Festive Hotel Photography

Christmas Holiday and festive decorations are one of the most complicated aspects of a hotel to photograph. Low light, reflections in baubles, shiny sparkling surfaces and contrasting high lights with deep dark greens of the Christmas tree and winter foliage. This combination of factors present a myriad of practical challenges to the hotel photographer.

Hotel guests love to see the magic of the festive season in your hotel– for some, a beautifully decorated hotel, can even be the visual enticement that leads to a hotel booking. This means that the complex task of photographing festive decorations, usually a year in advance, is well is worth the time, effort – and investment.

We invite you to browse our portfolio of Christmas and New Year holiday photography below and, at the very bottom of this page, our 12 very useful tips for hoteliers on How to create quality Hotel photography for the festive season: 12 tips from Hotel Essence Photography

Also see examples of our holiday hotel photography  at The Fairmont San Francisco and Roosevelt New Orleans 

How to create quality Hotel photography for the festive season: 12 tips from Hotel Essence Photography.

  1. Plan ahead, the Christmas Holiday season is an annual event, ironically so many hotels do not have photographs that capture the magic of Christmas. Planning a photoshoot to coincide with the installation of the decorations will ensure that these images are available shortly afterwards / the following year for marketing and promotion.
  2. Plan the photoshoot into the marketing budget, it may well be that the images shot will not be used for another 12 months, but the longer term investment will reap rewards.
  3. Keep it fresh,   cut pine trees and fresh flowers are best photographed at the start of the festive season, when the decorative foliage is in prime condition.
  4. Avoid festive stock imagery, if potential clients see several hotels using the same Christmas imagery this damages the visual credibility of the hotel.
  5. The right light. In order to capture Christmas you need atmospheric low light, such as candlelight and twinkling lights, it takes a real professional skill to create quality Christmas holiday images in low lighting conditions without burning out the Christmas lights and glitter.
  6. The tripod  is the photographers friend, with low lighting conditions, the tripod will avoid camera shake. It also gives that extra time to skillfully compose the scene.
  7. Less is more. Don’t be tempted to clutter scenes; a photograph with a few, carefully selected elements is both more impactful, and yet less demanding on the eye.
  8. Avoid reflections. Just like bathrooms and mirrors the photographer must always be very careful to ensure that their own reflection cannot be seen in any of the Christmas baubles.
  9. Include unique elements. Along with the decorations, it is important to include notable characteristic elements of the hotel, such as staircases, statues, clocks, historic marble columns, domes, and other features that the guests will identify and recall.
  10. Get in close. Some Christmas decorations have been passed down through the generations they are literally part of the hotel’s heritage – be sure to capture these small yet key details.
  11. Capture the essence. Details however seemingly insignificant, are an important part of any hotel holiday story, capturing the essence of the festive season is the key to telling the story.
  12. Catalogue and resize images. Once the photographs have been taken, catalogue all the images, and resize each one so that high res versions are immediately available for print and lower-res versions websites and for the hotel’s social channels.

With an extensive collection of appealing, quality festive imagery, promotion and marketing of your hotel’s festive season will be a dream.