Custom Architectural Photography: A Worthwhile Investment.


Whether you’re a seasoned architectural professional or just beginning your career, chances are that you’ve had a few questions about whether custom architectural photography is right for you. Is the investment into custom photography worth it for your architecture, engineering, or construction firm? By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge you need to talk about architectural photography and the tools to help you find the right professional for your needs.

Table of Contents:

What is Custom Architectural Photography?

Custom Architectural photography is simply photos of the projects and buildings that you actually had a hand in creating. While it may seem unwise,  many businesses  in the industry do not use examples of their work as a part of their marketing materials (we’ll explore the reasons why in the sections below!). Oftentimes, you see photos saved just for portfolios, and in doing so, you run the risk that someone sees your collateral and chooses another photographer because you used stock photos, not your actual custom work. 

The images created as a part of the custom photography process are yours and only yours. Because of this, you  have complete creative control over them. They are created exclusively to make you, your brand, and your team look top-notch and can be used on websites, social media, portfolios, in awards submissions, and so much more!

Types of Architectural Photography
Drone Photography
Ground Photography
Sunset Photography

Why Custom and Not Conventional (Stock)?

Stock photographs are convenient and affordable, but are they the best tool for marketing your brand? With potentially dozens of individuals involved in making the product come to life, your photography of the finished piece should be reflective of the efforts it took to get there. 

Custom imagery of your projects means that the beauty of each design element can be captured in its fullness – from the largest facades to the smallest details. The best custom photography can give a potential client the feeling that they are walking through one of your buildings on a tour, right from the comfort of your conference room. 

When you curate your photographs, they work for you! With the investment into custom architectural photography, you create your own library of tailored imagery. You have various images available for use that reflect the quality of your work that you can place into whatever needs you have in the future.

In-House Architectural Photography is Not Enough

In most scenarios, using your in house marketing team to capture the beauty of architecture projects is not the best choice. Even if they have the right camera, lenses, and lights, there is so much more to architectural photography and it’s best to leave it to the skilled professionals when capturing your work. 

Architectural photography is a type of art in its own right. A professional who is an expert in capturing the beauty of buildings thinks about what direction the building is facing, what time of year it is, and the right combination of lenses and angles to truly show off the allure of your projects. 

Choosing to capture photos of your own projects in house can often lead to flat images that have no spark or life to them. A seasoned architectural photographer can make even the most straightforward warehouse space look like a palace!

You Get What You Pay for – Selecting the Right Photographer for You

When choosing to invest in architectural photography, many potential clients are concerned with finding the right fit for their specific needs. While it may not seem like it, there is a vast difference between a wedding photographer, a family photographer and a photographer whose bread and butter is architecture, engineering, and construction projects. Each are experts in their right and you want to choose the creative who specializes in the subject you are looking to highlight. 

When talking with a potential photographer, be sure to ask for a portfolio of their architectural work. Pay attention to buildings that look like the ones your firm designs and see if they look lively and energized. If they look more plain and dull, this might not be the photographer for you.

If you have a project already in need of photographing, consider a location scout or ask specific questions related to the shoot at hand. Any photographer worth her salt will be able to confidently answer those questions. And if you’re still not sure, ask for references from the photographer’s clients in the area; they can give you real, behind the scenes takes on what it’s like to work with that particular photographer.

The Perfect Architectural Shot is Perfectly Curated

A good architectural photographer can and will manipulate as much as they can in front of the camera while photographing a building. But there’s only so much one can do before the shot is taken. That’s where post-production comes in, and it’s the difference between images that show reality and those that sing.

After an image is taken, you can easily adjust overall details like exposure and color correction. However, bigger changes that a client wants are also important. Things like removing stray trees, filling in windows, or cleaning up electrical outlets can elevate the photograph. At Studio 13, we work with industry professionals who have decades of experience working specifically on architecture and construction projects, and your photographer should too.  With more than three decades of experience, there’s likely nothing you would ask us to do that we haven’t happily done for a client at least once in years past. 

How to Use your Investment in Architectural Photography to Its Fullest

If you’re choosing to create a library of architectural images, it is going to be an investment in your brand – you should show that off at every chance you get! Although your website will be a great place to start, the reach of your photographs can go much further.

You have the opportunity to craft portfolios and marketing materials that are unique to your designers. You can use these photos to submit your projects to design publications or apply for industry recognitions. They could even be used as decor in your offices – both beautiful to look at and a wonderful advertisement to potential clients who walk through your doors.

No matter what you do with your architectural library, don’t keep it hidden!


In every design project, you had to collaborate with multiple professionals to make sure the job was done well. The architect, engineer, construction company, and interior designers all had a hand in the final product you made. Collaboration with those professionals one more time on capturing photographs can offset the cost and make everyone look good.

We frequently work with companies who are all interested in photographs of the same project to show off their unique contributions to the building. With just a few additional shots for each profession’s interest, everyone can have images to use in their marketing materials and can split the cost evenly. The more the merrier!


Throughout this article, you’ve learned new things about the world of custom architectural photography. Hopefully you are now armed with all the knowledge you need, to take the next steps in creating photographs that enhance your brand and reflect the high quality work you and your team complete every day. So what are your next steps? If you’re ready to learn more about what we do, check out our portfolio, or request a quote. We would love to work with you!

Architectural Photography, Branding Photography, Marketing Photography, Brand Identity, Construction Photography, Engineering Photography, Architectural Photographer, Brand Storytelling, Professional Image, Brand Credibility.

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