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.

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.

On Assignment: Sangha Resort in Suzhou, China in 10 Pictures

I recently returned from a trip to China where I was tasked with photography an epic resort – and I don’t use that word lightly. With hundreds of rooms, private villas, and drool-worthy penthouses, it was an assignment I won’t soon forget. I’ll get around the posting a full trip report when I come up from air after another whirlwind travel schedule, but here is a taster of what’s to come.

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!