Author: Katherine Heath, 12/01/2016
Hotel marketing photography is a complex task, but can also be a highly rewarding investment. The images need to tell a story, the right story, and it needs to be told to the right people. Creating such images takes time, dedication and collaboration. A couple of days shooting with a professional photographer can provide a hotel with a grand selection of images to boast on their website, social media and marketing print. We’ve worked for many hotel groups over the years and pride ourselves in being able to deliver exactly what hoteliers need to increase bookings.
Build trust – It may seem tempting to rely on a few stock shots to bulk out a hotel’s web gallery but in reality it’s just not what guests want to see. When a guest books a room, based on what it looks like online, they expect to see the same level of quality once they arrive. If this rings true guests will feel far more trusting and be more likely to return because they know what they can expect. Capturing a room well requires a high level of skill and the ability to get the most out of professional equipment. To get true and honest shots we can we use specialist lenses that allow us to keep walls straight. There is minimal distortion on the room compared with standard wide angle lenses that leave you with a fisheye effect that looks highly unprofessional.
Individuality – If a hotel has an elegant lobby or a stunning roof top bar it’s important that these are strongly featured in the hotel marketing photoshoot. These features are unique selling points and may be the decider for guests between one hotel and another. To ensure nothing important is missed we like to arrange ‘walk through’ days that allow us to get a feel for the building before the shoot day. We talk to our clients about specific features they would like highlighted and work out a shot list depending on the best time of day to work on each shot due to light.
Room features – With over 30 years of experience photographing hotel rooms, it should come as no surprise that we know how to highlight the key features of each room. We understand how the industry works and that there are certain things guests are looking for when it comes to booking a hotel. For example, in a hotel where guests are primarily professionals they will be keen to know if the room has an iron, photographing this gives them reassurance that it will be there. Photographing key features in a creative way means images that tell a story about the room being offered not just an inventory of what it contains.
Styling – For individual and boutique hotels it is very common for the rooms to be shot lifestyle. This does not necessarily mean models, suitcases and large costs. For some of our long standing clients we have developed a subtle styling set-up that draws your eye into the room and provides guests with a warmer, more intimate, first impression. The simple use of books, a glass of water, a breakfast set-up or a pair of shoes by the bed allows the guest to imagine themselves feeling at home in that room.
Props – Running a hotel is a time consuming job, and having a photographer around makes it even more so. We understand the day needs to run as smoothly as possible and guests need to be disturbed as little as possible. Even though this is an important day for business the guests are still the main focus so it is important they are not over looked during a shoot. To help reduce the chance of staff being overly busy we are fully prepared to source any props our clients need and bring them to the shoot. This includes arranging flowers that match colour combinations in bedrooms through to finding quirky old alarm clocks that will add a subtle charm.
Food – The cuisine at a hotel is an important part of any guest’s stay and can often determine whether they will consider returning. If the food at a restaurant is of a high calibre the photographs need to portray this. Included in our hotel marketing experience is food photography. We work with large restaurant chains such as Maroush and high end catering companies like Cuisson providing them with top quality, professional images that ensure their online presence echoes their high standards offline.
Team – We are a team of 2, we’ve worked together for a good couple of years and we know our strategy. This benefits our clients in a number of ways: we are able to get more done on the day as we are able to work faster and move around the hotel at a better pace, we are able to return images to clients more quickly than before and we are two minds to offer creative opinions and possibilities.
Hotel marketing photography needs to evoke ‘I want to be there’ emotions.
Guests will instantly build an impression of your hotel from what they’ve seen on your website, make sure it’s the right impression!