Architectural photography is different than regular photography. The focus is more on the environment within the picture than the picture itself. General photography tends to be judged on the basis of aesthetics or the photographer’s creativity. The architecture community, on the other hand, wants to see a structure or area that is well-represented in the photo. The goal is to try to create a picture that lets the viewer know what it’s like to be standing in a specific location, looking at the focus of the picture.
Once you have an idea in mind, pick a focal point that accurately portrays the setting. Are there interesting elements to focus on or any notable building accessories? Look for things like fences, ironwork, irregularly shaped windows, and other attributes that make the location unique. Shadows and lighting can also make your picture pop, but unlike traditional photography, you do not have complete control over the lighting in the photo. Part of architectural photography is carefully selecting a shoot time that has the lighting you want. The season can also greatly affect the picture. Is it snowing? Are there a bunch of dead trees in front of the building? These are things you must consider before grabbing your camera.
When deciding how to photograph a structure, consider the context. For example, an area that is a popular nighttime attraction would come across best in a nighttime setting. A building with many small details would look best in bright sunlight because all of the details would be easily visible. When approaching photography from an architectural point of view, consider the context, and consider the viewer.