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So Why is a Background in Architectural Photography Useful to Somebody Who Wants to Photograph People?


I used to joke that I photograph architecture because buildings don’t move around nearly so much as people do.  But truth is, good architectural photos—photos of buildings and interior spaces—include people.  The inhabitants and users of a space animate an otherwise static scene.

In my photos of buildings I often go to some length to include people in a natural, un-posed way to capture an image that doesn’t appear staged or scripted.  Over the years I’ve learned to blend in—as much as you can with a camera and tripod—and wait.  Wait for people to walk by as they do during their daily routine.  Wait until the novelty of a stranger in the room becomes uninteresting, and the students or staff or patrons go back to what they were doing.

So photographing people in buildings is very much like photographing people.  There is a shift in emphasis: not so much intentional blurring of moving people into ‘action figures’, for example.

And not so obviously maybe, a history in architectural photography brings with it a well practiced awarness of and sensativity to environment. Capturing the ambiance that is generated by human activity.

All in all not a bad way to come into it.

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