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.
A question that we receive at APA regularly goes something like this: I shoot predominantly real estate with a basic contract and would love to hear more about how established architecture and interior photographers went about creating and modifying their contracts.
You’re not alone.
P asks: Is it possible to be an architectural photographer without previously being an architect? My girlfriend is an architect and our first idea is to open a studio together. Do I have options in this world without having studied a degree in photography or architecture? Thank you in advance!
Today, I jump into a large 3-part question that I have strong thoughts on.
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.
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!
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.
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.
R asks: When trying to expand and grow your network and brand as a photographer, do you think “mailers” with a small handwritten note can work or what do you suggest to getting more clients to work with you?
In the past I think this worked, today, not so much. An email introduction done right and not done creepily is all you need.
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.