Archiporn: 6 Keys to a Successful (and Insta-Worthy) Photoshoot

You're in for a real treat today, architects. We have a sexy, vivacious brunette here to talk to you about the salacious topic of archiporn...

In the interests of full disclosure, the brunette is not sexy. Nor that vivacious, to be honest.


The brunette is me. Sorry for getting your hopes up...

Archiporn: those beautiful images we fawn over in books, magazines and, increasingly, online. The ones that give us an intimate look at the homes we want to live in, the buildings we want to visit and the designs that make us go, 'oooohh... whoa. I did NOT know you could do THAT!'

Just like actual porn, archiporn is a multi-billion dollar industry (I have no proof of this, but it must be a lot, right?). It decks the windows of bookstores, sells the heck out of magazines, chews up countless server farms worth of virtual real-estate and consumes several nations' worth of processing power in the, well, process. People pore over Dwell, Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram and, shucks, even my own little site, Lunchbox Architectaddicted to these titillating images. They're imagining a better life for themselves, looking for ideas and inspiration and, let's face it, taking a quick break from the mundanity (totally a word) of their daily routine. Archiporn is an escape; an outlet.

Whether you're into it or not, the internet has transformed the way the public engages with architecture. They're double-tapping, commenting, sharing, pinning and generally admiring architecture all over the internet. They're developing a growing eye (and appetite) for design. 

Just a couple of decades ago, Nescafe Blend 43 was considered a top cuppa. Now, people are discussing the nectarine notes in their single-origin espresso. The same is happening with architecture. While I'm yet to taste a nectarine in my short black, people are increasingly recognising the nuances of quality architecture and they're ready to taste it themselves.

That's why you need to get your architectural photography right. The public is savvy now and they're not interested in instant coffee when they can get fresh beans, perfectly extracted, with the click of a button.

We'll discuss the virtues and trappings of social media at a later date, but unlike the media landscape of the past with a limited number of journals and newspapers willing and able to publish architecture, where only the big, established firms would get any publicity, today you can get your projects published easily and for less than the cost of a cup of Blend 43: it's a real opportunity for you to flaunt what you've got and show off your projects to a potentially huge audience.

Of course, not every Instagrammer or Pinterester is going to become your next client, but just like attracting clients to your website, the more attention you can garner, the more people you can educate about the benefits of architecture, building your supply of interested potential clients. This gives you options and options equal power. By building a following and consistently informing and inspiring your community, you will gain credibility and trust, the two keys to winning new clients.

If you've ever wanted to be a porn star, here's your opportunity (and this is a life-choice you can have no qualms telling your Mum about).

So, what do you need to know to photograph your projects which will guarantee success in the journals and magazines as well as the rising realm of social media?