Where Art Meets Architecture 1

How To Photograph Real Estate, Architecture and Interiors Tutorial

With Mike Kelley

In this photography tutorial, Mike will explain each and every technique he uses to produce his stunning images. The full photography tutorial is broken down into three chapters, each covering the tools necessary to succeed in the different niche markets within the field of interior photography. So no matter if you are an experienced photographer or have never taken your camera out of auto mode, Mike will teach you the most basic steps to get started as well as walk you through some of his most complicated photo edits.

Download this 7 Hour Tutorial

After years of perfecting his unique "light painting with speedlights" technique, Mike Kelley has quickly become one of the most sought after architecture and interior photographers around. Mixing artificial light, natural ambient light, and high powered strobe light, Mike's images create a hyper realistic mood that has become a staple in the commercial and advertising world. Unlike traditional techniques such as single long exposures or high dynamic range renders, Mike's light painting technique allows him to have the most amount of control over every light source seen in his images. It is only after you have seen Mike's before and after examples that you can really appreciate just how impressive his work truly is.

mike kelley real estate photography

Fstoppers.com has teamed up with Mike Kelley to produce Where Art Meets Architecture, a 7 hour long digital download on how to photograph real estate, architecture, and interiors. In this photography tutorial, Mike will explain each and every technique he uses to produce his stunning images. The full photography tutorial is broken down into three chapters, each covering the tools necessary to succeed in the different niche markets within the field of interior photography. So no matter if you are an experienced photographer or have never taken your camera out of auto mode, Mike will teach you the most basic steps to get started as well as walk you through some of his most complicated photo edits. From simple on-camera Real Estate photographs, to twilight exteriors with 20 layers of Photoshop, this tutorial will help you get on the fast track to making your photos of homes and architecture look as good as those seen in publications and commercials.

What is covered:

how to photograph real estate homes

Real Estate Photography: In the Real Estate section, Mike will teach you everything you need to know about this genre so you can kick start your career and start producing images for real estate agents, listing agents, and general property management. All of the basics will be covered in this chapter including:

  • How to get started with minimal gear
  • How to bounce flash effectively
  • Using natural light to your advantage
  • Properly composing your frame
  • Choosing the correct focal length
  • How to retain exterior window views
  • Two, three, and four light setups
  • Correcting pincushion and barrel distortion
  • Fixing converging lines in Photoshop
  • Creating a final image completely in camera

In addition to "building your foundation", Mike also talks candidly about how he found success in the real estate market, and how you too can build a money making business shooting properties for sale.

mike kelley photoshop
Architecture and Interior Photography: This chapter focuses on how to create photographs for higher paying clients like architects, home builders, interior designers, and magazine editorials. With the ground work already laid down, Mike focuses on streamlining your workflow and pushing your images into actual works of art. While on location at an actual architect's personal home, Mike walks you through eight flagship images from initial capture all the way through the final photoshop editing process. We have also included a full Photoshop PSD file of a twilight exterior images so you can follow along as Mike teaches every step in creating his signature look.

  • Mike's Twilight Exterior Technique
  • Advanced light painting and compositing
  • Tethering to an ipad/iphone
  • Using scrims to control reflections/specular highlights
  • The "Moody Interior Twilight Shot"
  • Faking warm sunlight
  • Staging furniture for strong compositions

mike kelley how to photograph interiors

Commercial and Advertising Photography: In this final section, Mike takes you on the set of two commercial spaces and demonstrates how to produce perfect images for restaurants, hotels, wedding venues, resorts, and other commercial clients. Emphasis will be placed on meeting your clients needs and lighting images according to the use of the space.

  • Creating twilight images while a restaurant is open for business
  • Incorporating people into your photography
  • Lighting multi room locations
  • Replacing details in Photoshop
  • Lighting large banquet halls
  • How to create an inviting atmosphere

Additionally, Mike will also cover the business of commercial and advertising photography including how to market yourself, how to build residual income through image licensing, finding and maintaining clients, and pricing your work.

"‘Where Art Meets Architecture’ is the definitive workshop on shooting Real Estate, Architecture, or Interior images. What you learn in this 7 hour workshop is what many photographers dream about...By the time you are finished with this workshop, you will feel as if you have the tools you need to complete any job in this niche of photography."

-Anthony Thurston, SLR Lounge (read full 5-Star review here)

Not familiar with Mike's work? Check out this short Fstoppers Original we did with Mike as he photographs an exterior twilight shot in Arizona. Read the full original post here.

Two Additional Tutorials!  

