Architectural photography is one of the most in-demand genres of photography, so it’s important to set yourself apart from the competition. Becoming an architectural photographer is a great way to use your creative skills to make a living. But before you can start selling your services, you need to know the basics of the business of photography and architectural photography marketing in order to start generating clients for yourself! In this article, I’ll teach you the basics of getting started in this competitive field.
What to do when starting out as an architectural photographer
When starting out as an architectural photographer, it’s important to set up a professional-looking website and portfolio. Your website should be easy to navigate and showcase your best work. In your portfolio, be sure to include photos of different types of architecture, as well as detail shots of the architectural features that make your photos stand out.
In addition to your website, it’s useful to create marketing materials such as brochures, business cards, and flyers. While people mostly use the internet to find services now, it’s always handy to have some printed materials! Be sure to list your exact services clearly on all of your marketing materials, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from past clients. There are pros and cons to printing your prices, but I’d advise against it.
Another important part of starting as an architectural photographer is networking with other photographers and businesses in the industry. Attend architectural events and meet-ups, and connect with other professionals online. The more connections you make, the more opportunities you’ll have to sell your services!
Architectural Photography Marketing
There are several ways to market your architectural photography services. One way is to submit your photos to architectural publications. Another is to enter architectural photography competitions. These competitions can be a great way to get your work seen by potential clients.
It’s also important to keep your social media presence up-to-date. Post regularly, and share your work with potential clients. Use hashtags relevant to photography as well as the type of businesses you’d like to attract, and tag the businesses you’ve worked with in your posts.
Finally, don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth marketing! Ask satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on your website or social media page. Referrals from past clients are one of the best ways to get new business!
A day in the life of an architectural photographer
A typical day in the life of an architectural photographer might include shooting at different locations, meeting with clients, editing photos, and networking with other professionals. Some days may be more hectic than others, but architectural photographers typically have a lot of control over their schedules.
An important thing to bear in mind is that as a freelancer, you’ll be controlling your time, so it can be difficult to find the right balance between the business side of your work and the learning & “shooting for fun” part of your work.
Consider niching down further
There is a lot of competition in photography, so it can be very helpful to find a niche that you can specialize in. For example, you might focus on photographing historic buildings, or you might specialize in shooting interiors. You can also niche down by industry such as hospitality or residential. This will help your overall architectural photography marketing by making you stand out from other photographers and attract clients who are looking for someone with your specific skillset.
It can also set you up for financial success in the long-term as if you focus hard on a specific niche, you can learn it inside out, from what target audiences like, to which colors work best on which social media platforms. This allows you to provide added value and charge more for your services than a generic architectural photographer!
Tips for improving your architectural photography skills
Architectural photography is all about capturing the beauty of structures and buildings. It can be a very rewarding career, both creatively and financially. But like any business, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. Here are some general tips to help you get started as an architectural photographer:
Know your gear
As an architectural photographer, you’ll need to have high-quality equipment that can capture detailed images of buildings. A DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens is a good option, as is a tripod to keep your shots steady. You’ll also need to have a basic understanding of photography techniques so that you can take advantage of your gear’s capabilities.
Do your research
Before you start shooting, it’s important to do your research and find out as much as you can about the subject matter. This includes learning about the history of the building, as well as its architectural features. By doing your research, you’ll be able to take more interesting and informative photos.
Something that’s often overlooked by beginner & hobbyist photographers – always get permission! You will need to get permission from the owners of the buildings you want to photograph. This can be a simple process, but it’s important to make sure that you have the right permissions in place before taking any photos.
Edit your photos
After you’ve taken your photos, it’s time to edit them so that they look their best. This process can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to make sure that your photos are looking their best before you share them with clients or publish them online.
When you’re first starting, it’s important to start small and build your portfolio gradually. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew by taking on too many projects at once. Instead, focus on a few key projects and showcase your skills.
Diversify your income streams
As an architectural photographer, you should always be looking for new ways to market your services and attract new clients. One way to do this is to diversify your income streams. For example, in addition to selling prints of your work, you could also offer stock photos or teach workshops. In turn, these also help your architectural photography marketing as they help you generate viewers that you might not have otherwise got!
Becoming an architectural photographer is a great way to turn your love of photography into a career. It can be a very rewarding and lucrative field, but it’s important to know the basics before getting started. I hope you find these tips helpful and that they help you get started on the path to success as an architectural photographer. I look forward to seeing you in the field or at the next architectural competition!