Shoot days can be long days (but of course, fun!), based on scope of the project, the lighting situation (sunrise & sunset) and the staging and lighting process. Here is a schedule of what to expect the day of a shoot
A walk through is a great time to prioritize the day. A lot of architectural photography is based around the lighting so as you do the walk through the photographer will likely decide in which order to shoot. This way you can walk through each of the spaces with the photographer and schedule the day.
Choosing the correct angle and perspective
The photographer will likely take their time figuring out where to place the camera. This takes some time because the goal is to
- Shows off the space - you want to make sure the angle you choose shows off the space well and captures everything you want seen in the image.
- Captures the feel of the space - To me this is my number one goal and is tricky to accomplish. When you walk through a space you are able to take it all in and you want all the feelings to translate to a 2-dimensional image. I want someone to look at the final image and feel as if they could step right through the page and be there. See themselves sitting in the chair enjoying the fire or the view.
- Want the eye to flow through the image - The goal is have the person looking at the image, stay looking at the image. This will help dictate the composition. The photographer will take what you want to show and find the right composition to show it off the best.
Here are two different perspectives from a gorgeous bathroom - both are great images that show off the bathroom very differently.
Architect - Stuart Silk Architects
Builder - Charter Construction
The staging is the most time consuming process of the shoot day. Staging is so important for a few different reasons. Again, people who are looking at the image don’t have the ability to walk and look around the room. A space can look very different through the lens so it’s important to move things around to help with the composition and make the space look inviting and livable. The staging process involves a lot of trial and error, it’s always helpful to be around for this step of the process so you have input on how the image is coming together.
On my shoots we move everything - furniture, props, flowers, art, everything! We are moving objects in to the frame, moving objects out of the frame. This is another reason why it is helpful if the homeowner isn’t there. It’s a little tricky to move their 3rd graders framed painting from over the fireplace if they are sitting there watching you. There isn’t anything wrong with their 3rd graders painting - in all honesty it’s probably pretty cute - but may not be fitting with your style or what you are trying to show in the image.
The time of day - The time of day can really effect the lighting - it’s critical in architecture photography. This is why you want to prioritze the shoot day when you do the initial walk through.
Natural vs ambient - This a question I get all the time. If it’s a bright and sunny day outside I probably wouldn’t naturally go in and turn all the lights on… so why would I do that in an image? That’s typically my rule of thumb… however, rules are meant to be broken:)
The photographer will likely add light where is it needed after the staging is complete. It’s really important not to move anything in the frame during this process!
The first image is before light was added, the second is after light was added.
Interior Design - Shelter Interiors
Once everything has been shot it’s really important to do a final walk through and make sure everything has been put back where it originally was. This is also a great time to make sure you aren’t leaving anything behind. It’s tricky to get that coffee mug back after you have locked up and left the property - yes, I am speaking from personal experience:)
Photo shoot days are really fun but can be long and tiring so it’s best to be prepared for the day. I always recommend bringing lots of snacks, and comfortable shoes you can wear indoors. And, most importantly, HAVE FUN!!