City Photography: Using Surrounding Photography to Enhance a Client

I recently finished up a project for a client that was both time-sensitive and interesting. A client had just started construction on a condominium complex and needed photography to start the sales cycle. As the building was just coming out of the ground, they needed alternative images to show the vibrancy of life in the area. Armed with a list of locations and a request to avoid having to pull model releases, I set out.

Beautiful Jamaica Plains in Massachusetts

Jamaica Plains is a beautiful town with many iconic locations and key buildings, both modern and historical. In this shoot, I had to focus on capturing why people would want to live in this town and the location of the condo, all without being able to shoot the client’s structure.


The Importance of Shooting the Location as Well as the Building

While in this situation I was shooting the surrounding city’s architecture out of necessity, it’s a useful tool for any client in the real estate or hospitality industry. People want to know what’s near the place they will be buying or staying. Using perspective shoots from the building itself showing the views or even a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area is a great way of attracting clients by showing off your building’s location.


How to Shoot to Avoid Model Releases

As I mentioned above, I was requested to avoid needing model releases. There’s a couple of good reasons to avoid these. First, requesting a model release takes the spontaneity out of the shot. People knowing they are under photography act differently. Second, it can be time-consuming and you can miss great shots while having to track down people to get them to agree.


As I talked about in my blog, 10 Crazy Days of Unusual Professional Photography, to avoid having to get model releases, I make sure any people in the shot are blurred by being in motion, facing away from the camera, or take up less than 10% of the total image. Make sure to get the client to agree to these stipulations, especially if they want people in their shots.


Whether you’re a photography client or a photographer, knowing some of the following tips can help you get better shots:

  • Shoot Around Construction and Landscaping: Using perspective and a little image manipulation, you can better shoot around ongoing construction or landscaping.

  • When to Manipulate Photography: It’s important to use image manipulation to enhance photography, not to make something out of full cloth. Learn when it’s acceptable.

  • Staging Rooms in Real Estate and Hotels: It’s important to properly light and stage rooms for interior photography. Check out this blog for more information.

I pride myself on my ability to hit the ground running and shoot both fast and professionally. I got this assignment on a Thursday, shot twilight images on Friday night, daylight on Saturday morning, and delivered the final 450 files on Tuesday (it was raining all other days). If you’re looking for a professional architectural photographer who can help you regardless of circumstance, it’s time to contact me at Shupe Studios.