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Learning Architectural Photography

The fascinating world of Architecture, Design, and Photography, In this article I will review some insights about learning the profession that you can have an educated opinion on what to do next. 

Table of Contents

What and Who is an Architecture Photographer

So what, who and why? An architectural photographer is an individual that specializes in capturing spaces for commercial purposes for a variety of businesses. 

First, you need to understand that this is a very technical-oriented profession, meaning you need to learn everything from camera settings to using different types of equipment, accessories, and lights before you can specelize in this niche.

Learning The Basics

Before you dive into arc & design you need to master your basic professional skills, there is no one solution that fits all but I will review the options, if you are already a professional or master the basics you can jump to the next section.

Online Course – there are so many resources out there, let’s start with learning photography fundamentals, basic framing, settings, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and working with Manual mode.

I suggest you start with Youtube to understand the basics or take a crash course on Udemy or another online platform.

The most important is to learn from different teachers/professionals because at the end of the day, you need to understand the concept and methods to achieve the same results.

Remember: your goal is to learn the basics so that you can move on towards specializing in a niche.

Workshop – If you need some hands-on and like to learn in a group setting a course of fundamentals can do the trick, they typically take several weeks with 1-2 days per week or several days after another.

School – There are many online and in-person schools, while I think you can learn everything by yourself if you really looking to learn the entire theory that might be a good solution for you.

Academy – Many universities and academies offer a certificate and/or degree in photography, while I always support high education, I don’t believe that the time there would yield any better results than learning the basics via self-learning and a crash course.

Mythos you should know

  • No commercial client cares where you learned.
  • No client cares if you have a degree or diploma.
  • You are measured by results and nothing else.
  • You don’t need a 6-12 months course to learn the basics.
  • You can learn everything online and for free.
  • You can’t just have the theory, you must go out there and try.

Learning Architectural Photography

So, our industry is pretty much a closed industry, because there are many ways to achieve award-winning imagery and each of us has our own techniques. 

Don’t forget that this is a business and not just artistic, meaning you need to understand many practices and understand the general concept of consumer, business, architecture, design, and hospitality.

First options, As far as I know, there’s no in-person course or a place that focuses on this topic, however, you can find many online courses that can reveal the secrets behind our industry.

There are several high-end architectural photographers that provide courses and they teach many techniques we use day to do, like using artificial light, post-production, and the business side of things.

You can’t grow if you stop learning, so any course would do the trick because at the end of the day we are collecting tools for different situations.

Online classes may cost 100-300 euros or USD depending on where you are at, which is an average hourly rate, so it’s a good investment no matter what you are going to learn there.

The second option is to join a working professional and be their assistant, you are not only going to learn how to do the things that they do, but you are also going to educate yourself on how they run their business which is about 50% of our day to day work.

Where did I learn?

Well, it’s a great question, as a highly productive person, I started my way in events and journalism about 20 years ago, doing some weddings, portraits, fashion, product, PR, Corporate, and real estate which gave me a lot of tools to successes. 

even today learning never ends and i invest partical of my time learning new techniques and methods growing our business.

So Bottom Line, what should I do?

So in my personal opinion, if I had to start all over again today, I would do a crash course about the fundamentals while learning online the topics that I need more support in. 

The second thing I would do is take an online course from a known architecture photographer to learn better about the niche and how to tackle different types of projects.  

In the third phase, I will focus on learning post-production to be able to control my imagery and the process (even if I don’t plan to edit myself) and parallel to this, I would take several business-oriented workshops to understand how to run a profitable business. 

In the last phase after I master the fundamentals, know the techniques for architecture and design, and understand how to run a business and edit my own work I will go experiment with capturing my friends and family’s houses or even offer a real estate agent several sessions for free to build my portfolio and sharpen my skills and then go to work as an assistant for one of the leading photographers in my area.

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