If you look at my profile on Google+ you’ll notice I’ve not added my business hours and may wonder why. Well I’m an architectural photographer and the answer’s really quite simple:
My Business Hours are when I can Show my Subject in it’s Best Light
Generally the best light for photography occurs around sunrise and sunset, this is particularly true for architectural exterior and interior shots with sunlight penetrating through the windows. As the time and position of sunrise and sunset vary throughout the year so do my working hours. It’s possible to predict when and where sunrise and sunset will occur on any given day and when the sun will be in the best possible position to photograph any elevation or interior of any building, I can always advise a client on the best time to carry out any photographic project and will make myself available whenever that occurs. Add to this a simple study of the weather forecast and it’s easy to see weekdays aren’t always the best working days.
Sometimes I’ll be asked to photograph the interiors of windowless buildings where the sun has no influence, even these projects are not not always best done during regular working hours. I recently met a web designer who specialises in web design for architects, one of his pet grumbles was architects commissioning photographs of buildings without people. Logical really, almost all buildings are designed for people, industrial buildings and transport hubs are obvious exceptions, as they’re designed around machinery and vehicular as much as human needs.
Pictures should say 1,000 words, right? If I were to shoot a restaurant interior at 9 o’clock on a Wednesday morning, chances are it would be deserted and my picture may look fantastic but would say little about how the building works for the people who use it and may even make the restaurant look unpopular. Depending on the building, how the person who commissioned me wishes it to be portrayed and when they can accommodate me and my equipment will determine when it has to be photographed. Hiring models to fill buildings is sometimes a viable option when a manageable number of people are sought and is something that can be arranged.
Summing it all up
If I’m working when either the light is right or when a building is being utilised, it’s pointless to advertise any business hours. If you contact me by e-mail, you may get a reply at an odd time of day or night or weekend as I check and respond to messages when I’m not shooting or driving between projects.
To conclude, I don’t have regular working hours because I work whenever I can produce the best possible results for my clients.
Original post may be viewed on my LinkedIn profile.