Architectural photographers that inspire us

Every person who is fascinated by architecture is also bound to be an admirer of architectural photography. It is one of the broadest subjects in the field of photography and also one of the most challenging. Most of the photographers like to pursue it as it looks an easy practice to capture the immovable objects and while following the rulebook of photography compositions. However, it takes a tremendous amount of skill and perseverance to bring forth the beauty within the architecture. Very few photographers become successful at creating the masterpieces that capture the essence and the emotions hidden in the buildings within the frozen moment of time. Here are our picks of such awe-inspiring photographers.

1. Hufton + Crow

Nick Hufton and Alan Crow are a photography duo that works together in tandem to produce some of the most stunning contemporary architecture photographs. Their style of working consists of either shooting simultaneously or one of them shooting whilst the other provides creative inputs and critiques.

Tree Hotel, Sweden | Image courtesy: Hufton+Crow

Since they started out with analogue cameras before the dive into digital photography, Hufton + Crow’s approach to every project is to pay attention to the minute details in order to get the right composition.

2. Sebastian Weiss

Working under the pseudonym ‘Le Blanc’, Sebastien Weiss is an architectural photographer, BFF Professional and photo columnist for AD Architectural Digest Germany. His style involves capturing the details he finds on buildings, especially those in concrete, and then using social media as a platform to showcase them.

Weiss is popular for his principle of wanting to abstract the architecture from its spatial context, thereby showcasing the interaction of forms, materials and structures. Owing to his experimentation with the technical workflow of mobile photography, Weiss is seen to produce photographs that follow the norms of ‘Instagram aesthetics’, yet showcase every detail.

Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Lisbon | Image courtesy: Sebastian Weiss

3. Fabrice Fouillet

Fabrice Fouillet is an architectural photographer who collaborates with advertising agencies and magazines in the areas of Architecture and Still Life. He is known for his personal research that aims to explore the notion of identity and the relationship of man with his immediate environment.

Musée des Confluences, Lyon | Image Courtesy: Fabrice Fouillet

Fouillet’s field of interest has helped him pave a niche for himself because his work favours a thorough architectural approach and stems from a particular outlook and idea, serving uncluttered aesthetics. 

4. Fernando Guerra

Fernando Guerra is a Portuguese architectural photographer who has been involved in the field for over 19 years. He opened studio FG+SG together with his brother, and hence, both of them have played a huge role in diffusing of Portuguese contemporary architecture.

He has been a pioneer in the way architecture is photographed and divulged. As an architect himself, Guerra realised that he could capture the spatiality of architecture by wandering, scrutinizing, and associating ideas, shapes, dimensions. Therefore, as a photographer, he tends to examine his subjects on a more emotional level.

Guelmim Airport, Morocco | Image Courtesy: Fernando Guerra

5. Roland Halbe

Roland Halbe is an architectural photographer who has been working in the field since 1988. Halbe’s personal fascination with good architecture and how it reacts with light, geometrical forms and symmetries whilst maintaining a relationship with surroundings and people has allowed him to earn international commissions from architects, agencies and all kinds of media outlets.

Halbe’s methodology includes moving around/in and outside the building, following the light and life of the building for a few days, depending on the size and complexity of the project. This allows him to capture the spaces mentally first and thereafter, translate these into photographs.

Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janerio | Image Courtesy: Roland Halbe

6. Daniel Hewitt

Daniel Hewitt is a photographer who, is based in the UK, and spent around a decade pursuing academic interests in philosophy, architecture, and law, whilst specialising in the philosophy of architectural aesthetics.

He is known to divide his time for personal and commercial projects, wherein the personal projects explore philosophical questions in architecture and the built environment. Whereas with his commercial projects, Hewitt tries to understand and capture the conceptual basis for the design and to depict this with a sensitivity for spatial qualities, materials, structure, how the building is used, and how it integrates into a broader geographical context.

Barbican Estate, London | Image courtesy: Daniel Hewitt

7. Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley is a sought-after architectural photographer who has gained popularity for his unique “light painting with speedlights” technique. He also produces tutorials for capturing different types of architecture under a variety of lighting conditions, which could be sought and manipulated.

Mixing artificial light, natural ambient light, and high powered strobe light, Mike’s images create a “hyper-realistic” mood that has become a staple in the commercial and advertising world. Unlike traditional techniques such as single long exposures or high dynamic range renders, Mike’s light painting technique allows him to have the most amount of control over every light source seen in his images.

8. Nic Granleese

Nic Granleese is a self-described ‘registered but non-practising architect’ based out of Melbourne. Not only is Nic involved in architectural photography, but his services also include putting together project data and information into a comprehensive media package.

Owing to his own visualization skills as an architect, Nic’s photographs are a direct translation of his interpretation of architecture. He deems elements like lines, shapes and textures and the relationship of the built with its environment as the key features that must be captured.

Hill House, Melbourne | Image Courtesy: Nic Granleese

9. Mike Hollman

Based out of New Zealand, Mike Hollman is a commercial photographer specialized in capturing architecture, hotels and resorts, landscape and travel. He is a Master of Photography and Fellow with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography.

Hollman’s architectural photographs portray a certain element of rawness because he manages to capture structures with the vision that it was initially designed in. Basic design elements such as symmetry and hierarchy are highlighted within his pictures, allowing the viewer to virtually experience exactly what a physical user would have in the given time and place.

Wanjing Soho, Beijing | Image Courtesy: Mike Hollman

10. Nick Guttridge

Nick Guttridge is a Central Saint Martins graduate working as a Location Photographer specializing in architecture, interiors and dance photography. His work is mainly concerned with serving architects and designers to document interiors and exteriors.

Through thoughtful, carefully composed and illuminated imagery, Nick has come to be known for carefully including movement in his photographs, thereby increasing a structure’s spatial significance. His post-processing also shows his attention to details and attempt to bring out the colours in every image, which automatically makes space feel lively.

11. Connie Zhou

Connie Zhou is an architectural photographer who brings a distinct touch to her photographs through her vision that everything has a graphic nature to it. She dived into the field with her ability to portray that all her subjects i.e. buildings and structure, can appear to be graphically pleasing.

Zhou starts with a concept of what feeling or aspect of the space her photograph should portray. Her work is documentary in [the sense of] capturing the reality of a space. Having been brought up in New York City, Zhou’s sense of form and balance emerged from her own surroundings. Self-admittedly, she is drawn to weird, obscure and futuristic architecture, which results in her producing compositions that are ‘strange’.

Image courtesy: Connie Zhou

About the author

Mahika Kothawade, a 21-year old Mass Comm. student with a prior 2 years experience in the study of Architecture. She has a drive and fascination for all things fashion, lifestyle and spaces.

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