Poll architects and designers about whether or not they like to have people in their project photography and you'll probably get a 50:50 split in opinion.
Adding people to an architectural image has certain advantages. Human "objects" provide scale and context. By "humanizing" the image, viewers may linger for a longer period of time. Using clients in photos broadens the project's marketing potential, particularly if a magazine is developing a feature story.
On the other hand, people in a photograph can be distracting. They can also limit the useful life of an image if, after some time, the people end up aging the photo because of changing hair styles and clothing styles. Companies may be reluctant to bother their clients and, in turn, their clients may be reluctant or shy about appearing in photos. From a technical standpoint, using people in a photograph may require a faster shutter speed and a smaller Depth of Field thus degrading the quality of the image itself. One way to overcome this is to allow the people to move through the photo in a blur. This can be a neat effect but not everybody likes that either.
One of the ways I try to address some of these issues is to shoot an image first with no one in the picture. This allows me to overcome some of the technical challenges in shooting a sharp photo with a large Depth of Field. After this image is completed, I insert the person (or people) and shoot the photo again. In post processing, we mask the people from the second image into the first image.
The image below is an excellent example of using a human for scale.
4445 W. 77th St. #130
Edina, MN 55435