September 22nd, 2015
I recently had an interesting discussion with Vic in Australia. Vic was looking for some training as an architectural photographer. Vic said:
Shooting real estate is not very inspiring, shooting typically boring and ugly boxes. To be honest, I probably spend more time cleaning up people’s crap than actually photographing!
I was charging $100-$200 for my shoots and I ended up getting undercut by some Chinese guys offering it for $75-80. I couldn’t understand how they could sustain that, but found out all they were doing was the photography. Apparently, they outsourced the post-processing work to PS experts in China for a very low fee. The quality of the post-processing was probably better than what I could achieve. So all they had to do is shoot, so this is how they made it viable.
So Vic wants to do “architectural photography” since it pays much more and was more interesting. My point of view is that the difference between real estate photography and architectural photography is just who you are shooting for. Architectural photography is when your client is an architect or interior designer that have had training in the visual arts and is working on projects that require a much higher level of quality of photographic quality than most real estate photographers can do. So what you need to do to work as an architectural photography what you need to shoot a lot of real estate and work hard at raising the level of your work until it is acceptable to architects and designers.
To be clear, I’m not basing this on any personal experience. I’ve never shot for anyone but real estate agents. I’m basing this on what I see others do. Everyone that I know of that shoots for architects and designers and does a very high level of work has started out by shooting real estate photography for a number of years. It appears to be how you raise the level of your work and get really good in interior photography. Moving to architectural photography is a growth path for real estate photographers.
So my advice to Vic is that you can’t just take a class in architectural photography to get there. You need to build your skills in interior photography and the way to do that is to shoot real estate photography and get a lot of practice. Any architectural shooters out there that can confirm this?