When describing photography, people often speak of “capturing a moment,” or “telling a story.” Let’s call this the “Narrative” approach. It’s a useful metaphor, and we can all think of examples, such as the Civil War photography of Matthew Brady, the “decisive moments” of Cartier-Bresson, or our family snapshots.
The Narrative approach is valuable in architectural photography, as well. It can offer a framework for photographing buildings in use, typically with people in the shot, or perhaps with furnishings and accoutrements that say something about how people are using the space. This kind of photography is terrific for drawing the viewer quickly into a setting, conveying scale, or elucidating the design by showing how it functions. Here’s a wonderful example from Ezra Stoller:
Photo by Ezra Stoller/ ESTO
If every picture tells a story, then this one tells several!