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.
I’ve lost count of how many times I thought that one dream job that I finally landed would steer my career in some lofty direction. This, finally, would show those top designers/architects/hotel marketing people that I can handle photographing a museum, church, multi-million dollar mansion, design icon skyscraper, or whatever shiny object was the object of my affection that day.
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I get multiple emails every day from retouchers looking to work with me; most of them are based in Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and they serve a need in the market for inexpensive high-volume retouching. The problem is the emails.
MW asks: Have you ever had a client that micromanages to the point where they say “take the photo from exactly right here and make sure you get everything I took in this iPhone picture for reference”? If so, how have you dealt with working in that situation?
Ugh, yes, we all have. There is collaborating and there is micromanagement.
In the ongoing discussion of renders vs. reality, a very keen-eyed Dezeen viewer noticed that a shortlisted project for the 2019 Dezeen Awards was actually a render, not a photo. As renders improve more and more every day, is this something that will begin to permeate architecture awards and photography contests?
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.
NC Asks: If a company never paid me and is using my image, how can I prove that I took the image and how do I decide how much to charge them for each image that they illegally used?
The easiest way to do this (in the United States, at least) is to register your images with the US Copyright Office as soon as is reasonably feasible.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
In a contrasting approach to my post about intentionally shooting during bad weather, photographer Heather Conley delivers a great vlog-style narrative video discussing her approach to selecting a shoot day based on weather. Heather is a successful architectural photographer based in Connecticut who has worked for a wide range of clients photographing a variety of project types.
Every single photographer has rescheduled a shoot due to weather – that’s just a universal truth in this profession. But I don’t think you should reschedule when bad weather is predicted – I think you should embrace it and accept whatever comes your way to create more interesting photographs.
In order to be a great architecture photographer, one must, well, understand architecture. One of my favorite high-quality resources on the web that has helped me understand our subject matter better is Youtube channel “The B1M,” which bills itself as the definitive channel for construction – and there is plenty of interesting architecture talk to be found there as well.