Architectural photography is perhaps one of the most rewarding forms of photography; yet it still remains as one of the rarest! You’ll meet wedding photographers, landscape photographers, and so much more; but architectural photographers? A rare breed indeed. But what’s noting is that just like any other form of photography, photographing buildings will require you to have the right equipment, do sufficient planning, and of course have an element of creativity in you. First and foremost, you need to start from the basics. Identify the buildings you want to get shots of, try to see the best angles or positions for taking the shots, before the actual shoot. Is that all? Not really! Some of the best photos of buildings you’ve ever seen were taken randomly without any prior planning! You could be having coffee in a restaurant, and like the view of an adjacent building, get a shot of it, and have a better shot than one who has planned for weeks.
- As a building photographer, the first rule you’ll need to muster is that you should always have your camera with you. You really don’t know when a chance to photograph a building comes up. Have your camera in your bag often so that when you come across a building you think you should photograph, you can do that there and then.
- Secondly, find out about the laws and bylaws of major cities and towns. Some buildings restrict photography; you may find yourself sued for photographing property, and so on so forth.
- When it comes to the actual photographing, have the right lenses with you. Mind you, the best photos of buildings are taken from a distance and this means that having the right lenses is a must. Tilt shift lenses are especially ideal if you want to get the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the buildings as crisply as possible.
- Perfection takes time; perfection can be evasive in architectural photography and you’ll thus need to be patient. Rather than shooting all the photos one day, you may find yourself having to take several shots on different days and on different times. Take some shots of the building in the late afternoon when the sun is setting in the background. Get shots of the building at night; most buildings always look spectacular at night when lights are on.
Really, photographing buildings isn’t different from any other kind of photography. Have the right equipment, take the shots from a distance, and try to inject some creativity while at it.