FStoppers – Mike Kelley – Where Art Meets Architecture 3 Video Tutorial

Fstoppers.com has teamed up with Mike Kelley to produce the third installment of Where Art Meets Architecture: How to Photograph Hotels, Resorts, and the Business of Commercial Architectural Photography. With 18 brand new lessons and 13 hours of video content, Mike will take you on location and show you everything he knows about creating photographs for hospitality clients as well as how he puts together his bids and estimates for these clients.

Throughout this in-depth photography tutorial, Mike teaches some of the most complex photography and photoshop techniques he uses to produce the flawless images required for his commercial and advertising clients. With the beautiful Hawaiian resort Mauna Lani Bay as the background for these lessons, Mike dives into how to shoot every aspect of a common hotel such as photographing small hotel rooms, luxury suites, outdoor amenities, lobbies, conference rooms, on site restaurants, and even aerial images from a helicopter.

Also included is over 2 hours of business techniques Mike uses to separate himself from his competition. These chapters cover everything from website design, using social media, designing successful marketing material, shooting personal projects, selling fine art, and how to draft proposals and licensing contracts. To wrap everything up, Mike then takes you on a real world commercial architectural job in Mexico and puts everything together for a real paying client.
How to Photograph Resorts and Hotels

Photographing hospitality whether it be hotels, resorts, airbnbs, or other properties marketed towards vacation and short term rentals can be a very exciting and lucrative field of photography. Unlike other genres within the architectural and real estate fields, hospitality photography often requires working with much larger clients who own massive properties that usually need updated marketing material on a yearly basis. Because these clients need so many unique images throughout their properties, it can be a daunting task trying to capture everything in a timely manner.

Unlike all of our other tutorials which start off gradually and build in complexity, Mike is faced right off the bat with the most difficult shooting lesson he has ever tackled on camera. As Mike moves from room to room throughout the resort, he candidly explains the unique challenges you will be faced with when shooting similar properties and how you can easily solve many of the problems that photographers are faced with in these situations. Below are a few examples of the types of rooms Mike photographs in this tutorial.

Learn Mike’s Best Tips For Shooting Hotel Rooms

Throughout the course of 16 unique locations, Mike will teach you every trick he uses to produce his signature look. Whether it is flagging outside light, light painting with hot lights, balancing extreme exposure differences with flash, rearranging furniture, fixing less than perfect bedding and housekeeping, working around busy lobbies, or “simply” turning overcast days into bright and relaxing sunsets, Mike explains every minute detail of his process so that you too can reproduce his techniques in your own photography.

Follow Along and Edit Mike’s Images In Photoshop

Once all of the images are captured on location, Mike then transitions into the post production studio where he shows you every step he takes in making his final image. To help you get the most out of this tutorial, we have included all of Mike’s high res images so that you can follow along every step of the way. Not only are you going to be able to practice each and every technique Mike has to share, but you will also be able to tweak each layer in Photoshop to produce the same final image Mike delivers to his client. These post processing techniques are a crucial skill every photographer will have to master if they want to break into this field of photography, and Mike walks you through each step so that you can not only save hours of time editing but also produce the most perfect images possible.

Learn the Business of Photography

If you want to make a full time career out of photography, producing amazing photographs is only part of the equation. Knowing how to property market yourself, gain paying clients, and run a successful business in many ways is even more important than the actual images you create. For the first time ever, Mike is sharing everything he knows about building a successful architectural business as he outlines every step he took throughout his own career. From shooting for small local realtors to being hired for massive campaigns in other countries, Mike uncovers each of the steps he took to advance his career to the next level.

In these business chapters, Mike explains what marketing techniques have worked well for him and which ones have produced less than ideal results. Some of the topics Mike covers are how to meet potential clients in person, making effective cold calls, designing mail fliers, soliciting advertising and marketing companies, building a successful website, the power of mailing books and portfolios, using social media to your advantage, and even how personal projects can open doors to clients you never would have imagined.

Perhaps the most valuable section of this entire tutorial covers understanding bids, making proposals, and how to effectively add licensing fees to your invoicing. In these final business chapters, Mike sits down at his computer and reads several mock emails he receives on a weekly basis. From there he shows you how he would price out each job, draft up an initial proposal to the prospective client, negotiate the terms of a final contract, and package both the photography and licensing fees into a professional looking final invoice. Mike meticulously goes through every line item from creative fee to post production costs to licensing to overall production costs like flights, accommodations, assistants fees, gear rental, and other common costs associated with architectural photography. If you are unsure of how to price your work or what to include in your own bids and proposals, this section will be extremely helpful to you no matter market you are trying to pursue.

No matter if you are just looking to get started in the real estate market or if you are already an established architectural photographer hoping to make the next big jump, Mike’s business insights are sure to help you raise your business to the next level.

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