What is the value of architectural photography? Before I answer that question, let us take a look at a few statistics about photography. In 2020 1,436,300,000,000 photos were taken, and 90% of all our available data has been produced in the past two years! Of the 1.4 trillion annual photos taken, only 7% were taken with a professional camera. Never has our society been so visual, so how do we put value on Architectural Photography?
Considering that architectural photography is such a small niche market, the value may start with the time, experience, and technical abilities it takes to become proficient at this type of photography. Still, I think it comes from a different perspective. It is a perceived value coming from the architect and their needs for presentations, promotion, and more importantly, a visual record of their project.
After the trucks leave and the building's construction has finished, the only representation of the architect's work is the images that capture all the detail and help tell a story of the architect's vision. I know the building is in place, and the client now occupies the space, but that cannot communicate all the details of the project like photography can. This is accomplished with the cooperation of both the photographer and architect, exchanging ideas and working together to realize the architect's vision and story through the images.
After the photography is edited, processed, completed, and delivered to the client, this is where the real value is realized. The architect can enhance this value with their use of the images in addition to the marketing with the use in competitions in their industry, artwork in the office showcasing their achievements, and submitting to trade and national publications. The value is based on how the architect perceives and uses the photograph for their business and personal advancement!