Simon Wilson

Published 26/6/2018


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the kind of work that you do?

I am a photographer and director based in Auckland. I shoot Architecture, interiors and the odd portrait for editorial and commercial use. A few years back I founded a video production company called swell that now, with a small team, produces design related content. 


How did you get into photography?

I wanted to be a photographer since I was a kid. I took a well trodden path studying at Massey in Wellington before many years assisting commercial photographers. I started shooting advertising which was a great education in production and tight time frames but naturally transitioned into architecture / interiors.


What drew you to architecture as the main genre in photography?

I love architecture and the lifestyle. It’s a slow kind of photography where you often spend a whole day chasing the sun around a building. It’s such a treat to soak up these beautiful spaces often enjoyed by no-one else but the owner.


Is it necessary to have any architectural training for the work that you do?

No training is necessary but you need to have an interest. Over the years and through working closely with architects I have learnt heaps and am always hungry for more.

What are the main challenges you face as an architectural photographer?

Weather.. It can make or break a shoot and in Auckland predicting it is like witchcraft.


To what extent do you research or investigate a building prior to shooting it?

A recce of the site is great, but if not I can work with phone snaps from the builder and google street view to work out where the sun will be.

What gear do you currently shoot with?

Canon 5Dm4 and a set of L series TS lenses for Stills. Canon C200 for Video.


With CAD imaging, BIM and virtual reality all becoming increasingly prevalent as alternate modes of showcasing buildings, do you have any concerns for the future of the architectural photographer?

I think our industry will always be evolving and that’s only an issue if you stop moving. In the future we might just need to squeeze a few more desks in the office and a VR department.


Your favourite project to date?

Fearon Hay’s Dune house. Great project, beautifully styled and the weather was magic.

How much post-processing work is involved after the captures?

I like to get everything in camera where possible. The reality is that often we have to shoot projects which aren’t quite finished or the planting is years away from looking good, so a bit of post is needed to fill in the gaps.


Any word of advice for photographers wanting to follow your footsteps? 

Keep positive and keep pushing. It’s a small industry with many established photographers so to make a living you will need to build a network and hone your craft.

To view more of Simon's work:



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