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How do I Become an Architectural Photographer?

By Rachel Burkot
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An architectural photographer is an artist who presents a physical structure or building by capturing it on film. These photographers are responsible for presenting the images of the insides of buildings to potential buyers of the spaces or to anybody else who is interested in the properties. An architectural photographer must choose the proper lens and lighting, arrange the room most aesthetically and organize the permission and releases before the building can be photographed. There are a few different ways to become a professional photographer.

Architectural photographer training is less rigid than many disciplines because there is some creative license within the industry. If a person sincerely desires to become an architectural photographer, however, he or she must have a love and appreciation for natural beauty and capturing that beauty on film. The photographer can start in the field by always carrying around a camera and taking pictures of anything he or she decides is worthy of being caught on film. Take pictures of both the inside and outside of buildings, and try capturing these places from a variety of angles, always experimenting and trying new things. To become an architectural photographer, it is necessary to have a portfolio of pictures, so begin early, and take as many pictures as possible.

Architectural photography does not require a degree, but for anyone who wishes to become an architectural photographer with professional clients, a formal education will provide tangible proof of abilities. It will also help architectural photographers to find jobs more easily. A technical photograph school will teach the proper techniques and methods of architectural photography. An education in this field will also potentially lead the photographer to decide what aspect of the photography process he or she is most interested in and pursue that. A well-rounded education can be very useful for narrowing down one’s interests.

When the student graduates from such a program, he or she will also have a strong portfolio that will come in handy to become an architectural photographer. Before pursuing employment, it can’t hurt to check out other, established photographers’ portfolios of architectural photographs. These can often be found online by searching for different architectural photographers. This will give the person hoping to become an architectural photographer a sense of the current styles in the industry because it is a field that is strongly guided by trends of the moment.

The next step to become an architectural photographer is to act as an assistant to a current photographer. This person can act as a mentor and teach the hopeful photographer many valuable aspects of the field that the student was never taught in school. In addition to taking architectural design photographs, the assistant can help handle the equipment, arrange the lighting and develop the film. By helping with these things, the person who wants to become an architectural photographer can learn the many responsibilities of such a job. Finally, when the photographer is ready to break into the field on his or her own, a job can often be found by talking to architectural photographers, keeping abreast of trends and styles and always carrying around the portfolio.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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