When it comes to hotel photography, there are a few rules that you need to follow. Whilst creativity and originality are a huge aspect of successful hotel photographs, every photographer will still need to follow a formula that really ensures they’re capturing the best images they possibly can.
Don’t worry; it’s not a strict, linear ruleset that you need to follow at every step of the way; it’s more of a guideline to avoid capturing unappealing or messy images, whilst highlighting the best part of your rooms, services, venues or concessions.
In order to help you make the most of your hotel photography, I’ve put this short article together to outline the do’s and don’ts of hotel and venue photography.
These are things that you should be doing with EVERY image to really bring out the best details. If you follow each step, whilst avoiding the ones above, you’ll be taking professional-looking photos in no time.
Clean and declutter the room!
Your room ABSOLUTELY MUST be clean, tidy and clutter free before the photographer arrives. No one will want to stay at a dirty, tidy, unprofessional or cluttered hotel, so your rooms need to show a clean, professional atmosphere.
This doesn’t just mean a quick run-round with a hoover; you’ll need to steam the curtains, freshen up the room, maybe brighten the decor (add a plant or two) and iron the linens. The room needs to look pristine in every single way!
Pick out the best rooms
In order to create the most appealing images, you’ll need to pick out the best rooms prior to the session. Pick out rooms that are spacious, cosy and inviting!
You’ll also need to consider the time of day and the natural light, as this can have a drastic effect on the overall image quality. Too much sunlight will oversaturate the image, lessening the quality, whereas not enough natural light will leave the picture looking dark and artificial.
Just remember this: the sun (generally) rises in the east and sets in the west!
For a morning session, you should try to use east-facing windows. Afternoon sessions are better suited to rooms with west-facing windows.
Alternatively, north-facing windows are generally fine to use at any time of the day, though you should still consider the weather.
Let’s take a look at the various don’ts of the hotel industry. If you can avoid all of these, you’re already half-way there to great hotel photographs!
Don’t complete repairs on the day of!
There are a couple of reasons as to why it’s a bad idea to execute repairs on the same day that you plan to have photos taken. The first is that a repairman might need access to the room you plan on shooting; they may also need a lot of equipment, which could leave you at risk of looking unprofessional and cluttered.
You also need to make sure that the room you plan to shoot in is in working order; if you need to call out a repair technician, you’ll be delaying your shoot, potentially losing money.
Don’t book the room out on the shoot day
It’s going to be an embarrassing situation for everybody if you’ve booked out the room on the day of the shoot. You’ll end up needing to evacuate your paying clients (which won’t look good for business) before quickly cleaning the room and bringing in the photographer!
It’s considered to be disorganised and unprofessional, so it’s best to make sure the room is clean, tidy and empty before the photographer arrives.
Don’t forget to use your pictures
I’ve seen it too many times before: hotels will take their new photos, but stick to using their old images!
You don’t necessarily need to use your images on booking websites or social media; they can be used in a variety of applications, from physical prints to promotional materials.
Hire an experienced professional
Finally, you should always hire an experienced professional photographer. Whilst you might be able to achieve fairly decent pictures by yourself, a professional photographer will know exactly what to do and how to do it.
They can bring the most out of any room, by utilising the natural resources along with any props in any setting.