AD Photographers: Joao Morgado

Call Center in Santo Tirso / Aires Mateus

In our AD Photographers section we are now featuring portuguese photographer Joao Morgado. Born in 1985, he has made his photographer career during the last 4 years, working regularly with offices from , Spain, Netherlands and Italy.

1. When and how did you start photographing architecture?

I always had a passion about photography but it became more intense during my studies in architecture.

Through that time, i visited a lot of buildings and i spent several hours a day in libraries absorbing architecture and somehow i missed something from the photos of the buildings i have visited before. Since then i became more and more interested, not only in my own point of view, but specially in the truth of architecture.

A couple of months later, i had an invitation from an editor to photograph buildings of three respect Portuguese architects for a yearbook publication: Aires Mateus, Promontorio and Menos é Mais.

House in Pousos, Leiria / Bak Gordon

I got some other assignments from Aires Mateus, Bak Gordon and Gonçalo Byrne and i am starting to capture the attention of magazines like Domus, OnDiseno, Frame, A+T and many others.

From this time, even if unconsciously, i started to trail my path as architectural photographer.

Estoril Sol Residence / Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos

2. Are you an architect?

I studied architecture at ISCTE in Lisbon and it was an important background to become architectural photographer as i had the opportunity to participate at several workshops in Switzerland, Italy and Germany and also work with architecture offices in Netherlands.

Its interesting to see that most of architectural photographers are also architects and how that influence the way we look at architecture.

Cemetery in Boliqueime / Luis M. Guerreiro

3. Why do you like to photograph architecture?

Photography completes my passion for architecture and as an architecture photographer i can enjoy the best of two worlds.

Liège-Guillemins high-speed station / Santiago Calatrava
CUF Hospital in Oporto / Manuel Ventura e Associados

4. Favorite architect?

This is a tough question as there are several architects that influenced my way of thinking and understanding architecture. One of them is Luis Barragan and of course Mies van der Rohe.

5. Favorite building?

I really don’t have a favorite one.

Prada Store in Lisbon / Baciocchi and Associati

6. How do you work?

Most of the times i work directly with the offices.

One of the most important moments is the conversation with the architects; understanding his ideas, concepts and analysing the way he communicates it, is a part of the process that will help me to understand the project.

The final step is always a reinterpretation of intentions and images that i have created during that conversation and which will help me to create an interaction with the building and its surroundings. Sometimes the building situation can really overtake all your ideas creating a parallel invention that leads to the final images.

I started working as architecture photographer in 2008 and i am still shapping my workflow.

Hotel Zenden, Maastricht / Wiel Arets Architects

7.- What kind of equipment and software do you use?

Ansel Adams once said that “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it”.

Lisbon Architecture Trienalle 2010 / Sofia Saraiva, Ana Miguel and Pedro Rogado
Cite: Saieh, Nico. "AD Photographers: Joao Morgado" 16 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    And yes I agree, with the background in architecture study; is the key to capture the essence of space and spirit of the architecture photographed.

    • Thumb up Thumb down -1

      Yeah, I just laughed when I read:
      “Since then i became more and more interested, not only in my own point of view, but specially in the truth of architecture.” The truth of architecture? WTF is that? Is he a poet, a philosopher or a freaking photographer? lol

      And that’s when he answers the question, ’cause sometimes:
      “Are you an architect? I studied architecture at ISCTE in Lisbon and bla bla bla…”

      So he studied architecture, but is he an architecture or not? I get the impression that he dropped out of school and is afraid to say it.

      Please ArchDaily stop with these non-sense posts.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        *So he studied architecture, but is he an architect or not? I get the impression that he dropped out of school and is afraid to say it.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Why is that so important to you?
    In fact, if you are so inteligent you already had visited his website and checked that he graduated with a master degree in architecture.

    Please stop with these non-sense, useless and boring comments…

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I already knew Joao Morgado
    He is a young and promissing architectural photographer in Portugal. Well done.

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