Festive Hotel photography

Christmas Holiday and festive decorations are one of the most complicated areas of a hotel to photograph. Low light, refections 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.  But hotel guests love to see the magic of the festive season– 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 rising to.


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

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

  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 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 12 month, but the longer term investment will reap rewards.
  3. Keep it fresh,   fresh pine  and fresh flowers are best photographed at the start of the season, when the decorations are in prime condition.
  4. Avoid festive stock imagery, if you see several hotels using the same Christmas imagery it reduces the visual credibility of the hotel.
  5. In order to capture Christmas you need lower light and twinkling lights, it is 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. Don’t be tempted to clutter scenes, visually less is more” and is more relaxing on the eye.
  8. 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. It is important to include along with the decorations, unique elements of the hotel, such as staircases, statues, clocks, historic marble columns, domes, unique elements that guests will identify with and recall..
  10. Get in close some Christmas decorations have been passed down through the generations they are literally part of the hotel’s history
  11. Details are a lovely part of any hotel holiday story, capturing the essence of the festive season is the key.
  12. Once the photographs have been taken, catalogue and resize images so that high res versions are immediately available for print and lower res versions websites and for the hotel’s social channels.


With a good collection of Holiday imagery, promotion and marketing of the festive season will be a dream.