Building Photography; 8 Useful beginner tips

8 Useful beginner tips for building photography

Building photography, which is also called architectural photography is something every photographer will engage in at some points in their lives. Whether at a casual or professional level. It may be as simple as capturing memories of the places they visit on vacation. And could also mean going into the core of architectural photography, showing off the design details of some lovely buildings.

Every building has a unique mood and personality. And the best photographs will not only capture the look-good part of the buildings but also their unique qualities. This will make it super easy for viewers to have a share of what the place actually looks like.

So building photography goes more than just pointing your camera and shooting at a building. It requires some skills, knowledge, and tips. In this post are some useful tips about building photography that will make you produce the best photographs. You can also check out some basics of astro photography if you would like to.

Useful Tips For Building Photography

#1: Shoot At Different Times of the Day and In a Variety of Weather

Armani Hotel, Dubai

Most photographers love shooting architectural wonders at a particular time of the say for the best lighting. This could be at sunset hours when the colors are bright and shadows long. Although this usually helps produce lovely photos, it only represents the building’s atmosphere at just one specific point in time.

This is not usually the best. Shooting a series of images in various weather and at different times of the day is the best way to go in building photography. It will help you paint a fuller story of the relationship the building has with its environment. Remember every building has its own unique mood. Be available to shoot them at every mood of the day.

#2: Shoot From Distance

building photography

This is another useful tips you should put in mind when shooting buildings. Shoot from distance. The further away you are from the building, the less you will be affected by the perspective shift. So get as far as possible away from the building you want to photograph. You can also use a telephoto lens to make this easier.

However, the only disadvantage with this is that it is not all buildings that can be photographed from distance. This is more particular to building in the cities.

#3: Good Lighting Is Very Important

It doesn’t matter what time of the day you are shooting your photographs, you should always prioritize good lighting. Good lighting in building photography helps to emphasize a specific structure, space, or atmosphere. Hence playing a huge role in shaping one’s understanding of the essentials in that specific architectural project. You can read more about the importance of good lighting in architectural photography to better understand the role it plays in your success.

#4: Ensure to Invest In the Right Photography Equipment

architectural photography equipment

Gear used by architectural photographer Antonio Cuellar

If you are really serious about having good times with building photography, you are definitely going to invest in the right equipment. This may seem like an extra task or cost, but the rewards are really worth it. Obviously the gear used by Antonio Cuellar, which has been featured in some publications, is a bit of an exaggeration. However, you may need to get a wide-angle lens preferably a shift lens. That is the type of lens perfect for photographing buildings and interior spaces. I suggest the 24mm TS. Canon and Nikon both have a version of this lens available. You will also, need a tripod that will both help you shoot in low-light conditions with low shutter speed and also help you level the camera. You may need a polarize filter, and some other things. If you are also willing to take the game to the next level, you can get a drone with a quality camera installed. Getting this equipment is indeed an exciting way to go.

#5: Don’t Rush Perfection

One important tip you will need to bear in mind when shooting architectural objects is taking your time. With enough practice, and the right apps, you will soon figure out what more accurate time is to photography a building in relation to the sun. Be sure to walk around the building and or do a google search for images taken from different angles to figure out the best angle to shoot it. This will not only allow you to have enough time to have amazing shots but will also avail you ample time to explore the building and shoot important areas. Please remember that having one memorable shot is much better than having two or three mediocre ones.

#6: It Is Okay To Include People in Your Shots

building photography

It has been a tradition in building photography not to include people in the images. It is often preferred to replace the human with some other objects like a bicycle as if those building can exist without us in the first place.

However, it is good to know that the trend is going down the drain fast. More and more high-profile architectural photographers are now beginning to bring up a new trend, including humans in their photos. So don’t be afraid to include people in your photographs too. They have a unique way of adding to the beauty.

#7: Color or Black & White?

This is another thing to consider. You need to decide which will be best for your building – color photos or black & white photos. If you are confused about which is best for you, here are some tips.

When it comes to building photography, color is often a vital feature you will like to highlight in any building. Therefore, shooting the building in color might just be the best option to go for. However, if your aim is to just shoot the structural lines of the building, black and white might work perfectly for that. That will allow the contrast to be more visible in the finished project.

#8: Don’t Forget to Use Post-Processing Tools

Hardly can you have a great image these days without processing. It has become quite a standard in photography. These tools give you the chance to tweak and edit your images to perfectly match the atmosphere you are looking to capture. However, you should only alter the images with a clear understanding of what kind of changes are acceptable. You can consider getting some photography software like Lightroom and Photoshop. They are pretty easy to use and have a wide variety of advanced functions you can explore.



Having a wonderful time photographing buildings is not that difficult. Once you have your basics and some useful tips like the ones mentioned above, allow your creativity to flow. Take your shots from different angles. Shoot from the ground looking up or get on higher grounds.


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About Antonio

Antonio Cuellar is a commercial photographer who specializes in capturing the architecture and lifestyle of the world's most luxurious hotels and resorts.