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21 Top Tips for Hotel Photography

Key Points

Essence

The essence of your hotel’s luxury is in the details that portray the feeling, the heart and the very soul of the hotel. Give the photographer time to seek out and identify those details.

Heritage

Choose a professional photographer who is genuinely interested in your hotel’s heritage. If your history doesn’t spark curiosity, then it won’t be reflected in your photos.

Geo Identifiers

A well travelled crew will pick out your key Geo Identifiers immediately and use them to draw future guests to your hotel’s unique location.

Light

A photographer must be passionate about your hotel to portray it in its best light. Give the photographer time to get to know the interplay of light both inside and outside your establishment.

Seasons

You many need to bring in the crew two or three times in one year to capture the hotel in different seasons. Ideally, shoot just before the high season when everything is pristine.

Essence

The essence of your hotel’s luxury is in the details that portray the feeling, the heart and the very soul of the hotel. Give the photographer time to seek out and identify those details.

Technical Checklist

View

In order to capture a room AND a view, use a digital technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) which requires the photographer to shoot multiple exposures.

Photo Selection

Take advantage of a professional set of eyes and ask the photographer to help you choose the best images.

Back-ups

You should have three back-ups: one on-site, one off-site and one with the photographer.

Digital and Print

Let your crew see your brochure and website layouts. This will help them shoot suitable visuals especially if you intend to use panoramic crops.

Files

Ask for high resolution tif images for print and low res jpgs for digital media. Insist that primary photos are selected and sorted into sensibly named folders for YOUR easy retrieval.

Project Management & Human Resources

Coordination

Allocate a member of staff to be the coordinator during the shoot; this will save a lot of time.

Assistance

Appoint a junior member of your staff to help one of the assistants for any last minute details.

Etiquette

Choose a photographic crew that will not look out of place in your luxury hotel. Crews that look like shabby art students will make your guests and staff feel uncomfortable.

Preparation

Book the photographer three days early to pre plan the shoot and experience the hotel as a guest. This is a relatively small additional cost to the shoot that will reap huge rewards.

Pre-Shoot Planning

Plan ahead with the photographer to develop a production schedule from your desired shot list. Do this before the full crew arrives to ensure a smooth running shoot with minimal disruption.

Models

It is an advantage if the crew is experienced in casting and can help with the model selection. Staff are usually willing models and this can work well, but professionals are a far safer bet.

Waivers

Ask all models, both professional or staff, to sign a waiver authorising the hotel to use their images. This can avoid costly complications at a later date, particularly if staff subsequently move on to another hotel.

Choosing A Photographer

Passion

Choose a photographer who is passionate about luxury hotels and thrives on each opportunity to communicate their essence to the world. It will show in the images.

Confidence

Choose someone that you feel you can trust and will enjoy working with excellence in photography is a team effort.

Experience

Be sure the photographer has plenty of experience in communicating what it’s actually like to be a guest in a luxury hotel and has a portfolio to endorse it.