Architecture is a form of visual art, and architects and designers are a visual audience. This should be kept in mind when creating messaging for the architecture community. Images inspire. Images communicate. Images have the power to transport us to different places, or even to different times. Architectural photography allows for a visual understanding of buildings we may never visit. Architectural photography is used to document new projects, for advertising, urban planning, and historic preservation. Images may be submitted to websites or magazines or used by developers to sell property. Building product manufacturers should embrace using photos and videos to showcase completed projects and demonstrate the capabilities of their products. This article will discuss the importance of capturing images of construction projects for building product manufacturers, and touch on photography tips to improve technique.

Capture Products in Real-Life Projects

Architectural photography captures building exteriors and interiors, bridges, structures, and cityscapes. Photos for building product manufacturers have different purposes than most architectural photography. Building product manufacturers can use photography to show what their product looks like, how it is installed, how it looks in the built environment, the flexibility of the product, the range of applications, successfully executed projects, and design inspiration. Project photographs may be displayed on their own website, in printed literature, on social media, and on design platforms.

Visually Following the Product

Photography provides the means to capture the context of the built environment and the changes that happen over time. Architecture Magazine explored recent work by photographer and architect Laurian Ghinițoiu. Ghinitoui documented the transformation of a piece of marble in Portugal to its use in the construction of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at New York’s Ground Zero site. This was a two-year journey that is now a documentary that shows how material becomes construction material.

While a full documentary is more than most building product manufacturers would need, there are elements of Ghinintoiu’s approach that can be applied to building products. Capturing images of raw materials, fabrication processes, the people involved, the installation, and the final result can illustrate the value and expertise behind the product.

What to Photograph

Building product manufacturers will take different approaches to photograph projects depending on the product they manufacture. Generally speaking, there are some shots most building product manufacturers should aim to add to their project portfolio.

Before & After Shots

Capturing images before installation or renovation can effectively demonstrate the impact a product has on a construction project.

Installation Images

Showcasing an installation in progress can be useful in answering questions designers or contractors may have about building products. Installation images and videos may also be a way to demonstrate methods of installation.

Display Product Range and Capabilities

Photographing different types of projects can be incredibly effective for helping manufacturers communicate how products can be used in different situations, or how different products in a product line can add to a project. By using different types of installations, such as photographing lighting in a hospital, in an office, and in a home, building product manufacturers now only demonstrate the versatility of their product, but also expand their reach when architects perform different online searches. Using project images to illustrate the range of applications and use cases expands the audience these project images can reach. Drone photography adds another dimension to architectural photography, and can be an ideal way to showcase products such as roofing systems. 

Inspirational Images Stir Architects' Interest 

Building product manufacturers are challenged by how to get their products in front of specifying architects and engineers. CADdetails empowers building product manufacturers to inspire the design community by showcasing high-quality images of their products being used in construction projects. reaches over 700,000 design professionals in North America and promotes projects to designers along with the design files architects and designers need to specify products. If you are a building product manufacturer that wants to be sure you are meeting the needs of specifying designers, book a call with us today!

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