You’ve probably seen this trend in architectural photography: People in the photo that are blurry or out of focus. Obviously, the photographer has done this on purpose. But why?

So, the answer is pretty simple but takes a little explanation. 

Adding people to architectural photography gives the space life and definition. The viewer gets a better sense of a space’s size and potential use. Sometimes, an empty space just feels “cold”. Adding a few people in it makes if feel like an actual living/working space versus some kind of model or museum.

But why make them blurry?

As an architectural photographer, we choose to make certain models “blurry” because the focus needs to stay with the actual architecture and design. Once you add people to the scene, it can be pushed more towards a “Lifestyle" photo.

Let’s take a look at some photos of the lobby at The ’68 Apartments in San Antonio. Because the model is in complete focus (in the second photo), it gives it more of a “lifestyle” type feel.

The decision to make model blurry or not is really going to depend on what your clients wants. In this case, the client wanted to portray an upscale, sophisticated lifestyle. This is why we put the models on the balcony, sipping wine with an amazing view of downtown San Antonio.  

In the example below, we wanted to focus more on the building itself but still give life to to scene.