Bursting Your Assumptions with Architectural Photographer Anthony Barcelo

Anthony Photography

This week I sat down with Architectural Photographer Anthony Barcelo. Anthony has photographed some of the most recognizable stars houses, from Chrissy Tegan and John Legend to Katy Perry. We talk about the impact being in a multimillion dollar industry has had on his perspectives and how to follow your passion.

How did you get into photography and did it come naturally?

I’ve always had a passion for photography. I got my first digital camera when I was 10. I love photography and I always knew that I wanted to start a business. When I went to school, I became a little nervous and decided that maybe I should go with something more reliable. I started interning at different media companies and ended up doing real estate sales. My colleagues gave me an opportunity to photograph their properties just as a passion project. I actually really enjoyed it and referrals started to come in.  I came to a point where I was more successful photographing than I was selling real estate so I decided to give it my 100 percent attention and energy. It was the best decision I could have made.

Theater Photography

A lot of the assumptions people had about photography is that people are underpaid and it is usually a side hustle, what do you have to say to that and what has your experience been making photography your career?

It did start off as a side job because I definitely had those same assumptions. The advice that I would give anybody is that if you’re passionate, the money will follow. The drive to create my own business was there and everything else just followed.


There is a lot of instability because it is a project based career, how does that effect your life and how you find balance?

I’ve actually become so incredibly stable because there’s so much demand for this type of photography. I basically have to schedule time off so I’m really lucky that the work that I do has a lot of demand for it. I really now have to balance my personal time. I’m packed from sunrise to sunset. I have to actively book a day off.  At the beginning of lockdown, I was nervous about how things would be affected. Fortunately, because there’s so much demand for this type of work, things have sort of continued uninterrupted.

Real Estate Photography

Because you are creating a business that is reliant on you marketing yourself and your services, how did you find confidence when you were starting off to put yourself out there?

In the beginning, I definitely offered as many free photo shoots I possibly could. I thought, “If I can get a few key samples done, then I’ll be in a much better place.”  I approached these free shoots as my marketing budget. Fortunately, it really did work. The strategy was to offer these services complimentary and in exchange I received material from my portfolio.


You photograph some of the most luxurious houses in America, how does that skew your perception of the world?

The truth is, I grew up in a very poor, underprivileged neighborhood. I know that anything can be taken away so quickly. I definitely appreciate every single opportunity, every single moment. It’s a different world that very few people have access to. This year I photographed for a few billionaires and it’s definitely a really rare perspective of the world. I think having grown up really humbly gave me a deep appreciation for it all.

Interior Photography

What is a piece of advice someone gave you that really stuck with you?

Your dad had a really great piece of advice, which is the idea of the compounding effect. This idea that you find your specialty and then you just apply the work consistently over a long period of time. Eventually that snowballs and the snowball just keeps getting bigger. But the key is to really stay focused and stay consistent.

Kitchen Photography

Was there a specific experience that you had where you looked around and thought, I made it?

So the one that comes to mind first was the Katy Perry residence that I photographed. The reason it was so meaningful to me was that it was the moment where I really realized that I had something special going on and that I needed to invest everything that I could into my business. So I literally spent fifteen thousand dollars on my new equipment, new lenses, new camera, because I knew that this was going to really open up a lot of doors. I know that was the moment where I really took things incredibly seriously and really reinvested in myself. I saw the potential for growth.

What do you want people to say about you?

When he walked into the room, he brought really great energy to the room. He was responsible for the energy that he brought in. He was incredibly kind and respectful. My mom always says you were responsible for the energy that we bring to a room. I’m always incredibly conscious of that.

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