How to Photograph Architectural Models

It is important to photograph your models soon after you complete them.  Drawings generated digitally can always be saved – in multiple places – but models have a way of getting dusty, losing parts, or molding in your parents’ basement. Therefore you should photograph models pretty much immediately after finishing them.  Whites will be whiter, columns will be straighter, and windows less finger-printed now, as opposed to a few weeks from now. And, if you leave them in the School studio space, they will get thrown out!

Plan view of model photography set-up

Plan view of model photography set-up

Model Photography basics: Click on the link to download the PDF instructions.

How to photograph models 12_13_10

A few things to keep in mind:

You can use a point and shoot camera, you dont need an SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  Always use a tripod. This will give you sharper pictures than any handheld shots.

Use two lights; one is a direct light source, and the other will be indirect.  The direct light source acts like the sun, lighting your model from a particular direction.  The indirect light acts as atmospheric, reflected light, and keeps the shadows on your model from being too dark.

Light colored models will look best on a black background.  We have black cloths in the Visual Resources Center, that students may borrow. See the next blog post for other amenities that students may borrow!

Studio is What’s Happening

Architecture student works on a drawing in the Great Space during studio.

Architecture student works on a drawing in the Great Space during studio.

The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation has a Flickr account with pictures from the various programs.  Most recently, we have documented activities in the studio sequence of the Architecture program.

Student 1.
a person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college; pupil:


Workroom of an artist.

Is the artist always learning? Student and studio begin with the same 4 letters, but how related are they?