How to brief your architectural photographer

Photo by Simone Hutsch.

Photo by Simone Hutsch.

So you’ve scoured the internet, spoken to your contacts and decided upon the right photographer for you. Before the shoot takes place, you will need to give a brief to your architecture photographer.


But what exactly should be included in a photographic brief?

A good brief is comprehensive, informative and includes a little room for creative fluidity. A photography brief will help set expectations around what you want, so your photographer can go out and achieve it.

It creates seamless clarity so that you can get the images you want to tell the story of your project.

Style is a good place to start. Chances are that you’ve chosen someone, even if just partly, based on their own unique photographic style. Not too dissimilarly to how a client might choose an architect based on their previous work, many architectural photographers have developed a finely tuned style to their imagery. If you want something different to this, then you will need to have a good chat with your photographer and iron out any creases before the shoot day.

Interior vs Exterior

Although many specialist photographers are adept at both interiors and exteriors – they both come with different understandings and styles.

Traditionally, exteriors take in the whole scene and will often times feature more hard lines and geometries.

Inside can quite often have a softer touch, with details of small elements. Although bringing those striking lines and characteristics into the interior photography is possible as well.

If the interior is the main focus, it will definitely be worthwhile to consider hiring a stylist for the shoot. A stylist will ensure that the space will pop through the images. Some photographers may have a bit of experience in this area, but it’s also a specialised field in its own right so shouldn’t be relied upon. If getting published in a glossy magazine is your goal then you will most certainly require a stylist. If you don’t have one in your contacts list ask your photographer as many will have people they can call upon.

Photo by Jesse Orrico.

Photo by Jesse Orrico.

Whittling down your needs

Something to consider is how many selects you want to have at the end. Be upfront with your photographer, there may be different costs involved for different sets of images and volume will be a factor in this.


Where will the photos be used?

Something else to consider when crafting the perfect brief is where you plan on using the photos – just your website and social media? Or will they be also be submitted to competitions and magazines?

The photographer will set different rates depending, so it’s important to have that conversation so you can get exactly what you want. The photographer may also have some advice on what different publications or competitions need in terms of imagery and can work that into your shoot.

Another thing to consider is whether you want tight shots, wide shots or a mix of both. Again, this will come back to where you plan on using the images. Although details and little vignettes are nice to have, they may not be the most important in showcasing the final design when sending in images for an award.

At the end of the day, it’s about open communication. You will get exactly what you’re after if you have a clear brief and relay that to your photographer.

Aleesha Callahanbriefing