I like to study images of well known Architectural Photographers. As we've talked about many times before, architectural photography and real estate photography are very different. Different clients, different budget and frequently very different equipment. But as different as they are I think real estate photographers can draw inspiration and ideas from the work and techniques architectural photographers. Architectural photography is just real estate photography on steroids. What real estate photographer wouldn't like to raised themselves to this higher level of achievement and fees?
I regularly read Architectural Digest to study and enjoy the photographs. Today I got the August issue of AD and an article on Derry Moore caught my eye. Derry Moore, the 12th Earl of Drogheda, is an architectural and portrait photographer that besides being a member of the titled aristocracy of the UK travels around the world doing portraits and architectural photography for the rich and famous. Moore has a very distinctive style. Muted, misty, delicately lit images that look like like they are from the17th or 18th century.
The images in the AD article have a somewhat different look (not quite as 18th century) than the images on Moore's website. Unfortunately, they don't have the AD website updated for the August issue yet so I can't give you a link. The good news is that as of a few months ago the AD website now is putting a condensed form of many of the magazine articles on the web site so when they get the site updated for August 2007 the Derry Moore article may be on the AD site.
One of the interesting things that happen when a photographer like Moore becomes successful and has found a personal style or vision that financially successful that clients seek out is their style becomes almost a trademark. I think your personal style grows out of your "bag of tricks" or work flow that you like and use over an over as well as your personal vision.
Moore did a book of his photographs in the Fall of 2006 called "Rooms" which celebrates some of the most luxurious and bold interiors around the globe and the creative sensibilities of the people who inspired them.