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

I have a question, how can I create an image with a movable line thus showing the before and after results?

Hi... Does this course ever expire if I buy it (will I always have access?) and is the information (photoshop techniques) still relevant in 2018 on today current version? Thanks

HELP!! Have beed sending emails for 3 days to F Stoppers in order to get access to my purchased files of Where art meets architecture from Mike Kelley. No one is getting back to me. Spent $400 CAD and need it now. Thank you.

Mike & The Fstoppers Gang,

Thanks for generously sharing your expertise and producing this high quality, accessible tutorial. I've enjoyed watching your "Critique the Community" and other free YouTube videos for several months and finally decided to take the plunge, join the community, and try a tutorial. Although I'm not interested in architectural photography (or wasn't, before watching this), I chose Mike's tutorial because of the Photoshop techniques I saw him using in the promotional video - I had faced some similar challenges, and his methods and results looked much better than mine.

I can attest that this tutorial (which seems more like a class, it covers so much) was invaluable to me, and I would highly recommend it to advanced photographers of any genre. Mike's post-processing techniques are outstanding. Examples include:

* Masking / replacing a complicated sky (those pesky leaves!)
* Seamlessly blending components from different exposures - in particular, blending realistic exposures through windows while preserving details in the window frame (nice tricks!!)
* Creating color balancing and dodge/burn layers for different components of a scene.

Even something as simple as the way you selected an area before cloning within it solved some difficulties I had faced. Along with post-processing, I enjoyed learning about your different lightning techniques - when and why you used different types of lights and light modifiers, why you chose a certain direction for your light, etc. Even the sections that discussed things like how to start a business or which advertising methods worked best in this genre really are generally applicable.

In terms of price, this tutorial cost about the same as a local Photoshop class I took but is more advanced just in its Photoshop coverage. Plus, I was able to watch this video whenever and wherever it worked best for me; I didn't have to sit and wait while the teacher helped other people, say, download Photoshop; and the video is mine to watch again as needed. A nearby in-person workshop I saw advertised would have cost much more, and forget about the cost of traveling somewhere for a workshop. The time this tutorial will save me in producing just one complicated image will more than pay for the tutorial, not to mention the value of improving the quality of my products much faster than I would have on my own.

Thanks again!

P.S. It's rare for me to write any review, especially a long one - you made a difference :-)

Hey all, with this method will I still be able to send photos to an editor? I really don't want to learn photoshop.

Hi, I'm looking on getting one of the 3 tutorials. Does anybody knows witch of those 3 covers the colour correction / colour process/ colour cast Technics? Thanks in advance!

Hi guys! I purchased this tutorial last night from B&H. I was supposed to receive an email with the link to download the course, but I never got it. I called B&H this morning and they said that the email will be coming from Fstoppers. I tried your contact form to get a status on my order, but still haven't received a reply. So, I'm trying my luck on here. Can you please send me my link already? I'm dying to get started! lol

I purchased this tutorial 4 days ago and still have not received my link. I've tried contacting you guys a couple of times already and still haven't received a response. Can someone please get back to me?

Hello, is it still up to date 2020 this tutorial? do you have one more updated? thank you im interested in three levels...

Hi All, I'm considering purchasing the training but just wanted to know if there are step by step instructions on how to do the PS components, i have never used PS (have only ever needed Lightroom). will this training be enough or will i also need some PS training at the end of this course.

where art meets architechture an incredible tutorial.as a begginner to photography i have wondered how Mike hold the full control of the image using photoshop.eventhough only one psd file available for practise its a great stuff,lot of things to learn.
im from sri lanka but i didnt had to pay much effort to understand and i love the way which Mike has explained.
well organized tutorial wish you carry on forward to make great tutorials and images as well.good luck Mike and thanks Fstoppers .

Skip to 2! This is definitely a great tutorial, but I wish I could have saved some money and started on 2. Everything you learn in 1 is gone over again in 2 in more detail and with more up to date software.

Man, I wish I had read the comments. This is a 10 year old video. Mike is a great teacher, but the information is so far out of date. :(