Since the release of Where Art Meets Architecture 1, Fstoppers has produced two new tutorials with Mike Kelley (WAMA II and III). These tutorials are MUCH more advanced and focus on very specific elements of the architecture photography market. If you are just getting started with real estate photography, lighting, and post production, we highly recommend watching WAMA 1 first, but we have also bundled all of the tutorials in this series at a discount if you want to learn everything Mike has to teach.  

View the sales page for WAMA 2 Here.

View the sales page for WAMA 3 Here.

Below we ask for honest reviews from THOSE WHO HAVE PURCHASED THE TUTORIAL. Anything that is not a review of the product will be deleted.

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Previous comments

The first 1/3 of the tutorial deals with real estate which is the least paying of all the fields. Therefore Mike teaches how to do most of the work in camera with little or no photoshop at all. Quick and easy techniques. However, once you get into lighting multiple rooms or accenting rooms with multiple flash pops, you are going to need a program that lets you layer or stack images on top of each other. So yes, you will need Photoshop or a similar program to do the layer building.

Don you can get photoshop CC ranging from 7-9.00 a month depending on where you get the subscription from.

Does the majority of your work require an assistant or do you work mostly solo?

Mike is notoriously known for working alone....I like assistants but this sort of work is easy to do by yourself.

Thanks for the reply Patrick.

I feel odd asking this but after my purchase I don't see how to watch the video?

You should have received an email as soon as you purchased it with a link to download. Email contactfstoppers - at - gmail.com if you didn't receive one.

Yes or search "e-junkie". Let us know if you did not receive the links.

I just bought Charlie Borland - Mastering Architecture and Real Estate Photography on https://www.udemy.com/mastering-architecture-and-real-estate-photography to $ 57 normal price is $ 177 and it is the same technique as Mike Kelley

Going to shoot some high-end interiors in the next couple of days, so I'll be putting Mike's techniques to work and we'll see what we come up with. I have combined flash with bracketed exposures before, but using a remote flash to paint the scene with light will be something new for me.

Luckily, I already have a CamRanger (one of the first ones, I think), so I'll be able to trigger the camera and see what I'm getting. The problem I have been having as I practice for this upcoming shoot is the flash triggering system.

Sometimes a trigger does too much. I thought I could duplicate Mike's remote flash-on-a-pole technique with a Canon ST-E3-RT radio trigger.

But no.

When this trigger links to the Canon 600 EX there is no way you have any control over its output power from the flash itself. You would have to walk back to the camera, adjust the power, walk back to aim the flash, and repeat if you don't like the result.

I fell back on my Cactus V5 triggers, which don't require that the flash be in slave mode in order to work. I haven't used them in a while and they seem to work fine, but I'm not sure how reliable they'll be in this situation, I might have to spring for a PW or something similar.

I haven't won a lot with photographs but photographer since the age of 15 years (I'm 64 years old today) and quite like the photographic art. I confess that I was long in doubt if I should buy or not the course. I'm a retired employee of the airline VARIG (bankrupt) and my earnings are very limited. Anyway I ended up buying the course thanks to the discount given by Phil Steele (my wife will never know). I'm enjoying the course and learning a lot. I'm going to dive head-first in this line of work. Have not regretted to be purchased. Hug.

If are using the Mini tt1 and flex tt5 in conjunction with the CamRanger, may I ask why you need the plus III's?


Hello Mike, Thank you so much for the reply. One additional question. I have the mini TT1, (3) flex tt5 and (2) MC2 for my Einsteins. I have the cam ranger and was going to return my 2 plus III's since it seems like they may be unnecessary. Before I return these can you please expound on why I should keep them. I value your opinion.

I like having two systems for a backup. Whether or not that is cost effective for you is your decision to make, but I always say it's better to have and not need than to need and not have. Sometimes you need a little extra range, too - the flex and mini can be starved for range in many cases.

Thanks again for the excellent points! Are you using the plus III's and the cam ranger at the same time or is it one or the other?

Mike, thank you for sharing your experience and all the little tips and tricks you use. I really learned a lot and can't wait to try adding the techniques to some of my upcoming photography shoots. I'll be sure to share and post my work for some feedback. All the best and thank you again.

I like Paulo, got my discount via Phil Steele. This is the most
inspirational course I have ever experienced, and I have done many of
them - Kelby, Imaging USA, Photoshop World.. on and on. For years I have
been so frustrated with not finding a way to learn the tricks of FINE
architectural shooting from my peers in Austin, Texas, and for years I
have grown so tired of the HDR approach. I just did not want to haul
heavy equipment around as I did for 30 years in the film and video
industry, and if you are not over 50 years old, you don't know how heavy
those lights and cameras were!!! So HDR was the ticket for me. (As Mike
indicates if you insist on HDR, Photomatix Fusion is the way to go).

now, with a cam ranger, one camera transmitter and one receiver and a
flash, you can do incredible work via Mike's secrets. No hauling heavy
equipment around! I cannot tell you how many times my wife heard me
scream "Holy Shmoke!" articulating my moments of joy of getting
it....finally understanding these techniques about spot lighting and
masking those lights spots into the photo.

