Tips For Hiring Your Next Architectural Photographer

Picking The Right Person To Capture Your Project And Vision

Project BDO LLP | Photo by Alan Chakota

While the last couple of years has been difficult due to the pandemic, it is critical to step up advertising and showcasing your work through websites, proposals, and social media posts, now more than ever to generate business. At the core of this effort are high quality images. Finding the right design and architectural photographer that not only has the skills, but also can share in and execute your vision can be tricky. To assist you with this process, we’ve put together some tips to consider when you look a hire a photographer for your next architectural or interior design project.

Prioritizing Your Project’s Needs:

The first factor you need to consider is how much you can spend on photography. If you are starting out, consider looking at photographers who are also newer to the industry. This creates an opportunity for you both to build your portfolios and learn together on equal footing. If this isn’t one of your first times photographing your work, then the answer may vary depending on the project itself. If this project is going to be one of the crown jewels of your portfolio, you should consider spending more on an experienced, high profile and influential photographer. The potential for added exposure and efficiency is worth the investment. Just like interior designers and architects, some photographers choose to specialize in certain sectors of the industry. Hospitality, retail, workplace, residential and architectural projects all have their own unique style and needs when it comes to photography. If you happen to be in a niche market, a photographer with experience in that same niche may be more effective at getting better images. On the other hand, hiring a generalist photographer may offer you new ideas and fresh perspectives. Both approaches work equally well, it comes down to what fits your project’s needs best. This may sound cliché, but you’ll want to make sure you have defined your projects story and personality before seeking out a photographer. When you think about how you want your project to translate to viewers, what do you see? Is your project meant to be sophisticated and stoic? Or more casual and playful? Whose attention are you trying to get with these photos? A clear vision of what you want will help you focus on finding a photographer to match. It will also help you communicate that vision to any potential photographers you speak with.

Completing Thoughtful Research:

Social media has made it easy to scroll through thousands of people’s best pictures with little effort. But we recommend taking a more intentional approach when sourcing photographers for your project. Look through architectural and design publications, note the images you are drawn to. Think of images of existing projects that you’ve found inspiring. Look at the portfolios of practices that you see as aspirational. From here search out the photographers of those images and see if they’re greater portfolio also appeals to you. Aside from the photographs themselves, photographers can offer other services and added benefits to hiring them. If you are looking to increase your visibility on social media, does this photographer have followers you can convert into your own followers and potential clients? If you are trying to grow your network, is this person well-connected to other members in the industry or have they been prominently published? Are you also interested in other services such as aerial photography and videography? Do you need both interior and exterior shots taken of your project? If these factors are important to your project or practice, use them as an added filter when narrowing down your options. The most important part about finding the right photographer is their personality and how they work. This is difficult to determine based on they’re polished website or social media profile. Which is why we believe the best way to find the right photographer is through a referral. Speak with your colleagues and network of professionals to see who they have had a good experience working with.

Finding The Right Personality To Work With:

By the end of your research, you should have your options narrowed down to 3 or 4 photographers you are interested in working with. To feel fully confident that the person you are bringing onto your team will be the right fit, you need to interview them. In doing so you will gain understanding on how you both work, it’s important to find someone who you can collaborate with and not just direct. The interview is the perfect opportunity to communicate your concise vision for the project and make sure they’re enthusiasm for achieving that vision matches yours. The right photographer should leave you feeling like you’ve established a foundation of trust and respect. This becomes so important when you are on site together and needing to decide on the best way to capture your project. 

We hope that the above points help you in finding the right photographer who will share your vision, work within your budget, and get the best from your project.

If you have a project you’d like to capture, let’s connect!

Words by:

Alan Chakota and Emilia Majerus.