As we’ve mentioned in an earlier post "TRG Realities 25 "Necessities,"there are quite a few perks our team enjoys, but it’s possible we may have missed a couple. Getting flown all over the world to do what we love in beautiful and amazing spaces that were created by some of the best architects and designers in the business should certainly be on that list. Being able to say that we’re responsible for images as pretty as these could certainly be another. Though we love to – and pretty much do – photograph everything at TRG, from models, to specialty products, to animals, and more, some of our favorite photography moments (and prettiest if you ask Craig from our Digital department) have stemmed from our architectural shoots. It may seem like taking pictures of the exterior and interior of a building wouldn’t be all that thrilling compared to some of the other people and products we shoot, but it is, and here’s why.  

Consider this for a moment: architecture is art. Someone took a painstaking amount of time to plan out, design, and create that building or that room. Every detail – from the species of tree chosen for the hardwood floors, to the detail work in the crown molding, to the color palate of the furniture, to the veining of the marble countertops – must be carefully planned and executed in order to maximize impact. Our photographers take all of that into consideration when setting up to capture the perfect shot that will accurately and effectively portray all of that stunning design work.

When we arrive at the building we are going to shoot, we must first contemplate the style of the structure. Is it modern, industrial, craftsman? We then meet with the client to discuss the vision and goal of the project. We like to look at it from the perspective that we are photographing someone else’s art, their design. We try to analyze their thought process in developing the project, the architectural plans, and the design of the space so that we can discover the best way to capture that.

For example, when shooting the exterior of a building, we will shoot it multiple times throughout the day, because depending on how the golden rays of morning or the dusky rose light of twilight strike the face of the building, that will create a different picture and a different mood. These shoots are usually long days, but the results are what make the project so much fun. Though the building is static, the way the light plays off its surface will vary greatly, creating a multitude of images that each convey their own story. Shooting exteriors is fairly easy, but we do have to get it at the perfect light while making sure there isn’t an ugly dumpster or random delivery van in the background. We want to create that perfect moment in the perfect shot.

The second we get inside of the building, we have a lot more variables to deal with. When we first walk in, we search for the best angle to showcase the entire space, and then we work with what is physically in that space. We want to create an image that will make people say “I want to live there.” Often times, we come into an interior space that has been beautifully and meticulous dressed by a professional, staging the room in order to sell that apartment or condo. Though our client has no doubt spent a lot of time and money setting up that design, sometimes it doesn’t translate well in the photos. We may have to remove items, rearrange furniture, add a desk lamp, etc. We’ll set exposures to make sure things are lit and highlighted properly, in order to maximize the effect of lighting within the space. We have to balance the interior ambient light with the exterior natural light. We may have to supplement with studio lighting to make it look bright and inviting. All of this moves us towards the objective: to make the space look styled and lived in, but not by anyone in particular.  

You can tell when you see the photos that not only did we put a lot of work into nailing that shot, but the designers also put in a tremendous amount of work in getting it ready. And this is why our clients return to us. Having proper marketing materials brings in the clientele they are looking for, and that’s what we’re doing by creating those stunning shots. Most real estate pictures are terrible. They don’t accurately reflect the scale and magnificence of a space; however, if the time and care are taken to capture that flawless image, our client will get exactly the tenants that they are looking for. 

In addition to real estate, we have also photographed historic buildings and landmarks. The approach our photographer must take in that style of shoot is similar to photographing a renovated or modern building, but there is a slightly different sensibility. The landmark sites are usually not as fresh or up-to-date as the more modern buildings, so we have to give it a little more style, creating an image that reflects the time in which the building was constructed. We’re taking this building or space, and we’re trying to capture it in a way that stays true to what the original architect was envisioning. 

At TRG, we appreciate good design. When we walk into these buildings and landmarks, we can tell when someone is a true master of their craft, especially in a building that has been renovated with modern amenities but still holds all of its historical charm. What we do with our photography is highlight someone else’s time and effort. We like to think that, in a way, we’re paying homage to it.

For more stunning architectural photography by TRG Reality, check out our photo album on Facebook.