Five Tips for Architecture Photography

May 25, 2021

Lauren Gray

Wild Fyre Co. | Kansas City, MO

Architecture photography is a branch of photography that focuses on buildings and structures. include shooting outdoors and indoors, as well as landmarks and features, like your local bridges and Chicago’s famous Bean. Architectural photographers may do it purely to create gorgeous artistic images and some work for corporations creating true to proportion imagery. Want to try it out?


If you’re serious about getting into architecture photography, the equipment doesn’t always come cheap. A full frame camera is generally the best for this type of photography. Tilt shift lenses are very popular with architecture photographers because the lens moves while the camera doesn’t have to. Wide angle lenses are also popular because they allow you to fit more into the frame, but they are prone to distortion. Editing programs often have fixes for lens distortion to help with this issue. Prime lenses work great too, allowing sharpness and no distortion, but it may now reach all of the details you see in the distance. 


To help gauge what type of style you’d like to achieve with your architectural photography, do research on the buildings you’re shooting beforehand. Learn about its history and the different ways the space has been utilized so you can have a better understanding and appreciation when you go to explore. This can help you tell a story and express that timeless essence the building has when your viewers see it for the first time. When you’re doing your research, you may find a hidden gem that allows you to see the building in a whole new light.

Getting to know your subjects means getting to know your building in and out. When you’re exploring a location for the first time, perspective is everything. Instead of just taking a picture from the front or the side, shoot from down low and from up high. Go inside and shoot through windows from different angles to explore a more abstract perception of your subject. Be creative and see what you can create. 


A building is as beautiful as it’s details. Don’t be afraid to explore the details of your subject as much as you do the whole. It’s a shame how many of the beautiful intricate details are lost when everything is shot as a whole frame. 

Snow and rain can create interesting patterns on surfaces, and observing how people use the space can also help bring a fresh new view. Take full advantage of mirrors and surfaces of water by capturing their reflections. Look for different lighting structures that give areas personality and create new angles to capture that. The possibilities are endless. 


After you finished your day of exploring and it’s time to process your images, you may find that they don’t do the building justice. Different lenses cause distortion of on your images and it doesn’t come out as you saw with the naked eye. Processing these photos through a program like Lightroom or Photoshop allow you to use functions for automatic lense corrections. It will adjust the distortion so that it looks like it did with the naked eye. 

Sometimes if you’re at a location that’s popular with high traffic, you may need to learn how to use your cloning tool to remove people. Depending on your editing experience, you can create a composite of your location with clear areas all together. 


Buildings have a new glow at different times a day with all new lighting. If you only shoot your subject during sunset, you’re only capturing the drama and the beauty this building has at that one type of day.  Go back in the early hours of morning during sunrise and during the afternoon to capture the building at different times a day. Go back in different weather conditions, as well. Seeing the building in sunny conditions will bring you a different type of perspective than cloudy conditions would. 

Where are you shooting first?