Mike Kelley's Where Art Meets Architecture 1

How To Photograph Real Estate, Architecture and Interiors Tutorial with Mike Kelley

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.

mike kelley tutorial

*All refunds are outlined in our terms of service.

"‘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.

Download this 7 Hour Tutorial

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.

*No refunds allowed for bundle purchases.

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

I'm just about 25 minutes into Chapter 3 and I have to say that the sky replacement technique alone is worth the $299! I've picked up a lot of great tips so far. I'm loving these videos.

This is very interesting......a question? How dependent is this on Photoshop CS? I'm quite satisfied with Aperture on my Mac for post-production adjustments. I may get latest Photoshop Elements for some added adjustment capability, but am not interested in CS cost or complexity. Welcome comments......

Where Art Meets Architecture is very interesting. A questions for those who've reviewed it, how dependent are Mike Kelly's techniques on use of Photoshop CS? I use Aperture(Mac) almost exclusively and am considering purchase of Photoshop Elements for some added adjustment functionality. But I'm not really interested in cost or time to master Photoshop CS.

Comments on this would be most welcome.........

Patrick Hall's picture

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.

Dana King's picture

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?

Patrick Hall's picture

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?

Mike Kelley's picture

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.

Patrick Hall's picture

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?

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