Architectural photography at the first glance might seem or look like a rather boring genre of photography to be interested in. I myself once thought this as well until I started to look beyond the idea of these buildings just being what they are, buildings. I slowly started to see the creative value in these structures and began to appreciate them by telling a story through my images. Architectural photography has so much more to offer than what meets the eye. In this article, I will be sharing a few tips as to how you can use architectural photography to tell a story through your images. Some if not most of these tips I learned myself through practice and putting effort into seeing the bigger picture behind these buildings. Without dragging this introduction out any longer, let’s begin.
Architecture is a very interesting and vast field that encompasses many important things. A lot these buildings were built with careful thought and design into every square foot. Some of these buildings were built before way before we were even born but still manage to keep their integrity and beauty throughout the decades. Before we get excited and decide to grab our camera and other gear, it’s important to first get an understanding of your subject.
Getting an understanding of your subject will innately add more meaning to your photographs and also allow you as the photographer to appreciate your subject more as well. A lot of these buildings hold historical meanings within their walls and have made their fair contribution to history. Your research will help you to share this historical contribution through the shots that you take and by extension help to give a deeper meaning to your shots as well.
Creating or looking for more contrast when composing architectural shots can help to enhance your image and also add to your story as well. Every building is different in its own and will evoke its own style and look through the materials used to build it. So for example, you will receive a different feel or mood from an image of a modern-day building made with ridiculous amounts of glass and concrete than a building that was made out of stone in the 1800s. The contrast in your shots will help to show the differences in these two architectures and evoke a different feel as it regards to the story told by each building.
Contrast helps to make every crack, crevis, window, and stone on a building look a lot richer and you can almost see the history seeping through the image as well.
To create a good story you need to have a series of different scenes. To do this you want to create a series of images when photographing a specific building. You will more than likely have to keep moving and shooting at the same time to capture different angles and perspectives of your subject as you would when shooting with a model. The only difference here is that this model is not able to change her poses and look at the camera so you will have to do most of the work. Giving different perspectives will assist in giving your viewer a better understanding of what your subject had to offer and create an imaginary timeline for your story.
These stunning Architectures themselves might be very impressive and captivating but don’t forget that it’s often where the building is that helps to add to its character. Try to include some of these surroundings within your shot to add more character as well as give a sense of what the ambiance or atmosphere is like around this building.
So, for example, if there is a bike just casually leaning on the side of the building, composing that shot properly can help to add some character and improve your story as well. Telling a story through photography is all about taking the little things that are often deemed insignificant and given significance in your frame.
Capturing small details in pretty much anything and not only architectural photography helps to improve and add to your storytelling as well. There is a saying that “It’s all in the details” which is actually true as details themselves can help to tell a story. If you were to capture the details in the architecture of a building then you could easily show the age or historical importance of the building. These small details will help to add diversity to your series as well as introduce a new perspective.
It is always a pleasure sharing these simple but important tips with you. I hope some of these tips and tricks have come in handy and proven to be an asset when practicing your architectural photography. Thank you for stopping by and until next time, take care.