Architectural photography highlights buildings and other engineered marvels by communicating a view of the built world that people might not normally see. In many cases, architectural photography doesn’t just document structures, but also offers a personal interpretation of these monuments by using various techniques to accentuate their forms and add visual context.
Here are 15 photographers whose love of architecture and unique point-of-view combine to create beautiful Instagram feeds.
Sebastian Weiss is a photographer and photo columnist for Architectural Digest Germany. His extensive training as a civil engineer is the reason for which he has developed such an informed perspective on the aesthetics of architecture. A scroll through his feed demonstrates his passion for concrete forms and abstract shapes through its celebration of and attention to structural details.
“I intend to liberate buildings from their spatial context and known surroundings by breaking the city’s essence down to the substance," he has said to Dezeen regarding his photographic style. "I search for the interaction of forms, materials, and structures.”
Photography tip: Contemporary architecture often calls for an equally modern style of photography. Experiment with angles, lenses, and cropping to create abstract images that highlight sculptural patterns and forms.
Self-taught French photographer Matthieu Venot’s Instagram feed is a pastel-colored paradise. He gives his architectural surroundings a fresh and exuberant perspective, turning the everyday into the sublime. Matthieu shoots only on blue-sky days to ensure a clean, flat background and vibrant colors. He zooms in on specific details of buildings, such as balconies and staircases, to create strong geometrical compositions.
Nelson Garrido is a Portuguese architectural photographer who has travelled all around the world for his work. As a commercial photographer, he spends entire days on assignments in order to capture buildings in various lighting conditions. His style sometimes involves including people within a frame to give a better sense of human scale.
Photography tip: Architectural photography without people can highlight the purity of a structure's form. However, keep in mind that since architecture is designed to be used, lived, and worked in, adding these subjects to your architectural photography can give your work a greater sense of life and humanity.
Ema Peter is a Vancouver-based photographer who works within the architectural and interior design communities across North America. As an architectural photographer, Ema believes her job is to shoot images that enable people to explore new spaces without ever actually setting foot in them. Her goal is to give justice to structures by allowing the projects to truly shine in photos.
Building engineer, photographer, and architect Johan Tägtström brings an interesting perspective to architecture. Often taken from an extreme angle that is either looking up or down, Johan’s photography accentuates lines, shapes, and patterns through his creative compositions.
Photography tip: Make a habit of looking up and down as you walk around your own city. You’ll find interesting angles, shapes, and patterns when you look at architecture from different points-of-view. It might even give you a greater appreciation for the beauty that can be found in the everyday.
If you love twentieth-century architecture, Darren Bradley's Mod Architecture is the Instagram account for you. Darren photographs both well- and lesser-known modernist masterpieces, finding fresh and inventive ways to capture each architect’s vision.
His photography accentuates the bold forms and repetition found in modernist architecture, while still presenting buildings in the context of their surroundings. He also shoots in a variety of weather conditions in order to enhance the effects of light and shadow on the atmosphere of each image.
Photography tip: Experiment shooting a single building during different times of day and in varied weather conditions to paint a fuller picture. Also, consider the spatial context of a building to convey how it relates to its surrounding environment.
John Gollings is a renowned Australian photographer who has been creating stunning images for over four decades. His photography documents the evolution of modern architecture by capturing both historical and contemporary examples of architecture.
Retouching is an intrinsic component of architectural photography; whether it’s polishing images for commercial purposes or creating dramatic effects for more artistic projects. Paul Eis is an architecture student and photographer whose work focuses on giving European buildings a colorful makeover.
He snaps modern architecture with distinct shapes (and typically indistinct colors) then uses post-processing techniques to highlight these structures with rainbow hues set against a flat blue background. The result is a striking work of art that offers a new perspective on the European cityscape.
Photography tip: Play around with unusual, out-of-the-box techniques to process and retouch images in order to creatively enhance your shot's overall aesthetic.
Nicole Struppert creates geometric and minimalist compositions with her photographs. By finding inspiration in the world around her, her images become an intimate reflection of the way she views her surroundings. In an interview with The Phoblographer, she shares, “My photographs are all about how I see the world, or incredible experiences I think are worth recording. When it comes to architectural compositions, I look through my viewfinder and try to find unusual perspectives, what no one might have seen."
In 2015, Nicole also founded the website Women in Photography, creating a valuable platform to inspire, encourage, and display fellow female photographers’ work.
Photography tip: Buildings are comprised of intricate parts—both big and small. Explore the finer details of architecture to tell another story about the building’s history or construction.
Montse Zamorano is an architect who also shoots architectural photography. It’s a pathway that many architectural photographers naturally take, as it provides them with an inherent understanding of a building’s construction and design. In her own words, Montse "translates and visually [synthesizes]" an architect’s ideas to showcase their work and help them express their brand.
“I think it is very important to have a direct relationship with the architect in order to understand the ideas and intentions pursued through [their] work,” Montse tells Arch Daily, “What characterizes my photography is that it adapts to the needs of each project at all times.”
As a photographer, Fernando Guerra believes his goal is to create an impartial image that communicates the building as it is in the real world without manipulation or judgement. “My job is to be a messenger," he tells Arch Daily. "I have to absorb what is there to convey it to others and I have to have the humility to see that the day is not about me but about the work and the architect."
Sandra Pereznieto collaborates with Mexican and Spanish architects, photographing the private and public spaces they design. But Sandra doesn’t just photograph them once. She re-photographs buildings over time to create a deeper understanding of how these structures mature—both functionally and aesthetically—and how people adapt to them as they age.
Tekla Evelina Severin is a Stockholm-based interior architect who has since expanded into the worlds of art direction, set design, and photography after joining Instagram in 2012. Her strong, graphic aesthetic places the focus on color and composition, often highlighting contrasting hues, patterns, and shapes. Her feed features interesting photographic research on architecture and interiors, often spotting the unique potential in seemingly bland surroundings.
Photography tip: Be open and look out for the beauty in the ordinary. As Teklan tells AnOther magazine: “What’s interesting changes with time–the aim is to move forward. Sometimes I could just happen to stumble on a great-looking detail in an ugly-looking back street. I’m not searching for concrete things, like the color pink or arc shapes. I just know it when I see it. Like a gut feeling.”
Melbourne-based photographer Tom Blachford showcases architecture in a new light—specifically, in this case, moonlight. His 'Midnight Modern' project shot in Palm Springs began one night after dinner when he wanted to capture something different from what every other tourist was shooting. It just so happened that that night, the sky was lit up by a full moon.
This dark and moody setting gives this Californian-style of architecture a mysterious and otherworldly quality. Similarly, his latest series, which is shot in Venice, adds a new dimension and narrative to another prolifically over-photographed travel destination.
Photographer Brett Patman's Lost Collective is a visual record of abandoned and everyday buildings—ones that passerby might not normally look twice at. As Patman demonstrates, architectural photography isn’t just about photographing the best architecture, it’s about finding the best in architecture—any architecture.
Brett’s images are evocative, communicating feelings of nostalgia, abandonment, and neglect; almost romanticizing these forgotten bars and run-down, roadside motels. “It’s that whole notion of creating something beautiful from seemingly mundane everyday scenes," he shares with Vice. "Most of my work has a kind of melancholic seediness to it."