Recent Mike Kelley Articles

Three Photographer Challenge: Sony vs Fujifilm vs iPhone

Recently, two photography friends visited the Fstoppers studio on the same day. Of course, this meant I needed to plan a friendly photography competition to see once and for all who is the best photographer in the land! This challenge video comes with lots of twists and turns, but at the core, we ask the question: "can an iPhone beat an expensive $12,000 medium format mirrorless camera?" Today, we find out.

Better Environmental Portraits with Luminar 4

Creating dynamic and interesting images in a time crunch situation sometimes means you’ll have to finish your images in post to develop the most iconic and exciting imagery for yourself or a client. This has usually meant a good amount of time spent in Photoshop to extract and then blend your foreground and subject with your sky. In this video you will get to see how Luminar 4 can save you time and help you create an epic back-lit environmental portrait.

Mike Kelley Critiques Your Architectural Photos

In the latest video from Fstoppers, professional architectural photographer Mike Kelley critiques images submitted by fellow photographers. All of the images were submitted by architectural photographers who are part of a closed group on Facebook.

Mike Kelley vs Lee Morris, The Rematch

One year ago to this very day I competed with Mike Kelley to see who could take the best photos of the famous "Dome House" and I won. For 12 months Mike has been plotting his revenge and today, we meet again, at an even more extravagant home in Charleston.

Leave The iPad at Home, Print Your Portfolio

Every photographer today has a digital portfolio of some kind but only a very few have spent the time to create a printed book. In this video, we look into three very differently designed printed portfolios.

Remove Surface Glare On Your Interior Photos With This Quick Tip

When photographing commercial interior images, a common issue is an unsightly glare on reflective surfaces. Removing these reflections by compositing image layers significantly improves your images, separating you from the pack of "run-and-gun" real estate and interior photographers.

Try This Shadow Fix on Your Next Interior Shoot

When photographing interiors, flash is your friend, but a friend who needs some management. While flash brightens rooms, reduces glare, and brings out true colors, it can also produce the frustrating issue of ugly shadows.

How to Begin Shooting High-End Real Estate Video

With the advent of digital cameras, drones, the Internet, and social media, video has become much more a part of every facet of advertising and our general content consumption. Even Fstoppers began by sharing behind-the-scenes videos of photographers at work to inspire and educate people all around the world. Everywhere you look, now, video is always present. Today's behind-the-scenes video comes to you from Parker Walbeck, the guy responsible for flying the LG V30 on top of a Red Weapon to compare the video output. In this video, he takes us on a real-estate video shoot and walks us through his gear and process.

Mike Kelley's BTS Episode 3: How to Photograph From a Helicopter

The third episode of Mike Kelley's Behind the Scenes series from his architectural tutorial is now live. In this episode, Mike shows you how you can turn an overcast day into a sunny afternoon, how to photograph a resort from a helicopter, and also teaches you an effective way to make a hotel lobby look more inviting. You can also watch as the Fstoppers crew goes night diving with massive manta rays off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Mike Kelley's Hilarious New Architecture Photography Behind-the-Scenes Vlog Starts Now!

Last week Fstoppers released Mike Kelley's latest photography tutorial called "Where Art Meets Architecture: How To Photograph Hotels, Resorts, and the Business of Commercial Architectural Photography." It is the third installment of Mike's thorough educational series on shooting real estate, architecture, and hotels. Throughout our travels, we never turned off the behind-the-scenes cameras so that you can experience a first-person perspective of what goes into producing one of these tutorials. In episode 1, Mike gets settled into the amazing Mauna Launi Bay Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and shows just how exhausting photographing complex properties can be.

Mike Kelley's 'Where Art Meets Architecture 3' Is Now Available

Mike Kelley and Fstoppers have teamed up once again to produce the third installment of Where Art Meets Architecture. Over the past few years, creating images for realtors, architects, interior designers, and property management companies has become a booming industry for professional photographers. In this tutorial, Mike focuses on how to photograph the hospitality market including how to shoot hotels, resorts, and rental properties. For the first time in his career, Mike also shares everything he knows about the business of commercial architectural photography including pricing your work, creating bids and contracts, marketing your business effectively, and building licensing fees for residual income. We are excited to finally release the most thorough tutorial we have ever produced on architectural photography and have a special offer inside.

Mike Kelley and Skypixel's New Aerial Photography Contest

It's always fun to track how various Fstoppers writers grow in their career and undertake new challenges. Mike Kelley has been one of my favorites to watch with the success of his first and second architectural photography tutorials, as well as his expanding aerial photography work. He successfully created and promoted a book featuring his aerial work of Los Angeles. Now, Mike is helping to judge a new aerial photography contest being put on by SkyPixel. If you'd like to participate, check out the details below.

The Next Season Of Fstoppers Behind The Scenes Begins Now

It all started last year when Patrick and I flew around the world twice to create Photographing The World with Elia Locardi. We documented our entire three months of travel and edited it all down into 16 behind the scenes episodes. Earlier this year we created a behind the scenes series with Joey Wright covering our Swimwear Photography tutorial. These series have been so popular that we've decided to continue them.

