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Interview with David Yeow | GBPW Episode 153

3 min read

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David Yeow.

Architectural photography can be both spontaneous and require a lot of planning. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all in terms of approach to photography.

David Yeow

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photo of interior design by David Yeow

In this episode, I speak with architectural photographer David Yeow. David studied to become an architect in Australia. When he started working as an architect, he was given a few projects to photograph. This awakened his passion for photography, which led to a full-time architectural photography career.

We talk about:

  • The art of mastering architectural photography
  • Tips from a professional architect
  • How to successfully communicate with clients in this industry

& much more!

David takes stunning architectural photographs that tell a story about a space. Thanks to his architectural background, he understands what clients need and produces outstanding photographs for them. If you’re interested in architectural photography from a professional architect’s perspective, you’ll enjoy listening to this episode!

Here is a preview of our conversation with David Yeow.

interior photo of store by David Yeow

Q: Is it important to have an architectural background in this industry?

David Yeow: It’s not essential because I know of architecture photographers who never had architectural backgrounds, but they do take wonderful photos of spaces as well.

It helps in my journey of photography because it allows me to speak to the clients and discuss the projects. It also allows me to understand what they want to showcase for a space, what makes the space special, what makes a project special, and how they want to capture it in the best light and best view.

It’s not a must-have to be able to pursue this career, but it helps.

interior photo taken using natural light by architectural photographer David Yeow

Q: In addition to communicating with clients, how else do you prepare for your photoshoots?

David Yeow: Discussion is definitely the first step for me because I want to understand what’s important to the client for that particular project. They will have a very particular view of how they want to showcase this project. That’s very similar to how we achieve views in renderings.

What would sell the project as an image? What helps dictate the space? How you would describe the space of its usage in terms of photos?

Planning for weather, sun, and time of day is definitely an important aspect as well. For interiors as well, there’s things that you need to take into account: when businesses are open or when businesses are busy with people, especially for restaurants and retail. I can’t photograph a space when there’s too many people. It doesn’t showcase the space as well.

architectural shot of building and creative light design

Q: What advice would you give to people who are looking for clients in this industry?

David Yeow: I was quite lucky. When I decided to do photography, a friend of mine recommended me to magazine when they were looking for photographers in Asia. This was for Conde Nast Traveller China.

They were launching their first issue and they were looking for photographers. I was very, very lucky to have them as a client and they were happy enough with the photos, so I was a long-time contributor to them for a few years.

Having friends from the architectural industry also allowed me to build a portfolio of projects that allowed me to hone my skills, learn from mistakes, and start to build a name in architectural photography.

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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
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