Tips from the Architect: Home Photography

January 9, 2018

Photography is an important part of our firm's portfolio, and we make an effort to document finished projects whenever possible. Over the years Catalano Architects has worked with some amazing photographers who have outlined key considerations for photographing architectural work and guided us in developing our preferences for photography.  Below we share our process and tips to assist proud homeowners and aspiring architectural photographers alike to capture the best side of their subjects.

Time of Year - The best time to photograph a building is often the summer, but all seasons offer unique opportunities. The bright white and reflective qualities of winter snow can create a fresh, clean atmosphere and a neutral backdrop. North facing facades receive the most consistent and best light in the summer. In the fall, you can capture long shadows and warm, autumnal light. Spring offers the chance for fresh greens and crisp, clear light.

Lighting - For daytime shoots, natural light is ideal. This means it is best to pick a temperate day with bright or indirect sunlight. If you're working with a professional, your photographer will be able to recommend the best time of day to shoot specific exterior views of the home, depending on where the sun is positioned. Dusk or evening shoots have become increasingly popular. For evening shots of the exterior, turn on the building's interior lights to create a dramatic, glowing effect.

Exterior Shots - It is important to shoot the project from multiple vantage points, to create a dynamic sense of place. Our firm likes to include surrounding landscaping and foliage as well, as these are important factors affecting home design and aesthetic.

Special Rooms - We like to focus our interior photography on high-traffic areas where our clients spend the most time. Photographs of kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms capture the essence of a project, and these are the rooms people are typically most excited to see. We also often photograph stairways, as no two stair designs are ever the same.

Details - Don't overlook these more focused, specific shots, as details are important to the character of a building. Catalano is known for creating unique homes with custom details, and it is valuable to us to have an archive of these details and the craftsmanship of the final product.

Aerial Shots - With the use of drones, we are now able to capture aerial photos of our projects in the larger context of the site. Sites with multiple buildings are especially interesting when viewed from above. Aerial shots are the only way to capture the entire footprint and scale of a building in a single shot. If you have the capacity to approach a photo shoot this was, it is incredibly illustrative to include one or two of these full-site shots.