February 28, 2013 by Brian Lewis

What are the main points you would want designers to know before contacting an architectural photographers? It is useful to have some guidelines on how to navigate the commission of architectural photography. Some advance information and analysis will go a long way towards a successful relationship and outcome and the purpose of this blog is to set out some helpful hints about how to prepare to engage architectural photography – a sort of the who, what, where, when and why.

Scope of Project: Of course the location is critical, and I don’t only mean the address and country, but also whether the project is on a cliff, a jungle or 15,000 feet above sea level [these things can have an effect on price]. Is the project in a public or private place?

Purpose: This is important, you need to be quite clear about the purpose of the photography and how the images will be used? What is the general look you are expecting? Who is the audience? Is it for a publication, an award submission, brochure, web site, advertisement of products, etc. How many images will you need? Are interiors photographs required and will lighting be necessary? Do you need aerial photographs or night photography? If for publication or advertisement do you have any idea about the publisher’s requirements [e.g. color management] and usage?

Deliverables: Will you require prints and if so what size, color and mounting? Will you need images in a portrait, landscape or square format. What resolution will you need, is it for a brochure or a billboard? Will you need printed project brochures, panoramas? Do you need 16 or 8 bit tiffs, jpg or photoshop files?

Copyright: What usage is needed? Will there be people required to be in the images? A global release? In perpetuity? Will you require property or model releases?

Deadlines: Is there some pressing need to have images delivered by a specific date. Be aware that post-production usually takes at least as many days as photography, depending on the need for touch up and removing unsightly wires and stains.

Budget: Photography is normally based on a job basis and includes the time for scouting, photography, post-production plus expenses.