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My Process

  • An architectural photographer is just someone who photographs buildings, right ?
    Yes and no. As a specilist architectural photographer it is not solely my role to capture projects in an aesthetic way. It is to technically capture aspects of the project with an intimate knowledge of design principles and philosophies, materiality, colour and techniques / equipment required for presenting architecture correctly in proportion, scale and perspective. Each of these attributes are subtly introduced into my photography to ensure clientele have imagery that extends past the aesthetics. Unfortunately with the vast variety of camera gear available today to the general public, any camera can record an image of a building. But that does not make you an architectural photographer. In fact it does more harm than good. The building image just ends up being just that, a building image. But what is the image really trying to explain ? My imagery is not just about recording a scene. It is about exciting, educating and promoting my client's work to the market and consistently delivering their brand over time. Experience too has a large part to play in architectural photography. I have photographed every type of project from large scale projects in the commercial, sporting, educational, defence, health, justice and built environment down to the smallest of projects in residential, retail, hospitality and workplace. Only time, application to craft and commitment will achieve this experience and provides my clients the confidence in knowing that project imagery will be delivered time and again on a consistent level. Lastly technique is the big deciding factor in whether you are a true architectural photographer or not. Do you understand design principles that allows you to read a scene and understand how a project functions, do you understand how an architect sees and interprets proportion and perspective, do you understand how to identify details that help build a story in a project, do you understand how materials, surfaces and colours impact on a project at various times of the day and night, do you understand how to control compression in a scene to manipulate a viewers subconscious appreciation of the image ?
  • I am a new design practice and have never worked with an architectural photographer before. How do I start ?
    First things first, don't be put off by what may seem a daunting process. Your brand is your work and it is my job to help make it better. I love working with up and coming designers. It gives a chance to establish a strong framework in which we will be capturing your work and over time hopefully we will learn a thing or two from each other. The relationship between architect and architectural photographer is not to be one of just another service. I have a personal relationship with my most successful clients. I not only need to understand your work but also you, the designer. This is why I value the communication between myself and the studio's owners / directors. By working closely with the studio's decision makers and the marketing professional they employ goes a long way to establishing a great result. Call me old fashioned but I love a chat over the phone. Give me a call to discuss your next project. I am only too happy to discuss all the options available.
  • What are your rates ?
    This is the most frequent ( and sadly often the first question ) that is asked. But in my opinion it should be one of the last. Good architectural photographers and their imagery are to be seen as an investment, not a purchase, for a studio. At the end of the day it is a potential client's first impression that is moulded by the images they view of your work. It defines your level of professionalism, your approach and your business's reputation and legitimacy. Imagery also fosters potential partnerships to be formed by companies who see that your values align with theirs. Cost is always a consideration but so to is knowing what your definition of 'value in an image' is. Do you just get three quotes and go with the cheapest ( you get what you pay for ) or do you invest more in the process. Sometimes I am told that my rates are too expensive whilst others have said that my rates are very reasonable. My clients understand the value of my photography and the work that goes into producing such imagery. In turn I understand that they too are looking for imagery that 'sells' their work in a crowded visual marketplace. My rates reflect not only my experience, creativity and reliability but also my investment in high quality equipment, on-going professional development training, the time I invest back into their own brand and my own brand's leverage in the market and the connections I have forged over the years. For me, taking photos is only 50% of my business workflow. No job is too big or too small for me. I believe that investing in only 5-10 high quality images of a project is a far better outcome than getting 30 mediocre shots done. I know that my 5-10 images will be used with confidence and for longer, thus increasing their value and usefulness in the marketplace.
  • How do you charge ?
    Like most photographers I charge on a full day or half day scenario or in some instances a weekly rate for very large projects where a minimum of three days are required to cover all aspects of the brief. As part of my process I always discuss with you what your brief is, what you want out of the shoot, how important is the project to your overall marketing strategy, and what are your budge expectations. My site visits also allow me to get a better gauge as to how much time will be needed to photograph a project. For example where will I need to be positioned on site for various shots, what times of the day will be needed for various images, travel time, environmental delays including weather, staging shoots to accommodate on going site operations etc. One thing to keep in mind - A day or half day isn't just accommodating photography time. The photographer also has to allow for additional studio time to process and prepare imagery for issue as well so keep this in mind when working out how much time is required for a shoot.
