Mike Kelley's Where Art Meets Architecture 3

How To Photograph Hotels, Resorts, and the Business of Commercial Architectural Photography

Fstoppers.com has teamed up with Mike Kelley to produce the third installment of Where Art Meets Architecture: How to Photograph Hotels, Resorts, and the Business of Commercial Architectural Photography.  With 18 brand new lessons and 13 hours of video content, Mike will take you on location and show you everything he knows about creating photographs for hospitality clients as well as how he puts together his bids and estimates for these clients.

Throughout this in-depth photography tutorial, Mike teaches some of the most complex photography and photoshop techniques he uses to produce the flawless images required for his commercial and advertising clients. With the beautiful Hawaiian resort Mauna Lani Bay as the background for these lessons, Mike dives into how to shoot every aspect of a common hotel such as photographing small hotel rooms, luxury suites, outdoor amenities, lobbies, conference rooms, on site restaurants, and even aerial images from a helicopter.

Also included is over 2 hours of business techniques Mike uses to separate himself from his competition. These chapters cover everything from website design, using social media, designing successful marketing material, shooting personal projects, selling fine art, and how to draft proposals and licensing contracts. To wrap everything up, Mike then takes you on a real world commercial architectural job in Mexico and puts everything together for a real paying client.

How to Photograph Resorts and Hotels

Photographing hospitality whether it be hotels, resorts, airbnbs, or other properties marketed towards vacation and short term rentals can be a very exciting and lucrative field of photography. Unlike other genres within the architectural and real estate fields, hospitality photography often requires working with much larger clients who own massive properties that usually need updated marketing material on a yearly basis. Because these clients need so many unique images throughout their properties, it can be a daunting task trying to capture everything in a timely manner.

Unlike all of our other tutorials which start off gradually and build in complexity, Mike is faced right off the bat with the most difficult shooting lesson he has ever tackled on camera. As Mike moves from room to room throughout the resort, he candidly explains the unique challenges you will be faced with when shooting similar properties and how you can easily solve many of the problems that photographers are faced with in these situations. Below are a few examples of the types of rooms Mike photographs in this tutorial.

Learn Mike's Best Tips For Shooting Hotel Rooms

Throughout the course of 16 unique locations, Mike will teach you every trick he uses to produce his signature look. Whether it is flagging outside light, light painting with hot lights, balancing extreme exposure differences with flash, rearranging furniture, fixing less than perfect bedding and housekeeping, working around busy lobbies, or "simply" turning overcast days into bright and relaxing sunsets, Mike explains every minute detail of his process so that you too can reproduce his techniques in your own photography. 

Learn how to remove and add light effectively

Follow Along and Edit Mike's Images In Photoshop

Once all of the images are captured on location, Mike then transitions into the post production studio where he shows you every step he takes in making his final image. To help you get the most out of this tutorial, we have included all of Mike's high res images so that you can follow along every step of the way. Not only are you going to be able to practice each and every technique Mike has to share, but you will also be able to tweak each layer in Photoshop to produce the same final image Mike delivers to his client. These post processing techniques are a crucial skill every photographer will have to master if they want to break into this field of photography, and Mike walks you through each step so that you can not only save hours of time editing but also produce the most perfect images possible.

Learn the Business of Photography

If you want to make a full time career out of photography, producing amazing photographs is only part of the equation. Knowing how to property market yourself, gain paying clients, and run a successful business in many ways is even more important than the actual images you create. For the first time ever, Mike is sharing everything he knows about building a successful architectural business as he outlines every step he took throughout his own career. From shooting for small local realtors to being hired for massive campaigns in other countries, Mike uncovers each of the steps he took to advance his career to the next level. 

In these business chapters, Mike explains what marketing techniques have worked well for him and which ones have produced less than ideal results. Some of the topics Mike covers are how to meet potential clients in person, making effective cold calls, designing mail fliers, soliciting advertising and marketing companies, building a successful website, the power of mailing books and portfolios, using social media to your advantage, and even how personal projects can open doors to clients you never would have imagined. 

Learn Mike's most effective marketing tools

Perhaps the most valuable section of this entire tutorial covers understanding bids, making proposals, and how to effectively add licensing fees to your invoicing. In these final business chapters, Mike sits down at his computer and reads several mock emails he receives on a weekly basis. From there he shows you how he would price out each job, draft up an initial proposal to the prospective client, negotiate the terms of a final contract, and package both the photography and licensing fees into a professional looking final invoice. Mike meticulously goes through every line item from creative fee to post production costs to licensing to overall production costs like flights, accommodations, assistants fees, gear rental, and other common costs associated with architectural photography. If you are unsure of how to price your work or what to include in your own bids and proposals, this section will be extremely helpful to you no matter market you are trying to pursue. 

Watch as Mike designs multiple bids and proposals

No matter if you are just looking to get started in the real estate market or if you are already an established architectural photographer hoping to make the next big jump, Mike's business insights are sure to help you raise your business to the next level. 

A Real Client in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

After Mike wraps up the chapters on business, we thought it would only be fitting to put everything to practice by taking you out on location to a real paying client's photoshoot. Mike explains all of the challenges that comes with working internationally before inviting you to travel with him to the most expensive house ever to sell on Mexico's beautiful Mayan Riviera coast. In this section, Mike walks you through 4 specific images he was hired to photograph as well as outlines many of the dozens of final images delivered to the client. This amazing property directly across from Cozumel offers some unique challenges while also tying together all the business practices together in one international job. 

