Michael Biondo is a leading architectural photographer, based in Connecticut. Though his career began with fashion photography, he has transitioned into shooting architecture and interiors, which have been the mainstay of his work over the last 10 years. His work has been featured in numerous stunning books of mid-century and modernist architecture.
We asked Michael what interested him in moving from fashion to architectural photography. "As my interest in architecture grew, the move towards photographing it as a subject was a gradual and natural progression. The two businesses have completely different personalities. But, the fundamental discipline that remains consistent between the two practices is having and pursuing a deep interest in the subjects themselves."
"Most of the world experiences architecture through photography, so being able to tell the story of an architectural space is vital to understanding it’s value." - Michael Biondo
A friend working for architect Alan Greenberg knew of Biondo's interest in architecture and recommended him for a project to make a series of construction photos for one of Greenberg's projects. "That led to me photographing multiple houses, retail stores and apartments for his monograph, which was eventually published by Rizzoli."
Biondo studied photography at the Pratt institute in New York, exposing himself to a wide variety of creative disciplines. "One of the benefits of being at Pratt was meeting all different types of architects, designers and artists. This cross pollination which can occur in an educational environment continues to interest and inspire me."
Biondo's interest in education and the cross-pollination between creative disciplines has led him to serve as a jury member with the Greenwich Historical Society's Architectural Recognition Program and a board member at the New Canaan Society for the Arts. He sees these responsibilities as both an opportunity to give back, but also to continue his own investigations and education. "It is all about learning more. More about architecture, more about preservation more about art and more about the ecosystem in which good architecture and art can thrive."
We asked Biondo how architectural photography brings value to properties and real estate. "Most of the world experiences architecture through photography, so being able to tell the story of an architectural space is vital to understanding it’s value. I once photographed a very nice, prewar apartment on the Upper West Side of NY. The apartment quickly sold for $14.5 million. The new owner had only seen the apartment in photographs, but he exclaimed upon seeing it for the first time that it looked just like the photos. I think this illustrates the power of good photography."
Biondo's process is thoughtful and methodical, often involving considerable research before he even sees a building. "I like to study the space through existing photography, google earth and if possible visiting the site with the architect, designer or broker before shooting. Once I have a feeling for the space and the lighting, I can plan the shoot, leaving room in the schedule for improvising. You never know what good shots you may discover when working through the space - I love to follow the light and discover details and textures."
Featured header image: Toshiko Mori - Ghent House.