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.

You Can’t Fight Without an F-You Fund

When it comes to negotiations, as a photographer (or any freelance artist, for that matter) you’ve got to master the art of not being emotionally invested in the outcome – something that is nearly impossible to do. But without it, you’ll never be able to break free of difficult clients and underpaid gigs.

How to Travel as a Working Photographer

Getting paid to travel is simultaneously the single most amazing thing and single most overrated thing about being a working photographer. On one hand – exposure to new cultures, places, food, languages, and photo subjects is incredible. On the other hand, when it goes wrong, it can go very, very, wrong and make you question why you even bothered saying yes to the job in the first place.

Ask APA: Your Architectural Photography Questions…Answered

Over the past few weeks, APA has…grown…a little bit, into something I’m beginning to feel slightly proud of. In the background, I’ve gotten many questions about architectural photography from our small but fiercely interested reader base. Rather than let these questions slowly fall into the fires of Mount Doom, ah, I meant page two of our gmail account, I thought it would be great to begin to publicly answer them.

Interview: Darren Bradley, The Global Mid-Century Modern Specialist

Darren Bradley: TED talker, Dwell cover boy, global traveller and book author. Not bad for an architectural photographer! I met Darren a few years ago at an AIA award ceremony and instantly found him fascinating; so I couldn’t be happier to make this interview happen. Darren has dodged alligators, run from security guards, and slept in Florida’s sketchiest hotels in his quest to be one of the world’s preeminent Mid Century Modern specialists.

Humor: Architectural Photography Bingo

We’ve all been there and to deny it is just an outright lie. Whether it’s “can you just photoshop that” or “I promise the contractors will be gone by the time the shoot happens,” you’ve got to roll with the punches and over my career I’ve turned to humor to do so, otherwise someone would be scraping me off the floor of another five-over-one apartment somewhere.

The Ultimate Geared Head Review: Arca Swiss D4 vs C1 Cube

There are really only two tripod heads to consider if you want to use the best of the best: the Arca Swiss D4 and the Arca Swiss C1 Cube. The worst thing about them is you’re spending over a thousand dollars on something that doesn’t actually make you a better photographer, but the best thing about them is that they make it so much easier to take pictures I don’t even know how I’d begin to go back to the cheaper options.