Photographers help the average person see beauty in the mundane and capture moments of beauty that the rest of us miss. Architecture has long been a way to improve upon the environment, either by using building styles that are contextually relevant or by designs that are so ugly they work. Studying other culture's architectural styles will often tell a story about how people interact with their environment—a history expressed by lines, shape, and material. Usually photographers must choose one element of a city's composition—capturing a whole building or isolating one particular pattern or detail within. Looking at the 10 best architectural photographers to follow on Instagram will give you inspiration to start appreciating intriguing architectural feats, as well as capturing your aesthetic visions. While some of the photographers are professionally trained, a few are self taught—learn these tips to perfect your architectural photography.
"Every great architect is—necessarily—a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age."—Frank Lloyd Wright
A professional photographer from Liston, Portugal, Fernando Guerra is a pioneer of how architectural photography is crafted and digested. His feed illustrates how natural light, tones, and materials can be to create beautiful homes and living environments. Capturing hidden geometric compositions is also essential to his work.
Hufton and Crow
The award-winning British photographers Nick Hufton and Allan Crow are renown for their ability to capture the sublime. Their feed features flawless transitions from pictures that capture natural landscapes to awe inspiring city textures and patterns.
German photographer Sebastian Weiss operates under the alias Le Blanc on Instagram, and is a columnist for Architectural Digest Germany. His feed captures stunning images featuring patterns and textures of large buildings, this approach bore out due to Weiss's need to fit shots on a small smartphone screens. His eye for sharply packed grids, sharp lines, layered perspective and depth, subtle hues of vibrant colors, an appreciation of concrete structures, and fluid forms make him one of the best architectural photographers to follow on Instagram.
“I intend to liberate buildings from their spatial context and known surroundings by breaking the city’s essence down to the substance," he has said to Dezeen regarding his photographic style. "I search for the interaction of forms, materials, and structures.”—Sebastian Weiss
Renown architecture magazine Dezeen awarded Iwan Baan the "the rock star of architecture photography" in 2014—and it still holds merit today. His feed lacks the austere aesthetic that many photographers follow, but it certainly does not detract from the quality. Baan's iPhone-camera-only account captures what it means to travel every week of the year. Many of his shots are from aerial perspectives, the motivation is to place the object of focus in its larger society context. Baan's use of the iPhone camera inspires me to go out and photograph buildings and nature scenes.
Jeanette Hägglund knows how to beautifully capture how angular and fluid building forms juxtapose against a light blue sky. The feed Hägglund curates usually features strong accents of vibrant colors and hues. Her ability to capture lively colors featured on minimalist architecture against blue skies is simply unrivaled.
Tekla Evelina Severin
Tekla Evelina Severin hails from Sweden and changed her career path after she joined Instagram in 2012. Vibrant neon colors are the most consistent theme through the feed, with many features of abstract patterns and minimalist designs. Severin stands out on this list due to her ability to curate a design philosophy for works that feature both exterior and interior architecture.
Matthias Heiderich is a young, self-taught photographer based in Berlin. His work features vibrant and neon colors that envelope and decorate minimalist structures.
According to Heiderich: “When I go out I search for patterns, lines, colours, the abstracts of the urban landscapes to transform them into something new, take them out of their contexts. I enjoy playing around with forms, structures, and colours.”
However, Heiderich's does not like to be pigeonholed, his Berlin influence of sublime brutalist concrete buildings peaks through the cracks of vivid colors.
Matthieu Venot specializes in seizing a building's unique feature by isolating it out of context. His self-taught ability to juxtapose a geometric composition justifies his meteoric rise to architectural stardom. His minimalist taste is calming yet invigorating due to his ability to capture such vibrantly colored buildings and their gripping components. To view his work without the confines of Instagram, check out his website.
This account serves as a compendium for brutalist and minimalist concrete structures, but also as a historical thread for studying the former Eastern bloc. Many of the buildings featured are relics of the socialist movement that swept across Eastern Russia from 1955 to 1991. The organization that runs this Instagram account advocates for the analysis, research, and preservation of the socialist monuments—which are currently under threat due to gentrification.
Alice Gao's feed is easily the most cliché Instagram aesthetic photographer on the list. Ornate interiors, flowers, succulents, majestic landscapes, and delicious food are in continual supply. Despite its cliché aesthetic, it still demands attention for its attention to detail and keen eye for beauty.
If your attempts at capturing majestic moments with an iPhone are not coming out like these professional photographers, do not worry. Many use DSLR camera, which are much better than iPhone cameras. Check out these iPhone X Camera Attachment Lenses to up your photography game. Learn from the best architectural photographers to follow on Instagram, and start your own passion for photography and travel.