Guidelines For a successful architectural or interior shoot
First, there should be a preliminary walk-through with the client to discuss the client’s needs.
We need to address certain important elements such as decorative foliage, artwork, lighting, window fixtures, etc. While it is not possible to predict the weather days in advance, it is important to establish the time of day the shoot will take place, as sunlight plays a major role in the final lighting scenario. We use an Apple iPhone 11 Pro to assist us in deciding the best angle, time of day, which images to include in our final shot selections, and organizing images. These images are then placed on a contact sheet and sent via e-mail to you. This saves considerable time and expense as once the images are selected, the guesswork is removed from the variables where location and time of day and composition is concerned. This allows us to further refine the images we've already selected through the use of our DSLR's, professional lighting, and editing within the frame.
Second, a schedule of shoot days and times must be created.
Since photographing the owner’s property is most decidedly an “invasion” of privacy and personal space, it is important to jointly create a schedule that allows the photographer the necessary freedom of movement.
Third, before the shoot can take place, set arrangements must be discussed and finalized.
This includes arrangement of furniture, floral settings, artwork, area dressing (such as area carpets, accessories), and so on. It is the client’s responsibility to prep the area to be photographed - walls painted, carpet areas vacuumed, all lights and fixtures properly working, all fluorescent and LED lights with consistent color, ceiling tiles uniform and visually flawless, windows and window treatments in proper working order. Clients must understand that it is their responsibility to effect maintenance of these areas. While the photographer is ultimately responsible for the image and everything in front of the lens, he cannot be held responsible for condition and/or maintenance issues out of his control.
Fourth, this type of photography is very time consuming.
Depending upon the client and nature of the project, each shot can take approximately 1-3 hours from setup to exposing the final frames. There are many variables involved in this type of work such as props, lighting, composition, and of course, camera operation. Therefore, the client is requested to exercise understanding and patience, as distractions or interruptions are detrimental to the process and will add to the overall shooting time, particularly when natural light is a component of the image.
Fifth, we use Apple laptops & iPads as a necessary part of the photographic process.
Most professionals engaged in architectural/interior photography rely on laptops for basic evaluation of composition and exposure as they work. Laptops have unquestionably changed the way photographers execute the shoot, and how they create the final image. As each new exposure is downloaded onto the laptop, it enables us to perfect the final shot, progressively, by editing and changing elements and lights within the set as necessary. iPads also enable the client to view the various stages in the process. However, laptops have their limitations. Remember that what you see on the Laptop or iPad are UNRETOUCHED raw files. To recap - laptops and iPads are used for position, composition, and basic exposure evaluation. Only after tweaking and color correcting the image in post production is it possible to see a finished piece.