Cost-sharing is a common business practice in architecture and interiors photography that allows the photographer to make more money by providing more clients access to project images for less money. It may sound counterintuitive at first, but can be a simple way to create happier clients while significantly improving profit margins with little additional overhead.
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.
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.
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?
When I first started as an architectural photographer, one of the things I really struggled with was pricing. This seems to be a common thread for many creatives as it can be very difficult to objectively self-assess your talent, experience, and therefore, value. Some photographers charge less than minimum wage and others charge an absolute fortune for just an hour’s worth of work.
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.
One of the most recognizable buildings I had the chance to photograph for my book New Architecture Los Angeles was the Broad Museum, a beautiful project in downtown LA designed by Diller Scofidio+Renfro. As it’s literally one of the most photographed subjects in the entire city, I wanted to make sure I created images that were actually different than everybody else’s.
It’s an email I get weekly. “My name is John and I work for this massive publisher, and we love your image of that thing. We’re creating a book for our client, and want to use your beautiful image as a spread in the book – can we get permission?”
I’m always happy when publishers, corporations, or individuals want to use my images in their books.
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!
Instagram can be an incredibly powerful tool, but also a very annoying, almost disheartening thorn in your side. While it has great promotional value, the flipside is that it is rife with image theft, copyright infringement, enough vagaries to make your head spin, and the unavoidable irritation that comes with constantly comparing yourself to others.
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.
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.
Starting a career in photography can be very challenging. I know that when I first started as an architectural photographer, I made a fair few mistakes that could have been avoided. Fortunately, those mistakes can serve as lessons for future architectural photographers.1. Shooting With the Widest Available Lens
If you’re a real-estate photographer then shooting with the widest lens ever made might work.
A notorious sticking point for any photographer, the rush turnaround can be a great tool in your bag or it can turn into a living nightmare that threatens to create a rift between you and your client. Over the years I’ve been able to transition from the rush turnaround being a dreaded ‘ugh’ moment into something that is relatively effortless.
For some reason photographers are obsessed with being published, I am a photographer, ergo, am obsessed with being published. It feels good, it looks pretty, and it makes your photographs real, as in a tangible thing that other people hold and look at and say “wow” like Owen Wilson. Wowwww.