The photo quality of digital cameras, and even our phones, is improving practically daily, but the benefits of crisp, clear images from a professional photographer are unsurpassed. And with focus on websites, blogs and digital media, superb photography is vital. When shooting a model home or community, an architectural photographer develops images that highlight the stunning characteristics specific to a project.
So where exactly can you find an architectural photographer? How much do they cost? And what are the limitations as to how you can use the photos afterwards? Here is insight as to how to find the best photographer fit for a project and what a shoot might entail.
Finding a Photographer:
As always, word of mouth is a great way to find someone who can deliver quality photos. Industry professionals, such as interior merchandisers or architects, may have recommendations on photographers they trust to deliver shots that best suit the project.
Another great source is the highly respected website, Houzz, as they have a strong photographer network. The site is easy to use with features to narrow a search by state, which then shows recommended photographers within each region as well as their potential price.
The American Society of Media Photographers also helps narrow a search by location and the specialty of the photographer, making this useful to find one who works specifically with certain types of project.
Choosing the Right Photographer:
After developing a list of potential photographers, it’s important to view their portfolio of work. Is the quality of their images attractive? Do the photos allow the project’s stunning attributes to shine? What type of clientele has the photographer worked for in the past? And what type of work does the photographer typically shoot? These are all basic, but extremely significant, questions to assess when working to find a photographer that would best fit a project.
Another feature that needs to be discussed with a potential architectural photographer is their lighting capabilities and equipment, as they are of prime importance when shooting interiors. Depending solely on natural light does not “cut it.” Be sure to discuss how the photographer will enhance their interior shots with additional lighting.
Who Owns the Photos?
The photographer typically retains the copyright to his or her work, unless discussed differently prior to the shoot. Clients are granted the permission to use the photos for marketing and promotional purposes, but if photos are used by a third party, such as a magazine or publisher, the usage of the photos must be negotiated with the photographer.
The Day of the Shoot:
Depending on the size of the project, a shoot can either be as short as a half day or as long as two full days. A full day shoot will typically generate eight to 20 images, depending on the photographer, the amount of styling needed and the sunset during that time of the year – the natural light of the sun is a key element for photographers.
Styling the Shoot:
Having either a stylist, designer or interior merchandiser at the site is helpful for the photographer. They can collaborate to achieve the best results, while understanding the important selling features of the home that should be highlighted.
Depending on the size of the project, an architectural photographer can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per day. The cost includes a shooting fee, cost of an assistant (if needed) and the process of manipulating each individual photo. It’s important to understand exactly what the total cost comprises, do not be afraid to question the need for an assistant, or even the ability to get the shoot done at a half day fee.
The benefits of using the expertise of an architectural photographer are unrivaled by a digital camera or cell phone. When using the shots on a website, clear and crisp photos boost a prospective buyer’s interest. If applying for awards, photos may be the driving force that leads to success. If the time is taken to research, hiring an architectural photographer can boost business with superb interior shots.