Photographing Buildings Simplified – How I Make A Complicated Photography Thing Easy

Photographing Buildings Simplified

Photographing buildings might seem like a daunting prospect, but it does not need to be. Buildings are an endless source of inspiration, interest and subject matter. And most of us have been in a building, so a great part of photography to be in.

To make photographing buildings easy we need to break this down into its component parts,

  • Taking the photos
  • The gear that you use to take the photos (and don’t use)
  • Processing the images

Breaking this down, and looking at each in turn, gives us a fighting chance of making this a doable, even easy thing to do.

What if I just use a phone?

I will cover this as well. I add this question to everything that I write about and talk about.

I will cover each of these in separate blog posts, this post introduces the simplification process. The point of all of this lot is that photographing buildings does not need to be hard. You just need to work at it, practise, practise practise. And think about what you are doing and how you approach this.

Who am I?

I am a professionally qualified photographer, an Associate Member of the British Institute of Professional Photography – ABIPP.

I am also professionally qualified in construction, being a Member of the Chartered Institute of Building – MCIOB.

Not a bad start eh?

And I have been working professionally in construction for many years, and photographing buildings for just as long.

So I know this stuff ok?

More on the other things that I do that can help you at the end of this post.

What are the types of building photography?

Well, I have already covered this in another excellent blog post – Let Me Tell You What The 10 Types Of Architectural Photography Are

Architectural Photography?

Yeah, architectural photography. See this is where things can get a bit messed up in my opinion. Architectural photography is the term used for many types of building photography, but this does not make sense to me.

Building photography should be called, erm building photography. It is the photographing of buildings. This is why I am championing the term “building photography” as the all-encompassing term to cover the photographing of buildings.

For me architectural photography is one type of building photography, and not the other way around.

Building photography explained

To be clear, building photography is the photographing of buildings. Any building, at any stage in it’s life. Be it construction of a new building, to photographing a nice church, to taking photos for an architect. This is all building photography.

Sorry, this bugs me and I want to fix it!

So, the three areas I have broken this down into are

Taking the photos

This starts with what you are photographing, and why. It is important to know what you are doing and why you are doing it. And if you don’t know yet no worries, I will give you some things to think about that will help you.

Once we have worked this out, how are you going to take the photos?

I approach different subjects in slightly different ways, depending if I am taking the photos for a client, or for me for whatever future use.

And the size, location and type of building will influence this as well. As is what the light is doing, how it relates to and interacts with a building. Very important.

Yes, starting with the end in mind is a great way to work.

And there is my secret trick that I use to help me get the compositions that I want.

Walking around…… Yes really.

The gear that you use to take the photos (and don’t use)

Gear is of course important. You need gear to take photos. But you need the gear that you need for a building, which might be different for another building.

And you do not need all your gear all the time. That was the mistake that I was making, that I have thankfully learned from.

I take the gear that I need on a shoot and no more, and you might be surprised by just how little gear I use.

Processing the images

This needs to be done to present a building at its best, but while still being faithful to the buildings size, shape and proportions. Unless you are doing something funky that is, which is also fine. It does depend though on what you are doing with the photos – don’t give a real estate agent a set of funky photos – they will not thank you for that.

What if I just use a phone?

I will cover this in each section – it is important to remember that there are many photographers who only use a phone to take photos. I tell you folk what you might be missing out on, and why you might want to get a camera. But I also tell you stuff that will help you if you are happy to use a phone and no more.

Which is just fine with me.

My course – How To Become A Real Estate Photographer

I have created a course which you can find out more about here. My style of course, no frills, no bull, just me telling you everything that you need to know to become a real estate photographer, and no more.

The Photography Explained Podcast

I am the creator and all things at the splendid Photography Explained Podcast. In my podcast I explain one photographic thing per episode in plain English without the irrelevant details in less than, well less than 27 (ish) minutes these days.

I talk about all aspects of photography in my podcast, and welcome questions from listeners that I love answering.

My Blog

If you are reading this you have found my blog. Check it out – there is lots more stuff about building photography, ok architectural photography, construction photography, real estate photography. And Lightroom and all that good stuff too.

My You Tube channel

Yes I have a You Tube channel, where I talk about what I have written on my blog. Check out the video for this post right here.

Again no frills, no bull, just me telling you the stuff that you need to know.

Get a weekly email from me to you

Yep, if you want to receive an email from me every week then fill in the form on this page – there will be one somewhere. And in return I will send you a splendid Lightroom thing, and you will receive my thoughts straight to your inbox on a Friday afternoon. Which is nice.

OK – how can I find out more about this stuff?


Get in touch with me – email me –

Get in touch, ask me a question that I can answer on my blog or podcast, or just say hi – it would be great to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting my small but perfectly formed website, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers from me Rick


Rick McEvoy

I am Rick McEvoy, an architectural and construction photographer living and working in the South of England. I create high quality architectural photography and construction photography imagery of the built environment for architects and commercial clients. I do not photograph weddings, families, small people or pets - anything that is alive, moves or might not do as I ask!! I am also the creator of the Photography Explained Podcast, available on all major podcast providers. I have a blog on my website where I write about my work and photography stuff. Rick McEvoy ABIPP, MCIOB

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