects. Not only do these renders mislead the public, setting them (us!) up for a lackluster new building, but they also have ramifications for photographers tasked with capturing these projects.

How One of the Biggest Names in Photography and Visualization Deals With Attribution and Licensing

DBOX is an international creative communications agency that creates campaigns in the sectors of luxury residential, hospitality, commercial, and cultural property. Specializing in both renders and photography, DBOX is at the top of the global architecture marketing game and were kind enough to sit down for a chat with APA to discuss their inner business workings, their frustrations, and their efforts to remedy an industry-wide scourge.

Still Lives: Making Photographs During a Global Pandemic

When you’re obsessed with something, say, architectural photography, you can’t imagine a life without it, so you’re going to find a way to do it no matter what. Even in the midst of a pandemic, even if you have to use an awful camera, even if you just underwent back surgery.

In October 2019, I decided to take a break from work to address stubborn back pain that hadn’t gone away in about six years.

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