Therefore, assessing my photos based on the same criteria as the criteria used for real estate photography or commercial architectural photography is like assessing the seascapes from Hiroshi Sugimoto or from Michael Kenna with the same criteria as for the satellite images used to create Google Maps. Is like assessing Edward Weston’s famous still life Pepper images with the same criteria as the product photos for the local grocery store. Fine art photographers don’t use the object matter to promote the object matter, they use it simply because it suits their personal visual style and promotes and expresses their artistic vision. Hence, I call myself a fine art architectural photographer, with the emphasis on fine art to denote, that objects I’m using in my photos are there for symbolic and/or aesthetic purposes only. They’re a medium for a personal voice. A medium inside a medium.
That’s why I find it important to be referred to, in interviews, publications, public execution/stoning/beheading/whatever, as a fine art architectural photographer, not as an architectural photographer.
Conventional architectural photographers are not less or better than fine art photographers using architecture, they have different intentions. But what fine art photographers can learn from the conventional architectural photographer is a better technical control and a better understanding of the architect’s intentions, while what conventional architecture photographers can learn from fine art photographers is to blend aesthetics and their personal intentions in such a way with the architect’s intention, that it transcends the commercial aspirations and becomes art as well. Julius Shulman, considered to be the greatest architectural photographer of the past decades, was a typical example of that. His personal vision was decisive in promoting the human aspects of modern living in California Mid-Century modern architecture.