The Houzz community has a wide range of services and service providers, many united in the need for quality photography showcasing their built projects. There are many ways to photograph a home and many photographers to work with. And many factors come into play in commissioning a photographer. Knowing what kind of photographer you may hire or can afford will help you as you look at the pricing and the fees photographers charge. Here is a discussion of some of the types of photographers an architect, designer or homeowner might hire and what to expect from their background and experience.
1. Architectural or Interior Photographers What they do: A professional architectural or interior photographer often has years of specialized experience photographing architectural interiors and exteriors. He or she knows how to show a space and the circulation within the space. Architects also like the photographer to show the relationship of inside to outside. These photographers own a vast assortment of equipment that they can deploy depending on the assignment and shooting needs. Commonly they do extensive postproduction work, like with Photoshop, to deliver very high-resolution photos that are often intended for publication. What they don't usually do: Architectural or interior photographers aren't necessarily prepared for portraits or casual shots. The gear they use is often big and on a tripod — shooting people or loose compositions is not what they most often do. The process is more exacting, not spontaneous.
2. Real Estate Photographers What they do: A subset of the architectural and interior photography field, real estate photography is often characterized by a photographer working quickly, making few adjustments to the composition or to the arrangement with the room. Real estate photographers may bring a stylized look to the photos with photo editing software such as Photoshop. What they don't usually do: Typically a real estate photographer and the commissioning party do not expect to use the photos for long. The photographer's fee could be considered a sunk cost as soon as the property is sold. As a result, style and the overall design story aren't usually the focus in these photos.
3. Portrait or Wedding Photographers What they do: Capturing the moment, telling a story and knowing the light are some of the best skills a portrait or wedding photographer can bring to their subjects. These are working professionals who also offer enhancing Photoshop services to make the finished photo better. What they don't usually do: These photos tend to be less controlled than standard home photos. They're less about composition than about capturing the perfect moment. This is quite different from architectural photographers, who now often composite a number of photos in Photoshop to create a single, perfect shot.
4. Commercial Photographers What they do: A skilled commercial photographer takes photos for use in advertising, merchandising or other types of marketing material. These photographers are very well versed in the mechanics of photography; composing, exposing and delivering high-resolution files for commercial use is standard practice. What they don't usually do: Since they have a specific client and audience in mind, many commercial photographers won't focus on trends in styling or art directing for portfolio and magazine shots.
If You Want to Do It Yourself Of course, if you have an interest in photography, you may want to go the DIY route. Today the camera and equipment needed to make high-resolution photos is in a cost range accessible by many serious amateurs and the designers themselves. A keen eye and patience can go a long way to get some good photos. Practice makes perfect, though! Do your research. Look at inspiring examples and try to implement their style. Discuss your photos with peers, take a class and then practice some more.
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