There are hundreds of reasons an architectural photography project can fail to meet expectations. Maybe your photographer didn’t ensure you had a thorough understanding of the process, or maybe too much time had passed to get a great shot. Maybe you didn’t vet your architectural photographer as thoroughly as you might have.
As a client, there are many things you can do to improve the outcome of your architectural photography project (just ask your photographer!) Here are four things not to do.
1. Not Budgeting Enough
Professional architectural photos aren’t inexpensive. They’re best viewed as a strategic investment in the continued success of your business rather than a line-item. They can help you garner accolades, win awards, and land new business for years to come.
It’s never a good idea to choose an architectural photographer based on price alone. Great photographs require cohesive teamwork and the right photographer for your specific project may not always be the “cheapest.” How much does architectural photography cost? Scope, size, and timeline are all important factors.
2. Lack of Organization
Architectural photographers wear a lot of hats. An excellent photographer can help with logistics, shot lists, and a variety of project management tasks, but issues almost invariably arise when they’re tasked with making decisions that the client should be making themselves. When clients are organized and responsive, the whole process runs more smoothly.
There are a few things that almost always stall a project. Failure to book shoot date far enough in advance. Unwillingness to discuss a different project approach if costs become a sticking point. Disagreement on the final shot list. Inability to stage or direct the site itself. Too many (or too few) points of contact.
Remember that your photographer is the expert, particularly if you’re new to the process itself. Always approach your collaboration with a mind towards cooperation – it takes both parties working in tandem to produce truly exceptional photos.
3. Insufficient Timeline
Coordinating project photography is a balancing act. The process itself is incredibly layered and there are dozens of moving parts. It’s imperative for a project to succeed that the client allots plenty of time to plan, respond, organize, and execute the project they have in mind. And don’t forget about post-production!
As a (very) general rule, a single architectural photography project can take from 6-12 weeks from start-to-finish. There are many schedules to consider – the photographer’s, the client’s, the builder’s, etc. – when planning a shoot. Although the shoot itself usually lasts a day or less, there are several weeks of logistical coordination and staging that take place beforehand. Afterwards, post-production can take several weeks depending on the client’s requests. For every client, planning ahead is crucial!
4. Debating Quantity vs. Quality
Sometimes what a client needs doesn’t align with what their budget allows. Many design awards submissions, for example, require 12-15 photos or more, but what should a client do if they can only afford a shot list with 5-8 photos total?
There are ways to work around this kind of resource constraint. The best option, of course, is for the client to plan photography spending ahead of time to ensure they’ve budgeted for all the photos they need. Other options such as cost sharing between partners and combining DIY and professional photographs for some applications might also make sense.
Are roadblocks keeping you from moving forward with an architectural photography project? Are you unsure how to get started, or what the process actually looks like? The right photographer offers the solutions you need to move forward.
Am I that photographer?
Let’s talk about what success looks like to you and how