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  • Writer's pictureAnn Gilbert

Picture Imperfect: Common Errors in Architectural Photography in Hampton Roads, VA

Recognizing and avoiding the pitfalls of architectural photography to capture the beauty of Hampton Roads properties.


Architectural photography is a specialized field that requires a keen eye for detail and technical expertise to capture the unique charm and character of buildings and structures.

In the picturesque Hampton Roads, VA area, architectural photographers must navigate several challenges to produce stunning images that showcase the region's diverse properties. In this blog post, we'll explore common errors in architectural photography and offer tips on how to avoid them, ensuring that your Hampton Roads property images are picture-perfect.

Poor Lighting

One of the most critical aspects of architectural photography is proper lighting. Common errors related to lighting include:

  • Harsh shadows obscuring essential details

  • Overexposure or underexposure, resulting in a loss of detail

  • Unnatural color casts

To avoid these issues, plan your photoshoot during the golden hour (shortly after sunrise or before sunset) when the light is softer and more evenly distributed. Alternatively, utilize professional lighting equipment or editing techniques to balance the lighting in your images.

Distorted Perspectives

Architectural photographers must carefully consider perspective to ensure that their images accurately represent a building's proportions and scale. Common perspective-related errors include:

Converging verticals, which occur when the camera is tilted up or down, causing parallel lines to appear as if they're converging

Distorted or stretched elements due to improper lens selection or camera angle

To correct these issues, use a tripod to keep the camera level and consider investing in a tilt-shift lens to adjust for perspective distortion. Additionally, post-processing software can help correct minor perspective issues in your images.

Cluttered Compositions

A well-composed image highlights the subject's essential features while minimizing distractions. Common composition errors in architectural photography include:

Busy or cluttered backgrounds that detract from the main subject

Poor framing, which leaves too much or too little empty space around the subject

Overlooking the rule of thirds, resulting in unbalanced images

To create visually appealing compositions, scout the location ahead of time to identify potential distractions and find the best angles for your shots. Experiment with different focal lengths and perspectives to frame your subject effectively and follow the rule of thirds to create a balanced composition.

Lack of Context

In architectural photography, it's essential to capture not only the building itself but also its surrounding environment and unique features. Common errors related to context include:

Focusing solely on the building's exterior without showcasing its relationship to the surrounding area

Overlooking unique regional elements, such as coastal views, local architectural styles, or historic landmarks in Hampton Roads

To avoid these issues, incorporate the building's surroundings and unique regional elements into your images. This approach helps potential buyers or clients understand the property's context and appreciate its distinct qualities.

Inadequate Post-Processing

Professional post-processing is crucial for refining architectural images and addressing minor imperfections. Common post-processing errors include:

  • Over-editing, resulting in unnatural colors, excessive contrast, or loss of detail

  • Insufficient editing, leaving images looking flat or unpolished

To strike the right balance, familiarize yourself with post-processing techniques and software, such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Apply adjustments sparingly to enhance your images without compromising their authenticity.


By recognizing and avoiding common errors in architectural photography, you can create stunning images that showcase the unique beauty of Hampton Roads properties. By paying close attention to lighting, perspective, composition, context, and post-processing, you'll be well on your way to capturing the essence of the region's diverse architectural landscape and standing out in the competitive real estate market.l.

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