There are many different types of photography and photographers out there to choose from. Is there a right way or a wrong way to go about finding one specialising in architecture or building photography? This blog is a simple 5 point guide for helping you to find the right architectural or building photographer.
1. Work backwards: Become clear on exactly what you want.
Speaking from experience of working with many clients wanting different types of commercial architecture & building photography images I recommend you to work backwards. Have a think and do your research about what kinds of building or architecture photography images you want. This can include the number of images, what they are to be used for and when you want them. You can search Google images, Instagram or even photography sites such as Flickr or 500px. You can narrow your search by typing in keywords such as “building photography” or “architecture photography” to find the right type of images.
Once you have in idea of what you want then you are ready to start your search for the right photographer to fit the bill. If you have just finished a construction or renovation project then you may not need to do much research but time spent doing it is rarely wasted. (Conversely if you think you just need some images this may be a sign that you are not quite ready to make the booking.)
If you can find images of a similar project to the one you have finished share them with your candidates and ask them if they can reproduce them.
2. Use a photographer you already know.
If you already know a photographer ask him whether he can provide the service you’re looking for. We all like working with people we know and trust so this is a good place to start. Create a simple brief of your project and needs and contact them. Check out their website or ask people who have worked with them. Personal reccomendations are usually a reliable guide. If it’s not their main area of speciality or you cannot see examples ask them if they can shoot your project. You can also request to see some examples of similar work that may not be online. A photographer will not be able to show all his work and projects on his site. He will probably have quite an archive or catalogue to call on so just request previous experience in your area.
3. Search online for an architectural photographer
You can do a simple online search using Google. Type in kewords such as “architectural photographer” or “building photographer” and then your location e.g. “london” As in many areas of life time spent in research is rarely wasted. It pays to have a good idea of exactly what you are looking for. In the same way that restaurants charge by the dish then photographers charge by the image or group of images.
All commercial photographers will have stories of turning up for shoots and being requested to do extra work. Some clients may sugarcoat the request with phrases such as “while you are here” or “can you also do” or we “would also like”. There is nothing wrong with this request of itself but don’t be surprised if you get invoiced more at the end.
Always be upfront about what you are looking for. Many commercial photographers work by the half day (4 hours) or the full day (8 hours). If you have a few different projects that require shooting then it might easily be possible to do that within the allotted time.
4. Look for a suitable candidates through photography forums & associations
There are lots of photography specific associations such as Association of Photographers (AOP) and the Societies. The SWPP is an umbrella organisation within which there are several individual organisations. Depending on the size & scale of the job you may even want to contact a photography agency. If you deal with the agency then similar to a model agency you will have to pay their fees too.
5. Look on a business directory for a building photographer.
Most people will use Google when they search fore a particular service. There are some people who swear by using business directories as more rewarding method of searching. Google uses very clever AI so when you or I type in to Google a search phrase then different results will appear.
Again it’s a good idea to type in keywords such as “architectural photographer”, “building photographer” or “commercial photographer”
Different directories have different search methiods and algorithms so it’s worth typing a few different keywords in and then cross referencing the results.