Guide to Architecture Photography


Especially beautiful architecture which often becomes the cover of magazines or the object of advertising shots, often attracts people's attention, especially those who like to travel. But when people ask "how to photograph architecture," then you should understand that it depends not only on the photographer but also on the architect, who has to decorate the building beautifully and make it as appealing as possible to attract people. And it doesn't matter who you are, a photographer or a travel blogger or a simple passerby. Architecture always amazes and surrounds us. It's just that photographers see it quite differently and draw their inspiration from it. 

Passing by an ancient castle, everyone sees it in their own way. For someone, it is a beautiful building, for someone, it is an old building that needs to be restored, and for a photographer, it is a building of art that carries a history and many details that can be shown through the lens. It is the essence of architectural photographs. Show people the building closer, acquaint them with all the nuances, and convey the beauty that people often do not notice. To better express the uniqueness of the buildings, photographers use our architecture photography tips.

What Is Architectural Photography?

What Is Architectural Photography

Architectural photography is a photo of buildings. It sounds simple, but in fact, it is a real art. Photographers try to express the beauty of the buildings around us through the object of glass. For us, it can be just buildings for comfort, work, or rest, and for photographers, it is an art object. Architecture can be photographed from various interesting angles and focus on some details. Usually, the photos have some unique features and emphasize the construction of the building: what material it is made of, what style it represents, and so on. It is no secret that architecture has many styles: gothic, classical, and modern. Everyone considers these styles in their own way, so everyone tries to convey the beauty of the architecture that surrounds us through pictures of architecture.

Architectural photography can be done from outside the building and inside. It means that shooting is divided into two types: exteriors and interiors.


It is a photo of the outside of the building. Natural light plays a significant role here, which provides good quality photos. Also, pictures against the background of nature or a big city seem more attractive. From the outside, you can choose an unusual perspective where the shape of the building will seem unrealistic. But to create such unique photos, you need to follow our photography tips (that are listed below) because it is not an easy job.


It is usually a shot of the interior details of the building, and it also looks fascinating, especially when there is a beautiful design inside. It is a shot of the inside of the building. It is more difficult to take photos here because not every building has access to good lighting (for better photo quality, photographers use flash) and enough space.

In conclusion, we see that exterior photos show us the beauty of the building as a whole and draw attention to its construction. It can be a glass wall or a building with columns. Both a skyscraper and a simple house on the outskirts. It is the image of the surrounding architecture. And interiors on the contrary focus on renovation details inside of the building. It can be a photo of the entire room or a detailed picture of individual interior items (vases, tables, or bookshelf).

Like all types of photography, pictures of architecture are works of art. And this style of pictures becomes more popular every day.

Architecture Photography Tips

Architecture Photography Tips

Taking a photo is not just about pressing a button and getting a photo. Your pictures should be beautiful and attractive. The photo needs to have everything harmoniously placed. So, to get excellent results in architectural photography, we have prepared effective tips for you:

  • Good lighting

The quality of photos depends on the lighting, which should be flawless and high-quality. Therefore, there must be light to take good pictures, but it does not necessarily have natural light. You can use colored flashlights, for example, to dilute the atmosphere.

  • Focus on details

You have to pay attention to details. See not only the building but small things in which you can find meaning and interest in it. Sometimes details are more interesting than the whole building.

  • Take pictures of people in the background

Usually, photographers try not to add people to the frame to get a clean photo of the building, but to take pictures of people in the background is excellent. Photos look more naturalistic with them.

  • Set different angles

It’s one of the best architecture photography tips. Adjust the camera from different angles to get unique shots. Take photos from below, from above, improvise, and try to find an interesting perspective. Then your photos will attract attention.

  • Don't be afraid of the weather conditions

Take photos at any time of the day and in any weather. Shots during sunset, rain, or wind have a unique atmosphere and look more natural. It's a good way how to photograph architecture more fascinating.

