Architectural Photography: The Artistry of Featuring Tile

Architectural photography generally focuses on the big picture; the overall lines and scale of a structure. While that is the majority of my work, I also have a passion for details. I call them nuances and one of my frequent subjects is tile.

How do you make tile look interesting? With creative composition and lighting. Shooting glass tile especially combines my love of angles with my passion for lighting. I always like to look at a space in different light and the way light reflects off the glass can be very intriguing.

Tile Collage

Combining sunlight, shadows and glass tile in this shot of the spa at The Cromwell Las Vegas is a particular favorite. It’s a bit of an optical illusion as you have to focus in just the right place to actually see the depth of this step.

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Often it is the details that actually made the full image more interesting. This is dawn at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.This is a beautiful space anyway, but taken at the right time of day…wow…the sun and shadows highlight the texture of the natural tile walls and the sheen of the floor.

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Again here, the combination of the sunshine and shadows at an angle on the lines of the brick creates a juxtaposition of sorts against the straight lines of the shadows on the bench (not to mention the stripes of the fabric). Love this shot.

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I’ve found that if you think something is going to be boring then it will be. If you don’t then you will be more likely to see the beauty in it. Simple stuff, but can be very poignant. If I went into a job begrudging the fact it was a boring tile shoot then I would have never seen this.

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I love the contrast of neutral to dark colors and straight lines and angles to the round pebbles. And, equally dramatic in the full frame below.

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Photos of details can add depth to an architectural photography portfolio and also provide more options for marketing materials. A close up shot can be an artistic contrast to the majority of full frame images being included in a brochure or website and also can do the obvious and necessary – show the specific features and/or workmanship of a project.

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The clean lines of tile can also provide a perfect backdrop for other features. This image combines those straight lines with the elements of shadow and the contrast of color and texture.

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Focussing on the details of tile and other nuances has become an interesting facet of my architectural photography. I’ve learned that no project is ever boring. With an open mind and some creative lighting and angles, I’ve found unexpected artistry in industrial photography and commercial photography at factories, construction sites and more, as well as more traditional settings such as hospitality photography. If you are interested in more intriguing architectural photography for your structure or project, please contact me at 888-688-5510. I welcome the opportunity to create a distinctive portfolio with a range of unique images for you.

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