Mike wraps up the business section by taking you to Mexico on a real paying photoshoot

Digital Download Delivery

Just like every tutorial produced by Fstoppers, Where Art Meets Architecture 3 is a digital download. This means as soon as you purchase this tutorial you can instantly start downloading it straight to your computer. Once each file is download, you can immediately begin watching the content and following along with the included post production files. Each of these video files are unlocked which means you can sync them to any of your devices including your desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, or smart tv. This allows you the most flexibility on how you watch this content. If for any reason you have trouble downloading your files or if you have misplaced them years down the road, simply contact us and we will resend you new download links within 48 hours. 

What is Included In Your Purchase

  • 13 Hours of Content in 37 files (23.1GB total, 1080p 23.98fps h.264 mp4 files)
  • Complete overview of Mike's gear, lighting, and grip equipment
  • 16 photography lessons with all the images needed for post processing
  • 7 unique chapters on the business of photography
  • A Bonus intro to photoshop lesson
  • Access to Mike's secret facebook group for further learning
  • 8 Brand new behind the scenes episodes of the Making Of
  • Unlimited digital download renewals

Bonus: 8 Brand New Behind the Scenes Episodes

If you have enjoyed the previous behind the scenes series with Mike Kelley, we are excited to announce that this tutorial includes 8 brand new episodes. Throughout the entire production of this series the cameras never stopped rolling, and all of that footage has been edited down into a hilarious new behind the scenes series. Watch as the Fstoppers team uses a bidet for the first time, Mike attempts to learn to kiteboard, and Lee breaks a leg before heading to Mexico.  

Mike attempts to learn to kiteboard in the BTS series

Download this 13+ Hour Tutorial Now

*All refunds are outlined in our terms of service.

Two Additional Tutorials!  

This tutorial is part 3 of a 3 part series Fstoppers has made with Mike Kelley. This tutorial is MUCH more advanced than our introductory course Where Art Meets Architecture 1. 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 1 Here.

View the sales page for WAMA 2 Here.

*No refunds allowed for bundle purchases. 

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Previous comments
Patrick Hall's picture

I'd def skip WAMA 1. It is def catered towards beginners who have never used flash or composited in photoshop before. It's still a great tutorial and essential for learning Mike's technique but if you are already doing it professionally I would start with WAMA2 and get 3 if you want to specifically focus on resorts and hospitality and/or want Mike's business tips.

Christian Santiago's picture

I can say without a doubt that Mike Kelly's tutorials have made the most impact on improving the quality of my non-human photographs (Elia Locardi being a close second). If you've already watched WAMA 1 and WAMA 2, then you're already familiar with 95% of what Mike does and you should have the gist of his technique down pact. That doesn't mean there isn't a hell of a lot more to learn, far from it. You're going to expand the utility of these techniques and learn new ways to light and shoot some high stakes places. There's on house in particular that was a nightmare lighting scenario, and now I am well prepared to take on similar challenges.

WAMA 3 just takes everything up to a larger scale and to me is worth the cost simply because it shows you how to plan, quote, and execute the type of jobs many of us dream of when shooting spaces. I am assuming anyone who is looking at this tutorial wants to go beyond just a volume-based business model of real estate photography and would like to cultivate better paying clients with higher stakes and more creatively fulfilling projects. While there is no magic formula for getting that dream client, the business section is a goldmine for learning how to manage all the variables for such projects.

To me the best part of buying this tutorial is the community. Access to a private Facebook group is often hit or miss with these Fstoppers tutorials. Some of them are like ghost-towns with very few engaging conversations and just not a lot of action going on. THIS one though is probably the best community of photographers I've ever had the pleasure of engaging with online. And Mike himself is a very active participant and graciously gives a lot of his time to answer questions and give his input on certain topics. The rest of the community is filled with some seriously talented folks who provide honest, useful feedback for images and whose work often pushes to me get better every day. I honestly love the discussions that sporadically pop up in this group.

Another benefit to these tutorials is that many of the techniques you learn can be applied to other mediums of photography such as landscapes and product photography.

If you're a beginner, start with WAMA 1, if you have some experience under your belt, go with 2 and 3. Either way, it's money well spent.

Glen Zilly's picture

Just finished WAMA 1, 2, and 3 and all I have to say is if you are on the fence about this I can definitely recommend it. I am not a professional photographer, just an architectural designer looking to get professional quality results for my own projects. I have watched hundreds of YouTube tutorials on various shooting, LR, and PS techniques over the past couple years and these tutorials took me so far beyond that I was shocked. From composition, to lighting, to post processing Mike goes into all of his methods in detail in a very easy to follow manner. If you are trying to become a professional architectural photographer then this course is a 100% no brainer. If you are a non-professional photographer like myself whose time is valuable these courses will allow you to quickly understand the best techniques a top pro like Mike uses so you don't waste tons of time and money trying to figure it out for yourself. I have searched and there is simply nothing else like this available on the web. There are workshops but they cost in the $1,000s and will not take you through the range of situations this tutorial is able to.

Hi, I am most interested in the content about running the business. Are the business/carrer tips from WAMA 1 included in this course? Should I buy WAMA 1 too (just for the business tips) or WAMA 3 is fine?

Hey Mike!
What's the name of that portfolio album you're using?

Hi, I am most interested in the business content of this course. Are the business tips from WAMA 1 included in this course + more? Should I buy WAMA 1 too (just for the business tips)? Thanks!

WAMA 3 has the most details about pricing your work and business.

Hey as internet speed in my area is not so great and keeps on breaking at times so If i buy WAMA 3 and somehow i am not able to download it completely so how should I go about it.. can i download it in parts? or is it possible to watch it online? what is the size of WAMA3 tutorial? would be really great if i can download them in parts.. do let me know so i can purchase it

You can download small parts at a time but you have to do it within 3 days or the links expire. If they expire just email us at contactfstoppers@gmail.com and we will renew them for you.

Great.. last question sorry for bothering you.. are there separate folders sequence wise in the links to download once we but it ?