  • Use additional effects

You can take the appropriate props and improve your photo with them. But you need to know when they are relevant and when they aren’t. Because sometimes additional effects can only spoil the shot.

  • Edit photos

Editing is popular now, and almost everyone uses it. But for a photographer, it’s an even more necessary stage of photo creation. With the help of editing, you can show the atmosphere and make the frame cozier. Also, it helps to eliminate imperfections.

  • HDR function

This feature is a photographer's friend. Sometimes during the shooting inside the building, we don't have enough light, and the photo is not very high-quality. Then HDR can fix this problem and make your image more contrasted.

  • Do it with pleasure

You need to have the desire to take these photos and put your soul into them. Don't be fixated on the best way how to photograph architecture better and which architecture photography tips you should follow. Just enjoy the process, and then your shots will be amazing.

  • Organize the shoot in advance

Think of a location in advance to know when it is open, what the weather will be like, and whether it suits you. Think about the shots beforehand and study the structure in detail to make it easier to take pictures later.

Top cameras for building photo shooting

Top cameras for building photo shooting

The camera is the most crucial thing in creating a photo. The quality of images depends on it, and each camera works differently. So, here you need to choose the option that suits you best. Before selecting a camera, think about:

  • the number of megapixels (photo quality depends on them)
  • shooting modes
  • which lens fits into your camera
  • diagram
  • flash
  • accumulator

It’s only a small part of the characteristics, but they are the most important. Usually, people choose the camera for themselves depending on what experience they have in the field of photography. Therefore, people prefer different types of cameras, and they are divided into:

Digital camera

Digital cameras are not a cheap pleasure, but you can choose a budget option. This camera has many advantages and beautiful quality. Digital cameras are very convenient and can be taken anywhere. Usually, these cameras contain various settings with the help of which you can take incredible pictures. You can also connect them to a printer and print photos. But in general, this camera is better suited for professionals.


It is an ordinary camera for ordinary pictures. Of course, the phone will not take photos with the quality of a camera, but if you try, the pictures will be incredible. The main thing is to follow photography tips. Nowadays, the cameras on iPhones are considered the best, but no smartphone camera compares to a digital camera.

Film camera

It's an old kind of camera, but people continue to use them because these cameras create an effect of vintage. Some people like to take pictures of architecture in such style because these photos are very adorable and look like they are from an old film.

Mirrorless camera

Such cameras have become more popular because they're more convenient and small. These cameras also have a high-quality and changeable lens. But the difference between this and digital one is that you have a small viewfinder with an electronic screen here. And sometimes, this screen can have glitches. Despite that, these cameras are a good option for beginners and not only for them.

Bridge camera

With these cameras, you can start developing your love for shooting. In such cameras, the lens does not change, and sometimes their quality is not very good. But the advantage is that they are light and have a zoom so that you can take pictures at different distances.

All types of these cameras are suitable for architecture photography, but everyone chooses it by adjusting to their preferences. The most important thing is to use the camera correctly, and it does not matter if it is a smartphone or a camera. A person who follows the photo creation plan will take incredible pictures even on the phone. But the fact that the camera is better than the phone camera is a fact.

Popular camera brands for architectural photography include brands such as Nikon, Canon, and Sony. These are modern brands that correspond to their prices and have good quality. People especially like Canon because it's the best DSLR camera for architectural needs. These cameras contain all the features required for architectural photography. Good quality, saturation, contrast, HDR, and lenses. With this, architectural photos will be more accessible in the creation process and look more realistic.

Photo editing is essential

Photo editing is essential

To make your photo brighter and clearer, use processing. But it would be best if you also had skills because excessive usage of effects and photoshop can spoil your picture and make it not beautiful. Previously, no one used editing and left photos as they were taken. But now, the editing process has become popular, and everyone uses it, especially photographers. Editing architectural photographs is essential and is the main stage of photo creation. The main thing is not to overdo it and leave a natural effect in the photo. Do not make your image too contrasted or saturated, do not forget about the naturalness of the picture because this is one of the crucial ways to make a photo successful. Therefore, to make your photo attractive, use high-quality programs for photo editing.

