Ever thought about hiring a professional photographer to shoot your latest project? Below is a list of questions your should ask yourself before you do.
What style of photographer should I use?
Every architectural photographer has a different style. No style is right or wrong they are all just different. Some styles can be dark and dramatic while others can be light and airy. This is why it is important to do your research first to see what style you like and whether or not the photographer you choose is in line with your style.
What do you want to use the imagery for
This is a super important question to ask yourself. For example, are you planning to use the imagery on your website which works better with horizontal orientation or do you need the images for a print ad that needs an image that is vertically oriented. This will help the day of the shoot to know not only what looks good in an image and displays your design but also works for you how ever you are planning to use it.
Another great question to ask yourself is whether or not you want people in the shots. People are great to add if you want to show scale, how the space is used, or just humanize a space. This is something to think about before the day of the shoot unless you want to be a model:)
Here is a perfect example of how a person placed in the image can show scale. The first image is great but you really can’t tell the door is 12 feet tall and the light fixture is about 5 feet in diameter. With a person in the shot you can see how large and grand the space really is.
Is the property ready to photograph?
This seems like a no brainer but is super helpful to know before you are trying to schedule a photographer. Properties can be tricky to shoot if art or furniture is missing or landscaping isn’t complete.
This was a beautiful house but the landscaping was majorly delayed without us knowing. We were able to work around it but only after several hours of photoshop time.
Architect - Reid Smith Architects
Builder - Teton Heritage Builders
Interior Design - Design Associates
Can I access the property?
Sometimes there are a lot of people to contact to get in to a property - homeowners, property managers, gated community security, etc. Make sure everyone is on the same page. I have also been delayed getting to a home for a shoot because we couldn’t get our cars up the driveway due to road conditions on the driveway.
Do I need a scout day?
OK, so you have everyone scheduled - do you want to do a scout day? Scouting isn’t totally necessary for the photographer but can be helpful in certain instances. If you have limited time on the property or if the project is large and scouting will help you and the photographer figure out the scope, then I would recommend it.
Have I communicated with photographer?
Communicate, communicate, communicate - this is so important so everyone is on the same page. Make sure you have nailed down the exact meeting time and sent the address to the photographer at least a day before the shoot so there is no confusion on the shoot day. I work in an area where cell phone service is not guaranteed so communication prior to the shoot day is essential!
Have I communicated with homeowner or landlord?
Again, this probably seems like a given but is so important. First off, make sure the homeowner is ok with the home or project being photographed. If your goal is to use this for advertising or editorial purposes be sure the homeowner is on the same page. Most publications need written approval from the homeowner and some require interviews so make sure they are ok with all this before the shoot day.
Photoshoots are always easier if the homeowner is absent. I totally understand if the homeowner wants to be there however, the day usually goes much faster if the homeowner is absent. In my experience, when there is a homeowner around for the shoot day they tend to get pretty bored after the first hour or so anyway.
Another great reason to chat with the homeowner prior to the shoot is make sure the water and heat are on. Shoot days can get tricky if there is no bathroom to use.
Keep these questions in mind when planning an architectural photography or interior design shoot and you’ll set yourself for a successful day capturing and showcasing your next project!