Automotive Light Painting Editing Process and BTS

Light painting is one of the rights of passage photographers have to try at some juncture. I enjoyed playing around with it in the early days, but what surprised me is I have used the techniques commercially on several occasions; from creating better backgrounds to my portraits in dark locations to capturing English Heritage sites. The importance of knowing how to light paint isn't necessary per se, but it does help you understand how light works and how your camera exposes a scene.

I Started a Kickstarter Campaign, and It's One of the Craziest Things I've Ever Done (Part 1)

I've spent the last two years photographing Los Angeles from a Helicopter, in what is surely the largest project I've worked on to date. After a long, extensive and ultimately unsuccessful search for a publisher, I finally decided to scrap that idea and self-publish via Kickstarter. I'll be doing a series of weekly posts about what I've learned and just how insane this whole thing has been.

How to Photograph and Retouch a Hotel Room in 15 Minutes

Last year at my workshop in the Bahamas, my students challenged me to photograph a hotel room in under five minutes. They then wanted to see how fast I could retouch it, and I've decided to do it again, this time capturing it on camera, to show everyone what is possible with only a few minutes on location, a bit of Photoshop knowledge, and of course a lot of practice in the art of previsualization!

Your Most Popular Questions Answered by Architectural Photographer Mike Kelley

Last week I asked everyone on my Facebook page to 'ask me anything' and said that I'd record and post the answers to all the questions left on the page. We had some fantastic questions, some funny answers, serious answers, and everything in between. For anyone looking for my honest opinions on all things architectural photography, check out this video and enjoy!

Creating Compelling B&W Aerial Images in Backlit Situations

For a bit over a year now, I have been taking regular flights over the city of Los Angeles, photographing the city from a helicopter. I get a lot of questions about how I'm editing the images to get the look and feel that I am, and the answer is actually quite simple. Using only carefully considered exposures and Lightroom adjustments, I've come up with a consistent and somewhat unique look for the project.

Today Only:  Save $100 off Mike Kelley's Architecture Photography Tutorial

NOTE: This sale is over and was only good for 1 24 hour period. Fstoppers is having a flash 24 hour sale on some of the products in our store each day leading up to Christmas. Today's sale comes from Mike Kelley as he is offering $100 off his widely acclaimed tutorial Where Art Meets Architecture. When Lee and I approached Mike about this tutorial we had no idea it would quickly become the most popular tutorial we have ever produced. Realtors, architectural photographers, and commercial photographers have found great success with Mike's unique approach to photographing interiors. Today you can find the coupon

A Guide to Retouching Hotel Rooms

Almost four years ago I began a new journey in my photography career. At the time I was still bartending part-time and concentrating on building the headshot side of my business, when hospitality photography came and slapped me upside the head. As it goes with most other good things, it all started over a few drinks with a friend, and has spiraled into a full second stream of income from photography.

The Roadmap to Success in Architectural Photography: CreativeLive With Mike Kelley

If you've ever been interested in the field of architectural photography, now is your chance to learn about the ins-and-outs of getting clients, bidding on jobs, building a reputation and learning some post-processing tricks for FREE. I'll be speaking on Creative Live today at 1:15pm Pacific Standard Time, and will be going into detail on how I've built my business from the ground up in just a few short years.

How To Photograph And Light Real Estate At Dusk On A Budget

Last year we teamed up with Mike Kelley to produce the 7+ hour tutorial: How To Photograph Real Estate, Architecture and Interiors. We were fearful that Mike's fancy equipment would be discouraging to new photographers so we asked Mike if he could create a signature image with much cheaper gear. Mike shot an incredible, world class image with the original Canon Rebel and kit lens and only a few accessories.

Bringing Pan Am Back To Life: Photographing And Lighting The First Class Cabin of a 747

I’m a bit of a dreamer. I’m also a huge aviation geek, and I often catch myself browsing the web at 2am looking up articles on aviation and aviation history. So when I found Anthony Toth and learned more about his life’s work, I knew that I had my next personal photography project in mind. As I'm mostly an architectural photographer, I got bored of waiting around for an airline to hire me to photograph their next ad campaign, so I decided to hire myself into my dream gig.

BTS: The Anatomy Of A Luxury Hotel Penthouse Photograph

A few weeks ago Pat, Lee, Lauren and myself went to the Bahamas to get ready for the upcoming Fstoppers Workshop. While we were there, we wanted to film some kind of architectural photography tutorial video, and we're happy to share that it's finally ready. The Atlantis Resort is giving us an all-access pass to photograph anything at the resort for the workshop, and

BTS: Building An Architectural Interior Photograph From The Ground Up

In today's post, I'm going to walk you through how I build an architectural photograph from square one. We'll discuss composition, lighting, staging, styling, and posing models in an architectural interior in order to create the image that the client has in mind. Despite appearing as a rather simple image, this shot took over an hour to finish on location with multiple steps and a lot of pre-visualization.