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
Mike Kelley's picture


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.

Mike Kelley's picture

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

Mike Kelley's picture

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:-)?

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