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 starting out and from what I've read I think I will go with Lightroom instead of Photoshop. And, it looks like all work in this program is done on Photoshop. Is this the program for me? Thanks.

Herman Schumacher's picture

did you end up buying this? i have only used LR too and im not sure if this is for me if im not a photoshop guy

Mike, how exactly do you charge for real estate?
You did not make it clear enough in your DVDs, you mentioned charging based on the square foot of the property and a per photo basis.

Let's say the property is 2000 square feet and consists of 10 images, how would you charge for this?

Thank you for what you do, love the DVDs, it's amazing content !

Midway through the course, am really impressed with the high quality instruction, even more so, considering this was your first time around. Thanks for all you do, can't wait to get through volume 2 and 3.

Nicholas Lingford's picture

Hi Guy's, I recently purchased the three lessons from F-Stoppers on Mike Kelley. I'm very happy with the content that is contained in the video lessons but none of the .jpeg files have been included in any of the downloads from any of the lessons!? Is there any way I can now download these working .jpeg files so that I can follow and work along with Mike jouring his lessons?

Herman Schumacher's picture

Ok, i have been shooting natural light, and i have been doing hdr and all the bracketing, but now i want to start getting those architects and interior designers, i know very little of photoshop and use only Lightroom... i have 2 bowens lights and a speedlight that i never use for real estate, and i dont own a tilt shift lens,,,
i want to get more interior and architectural than real estate... Is this video for me?? or should i invest in the 2 or the 3??

Herman Schumacher's picture

trying to get the Wama1-2 combo but the checkout keeps sending me back to this page... anybody there that can help.?

Does this course go on sale? At this point, the course, as much as I would love to buy it is out of my budget. I just lost my job.

I really like the tutorial so far, however, it's difficult to follow along without all the files used in the tutorial (only the PSD from the outside of one house is included). Other tutorials have included all the files that they work on throughout so you can follow along with them. This is the one major drawback that would make me think twice about purchasing another tutorial.

Well hello there!

I'm seriously thinking about pulling the trigger on what seems to be the definitive tutorial on shooting interiors but I have a question: does the tutorial offer any insight into working in small spaces such as small cottage bathrooms etc?

P.S. I hope there's still someone out there listening =))

Desmond Stagg's picture

Hi guys, I have just watched the trailer again. Indeed it makes this course very mouthwatering but I am still undecided whether to buy or not.
May I ask you to look at two videos I have seen and tell me what advantages Mike Kelly's course has over these. The first video is;

How to Be a Commercial Photographer - the second
Interior Design

Both videos are available on Udemy at a very heavily discounted price. You honest apraisel of this material will help making my purchase decision.

All the best from Munich

I can only afford one of these tutorials so which should it be? 1 or 2.

Desmond Stagg's picture

First and foremost I would like to apologize to Patrick and Lee for any flack I may have given them regarding this tutorial.

This is probably due to my work as a political journalist. Journalists get so used to posing questions which may be very annoying. Politicians are a pretty thick skinned bunch, journalists on the other hand can be pretty irritating (me?) at times.

Let us take a clean sheet, let bygones be bygones and start over again.

After much thought, I did take the bull by the horns and purchased Mike Kelley's tutorial.

"Where Art Meets Architecture 1". *


I AM IMPRESSED and it takes an awful lot to impress me. I am not going to ramble on about how excellent this tutorial is as I plan to write a comprehensive appraisal on same, I will say this, it is worth every cent of the purchase price!!

The reason I decided to make this move was the fact that I was commissioned at the beginning of the week to photograph a two bedroomed flat which is going on the market later this year.

This is my very first paid project in commercial photography, it's a beginning and hopefully I will receive further projects in future?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch the whole tutorial before the shoot so I missed out on some of the very valuable tips and tricks Mike has to offer. Due to this I will have more post to carry out in PS.

Finally, I do have a question, in the zip file was a psd of shooting the house at dusk. From what Mike was saying during the tutorial when he was shooting the kitchen, I was given to understand the kitchen psd should have been in the packet as well - is this correct?

Toodle-oo and best wishes from Germany


* Another couple of jobs like this and I will purchase the other two tutorials.

Desmond Stagg's picture

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

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