On Architectural Photography
If you’re not getting good photos of your work, your work doesn’t exist. That project you spent so much time on technically exists, and it is making someone’s life better. If you don’t get digital high-quality finished images, that project is dead to the rest of the world.
To truly understand what architectural photography is, it is important to know how it is defined. Architecture photography involves the photographing of structures and buildings in a way that is both accurate and aesthetically pleasing. This means that it is more involved than just pointing a camera at a building and shooting away.
A stunning visual representation is always much more effective in selling a product than words, which is why it is so important for the images to be awe inspiring.
One name that comes up whenever famous architectural photographers are mentioned is Julius Shulman. Shulman’s architecture photos have had a great influence on modern architecture and on the way we see the world. His work played a big role in shaping the careers of some of the most influential architects of the 20th century, including John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. The clarity of his photography demanded the recognition of architecture photography as an independent form of art. His images placed emphasis on a building’s place in the landscape that surrounds it. His compositions always carried a sense of humanity and reflected the hopes and visions of an entire age. Shulman died in 2009 as a legend, a photographer who really helped to shape our perception of architecture.
One of the best architectural photographer we’ve had the chance to meet is Ieva Saudargaitė. Here's an exchange we were lucky to have with her about her passion.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as an architectural photographer?
Lately, the greatest challenge, one that I have imposed on myself, is to capture the best of the architecture along with life that happens within or around it. Lebanon is a very interesting territory to work in as it is charged with layers upon layers of meanings and interpretations. I feel obliged to document the greater picture i.e. the sense of place and the sociopolitical context within which a contemporary architectural work is conceived, along with moments inspired by the architecture itself that transcend locality and speak in the global vocabulary of emotion.
Q: What is your favorite thing about it?
The opportunity to go on spatial rendezvous. The start of every single assignment begins with butterflies and approaching a building with my camera is no different from meeting somebody new. To date, I have photographed over 70 different projects and I can honestly tell you that first impressions can be strong - either you love it or hate it - but they can often be wrong. I love taking my time in getting to know the project: first eyeing it from a distance, seeing how it carries itself in its surroundings, then getting closer and surveying it from all around, exploring its insides, learning how it functions and how it transforms as the light shifts or when its inhabitants move and live through it. There is no greater pleasure than experiencing a beautifully conceived space at the right moment, to be seduced by light, forms and textures.
Famous architectural photographers usually have an extra quality to their work that sets them apart from the rest: the wow-factor that makes people take a deep breath and see the world from a new perspective.
If you’re one of them, come and find us. We want you to take pictures of our work.