Photography Tips To Take Best Architecture Pictures

Badshahi Mosque

Being An Architectural Photographer

Every beginner in architectural photography needs some architecture photography tips to take some stunning architecture pictures. Here in this article I have tried to cover some very important aspects how to begin and become a professional architectural photographer. If  you had an aim to be an architectural engineer and unable to fulfill your dream due to certain reason, never mind. You can still enter into your dream world by being an architectural photographer. The prerequisite is that you must have an interest in designing buildings look both exterior and interior and a love for both old and new architecture. Only choose architect as a photography subject if you love architect. It is interesting for those who know the basics of designing a building. I am personally interested in the architecture of historic buildings. That is why most example pictures here are of ancient architecture of historic buildings in subcontinent.

What To Shoot

You can shoot exterior an interiors of buildings for the architects who design them, built them and furnish them. You are hired may be by the architect, owner of the building or an architectural magazine. If you are shooting for the designer or the owner then be more concerned about what the building looks like,how it functions and what are the advantages of that particular design. For editorial work you must be more concerned about the story related to the building. Many magazines commission photographers for their story on historic buildings. Prepare yourself by reading a comprehensive material about the building so that your pictures can satisfy the reader and viewers. While on job for a building designer you must asked the designer to accompany you for getting more information about the design of the building.


Interior shooting is equally important and needs skill  and patience. Setting up the gear to get maximum details is painstaking job. Use reflectors and soft boxes to lit the corners and minimize the ugly shadows of the articles in the rooms.

For a building shoot take photographs both in the morning and evening. In bright sunshine at mid day building look flat and loose the charm. So be creative while playing with the light and show patience in waiting good light.

Try some night shots also specially for historic buildings while doing some story for a magazine. Architectural photography becomes fine art while shooting in good light and with innovative and creative angles.

Shahi Mosque

Qualification To Be An Architectural Photographer

No  formal qualification is required. But you must know the basics of photography and architecture with love for both.

Equipment Need For Architectural photography

Camera Body And lenses

In analogue era people mostly use large format cameras like Linhof 4x5in or medium format like  Hassalblad Flex body. Advantages of using large format,besides the image quality, was the ability to tilt and shift the lens and film planes for correcting and adjusting perspective. In the digital era a reasonable camera body like the Canon EOS-5D Mark III Digital SLR or Nikon D800 Digital SLR camera and a tilt shift lens is required. There are some tilt shift lens are available from both major companies i,e Canon and Nikon. These lenses are best for controlling the perspective by adjusting the front element of the lens and photographer can avoid the”falling back” effect in his pictures. Following are some popular tilt shift lenses available in the market:

Canon 17mm TS-E F/4L
Canon 24mm TS-E F/3.5L II
Canon 45mm TS-E f/2.8
Canon 90mm TS-E F/2.8
Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED
Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED
Nikon PC-E Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D ED





Normal wide angle lenses can also be used in architecture photography and perspective can be straightened afterword in Photoshop. Use it in right way and you will get equally good results. Following lenses are mostly used:

Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM
Nikon 14mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
Nikon 16-35mm f/4 AF-S ED VR-II,

Tripod And Panorama Head:


As in the landscape photography tripod is a must in architectural photography. Images should be shake free you must have full control over your composition while shooting. That is only possible with a good steady tripod. Carbon fiber made tripods are light weight but sturdy and steady. Another accessory for architectural photography is panorama head while shooting a vast space building or real state assignment. Multiple images taken by panorama head can be stitched together in software like Photoshop for a natural look. Immersive panoramas can be created through this head for showing the viewer a real look of the project.

Bubble levels For Balance Images


There are many brands of bubble levels available which can fit in camera hot shoe and a necessary accessory for a balance architectural image with straight horizon.

Use Of Polarizing Filter

To eliminate the reflections of windows while shooting buildings there is only one solution, the use of polarizing filter in front of your lens. Buy a good circular polarizing filter to have your pictures reflection free with deep colors.

The light

Most of the architectural shoots are done in the natural available  ambient light but some time you need some external light units. Have some wireless flash units and some soft-boxes for interior shoots.

Where To Find Work

This is a competitive world. You have to be hardworking and patient to get some reasonable clients. Clientage develop withe the time. As you provide quality work and enhance your expertise you will find more trusted clients. There must be no compromise on quality. Make your website and social media pages and spend some money on promotion of your work. A quality work is always hooked.

Techniques Of Shooting Architect

Exteriors Of Buildings

Use wide angle lens if you want to picture the whole building. Keep the camera back vertical and avoid the lens to tilt upward which will converge the sides of the building in the final image. Keep the camera at high viewpoint. Use a tilt shift lens to get more accurate balanced images. Be care full about the weather and check weather forecast before going on shooting. A dark cloudy day or rain can waste your whole day. Use spot metering and shoot at both morning and evening to get maximum details and textures if some walls of the building have that. Do some bracketing for exposure. DSLRs have auto bracketing but you can bracket with your own settings. While most of the photographers shoot full buildings, I personally love to make some tight crops while composing a building. These pictures give more details of the architectural beauty of the structure than whole building.

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Shooting Interiors


In internal shooting you have to be more careful about light. Create more natural light by using multiple units of light. If you do not have a good lighting set then shoot at appropriate time when the available light is enough in the interior space. use some reflectors to evenly spread the light on all articles in the scene.

Final Tips

* Visit the building before the shoot and look for the way light works on it.

* Look for best angles and compositions and be bold and creative also.

* Try to locate some higher angle also for shooting like a high building nearby get an aerial look image.

* Shoot in different lights and with different compositions.

* Be friendly with the architect and discuss a lot with him about the architecture of the building. That will improve a lot the final come out of the shoot.

* Always look for new architecture photography tips from web and experts in the field of architectural photography.

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