In my main article, I talk about how shooting Los Angeles Real Estate photography is more about getting a job done than making art. This is not the case with LA Architectural Photography. Los Angeles Architectural Photographers’ mission if they choose to accept it – is taking photos that are worthy of being published in an edition of Architectural Digest, A book by Rizzoli, or displayed in an art gallery in Bergamot Station. Like navigating the queue at LAX during Thanksgiving or Christmas season, expect longer wait times and delays on architectural photoshoots. Good things take time. And so do Architectural photographers. Typical Architectural photoshoots can last 3-4 hours or longer. I have seen photographers for some architecturally significant properties do multi-day photoshoots to capture the perfect lighting conditions.
You need to call in an architectural photographer when you have a listing designed by an AIA architect or that is a Historic-Cultural Monument, or designed by one of Southern California’s architectural masters such as: Frank Lloyd Wright, Lloyd Wright, Neutra, Lautner, Craig Ellwood, Ray Kappe, Greene & Greene, Raphael Soriano, Pierre Keonig, Gehry, Rudolph Schindler, Gregory Ain, John Elgin Woolf, Edward Fickett to name some of the heavy hitters.
Architectural photographers shoot in a different way than normal real estate photographers. Sometimes I see them shoot in Black & White to emphasize the lines and shapes, light and shadows, or to callback to the house’s historical context (We only got color in photos as of the 1950s and 1960s). For Tall buildings, they may take a verticle shot. For buildings with water features, such as pools, they will use the reflections. If the House faces East, they will shoot it in the morning, if it faces west they will shoot it in the afternoon (unless they purposely want the house to be shadowed)
I asked a few Los Angeles architectural photographers “What is architectural photography?” to find out what it means to them. Here is how they responded: