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Hiring An Architectural Photographer? Here's What To Look For

Hiring An Architectural Photographer? Here's What To Look For

ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHER’S HAVE SPECIALIZED SKILLS

It’s important to realize that architectural photography is a specialty within the vast profession of commercial photography. With the profession of architectural photography comes a variety of specialized tools, skills and knowledge of the craft. This includes but not limited to; knowledge of industry standard business practices within the architectural community and specialized post production skills to overcome visual obstacles such as exposure blending and advanced compositing and retouching. To put it another way, an architectural photographer will have a completely different set of skills and knowledge than a wedding or wildlife photographer would have.

Architectural Fine Art Bridge Series | Brian Rodgers Jr. | Digital Art That Rocks

Charleston Fine Art Bridge #1 (Photographed in Charleston, SC)

Charleston Fine Art Bridge #1 (Photographed in Charleston, SC)

This is a three part architectural fine art series that I created recently while one location in Charleston, South Carolina. Though today I'm a working professional in the world commercial photography, I've been an artist my entire life. I've enjoyed creating art with many mediums over the years including but not limited to drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and music. This short series is an homage to those years of studying the elements and principles of design such as line, form, shape, repetition, space color, texture, and rhythm. 

Charleston Fine Art Bridge #2 (Photographed in Charleston, SC)

Charleston Fine Art Bridge #2 (Photographed in Charleston, SC)

Truth be told, this series didn't happen intentionally. I didn't seek out the creation of these images, in fact they found me. I was traveling in South Carolina and had an opportunity to hop on a boat and spend a good portion of the day on the Atlantic ocean. While on the boat, I saw many things that caught my eye, including some nearby dolphins. But I've always been fascinated with bridges for some reason. They also bear many philosophical meanings. I photographed these bridges traveling at least 40 mph. With my camera in hand, I quickly composed and framed this series of bridge photographs capturing what naturally came to my mind's eye. I’m always intrigued by finding the simplicity in something so seemingly complex. 

Charleston Fine Art Bridge #3 (Photographed in Charleston, SC)

Charleston Fine Art Bridge #3 (Photographed in Charleston, SC)

This fine art bridge series isn't about technical approach. It's not about documenting the environment in which the bridge exists. It's about creating a mood, and a feeling. I think these images offer the viewer a haunting beauty. These images are desolate in the fact that there are no clouds floating around in the sky... as if everything is at a stand still. There are no moving cars. No people. Just metal structures in the sky with a lot of negative space, repetitive lines, shape and form. But deeper than that, a sense of mystery and alternate thinking. 

I think it's important that we don't always take things at face value. Many things in life have much deeper meanings. Look at the before and after of this architectural image. It may look like a pretty mundane image at first glance, however when meticulously processed in black and white the image takes on a completely different mood.  

Be sure to check out my architectural photography portfolio HERE. Some of my local markets include South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Chicago, Grand Rapids, and Lansing to name a few. Architectural Imagery from Digital Art That Rocks can help you advertise your space to fill it with customers, sell a client on your architectural/construction services or even help your marketing team furnish a hotel with large fine art prints. If my work resonates with you, please let me know how I can be of service.

Brian Rodgers Jr. | Commercial Photographer/Digital Artist | Digital Art that Rocks LLC
www.digitalartthatrocks.com | Contact Brian
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Beyond Asphalt - Photographing A Road Construction Crew | A Digital Art That Rocks Photo Series

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I Am The Highway

One thing that was particularly interesting about this location shoot, is that I had no physical address to plug in to my GPS. Just multiple locations on various stretches of highway in tandem with my own set of eyes. Luckily, it's pretty easy to spot a road crew as traffic begins to slow down a bit.

This wasn't my first rodeo pulling workers away from their day job in order to create their portrait. It was however my first time photographing people alongside a major stretch of a highway, which brought another level of intensity to this project. Anytime your photographing people and pulling them away from their job, means you need to respect their time and work fast. To stay safe in an environment like this, you also have to use your peripheral vision to keep an eye out for hot asphalt, large machinery & on coming traffic, all the while making sure your equipment is non obtrusive and portable enough to move at a moments notice.     

 

Beyond Asphalt

As most assignments go, you don't always know what's in store for any given photo shoot. I recently had a location assignment to photograph an asphalt company and follow their road construction crew around for a day.

It couldn't have been better day for an outdoor shoot. The morning started off with a warm glowing haze on the horizon alongside a clean, cool, Indiana breeze. Creating some illustrious contours, the the sun made it's presence known in the early hours of summer as it spilled over the backlit mountainscape of bronze asphalt. In northern Indiana, this is about as close as you're going to get to actual mountains. 

Light is the language of photography. And as a commercial photographer, I'm constantly observing & studying the properties of light. Whether I'm using the sun as my main light source or as a backlight, when shooting outdoors, I'm particularly cognizant of the sun's position at all times, using it to shape and creatively light my subjects. Whether it's a portrait or an object, knowing how to work with and shape light is absolutely crucial. 

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I created a lot of imagery that day. But I'd say the hardest portrait to create was Peter (seen holding the stop/slow sign). I saw him from afar and just thought to myself, I have to make this guys portrait. He look like he had character and personality. Luckily, he was an awesome guy to work with and very receptive to having his portrait made. Despite the small amount of time we had to work together, we managed to have a good conversation and mutual respective for one another. 

We literally had less than 3 minutes or less between each set of moving traffic. You have to remember, we're in the middle of the highway. He has traffic stopped in one direction, so traffic from the opposite direction can get through. So I had to work extremely fast; moving my equipment into the middle of the road, creating dynamic portraits and then moving the hell out of the way. I did this at least 3 times before I had the shots in my minds eye.  

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When doing a photo shoot like this, you have to remember, that these guys are not used to being photographed, especially while doing their job. Despite their serious expressions, these guys were fantastic to work with. I believe we established a mutual respect for one another, and I sure respect the hell out them for working in the elements the way they do. This line of work can be extremely dangerous due to extreme temperatures, and operating large machinery.  

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As a commercial photographer, you have to be ready for almost anything. Though I specialize in product & architectural photography, I also believe that learning the disciplines of other types of photography can really help you on any given shoot. This outdoor industrial shoot is a perfect example of cultivating skillsets from various genres of photography and bringing them together on set to create a strong collection of imagery that simultaneously shows creative vision & technical proficiency. 

Knowing how illuminate someones face to create that classic painterly rembrandt triangle was not by accident. Being cognizant of the sun's position and using it backlight my subject and create a beautiful rim light that works harmoniously with my off camera flash, was not an accident. Shooting in the middle of the day, and still being able to create that amazing shallow depth of field to separate my subject from the background, was not by accident.

Hiring a professional commercial photographer can make all the difference on your next project. If you're serious about creating great imagery Contact Brian for a custom estimate based on your needs.

Brian Rodgers Jr. | Commercial Photographer/Digital Artist | Digital Art that Rocks LLC
www.digitalartthatrocks.com | Contact Brian
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