Just forgo the
morning trip to Starbucks for a month and you will have paid for the
course by Mike Kelley. Trust me, it will expand your world.

Johnny Stevens.

Oh - and if any of you are using the cam ranger with the Canon
and Flex TT5's and have had intermittent flash failure issues, please
let me know. I am researching the solution to that now.

The problems with the flex system is some kind of engineering issue. Mine are so unreliable I never really used them and have been collecting dust for two years. I would be surprised of any solution short of sending them in for a new version, but if you find something, do tell! There are MANY canon users in the same boat...

My wife and I just bought the video and we arereally satisfied with it.

My wife attended a private class, spent $240 and she thinks she wasted all her money. But she's loving this video...she says Mike explain quite well every detail..

I was wondering if Mike or anybody here could answer me something. in the middle of chapter 3 (from the tutorial) Mike takes a picture of a big house between the afternoon and the dusk... My question is, during this time, the shutter speed and the aperture remains the same or do you have to change it every now and then...likewise indoors...when you are taking a shot, and the natural light change..do i have to change the aperture and speed...

In short period of times, do i set an speed and aperture and leave it until the end or do i have to change if i start adding flashes?

We fully understand that you need to bracket every picture

I would really appreciate your feedback

Hi Edgar, thanks for the kind words, glad that you and your wife are enjoying the tutorial. I am always changing the shutter speed to adapt to the changing light in those situations, especially at twilight when the light is changing fast. I just stick with whatever looks good! If it needs to be a slower shutter speed to look better, I change, likewise, if it gets brighter I may need to make it faster. Hope that helps - nothing is ever static.

Mike: thanks a lot...this is really worth it!

I purchased this tutorial last week and as a pro photographer I found it had a lot of great content. Mike Kelley goes into great detail on exactly how he creates the images he does. $299 is a bargain for this tutorial!

Hi Mike, looks like a great program! My quick question is how about a lighter version? I would love just a basic "lighting homes" ( interiors most of all) for my work with realtors. I'm looking to get the best in camera shots possible. I can maybe move on to the higher end stuff later... Any help for a guy like me just tapping into that meaty middle real estate market? I can see it's all cover here in this program in great detail but really I just need that hour or two on how to best light and shoot home interiors with the least post production possable... Thanks.

Wondering if it would be possible to do it via the radio trigger on the 600ex? Can you control the output just like Mike does with the Pocket Wizards? Control the flash outputs manually?

Hi Mike I am a photographer of Chile and want to know if the video " How To Photograph Real Estate, Architecture and Interiors Tutorial " comes with subtitles in Spanish. Regards!!

Excuse me, hi I'm from Hong Kong and I am interest in the Video, do any one can provide a discount code:-)?

Hi, this comes with spanish subtitles?

Hi I am actually currently watching this video .. im only about 2 hours into it.. and all I can say is WOW. I am just shocked that this even exists. ITS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR. Some of the quick photoshop tricks were worth the cost of the video alone. Its like a little present from God. Im have a degree in architecture and studied interiors for years around the globe but recently turned photographer and now my own photog corp of 3 years. Im kinda done ... or at least tired of portraiture. I miss my roots and passion with design and really wanted to combine my latest skill set of photography with my educational background. I wanted more control than I get photographing an unpredictable toddler or newborn. I have much of the equipment listed but am missing some pieces which I plan to get like that awesome sauce cam ranger. Really .. I am so elated with what Ive seen so far.. I expect it to just get better from here but I couldnt contain my happiness and needed to write a big THANK YOU to Mike and Fstoppers for creating this easy to find.. get.. learn from.. video. I cannot wait to learn more and see what I an create for myself and my business. Ill keep ya posted!

wondering if a crop sensor camera would be work for this , to get started i do have some equipment but i don't own a tilt shift lens and the wider lens i own is a 28mm f/2.8 ? since i live in Miami I think the real state business down here is pretty big so I think i can make it... I'm willing to buy this tutorial, please let me know if a tilt shift lens is a must cause i don't have one...Thank you so much !!!

Hi Juan, nope, a tilt shift lens is definitely not necessary for real estate photography and we go over how to deal with not having one in the video. You may want to upgrade to one as you become a more successful photographer but at first it isn't required at all.

Is this tutorial available on a dvd set or just a download link?

