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About Clare Lou Architectural Photography


A Fine Arts background has developed my intuitive understanding of and fascination with light, shadow and form and has refined my ability to work with the medium of photography, to select and frame uncluttered compositions, which convey atmosphere, creating a visual experience of sculptural form for the viewer.

As an architectural photographer, my area of focus is exterior form and interior space of the built environment.

I’m particularly interested in how photography, as an image making process, can enhance, transform and clarify our perception of each space, through interpretation and representation.

A camera is not a mirror. Through a process of selection: viewpoint, light, elements within the frame, the photographer creates a visual narrative that tells the design story of each space.


Photography, as a creative process, is an excellent way to experience architectural design, by taking time to perceive a space, to understand the design vision of the architect, rather than to simply look at it.

As a means of communication, the intent of each photographic image is to transpose an experience of each three dimensional form into a two dimensional image, in an inspiring, intriguing and memorable way for the viewer.

To achieve this, the photographer needs to perceptively identify and interpret the unique qualities of each individual space, selecting and framing viewpoints to represent the design ideas of the architect and to convey atmosphere.

When beginning a project, consideration is given to the purpose of the images and how they are to represent each architectural design.

On one level, there is documentation of form.
Form is rendered as faithfully as possible, showing symmetry, precise single point and two point perspective to create a ‘portrait’ of form, albeit one that may be idealised.

A second level would be a focus on detail.
Detail images show the quality of the attention to detail applied by the architect in specific features or material, pattern, or quality of light.

Thirdly there is the level of appearance.
How the architecture is perceivable, influenced by the weather, season, time of day, the immediate surroundings and the images document the ambience of the architecture.

Finally, beyond these three levels there is the image itself.
The image itself, as the subjective experience of the architectural form and its appearance, existing to stimulate the imagination in the mind of the viewer.
In this category I admire the work of Friederike von Rauch.

A Dialogue with Others

"The thing with photographs is that they look like pictures, but they're ideas." 

- Joel Meyerowitz

Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.”

- Garry Winogrand

Buildings aren’t just products, they’re philosophies with the potential to lead the zeitgeist.”

- Harriet Harriss, architect

Clare Lou

BA(hons) Fine Art, Exeter

MA Cultural Studies, University of Leeds