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In conversation with Logan Harding: Architecture & Real Estate Photography
Exploring the role of photography in architecture - real estate marketing & more
Real estate photography is a field that has been in existence since even before cameras existed. In fact, one of the earliest known photographs, using the daguerreotype process, was a picture of a house taken in 1840 by Louis Daguerre. This form of photography became popular when people realised that real estate photos could be used as marketing tools for their properties.
In the modern world, real estate photography has flourished and there is now a whole industry built around it. In an interview with Tucson-based photographer & videographer Logan Harding we talk about his experience as a real estate, interior design, architecture photographer & cinematographer. We also explore the role of photography in architecture and real estate marketing and how technology can help with taking photos for this profession.
Photo of Logan by Three Region Photography
“My name is Logan Harding. I am a photographer and cinematographer currently focused on architectural and design photography and video. A family friend gave me an old film camera when I was 8 and I've never been without a camera since!”
Introduce us to your journey into becoming a photographer. Your inspirations, role models. What’s your goal as a photographer?
When I first got my film camera, I shot almost all macro and nature photography. It was a great proving ground that taught the technical use of the camera as well as lighting and composition. I went to college for media production and started freelancing there, shooting senior portraits, weddings, and family photos. Lighting and composition transferred well, and I loved working with people! I learned a lot of creative composition and lifestyle photography while in this phase. After college, I joined a real estate photography team and learned all about the design and architectural side of what I do. Life kept moving and I moved on to work with an eLearning company focused on the healthcare industry. I produced a lot of training photos and videos for them, while freelancing weddings on the side again. In March of 2020, I jumped full time into my own business focused on the real estate, architectural, and design field. My goal with photography is to help brands grow! I have a wide background of experience and I'm moving into new niches as I grow.
How did you get into the niche photography industry? What do you think is important to know for every person wanting to become an architecture, real estate photographer?
When I started my business in March of 2020, I chose real estate, architecture, and design because I knew how to run the business model, and I had enough experience in the field to come in doing a good job. In the last year and a half, I have continued to study and grow, and am now shooting the most expensive homes and estates in Tucson. I think, for anyone in this niche (or any other, for that matter), the most important thing to do is KEEP LEARNING. Keep growing. Keep finding a way to do something better. Set yourself apart by doing the best work possible. Then, learn something new and add that. If you want to run a business doing this, you need to learn to build a sustainable system. The business side is much different than photography, and it doesn't come naturally all the time. If you commit to keep learning and growing though, all things are possible.
What’s the story behind your business?
I started my business by freelancing on the side after college. I did that for 6 years while working at a Dollar General, a coffee shop, a corporate job, and a real estate photography job at different times through those 6 years. I ALWAYS wanted to go full time with my own business, and it finally happened in March of 2020 when we moved from Raleigh, NC to Tucson, AZ. I jumped in head first, and have never looked back. My video skills and style are honestly what has set my business apart here. I gained experience in the video field with an internship in high school, a degree in media in college, producing video in corporate, and working with a high end media team part time for a few years working on weddings, and even shooting for a NASCAR team. I learned most of what I do from them, and it's really set my work apart here in Tucson. Now, my business is going strong! I'm hiring contractors to help with different parts, and I'm adding a brand building/marketing branch to what I do that will include social media marketing and management.
What camera do you use, what lens? What are the pros and cons of such a camera for this type of photography?
I use a Canon 6D for my photography, and for most work, I'll use the Canon 16-35mm f/4. For bigger architectural projects, I use the Canon 24-105mm f/4L. I also use the ROKINON 12mm fisheye, but that's mainly for my video work. I use the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K video camera for my video work. The Canon works really well for photography. It has a good ISO range without too much noise, and the color science is phenomenal. It is a bit dated now, and doesn't have as high of a resolution as I'd like, and isn't as sharp as a Nikon, but for me, color is one of the most important things. The BMPCC6K is AMAZING for video work. I shoot in their raw video format (BRAW) and the dynamic range and color are perfect. I'm able to perfectly capture the nuances of an interior design project while preserving the deep shadows in the furniture and ceilings and bright highlights from the windows.
How do you think the Alice Camera would help within your business with its bluetooth connectivity allowing you to live stream and upload pictures to clients straight away from the scene?
It would be interesting to see how the Alice Camera could play into my workflow. If it produced images good enough without having to edit much, it could be much faster to shoot, do minor edits on an iPad or phone, then send directly to the client. I see this as a big benefit in the real estate realm. Alice could be a great feature to be able to send directly to an editor for post production. I think it could play a SOLID role in the lifestyle and social media work I do! The editing isn't really technical, but more creative for those, and it would be a much faster workflow, being able to send directly to a client.
Maybe you can share a few inspiring words with our community of content creators.
Keep learning! Never get too comfortable in your groove. If you get comfortable, you stop growing. Find people you like online and emulate their work. You won't become them, but you will add value to what you do. If you feel like you've fully explored one area of photography, find another and learn all about it! Chances are, it'll influence your initial niche and create something unique. Learn what makes you unique, and lean into that. Don't become the average of everyone else. Find your style and stand out!
Thank you for the beautiful words, Logan. It’s an honour to have you on board. :)
If you feel inspired just like I do, let us know! Share your architecture or real estate photography with the community of Alice Camera and get feedback from the fellow content creators on our Facebook group.
Lastly, as we are soon to launch The Alice Camera campaign, we couldn’t be more excited to share all the special moments of bringing the new updated version of the camera to real life, follow us on Instagram to make sure you are not missing out on this amazing journey.