Hi Mike, Karen héroe forma New Zealand, Do I need to have some knowledge on Photoshop before I can use this DVD? I am studying photography and I would like to home building photography, thank you

Hi Mike,
Thanks so much for sharing this . As a semi pro who's already covered some interiors for hotels & spas , I have been booked for a very high end property development . The job has gradually developed into pressure to re produce the composition , lighting & look of images the client already has had done by very high end cgi company.. All very wide shots, high ceilings & of course sun streaming in on 3rd 4th floors where it couldn't in reality .. .( dratts to cgi and clients expectations now).. didn't feel confident in delivering anything like that polished style.. ( not my experience at all) Major panic .. Watched loAds of tutorials then found this.. Wasn't sure it would teach me anything more than I,d already picked up but WOW ...how wrong I was .. After 2 intense days watching this, I've learnt buckets.! . Can't wait to get practicing practising , goodness take me years to get your skills together , especially in Photoshop .. but already sleeping better .. Feel confident that not only can I deliver some polished high end developers images but hopefully now improve on their lifeless cgi !! Looking forward to it now.. Especially a twilight shot of the outside( cgi guys missed that trick! Lol)
Its a fantastic tutorial and you deserve much success for sharing your approach.
Silly question but when you are lighting all the individual areas with speed light/ grid etc.. If you have main flash bouncing off ceiling on through umbrella for lighting whole interior for more daylight interior shots do I need to fire that alongside or can I just highlight areas with no other flashes firing?
Wondered if you've got any tips for mimicking sun through windows streaking across floor or furniture if on 3rd floor and can't place lights outside?
As I said intense couple of days & will be going back over it all more than once. ( the sky editing thing still confusing me)
Take care & thanks again.
Louise Paige

Just spent all day watching this and playing around with the included PSD... looking forward to trying it myself as soon as I get radio triggers for my flash. otherwise I have all the necessary gear. (admittedly that tilt shift looked great... maybe after a few paid gigs) if i'm just getting started is is better to get "cheaper" PW Plus X or splurge on the Plus III or go all out on mini /flex...

I would it be possible to share how your iPhone was tethered ? And if jailbreaked maybe a link or how to. Thanks guys love the work

Thanks for this, Mike! Love your work *and* teaching style (not everyone who's great is also able to impart their knowledge in a clear, easy to understand manner). I'm ready to finally combine my 3 loves - Photography, Architecture & Interior Design - and ready to buy this course! I have two questions: 1) Will I also be able to view this on my iPhone? and 2) Can a pretty novice Photoshop user get started with your Ps techniques? Thanks for your help.
Wishing you continued success!

Simply put. Worth it! Didnt buy a new lens or gadget for this traning DVD. The lessons learnt is highly transferable to landscape photography too. Massive improvement on skills on interior photography, lighting and post production. I have some questions but not sure where the correct forum I can post. Eg. An interior shot of the kitchen where Mike preferred a more tighter shot rather than going wider. That composition had a little of the floor but the frame was mainly covered with chairs, bench, wall, cabinets and ceiling. Mike used an F8 for this. Is F8 enough? and where did he focus? was it 1/3 from the bottom of the frame?

I just finished the video and I learned tons of things so useful. Thank you!
I was wondering what zoom range you set on your flash when you use it on a stand or when you walk into a room or outside?

Hi Francois, thanks for the feedback! When using flash I usually just zoom to the widest for general use and if I need something tighter I put a grid on.


Is there a discount code for this product? I am interested in purchasing it.

Hello Mike, can the Tutorial or DVD be purchased from Europe? Thanking you in advance.

Hi Greville, yes! It doesn't matter where in the world you are, as long as you have a paypal account you should be good.

Is this still available to purchase? When I click the "Buy Now" links I am taken to a blank page at e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php. I was also wondering about the total download size. Someone earlier suggested the whole package was less than 8MB, but that seems quite small for 8 hours of video.

We just were made aware of the problem and are working to fix it! Hopefully I can update you shortly when it's good to go. Sorry for the inconvenience! -Mike

This workshop is fantastic - Mike is a great teacher and everything is very easy to follow. I would highly recommend it to any aspiring architectural photographer!

I have one quick question, Mike: I'm currently practicing my twilight exteriors and the eventual file size is over 4GB and so Photoshop isn't saving it to Lightroom as it normally would. Do you change your Save/Export settings or do you do something to reduce the file sizes?

I would like to buy this as a gift for someone. How would I go about doing that? Do you offer this course on DVD Etc...?

I also only got one file in the extras...

Does it come with all the PSD from each chapter? I read John comment and I'am worry about doesn´t include all files to work on ourself in each chapter

I bought the tutorial, very useful and informative. Can`t complain. Price is too low for what you get. Other than that, anyone knows how to get into the secret group on fb? thanks!

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