Some Advice on How to Take Better Architectural Photos

We have all come across a beautiful or interesting building in our life, it’s another subject of art. There are many architects that spend a lot of their time designing these amazing structures, and there’s even a whole genre of photography to capture and share the beauty in these buildings.

For this week’s Two Minute Tuesday with Peter McKinnon, he goes into some of his advice and tips on how to shoot photos of these incredible architectures you may come across. Just a heads up, he does go over the two-minute mark slightly, but he shares some useful advice and ways to think beyond just taking a photo head-on and from outside.

As Peter says, some of the buildings are not only beautiful outside, but inside as well. I have even come across a few buildings where the outside isn’t anything spectacular but once you walk inside, there's a whole other marvel to look at and capture. Make sure to check out the structure fully and see what other views can grab your attention. Peter even mentions using the macro lens in his architecture shots, which was the topic of last week’s Two Minute Tuesday with the several uses it has we discussed in a previous article.

For those of you who shoot architectural photography often, what are some other tips or advice you have for the rest of us?

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David Bolender's picture

Very good inspiration- Toronto does have some amazing architecture that I have been shooting for years.

Edward Porter's picture

Slowing waaaaay down, like 10 times slower than this guy, will probably help. It's definitely a good idea to take the camera off the tripod to scout your angles, but good lord no pro one-hand composes with the camera back. This YouTube thumb will be a good laugh for anyone in the industry.

However this video is not meant for anyone aspiring to be pro, so I'm totally cool with it! Casual instagram shots should be fun and not a laborious 2 hour production for one photo.

Well put and I find it's so much different shooting for an instagram shot or on your own than it is shooting for actual clients. What I like most about his video? The number of views!

I'm soon to start putting together videos - I am going to do my best to try 100 days of hustle to finish out the year. I wish I had the ability to pump out videos like Peter does. Worth a shot to share some of my actual experiences shooting architectural photography full time.

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

He's success is rare. There's some great videos out there that get very little views. Peter managed to grow his channel at an insane rate. He got over 1 million subs in less than 2yrs. That's almost unheard of. Whatever marketing / networking he did, worked. I know Youtubers/Photographers who have been doing this for years and only have 200k subs and average 1-5k views per video.

Matthias Dengler's picture

I'm sorry to say that, but I don't like this guy.
All his so called tutorials are like "this is super awesome, everything is great, that's so dope, that's sick", everything is easy." I feel that the target group for this dude is age 12-17.
He wants to be the super dope for the kids.I personally don't take much away from it. You could say now that I'm an architecture photographer who already knows everything, but that's wrong. I don't shoot architecture. Sorry, for the harsh critique, but that's how I think about this guy and his videos. I actually heard, he is even not a photographer and just a youtuber. Please feel free to contradict and to correct me.
Has maybe also the target group of Fstoppers shifted a bit towards entry level photographers?

Thanks for saying out loud what I've been thinking about for months. Peter's videos keep showing up in my YouTube Filmmaking feed and I even subscribed for a few weeks. But after cringing through my 4th or 5th video of his super awesome superlatives, I had to "unsubscribe."

There is space for all of us and his style is obviously directed toward building his brand, but it's not necessarily helping us build our careers.

Apparently he has had a job in the past where he shot product photography for the company. At least he does show his photos from time to time vs some youtubers that give all this advice + reviews and have no website/portfolio/photos except a few on instagram. It's sometimes hard to watch the youtubers with all their expensive gear and never see actual photos. You sit there with 1/5th the equipment lol.

Sadly, peters website is now just a single page. Maybe it's just me but I think people that claim photographer should have something official vs instagram accounts.

I don't mind watching - most stuff is background for me.

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

I liked him at first but found his videos to be dragged out too long. I stopped watching a while ago but I found his videos either had too much b-roll, and/or he just talked way too much. A lot of the times I felt the video could have been 3-5min max, but they were all almost around 10min each.

He's doing something right though. He's channel grew to over 1 million subs within 1-2yrs. But I would not call him a photographer. More of a YouTuber. Glad he found something that works for him. More power to him.