Peter Kubilus (@PeterKubilus) is an interiors and architectural photographer based in metro New York. Following studies in both photography and architectural engineering, Peter has created a practice photographing offices, hotels, residences, and more.

Our conversation covers his origins in photography, how he came to specialise in architecture, and the workflow of setting up lights and creating his images.

Check out Peter’s photography at his website, kubilusphoto.com

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Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Interior photography by Peter Kublius

Show Notes & Links

  • Peter describes his work as modern, clean, refined, not messy
  • Previous photographers on The Busy Creator Podcast include Bill Wadman, Christine Blackburne, Taylor Mathis
  • Peter only photograph’s “The built environment”
  • Seton Hall Prep, high school in New Jersey
  • Peter’s first introduction to architecture and building came from visits to his father’s build sites as a youth
  • Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Interior Design magazine
  • Peter’s college classes “activated the creative side his head”
  • Prescott and Peter grew up in neighboring towns, both attended Drexel University, but didn’t meet until later.
  • “Circulation” is the term for a person moving through architecture, being at scale, etc.
  • Colour Temperature (mixtures of LEDs, Fluorescents, Sunlight)
  • Shooting for a hotel may mean conveying a lifestyle. Shooting for the architect may center around materials.
  • Peter’s projects range in scale from a kitchen to a 30-story building
  • Each image can take a few hours to set up, yielding only a few images per day
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) composites in Photoshop

“You can't turn garbage into a masterpiece.”

—Peter Kubilus

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“Networking was what really initially launched my career.”

—Peter Kubilus

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“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”

—Bobby Unser

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“Just because I'm not out in the field shooting doesn't mean I'm not working.”

—Peter Kubilus

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Tools

Techniques

  • Take a walk-through of a built space before you photograph
  • Ask the architect questions — he or she knows the plan inside and out
  • Find the right angle, then strip out extraneous material that might distract from the shot
  • Take point-and-shoot photos during a walkthrough
  • Don’t allow objects in a shot to overlap. This may require micro-rotations.
  • Stage the room first, then light it
  • Take multiple shots at different exposures so you can built it later in Photoshop as needed
  • Get the image right “in the camera” so you only have to spend 20–30 minutes in Photoshop
  • Use Lightroom to pare down your images. Then bring to Photoshop for retouching.
  • Deliver files via Dropbox rather than FTP.
  • Attend networking events, even as frequently as 4 days a week.
  • Use email newsletters rather than mini-portfolios — at least you can track who opens emails
  • Have a website with portfolio samples
  • Spend 30 minutes a week on LinkedIn
  • Wake up early and do those digital time-wasters before you start work
  • Use an assistant for shoots

Habits

  • Maintain a presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook fan pages
  • Backup your files immediately after connecting your camera

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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