People, SOM in the Press

How to Take the Perfect Architectural Photo

Lucas Blair Simpson on an aerial photo shoot in New York. Photo © Alex Miller

Source: Architectural Record

Photographs wield tremendous power. In the world of architecture, a captivating image can win editorial coverage for a project, attract a dream client, or lead to a prestigious award. In a larger sense, photographs can shape the perception of a building, influencing which works become icons or earn a place in the history books...

. . . global firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has a stable of regular photographers, but the office constantly searches for fresh talent. One key criterion: proof that a photographer can deftly manage light and shadow. “A lot of portfolios have a tremendous number of dusk shots,” says Lucas Blair Simpson, an SOM senior producer who oversees the firm’s photography. “They can be beautiful, but it’s an easy shot to achieve. We’re looking for a variety of conditions. We want to see if a photographer can get a great shot with direct sunlight, with sun and shadow part of the compositional conditions.” And Blair Simpson looks for a photographer who can handle unexpected challenges: “Even in the best-planned shoots, there’s going to be a hiccup,” he says.

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