Sunday, November 19, 2017
Feb 24 2015
Article by: Tampa Architectural Photographer Brian Swartzwelder
Project Location: Tampa, Florida

Now that the custom home is completed it’s time to think about capturing all the right elements of the house inside-and-out before moving on to the next project.

To many contractors, this might mean grabbing the tripod that’s kept in the pickup, the camera bag and lenses, and start shooting.

This might be ‘ok’ if there is little concern about marketing brochures, or photo galleries on a website. In fact, many homes are photographed without the use of an architectural photographer.

But knowing how to use all of the components in the shoot, from choosing the right lens, setting up that just-right side light, or waiting for the right time of day, adds immeasurable value to that very expensive home.

A weakness among DIY-photographers is not becoming familiar with the capability of each lens, and how to use it's settings to enhance each frame with the right composition and balance of lighting.

Even taking that all-important “test shot” is a step most experienced photographers strive for: it’s a way to refine the composition, lens setting and everything else affecting the desired effect.

One little known tip used by a lot of professional photographers is shooting a bit off the floor. Maybe a three-foot elevated shot will give more dimensional qualities to the composition---the effect is akin to what one might see if the study closely the photos in a magazine.

The unpracticed eye may want to ‘tilt’ the camera up or down, but the result is a often a distorted image.

Outside shots need the same methodical planning as shooting interiors. For example, setting the camera up so it is parallel to the house, but shifting the center point of the frame off, say, to the right brings an incredibly balanced feeling to the shot; this is particularly true when trees are a dominant part of the site.

Contact us to learn more about how we can capture the essence of your next custom-built home.

Feb 10 2015
Article by: Tampa Architectural Photographer Brian Swartzwelder

It seems fitting that home builders need to be concerned about marketing their new construction. After all, given the size of their investments, the idea is to move the properties as quickly as possible.

But when it comes to the custom home builder, those craftsmen who cater to a high-end customer, it becomes even more imperative to follow ‘best practices.’

And when it comes to custom high-end virtual tours, having blurry, or poorly lighted interiors, are just two examples that can turn would-be prospects away.

For sure, the virtual tour is more than a trend: it’s become a solid sales tool for any home builder. When using an experienced architectural photographer, special attention to features can deliver that ‘Wow!’ factor... both inside and out.

Viewers expect not only a 360 degree ‘tour’, but also meaningful 180’s as well. The basic configuration will the screen to not only rotate up and down, but left/right as well as zooming in/out.

Throughout the tour, viewers must feel really pulled into that living room or bedroom, while feeling fully immersed in all the home’s surroundings.

“Should I use aerial photography?”

Obviously, the right balance of different viewpoints lends itself to capturing the beauty of the home, it’s landscaping and it’s site location as well. Providing that perspective may require using a part of an aerial photo shoot to help orient the viewer to the surroundings: close to schools; shopping and metro, etc.


Contact us to learn more. We work with developers, and residential builders, to bring the right “Wow!” factor to their projects.

Feb 03 2015
Article by: Tampa Architectural Photographer Brian Swartzwelder
Project Location: Washington, DC

The drawbacks for DIY photographers ‘shooting’ their own new home construction projects are as varied as the materials that go into the building of their homes.

But contractor’s should push back on that urge to ‘shoot’ their newly finished homes, even though they may have the latest in camera gear and hundreds of shots under their belt.

But, one can’t begrudge the DIY spirit, or the photographs that, in the builder’s estimation, are good enough. Let’s face it, though, in a competitive market like new home construction, is good enough really going to cut it? Will the builder’s reputation suffer because his photo gallery fails to capture the home’s salient features?

Often, it’s those little things that the architectural photographer uses instinctually, like not shooting every room “straight on,” or taking the time to set up each and every shot with the best use of ambient and flash lighting.

As such, taking the time to walk through the rooms---and the outside landscape---provides the architectural photographer the chance to ‘frame’ the shots. Taking the time to study the strength of each room helps the photographer decide on which angles to shoot from.

The novice photographer may or may not know the importance of “bracketing,” or using a range of exposures; this helps in the post-production work in deciding which shots are the most remarkable...and marketable.

Contact us. Discover how we can help move your commercial construction project, or residential home, into the realm of showcase properties through on-site, or aerial, photography.

Jan 01 2015
Article by: Tampa Architectural Photographer Brian Swartzwelder
Project Location: Lithia, Florida

Successful builders usually are savvy about the time-is-money concept, and will not try to take on the marketing of their model home.

Still, they may be drawn to the idea of photographing their Builder Model Homes themselves because, after all, who else knows their home better than the hands who built it?

Granted, because they are successful builders, they often have the advantage of being able to buy the latest camera gear, thinking the equipment alone will do the job.

Mistakenly, they often go about the task by ‘shooting blindly’ from room-to-room and upstairs and outside. The fault in this strategy is multi-layered because there are so many elements comprising a successful shoot.

For instance, during certain times of the day the use of natural lighting may give that “Wow!” factor necessary to enhance key elements of the home, including the outside landscaping.

Instead, builder-photographers may not give much thought to ‘lighting.’ Instead, they rely on their new tablet, or photo app, to salvage their photos.

What’s needed in today’s competitive builder’s market is a proven architectural photographer who weaves lighting, composition and framing of each shot seamlessly; this, in such a way to leave the right photographic impression, thereby relieving the builder of time wasted away from what he does best: build quality-crafted homes.

The process often starts with the builder and the photographer sitting down to discuss the finished home. This might include looking at the plans before going to the site, or asking the builder what his philosophy is when it comes to each aspect of the construction.

Only then, can the true vision of the project come together in the photographer’s mind, allowing him to use his tools, from lenses to lighting, to deliver that vision.

Contact us. Discover why our clients recommend us, and how you’ll benefit from having truly engaging photographs, for website galleries or virtual tours.