Born in 1950 in Alaska Territory, Kirk Gittings has resided in New Mexico for 40 years. He first studied photography at the University of New Mexico in the 1970's and ultimately received a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the University of Calgary, Alberta Canada in 1983. Since graduate school, he has taught and written extensively on photography and become one of the most widely published, exhibited and successful architectural photographers in the Southwest. His commercial architectural photography regularly appears in national periodicals and books, while his art work is represented in many museum, corporate and private collectons in the S.W. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor at UNM, and an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching architectural photography. He has received many awards including a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to photograph New Mexico's historic churches. In 1992 he was nominated for the AIA's GOLD MEDAL in PHOTOGRAPHY. His first book CHACO BODY, with poet V.B. Price about the Anasazi ruins at Chaco Canyon, has been critically acclaimed as a major contribution to regional art.
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Ask The Experts
Hello Mr. Gittings, I currently shoot a lot of portraiture and environmental photos. Some paid some not. I am wanting to transition into commercial architectual photography. However I do not know how to get my foot into the door for this field. Do you have any suggestions or books that you can recommend? And also tips for shooting. Thank You, Susanne
Dear Susanne, "Tips for Shooting" - Architecture is a huge subject that i spend weeks on in my classes. Try studying the major magazines and really looking at how good images are framed, how they are lit, time of day etc. and work on bringing your images up to that level. If you have more specific questions, ask them more specifically please. "Getting your foot in the door" - How I did it was by first selling my services cheap to small contractors to build my experience, equipment and my portfolio. When I had a decent portfolio I went after the more demanding clients with real budgets and higher profile projects. These clients would be big commercial contractors, published architects/interior designers, ad agencies and high quality magazines. It is a stair approach using existing clients to build on. Norman McGrath's book, Photographing Buildings Inside and Out is very good.
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