Why you need professional architecture photos for media

Photo by Krists Luhaers, professional architecture photography

Having professional architecture photos done is a huge investment. But if you don’t do it, you might be missing out on media opportunities.

Whether you’ve been in the architecture and design industry for a while, or are just starting out on your own – when it comes to professional photography for your work, don’t underestimate its value.

The media landscape has changed quite dramatically. The average person now reads and absorbs information from a wide array of sources. Although magazines certainly have a place in the market, they are becoming increasingly diversified and must compete rampantly with online platforms and social media.

As a fallout, many major magazines are finding their budgets being cut. One of the first and easiest ways to save money in content creation for architecture and design publications is to cut styled photo shoots.

But since architecture and design practices have long been investing in the photography of their work, publishers increasingly use the professional photography from designers and architects.

Control the style of your photos

If you want to get your project published, whether in print or online, the expectation is that you will have to organise and pay for professional architecture photos.

Rather than seeing it as a burden, consider it the perfect opportunity to shine above your competition. With the right imagery to tell the story of your design, you’re more likely to get it in front of an editor and out into the world.

It also means that you have control over how the photo shoot takes place and you can work more intimately with your photographer to capture the essence of the design.

And if you have a particular publication in mind, then reach out and see if they have a style guide. This will give you more opportunity to craft the photos and give you more of a chance to be considered for publication.

Weigh up the investment vs. the value

If you’re unsure whether you should hire an architectural photographer to capture your project, consider the cost of the investment and the media value that could come out of it.

Depending on the publication, a double page ad in an Australian magazine can cost in the region of $5000–$10000AUD. So the math is simple. Should your work get picked up and be included as a project feature with multiple pages, the photography cost has paid for itself. Not to mention if it goes across several platforms, from print to digital.

Photo by Joel Filipe.

Photo by Joel Filipe.

The professional architecture photos become your own portfolio

Something else to bear in mind is that as you complete more work and have it photographed, these images become your portfolio and will help you to secure more work.

Not only can you use them to send out to the media, but you can also put them on your website and on your social media channels (if that’s part of the copyright usage agreement you have with your photographer).

The cycle of completing a project, sharing with media and being published, to then gain more clients should be part of your marketing and PR strategy. And naturally, as you complete more work, you’re also building a solid visual portfolio.

It’s very difficult to attract new clients and new work, without images to show what you’ve already done. Just as your projects will no doubt have tell-tale signs of your practice (although many designers vehemently try not to have a distinct ‘style’), the photography of your work can also portray a particular aesthetic.

At the end of the day, without investing in quality, professional architectural photography, you will find it challenging, if not nearly impossible, to get your work published in today’s media environment.

Aleesha Callahanmedia