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Are There Careers In Architecture Photography?

By Michelle Ecker on January 21, 2020

Are There Careers In Architecture Photography?

Architecture has been a popular photography subject for many years. In fact, one of the oldest photos known to man, the Window at Le Gras, is a great example of early architectural photography dating back to the 1800s. 

Architecture is an interesting subject to photographers for a variety of reasons. For one, it offers great lines, curves, symmetry, and shape worth capturing in an image. 

Beyond that, architectural style communicates a great deal about a setting. The way buildings look in a given area says a lot about the place being photographed. Often, just by looking at a specific style of home, church, or apartment building, people can make an accurate guess as to where that structure is located. Using architecture as a subject is, therefore, a helpful way to communicate and tell a story about setting and place through your images. 

What It Architecture Photography?

Architecture photography encapsulates photos you might take of any type of building or structure. This could include religious buildings, skyscrapers, cityscapes, old brownstone apartment buildings, or classic residential homes. Structures such as bridges or fountains are included as well. 

Architectural photography additionally includes not just building exteriors, but interior design. So for those interested in taking pictures inside homes and apartments, real estate photography is an interesting and potentially lucrative industry worth pursuing. 

Are There Careers In Architecture Photography? 

While photographing beautiful buildings and structures around the world is probably one of the most common subjects for hobbyists, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t serious careers to be enjoyed within this genre as well. 

Architecture firms, interior design businesses, and real estate companies are all very common examples of clients looking for professional architecture photographers. 

For example, a real estate agent struggling to garner interest in a valuable property might hire a home staging professional to nicely stage the home for clients, then bring in a seasoned real estate photographer to capture more captivating photos of the home to include in online ads and listings. With such a large majority of real estate advertising being done online anymore, agents rely on quality photography to help them get clients in the door. That’s where a well-trained architecture photographer can help. 

How Much Are Architecture Photographers Paid? 

Like most other photography specialists, the majority of architecture photographers do not make a predetermined yearly salary the way a full time 9-5 professional might. Instead, more often a photographer is paid a certain amount of money for each project they’re hired to complete. And when it comes to the photography industry, that dollar amount you charge might also depend a lot on where you live, according to an April report from Forbes

Some architecture photographers charge a flat rate for an assignment- so if an architecture firm would like you to deliver a folder of images of a new building they constructed, you might charge a flat $500 rate for that gig. This all depends on how much time you will need to spend planning, shooting, then completing post-prediction, and every photographer charges differently. If you’re not sure how much to charge for your photography, you should consider reaching out to your NYIP mentor for help putting together some numbers.  

Where Can I Study Architecture Photography? 

NYIP’s online professional photography course is meant to train photographers who are specifically looking to not only learn how to use a DSLR camera expertly, but to turn their photography skills into a career. In Lesson 5, you will specifically go over the field of architecture. 

You’ll follow along as NYIP mentor George Delgado interviews a professional architectural photographer named Chris Cooper. They will discuss how Cooper got started in the business, then we will walk through a portfolio of his most successful work as we talk about the best practices he employs in his work. From there you will study the most practical equipment options available to architecture photography enthusiasts, and the most effective times to use each for interior and exterior architectural photography. If this sounds like a program you would be interested in, click here for more information or call 1 800-583-1736 to speak with an NYIP mentor like George about the class.