Top programs for architecture photography:

Program Description

The pros

The cons
Photoshop It is suitable for correcting small details in a photo. Allows you to overlay backgrounds and stitch images. It will help to remove the excess from the picture. - the possibility of performing a professional color scheme in the photo
-many functions for editing
-different photo styles and sizes
-you can mix several photos into one

- difficult program in training (many functions)
-usually, most of the functions are paid

Adobe Lightroom Professional photographers often use this program. It is easy to use and has many elements to edit. Contains ready-made effects and allows you to create your own. You will find all these functions in this program: editing, importing and printing. -professional processing
-a wide selection of settings
-contains two versions of the program
-after signing up, you will be informed of the latest updates
-more suitable for professionals
-the free version of the program doesn’t reproduce all functions at once
Capture One It is also a program for professional processing. Turn your digital photos into a masterpiece. When importing photos, this program will not compress your quality but make it even better. Contains many colors for processing. -the largest number of color tools
-frequent updates with new features
-professional level of editing
-very expensive
Skylum  Luminar It has an incredibly convenient interface that will make editing easier for you. It contains many filters that will make your editing neat and attractive. There is autocorrection and the ability to edit the photo with a brush and remove all the flaws you don't like. -easy to learn how to use the program
-frequent new updates
-professional photo editing
-tools are not as interesting as in other programs
-the program interface often changes and can confuse you
VSCO It is an easy-to-use program with simple editing settings. A popular program contains many presets. But it is more suitable for telephone editing because these settings will not be enough for professional architectural photos. In general, the program is very convenient and simple. -easy to use
-contains all basic functions
-not expensive
-a wide selection of presets
- to use all the effects and editing settings, you need to buy the paid version

Architectural photography as a career development

Architectural photography as a career development

It is not a very popular job. It is more like a hobby. But experienced and professional photographers can make money from it. A photographer with some experience in architectural photography and not only can develop himself in this direction and build a bright career. Taking photos of architecture is a very popular activity, and people who travel are especially interested in it. Pictures worldwide that inspire and attract people's attention are in high demand. For example, travel companies often post photos of architectural monuments to attract people to travel. These photos are placed on billboards, printed in brochures, and distributed throughout the city because so many companies use such photos in the form of advertising.

Interior photos are the most important thing for designers, so it is perspective now. Interior photos and renovation details are printed in magazines to give people ideas for their homes. These photos can also be used as advertisements for specific interior items. For example, a chandelier, a book table, or a mirror. At school, in history or art lessons, architectural photos are also shown to give children a broader understanding of architecture. For artists, this is generally inspiration and work that can be sold then at exhibitions. By the way, unique and unusual digital architectural photos are exhibited and can be sold for quite a lot of money.

So, maybe this is not a comprehensive specialty, but people who are passionate about this work will definitely be able to build a career in this direction. Moreover, construction does not stand still and is developing now. Architects have many unusual ideas for construction, and every time we are more surprised by architectural structures. And the more architects turn their ideas into reality, the more jobs there are for architectural photographers.


Do you need to prepare for an architectural shoot?

Yes, the organization of the shooting is the key to the successful results of the photo session. Prepare the location in advance and study the building in detail. It will help you work better and easier.

Is it possible to include people in the frame? 

Of course, sometimes it is even necessary. But it is better to consider whether people fit in the frame because the photo should look harmonious.

What is an essential thing in architectural photography? 

To make a photo successful, you need good lighting. It is the most crucial thing in a shooting. The look and quality of the picture depend on the lighting. Therefore, always think about lighting.

How do you take good photos of architecture? 

First of all, follow photography tips and constantly practice. A lot of practice leads you to success. 

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