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5 Architectural Photography Tips


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What's the Story?
All human-built structures have fascinating backstories, including details about funding, materials, construction challenges and much more.
All human-built structures have fascinating backstories, including details about funding, materials, construction challenges and much more.
Courtesy 40 Nights Photography

All fantastic photography tells a story through imagery, and that applies to architectural photography, too. In order for you, dear visual author, to really share that tale, you need to think about what makes that structure unique.

You might start by doing some research. All major construction projects have a back story, and all of them feature design elements and materials intended to suit a specific purpose. You can often find much of this information with a quick Web search.

With those kinds of details fresh in your mind, you'll likely notice all sorts of new things about a building and then totally revamp your approach. Sure, many people have taken the same wide-angle shots of the adobe church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. But how many photographers have really thought about the clay that makes up adobe and then taken close-up shots of that fascinating texture?

Figure out what makes a structure special. Ponder how that story makes you feel. And then experiment with ways to express those feelings and thoughts in the pictures you make. The more you think about your subject, and the more time you're willing to invest in creating a one-of-a-kind, memorable picture, the more likely it is that you'll find your way.

Don't wait. The best way to learn architectural photography (or any kind) is to jump right in and make as many mistakes as possible. Those little failures will teach you the lessons you need to succeed in ways that you can't even begin to imagine.