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.
While I don’t have a degree in architecture and can’t ever have claimed to completely understand it at a high level, over the last ten years I’ve begun to develop a deep, deep appreciation for it and I think my craft has developed significantly as a result. As I am one to obsess over whatever I happen to be interested in at any one given time, I’ve done some deep dives on Youtube to find great content and the B1M consistently comes up tops.
It’s important for us as architectural photographers to be able to go beyond just taking a pretty picture; many times we are taking very technical photographs of some elaborate engineering feats or architectural trickery that we may at first glance overlook or take for granted. Learning to understand these concepts and not only photograph them but talk about them at a deeper level with your clients will help you much more than pushing around images in your portfolio or splitting hairs over Canon vs Nikon.
Not only does the B1M jump into details of the architectural design and construction process, many videos do a great job explaining the financial and economic factors at play for many of these mega projects, which can also help us learn about where we fit on the totem pole of these projects. There is simply a ton of money at play and lots riding on the line – so much of which is dependent on the images to get these projects marketed and sold.
The channel does a fantastic job covering some of the landmark projects of our time in an interesting and informative way. I know that more than one architecture book has knocked me out cold from boredom, so I appreciate the refreshing approach that the B1M takes as it explains some of the concepts and theory behind architectural design. Here are a few of my favorite videos that the B1M has produced which I feel have significantly contributed to the subjects I photograph.
Be sure to check out their channel as they cover many projects from around the world and possibly a few in your own neighborhood. I’ve enjoyed learning about some hotly debated Los Angeles projects that are local to me, and learning about projects in far off destinations that I never even gave a thought to.