  • Does equipment really matter ?
    In my opinion, yes. It matters because my client's projects matter, their brand matters and my attention to detail matters. The equipment I employ to use allows me to create images that others are not able to simply because of the short comings in the gear's capabilities. So why would this be important ? Well it is the images you are not getting that sets me apart. Architectural imagery needs highly technical gear to faithfully record it. I won't go into a huge technical explanation here. I might lose you. Perspective, proportion, scale, light quality and colour are critical to record properly and the very least I can do for a client is to document their work with this in mind. I use high end Digital back captures with technical camera frames and superior quality lenses. These combined allows me to produce image quality that is the very best in the world. I love an analogy I read once about giving a professional golfer a set of 'off the shelf' golf clubs to play with. Sure they will hit a fairly decent score because of their experience and training but give them a purpose built set of clubs suited specifically to their game then the results will drastically change in a good way.
  • Good architectural photographers are expensive and I can't afford their work ?
    Yes you can but it requires a change of thinking. I guess what you are trying to say is you are currently in a position within the marketplace that aligns with your expectations on value. But the reason you are wanting to try something different is that you want to grow the value in your brand past this current position. Like many of the businesses that are already at this next level it comes with a different set of operating costs and that includes a better level of photography. Open communication is what I rely on with clients. Not all projects are going to require a full scope approach to photography. Some projects are not critical to brand awareness but a good set of images is still required for documentation purposes. I work with clients on each project and work out what is the best approach to photographing it, both in terms of scope and budgets. Remember that even 3-4 outstanding images of a small project is still far better than 15-20 mediocre ones. Plus I can guarantee that even the most simple of projects can be photographed in a way to make them appear outstanding. It just takes a better class of photography to achieve this. Never base your decision on selecting a photographer on cost alone.
  • Who owns the images from a shoot ?
    There are two aspects here at play. One is copyright and the other is licensing. The original creator of any work always owns the copyright unless they release this to another party formally. Just as an architect owns the design / plans of a project a photographer owns the image they created, irrespective of whether a client has paid them to create it. The other aspect is licensing. When you commission me to undertake project photography you are licensing the use of the images from me moving forward. The use of these images normally includes all electronic and printed environments, awards submissions, presentations, editorial use ( but not advertorial use ), websites etc. My terms and conditions always stipulate that I provide imagery as non-exclusive, meaning that I am also permitted to sell imagery individually to other interested parties associated or not to the project. But this is always discussed first with the commissioning client. For further information please refer to the following links : IMAGE MAKERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA : GUIDE TO COMMISSIONING ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY COPYRIGHT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA : PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Is cost sharing a good approach ?
    Absolutely. I offer cost sharing on photoshoots for a number of reasons but the main two are : Cost Reduction - With multiple parties involved the final cost of the shoot can easily be divided up amongst everyone as directed. This allows bigger photoshoots to occur than originally planned for, allows for your own clients to receive a copy of the photography as a show of good will or just allows the cost of a shoot to come down. Control of imagery - By getting multiple parties organised to be included in the one shoot you are able to control the quality of imagery of the final project. This has many benefits but none more so than having other images work against your brand in the marketplace or having sub standard images representing the work that you do.
  • To activate or not to activate architectural imagery, that is the question ?
    Your first thought as a photographer is what purpose does activating the shot serve. I believe that a scene should only be populated if it provides intrinsic value to the image such as demonstrating the use of a space, provide scale or gives context to the environment in which the project is located. All too often the intent of an image is lost because the viewers attention has been captured by something in a scene that is more distracting such as the breed of a dog, an unnatural pose by a person or a client's favourite piece of battered furniture. I shoot most of my activated scenes by using natural movement or contents that complement and blend into a scene and not be the central focus of the shot. This way the design intent of the project is still first and foremost in the viewers mind whilst also supporting the subliminal message.
  • I Am Not Just a Photographer......
    A great photographer is not just a tool to create imagery. I also offer to my clientele many other aspects that help them achieve their marketing goals. These include a healthy social media audience they can leverage off, well established contacts at various publishing and media organisations for publishing considerations and a network of other visual artist peers that can complement the photography work including film makers, publicists, brand managers etc Whilst my role is to create stunning and design relevant images of your work I am also familiar with working alongside your own marketing campaign specialists to ensure a seamless story is told.
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